Kelly Moran Ultraviolet

[Warp; 2018]

Styles: 400nm > λ < 700nm
Others: Daniel Schmidt and the Berkeley Gamelan, In My Arms, Many Flowers; John Cage, Sonatas and Interludes; that Yves Klein photo of the void and the leap into it

A prepared pianissimo.

     John Cage:

The materi-
als, the pia-
no prepara-
tions, were chosen
as one chooses
shells while walking

along a beach.

     Socrates, upon finding a seashell:

Yes. A paltry object, just something I found as I was walking [on the very edge of the sea. I was following an endless shore. This is not a dream I am telling you.] It was the origin of a thought divided, of itself, between constructing and knowing.

     Cage, again:

(to get yourself in such a state of confusion that you think that a sound is not
something to hear but rather something to look at).

     Kelly Moran:

I am trying to obfuscate exactly what the piano sounds like.

Ultraviolet, is then, the preparing, of, the pianissimo, the unprepared sounds, the what escapes us. The seashell’s dream of sea-shorn ecstasy. The metallic shimmering of what obstructs the strings — screws, bolts, un coup de dés jamais n’abolira… — reveals a sheen we cannot perceive, the very ambivalence of matter, the throbbing desire of the almost, the not yet, the not, the yet there escapes. Kelly Moran resurrects this trace, this voluptuous violence inscribed into form itself. A leaping beyond itself of a sound that would always withdraw into the security of sight. (We can’t see this color, but can we hear it? It lingers there in the periphery, a humming intimation of presence, a surge, a weight, a rush of blood.)

Imagine, for instance, the froth of seafoam flung to iridescent heights. It is a strange softness that contains all in a luminescence that exceeds it. The spark is diaphanous in the weight of the invisibility it offers. Imagine, for instance, moths gathered at the remembrance of a flame, their shed sheen resuscitating light loss. A shiver? Shaken to? Perhaps that blurs borders. Effervescence? In arpeggiating coruscations, like the fringe of flower leaf, an aura. A plenitude of presence, as if space withdraws from its weight. All horizons seep from its “containing nothing but itself,” its transformation of the evening earth, as Rilke, “into a handful of inwardness,” an aural dance, a longing, a song.

I wonder if Kelly Moran learned the mysteries of matter from her flower-psalms of Bloodroot, where her pointillistic found-sounds — prepared, arranged, then blown from palms like petals — reenact a flower casting off its form. Nudity clothes itself around the flower stuff that just might spill out into a blinding light, that perilous moment between heartbeat meets heartbreak. So, this gesture that undoes itself while itself dispersing, gathering itself is a living presence in which all horizons merge. Suspended in its grace, we fall to the second degree, weightlessly rising, spiraling though severed through substance. Each element a reflection of another, we spiral kaleidoscopically, vertiginous, in a vertigo to this center, eccentric, that is the very weight of light, a whisper, a shiver, a conspiracy of time that solidifies space.

Like one’s arms in arabesque, how in this gesture one gathers oneself into the reaching beyond oneself, and what flutters in intimate intimation condenses space and time into presence, twilit is the trembling of Kelly Moran’s tones, half gamelan half sea-foam and splendor. Or the sparkle of wind seething through metal hung monumental from a tree.

All the while, Daniel Lopatin’s synthesis of pure duration haunts the fragmentation of this diamond, jeweled world. I have no other word to describe this shimmering than as an “aura,” partly because its semblance is only aural, but, also is a breath, a soft wind, the weight of this absence of all that has surged through you, will search through you for its longing, the weight of all of your ghosts.

     Again, Cage:

an ear alone / is not a being;     music is one / part of theatre.

Because this weight is the gravity of a dance, gathering all of the possibilities of motion that waver silently around you into a gesture that embodies them, collapsing them into a living present. A falling, but the ground does not rise, and walking is falling to the horizon, so there is no ground, just a being submerged in, and listening, too, is a kind of falling, a submergence into the shimmering ultraviolet waves, a kind of falling gracefully into the waves that will receive you.

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