NQN details, part 7

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Back to ne quid nimis… the next track is “dreamdroneone”, recorded in March 1994.

This was another track recorded for the Epitapes label. It originally appeared on the compilation “Like Wind or Empty Dreams”, a compilation of dream music featuring an unlikely assemblage of underground luminaries such as Ken Clinger, M. Nomized, Ataraxia, Kirchenkampf, Sebastien Gandera, Bubble Eyes and others.

I sometimes wake up with clear ideas of a technique for a musical composition, or with strong musical theme that stays with me after waking up. One particular day, after waking up from a fitful sleep, I was struck by some of the startling, piercing electronic-like sounds my mind sometimes produces while in hypnogogic/hypnopompic states. This track was a kind of emulation of those mindsounds, coupled with a recording of a drone from a fan that my wife and I would leave running all night long as a kind of white noise generator. I seem to remember that I recorded this directly out of bed, without even pausing to eat breakfast.

The other sounds you hear on this song are skipping CDs (a common sound source for me in the early 90s) and a “re-tuned” music box. Re-tuning of a music box is simply taking the tuned forks off of one music box and putting them on another, so that the box plays “the Danube Waltz”‘s rhythm with the notes from “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or something like that. You can force a formerly harmless music box which is programmed to play an inane piece of music to instead play an unidentifiable sound loop. In this track, there are clearly some really dissonant moments coming from the music box. Again, I don’t remember what songs were on the specific music boxes I used at this time.

There was a “dreamdronetwo”, which sat unused for a number of years, and eventually turned up on the catch-all 1998 release “abandon“. It was a strong musical theme from a dream, and I’m pretty sure it was conceived and recorded the day after “dreamdroneone”.

Those were not the only songs that were composed by my dreaming mind, but I don’t remember ever naming any song “dreamdronethree”.

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