“Speak Your Own Language” (2015)
Released as a 7” record by Harmonipan
in connection with the project “Variety Gate”
at Museo Universitario del Chopo in Mexico City, “Speak Your Own Language (2015)” is part of Lucky Dragons’ ongoing research into an auditory illusion in which short fragments of speech, when repeated, can appear as entire words and sentences—something like an audio rorschach test. Spoken syllables, sequenced and filtered into layered rhythms and harmonic textures, occupy an area between music and language that each listener hears differently. For the record’s cover artwork, five listeners were asked to write down any words or phrases that they heard, composing lyrics to the music.
“Publicity Reform” (2013)
“Speak Your Own Language” (2012)
Recordings of a home-made string instrument with a central bridge (you might call it a “zither
”). the design of this instrument, which is played by two players plucking / strumming / striking the strings on opposite sides of the bridge, is such that the actions of a player on one side of the strings effects the tone of the strings played by the other player. as one side of a string vibrates, bends, becomes tight or relaxed, the pitch of the opposite side responds in a mirror-like fashion. harmonies float around, not fixed in place, but come back to rest in a rough middle. the digital version (what you hear here) has undergone an additional process: automated noise-reduction software attempts to discern a “signal” from the background sound of the original recordings, listening for its own version of music ;)
“Relax in a Hurry” (2012)
by speeding up music made explicitly for the purpose of attaining a relaxed physical and mental state, can a listener reach such a state in less time? is there something essential in the material of these sounds, divine frequencies, that if experienced not as a tone, but as an impulse, can provide a shortcut to well-being for the busy listener? how fast can we listen?
Plural titles indicate the proliferation of life. In all its disparate values and manifestations, life multiplies.
“Long Form” (2012)
Spectral information organised into simple harmonic shapes, an agreement of frequencies that extends above and below the range of audible perception. As any shape stretched towards an infinite length becomes a line, this is a flattening of form – music made as simple as possible.
“Music For No Reason” (2012)
“A Ray Array (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” (2011)
“The Upward Spiral” (2010)
Optical illusions have a healthy life in the world – as puzzles, cognitive experiments, quiz tricks, and platforms for mind-bending artworks – but auditory illusions (tricks of the ear) are less well documented, less well understood. Two examples of auditory illusions that were discovered relatively long ago – Risset rhythms and Shepard tones – deal with tones or looping cycles that appear to constantly accelerate, or rise in pitch – the sonic equivalent of a barber pole stripe, moving always upwards as it rotates (the opposite effect, a pitch continuously descending or a rhythm forever slowing down, also qualify). Examples of these illusions privilege the smooth, consistent rise: seamless and eternal. But what about the lumpy, striped or stepped rise, hopscotching or leapfrogging forward? Isn’t there something salient and familiar about a clumsy version of vertigo?
Accelerationism proposes an end-game scenario for capitalism that either transcends the currently visible horizon, entering some unforeseen landscape (free from constraint), or results in technological singularity – in either case, eternal acceleration suggests an azimuth, a state of motion so extreme that it provokes an ontological shift. These sounds play with the auditory illusion of continuous acceleration with a particular focus on the clumsy, spontaneous, and sporadic leaps that reflect our own engagement with progress – two steps forward one step back – we digest the shapes of boundaries, constraints, and borders attempting to guide us into smooth channels, as we blindly expand forever in wild directions.
“Dream Island Laughing Language” (2008)
“Bleach on Bleach” (2007)
“Mini Dream Island” (2007)
“Hawks and Sparrows” (2003) is a collection of reconstructions, rearrangements, and reenactments drawn from field recordings of four anti-war demonstrations (Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC) protesting the US invasion of Iraq in late winter 2003.
Washington DC January 21st 2003 On the bus down I was sitting with a group of Iraqi women who fed me Baby Ruth bars and Almond Joys. I met my mother on the steps of the Supreme Court and spent the day separating from her and meeting up again, getting lost in the crowd. We walked along the march route for a long time, but split off to visit a farmers’ market in a neighborhood she had heard of but had never visited.
Seattle February 15th 2003 I got a ride up with my friends Brian and Morgan on Saturday. We bumped into a number of people from our school as we marched through the city. When the monorail passed over, the drivers honked in support. After the protest ended, we went to an enormous Asian supermarket for lunch.
New York City February 15th 2003 Becca was set to meet me by the downtown lion at the main branch of the public library, but I had to fight my way to get to it, there were so many people. Everyone was making a ruckus of some sort. This lady stood out, she was making a different sort of ruckus into her cell phone. The obscenities pouring out of this lady’s mouth were a bit more exaggerated than the protest banter. She had agreed to meet her friend at the downtown lion as well, but her friend was at the uptown lion. This lady could not walk 30 feet to resolve the miscommunication. Instead she had to chastise and humiliate her friend over the cell phone, let her know how angry she was, let everyone around her know as well. Cops stole my drumsticks and I had to use spoons which I bought from a hardware store. someone threw fireworks at a horsie cop. Then I met up with becca, she had been less than 10 feet away from me the entire time!
Philadelphia March 30th 2003 It was very cold and raining off and on. Peter and I walked all the way from our house down to where we thought the protest was, several miles away, but the place was empty. We met a girl who thought maybe people had moved to the federal building so we walked there. We were the first ones there, but after a short while the marchers showed up and we joined them.
A crime was carried out in our name. we spoke out against it. How will time change our memory of this? Memory is our weapon. All sound sources used in the making of this cd were recorded at the protests listed above. Spoken language, rhetoric, dogma, incantations, and chants have been removed, leaving behind music, pauses, affect. No synthesizers were used on this recording.
“Hawks and Sparrows” includes contributions by Wrist + Pistols and Big A Little a. Released April 4th, 2003 as a free unlimited download and a limited edition of 100 cd-rs packaged individually with the first flowers of spring in clear glass cases, distributed by reverse shoplifting, filed under “h” in any record store.
This work is in the public domain.