Monday, July 2, 2012

The Persistence of Memory

In 1931, Salvador Dali finished a painting titled "The Persistence of Memory" which featured a dream like landscape of clocks hanging from trees. What strikes me about this painting and why I have always liked it is that we often see time as something rigid and mechanical from the pendulum clock owing it's regularity to the laws of motion and gravity to the atomic clock, the nearly perfect updated version owing it's regularity to laws of quantum mechanics.

So to our music has changed with the advent of computers. Madonna introduced the dance crowd to the computer controlled artificial orchestra of drum machines and perfectly syncopated bass lines.

It was not so different in the Baroque period with the Basso Continuo or even the rhythmic motion of Beethoven.

I however prefer a less rigid notion if time. It seems that the tail wages the dog with computers. We live life at times on a mechanized grid of clocks and rigid lines. Gothic architecture is replaced by functional cartesian boxes complete with all but grid lines like a Star Trek holodeck.

And so, as a prelude to "Fire Giver", my latest album, I am looking to make the musical version of the Persistence of Memory to remove the grid lines and suggest a more fluid sense if musical motion. I welcome any ideas from readers.

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