Ahh, good ol’ high frequencies. If there’s one musical element that can clearly be divided into a distinctive love or hate category, it’s definitely this one. Part of this is clearly related to how these extreme frequencies can actually cause the human body to feel viscerally ill (extreme low frequencies can do the same). For this reason, I often meet fellow experimental music enthusiasts who can handle hours of blaring white noise but cringe when a high frequency sine tone goes on for more than 30 seconds. Neither of those sounds are going to top most people’s easy listening list any time soon, but it’s interesting how our basic physiology determines the way we experience these extremes. We can grow accustomed to both pure tones and noise, but most human beings have a threshold for such sounds after an extended amount of time. But give yourself over to some extreme sonority for a little while, and the experience can be cleansing, even meditative from a sheer sonic level.
Toshimaru Nakamura has in many ways perfected the art of making beautifully introspective music out of these extreme textures. Nakamura’s ubiquitous no-input mixing board can produce everything from guttural rhythmic low-end to beautifully harsh high-frequency drones, and the composer frequently creates gestural works out of the intensity of these sounds. On this preview of his upcoming album no input mixing board #8 , Nakamura produces a marvelously complex drone held together by two beating high tones that sustain into oblivion, while the white noise and different tones beneath subtly shift around. At only two minutes, it’s the perfect introduction to the hypnotic world of extreme timbres.
Listen to the track below courtesy of p*dis, and stay tuned for more information on no input mixing board #8.
• Toshimaru Nakamura: http://www.japanimprov.com/tnakamura