Monday, April 27, 2009

Corrode and Engulf - Cognitive Dissonance VI - Final Chapter

This represents the final chapter and transmission of the Cognitive Dissonance process. Next, I'll share a few bits of what I've been working on lately, between things I'm bound by blood oaths not to talk about, extensive research into rhizomatic consciousness, chaos theory, extreme esoteric number manipulation and viral linguistics. A ton of creative output had been gathering momentum, and dissemination has been an afterthought, though I came to see that aspect becoming part of the creative flow. Further dissection of the sounds. In keeping with the original intent, I'm going to limit the final production notes to a bare outline of the process that got us here and convey gratitude to those of you who followed and added to the conversation.

The first thought I had at the outset was to track a simple album with a classic trio sound. I've done well with that, except for the added melody line at the beginning of the first track. Then a few stray ideas took root and grew into strange mutant entities. Major revamps, rethinks and re-visions, then sounds, images and artifacts suggested ever more forms and eventually, narrative, albeit of the surreal sort. With the album itself I took a very direct and raw approach. I've always preferred the sound of a human being playing instruments and singing to the mad scientists creation that is the protools version of injection molded plastic. (Not to be confused with electronic music.) Vocalists don't usually like to have anyone hear anything but the most spot on, confident performances, but I was going for a feeling and a story, and these are my sketches.

Cognitive Dissonance was a working title that became the final title, for the name fed the blossoming idea that tied the album together. A story that encompassed a vision split in four directions, a juxtaposition and melding together of the points of view of of same world/ two views, two worlds, same character observing and acting in them. The central idea is of a cognitive dissonance between first appearances and a closer look.

I recorded all the music, and then came up with the song titles. I decided the order according to how the titles felt. Then I wrote a short story starting from a cutup of the titles. I expanded that and took the lyrics from that. I think my machines freaked out and became possessed in the process. I had some radio signals coming through the guitar as I laid down the tracks, and I made liberal use of them. While I continued to track the album I released several transmissions. I thought I'd make the various stage escapes into their own entities, as opposed to a few stray mp3's.

Unlike the album itself, I layered, layered the layers and added extra layers to boot. I tried something different in the first, and with the help of the fine folks at, I added spoken word from readings of public domain classics. We're hearing mostly Flaubert, Coleridge and Emily Dickinson.

Transmision II I made from the bass tracks from the album. Mostly you're hearing one track of bass with no layers but the real-time FX, though there are a couple points where the cello creeps in. A few inexplicable voices emerged that weren't recorded by me. If it fits as a soundtrack for your daily experience, I want to hear the story. throw these out of my head in quick bouts between working on two movies, my own moving image projects, not included, three comics, (not telling yet), and a sum total of five albums of various styles at different points of production.

Along with the sound transmissions, the lyrics were extending into stories. The lyrics to most songs I'd done so far were dreamlike fragments of one continuous tale. I wanted to bring some of the underlying structure into focus. At the same time I listened to others stories. I was especially interested to hear some apocalyptic tales. Ragnarok, Armageddon, the end of one life and the beginning of another. The death of the ego, the body, a belief. The hearing became expression, and the telling of the tale that resulted was an embodiment of experience.

Individual Files

Movie FilesMPEG4Ogg Video512Kb MPEG4

189 MB183 MB183 MB


  1. excellent visuals...excellent sounds...excellent words. i like how the two voices blend. 24:oo-25:00 very good indictment of futility modern humans i'd say.

    synchronistically i was revising and preparing the poem i mentioned in an earlier post for cutting up. this is some of it:

    ...this is the way the world ends
    not with a bang
    nor even a whimper
    so quiet it slipped away before we noticed...


    a couple of questions:

    did you intend the sibilant voice to be that of choronzon, in a crowleyan sense? i assume that you mean to imply that we contain both within? entropic order and negentropic chaos AND their inversions?

    what do you mean by rhizomatic consciousness?

  2. We do contain both, in my best analysis. Of course, Choronzon plays a big role, both as a current and as a metaphor.

    Rhizomatic consciousness would be a break of a linear, or tree-like structure, developing ideas in a vacuum, and letting them bloom as a neural network. Nothing is to be repudiated, but the idea that we're headed from chaos to order, savagery through progress to a manifest destiny of ordered lives and calcified forms of culture. (Read Hesse's The Glass Bead Game if you haven't already.)

    That fragment ties very well whith this piece, and the book I borrowed from, my own "Panic Pandemic", that large endeavour of a few years ago with one of my other projects, (Choronzon, wouldn't you know...).

    Download can be found here.

    Feel free to check out anything else in the folder is you feel so inlined.

  3. thank you very much, i'm looking forward to going through those files. starting with panic pandemic.

    i read the glass bead game a few of years ago but since i havent really read much fiction for a while and since hesse is one of my favorites perhaps i'll read it again. but dont you think that the excess of order leads to stultification or, as gurdjieff would say, crystalization? the impression i got from hesse was that the game players and all of castalia were perhaps too mannered, that Knecht's final act was basically immersion in chaos. obviosuly a balance must be struck. represented in the west, as i'm sure you're aware, by the seal of solomon or as the rose cross. the balance tipping too far either way is ruin: chaotic savagery results in entropy, in decay, and so too does excessive order (both crowley's and gurdjieff's devil it seems) result in entropy in the form of stagnation. i am convinced that the act of creation must in some way be negentropic. or in a gnostic sense, the introduction into the demiurgic realm of true knowledge, of gnosis, if at all possible. rhizomatic consciousness could certainly work in a negentropic manner as ideas spread from mind to mind...another garden of forking paths.

  4. regarding choronzon - panic pandemic: i am particularly impressed with the sonic textures you develop throughout the album. bizarrely, on the first few listens at least, the fastest songs seem to have the most texture. patterns of sound overlaid across a sheer wall of noise at times. i'm definitely enjoying it. thank you. now all i need is a lyric sheet. :)


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