♫♪  Andrzej Nowak - A View of Wilderness

Truly a cockeyed interpretation of one’s surroundings, Polish composer Andrzej Nowak’s A View of Wilderness (Mondoj) doesn’t even necessarily call to mind the draw of nature’s beauty as inspiration. Still, the process of its realization — as well as its title (duh), and I guess this little nugget about its entire purpose, “for the presence of wilderness and beauty of the sublime” — offers a different perspective:

Some of the tracks were recorded using a technique called “geolocational abstraction,” according to which the respective sounds are recorded in separate cabins (measuring two by two by three meters) placed in different locations. The sounds are then compared, layered and compiled until reaching fluidity. The multitude of places, contexts, the diversity of cabins, the views from their windows, the smells, the circumstances and used fabrics greatly influence the perception of sounds and thinking about their possible combinations, opening up a new space for experiments not only towards music, but also its sublimation.

When you think of the “wilderness,” of the “sublime,” you’re automatically setting yourself in a state of tranquility, imagining vast, unpeopled landscapes that spur introspection, perhaps, or awe; maybe nostalgia. Even phenomena like storms advancing over great distances take on romantic and serene connotations, as if you’re experiencing the approach from somewhere outside yourself, an impartial observer to kinetic acts. Your blood pressure remains unmoved, your adrenaline unperturbed.

So throw all that out the window with A View of Wilderness. And perhaps Nowak has a different resting state than the rest of us humans, but serenity has surprisingly little to do with this tape. “Geolocational abstraction” apparently includes elements of disorientation, and “sounds are … layered” till they threaten to rip through the very aural fabric they’re confined in. If by “wilderness” Nowak meant some kind of chaotic subregion of consciousness where multicolored particles react with one another until they cause massive electronic interference, then we may be on to something.

Clearly Nowak’s mind is filled with the exciting possibilities of digitizing his perceptions of and interactions with the natural landscape, smashing them together like particles in the LHC, and regurgitating them via quick and pulsing synthesizer workouts. His methodology captures melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic combinations that never fail to stimulate, allowing Nowak to move beyond the stock emotional response to the pastoral locales of this recording. casting new light on the possibilities of imagination within compositional frameworks. A View of Wilderness, seemingly easy to pigeonhole, defies ready categorization.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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