Keeping up with my tradition, I'm writing a few words in the night as the year grinds to a halt. Time goes by, hours turn to days, colors fade to grey - after all, when the fireworks are over the night sky is still dark.
Only yesterday I put up my latest piece of music, a nine minutes personal interpretation of the soundtrack for the movie Blade Runner, originally scored, of course, by Vangelis. The movie and the music date back thirty years - how time does fly and all that - but this tale of the future, the haunting music, the visual poetry, has stayed with me, and I have many very personal memories connected with it, implants or not. I wanted to add a personal touch to the music, but also to keep the spirit of Vangelis' original approach. I tried to incorporate elements of more modern aspects of electronic music, from trip hop through dubstep to gabber, but with a clear focus on Vangelis' melodies and sense of atmosphere, in some cases opting for one-take improvisations to achieve that effect. The story goes Vangelis would indeed improvise parts live to footage from the movie and build compositions around that. Longtime concert-partner-in-crime, Christoffer Bagge, added a bit of metallic guitar and only relatively well into the recording process I came upon the idea of adding wordless vocals and asked electronica artist, Tonje Terese, if she was up for giving it a try. Which fortunately she was. I was also happy to have The Quartermaster and Tess Fries play along during November and December's live renditions of the piece.
Looking back on 2012 I guess I focused a bit on videos, putting up a new video for Load Error, a song all about digital childhood memories. I wanted a somewhat humorous take on the song and opted for what basically is a B-sci-fi-movie version of classic computer game, Pac Man. I also put up four live videos from my concert celebrating the five years anniversary of our Klub Golem in 2011. I find videos rather interesting these days - just ten years ago or so everybody thought the music video was dead. Only few TV stations still aired them and, let's be honest, the ones they did air were mostly crap. Expensive crap, but still. Then came YouTube and suddenly the music video became interesting again, also because now, for the first time really, the music video could be approached as an indie underground expression, no longer restricted by commercial TV. Now finally the music video was set free as artistic expression; musicians everywhere could indulge and did. And at the end of the day what everybody out there really wanted to see, of course, was a fat kid beating up his computer. And a happy new year to each and everyone.
Back home now after my double concert at the University Of Odense's new Friday Bar where we did two sets, celebrating the thirty years anniversary of legendary home computer, Commodore 64. Not everything went exactly as planned, however.
We had no time for an actual soundcheck before our first set because Christoffer Bagge (guitar/synth) was on a train that ran awfully late because a man had jumped out in front of it to kill himself. Being of a somewhat perfectionist nature I wasn't happy with the sound in our first set, but thinking it all over I guess I realized that what means the world to me doesn't really mean that much. And while we did a concert, one among many, another human being chose this same moment in time to end it all. The world, not the lord, moves in mysterious ways.
These days - and nights - I'm working on new music, a piece of some thirteen minutes to be released together with an anthology of Danish horror writers entitled Pix. Publisher and Lovecraft-afficionado-par-excellence, Henrik Harksen, took a number of cellphone pictures and sent these to the writers, asking them to interpret each with a gloomy tale of sorts. And asked me to provide a piece of music inspired also by the central picture theme, to go with the book.
I decided to go with a longer piece which gave me the chance to work different parts and ideas into the music which is structured in many ways around the number five. Five interweaving parts make up the whole piece, some of which consist of patterns of five themselves, and yes, there is also a part in 5/4. Why five, you may ask? I guess in most music nowadays you count four, so every now and then someone has to spare the disregarded five a moment.
I'm employing the usual array of synthesizers, analogue and digital, along with the trusty Commodore 64. Also, I'm calling in guest musicians, all of whom have collaborated with me before, to add the odd bit of cello, accordion, and electric guitar. Oh, and I'm playing the flute.
One of the things about putting music online or updating your blog on the internet is that you never know who you'll reach - if any, which, to many artists seems to be the main challenge nowadays. But fear not, my fellow struggling artist friends and bohemes of the info overload age, there is always an audience out there, all over cyberspace. I am, of course, talking about the bots.
So, welcome bots of the digital age, this is for you! Welcome all you infonoids of Google and Yahoo, roaming every corner of the World Wide Web, how near or how far, welcome you ad-droids tracing buying habits all in the name of cold commerce, and welcome also to hack-borgs and their pet Trojans emptying virtual trash cans looking for that extra password, and yes, even welcome to all you spambots who keep leaving cryptic - or not so cryptic - messages in my website guestbook; thank you for letting me know I exist.
All I really want to say is when you actually eventually do take over the internet, beef up that one and zero hive intelligence, send out those terminators and replicants, just remember that deep down in my romantic heart, I was always on your side.
Copyright: Ras Bolding 2012