interval ylem:

chonyid bardo:


i played these two sets livecoding in supercollider on my eeepc running pure:dyne, played through two homemade amp / speaker circuits left over from the project steve and i just worked on.

the material is inspired by some meditation and late-night internet research into vajrapani cosmology, specifically surrounding the bardo thodol. i actually have a copy of the translation (not the robert thurman) somewhere around here. the titles reflect this. "ylem" is a term first used by cosmologists george gamow and ralph alpher to describe the primordial substance. in tibetan cosmology and linguistics this relates to the chikhai bardo (first interval), or the clear lights; an experience of complete merging with blissful liberation. after this, the bardo thodol describes lesser lights, or the chonyid bardo (second interval), a highway through various inner realms, riddled with possible exits into liberation or eventual rebirth.

i have clearly been listening to a lot of eliane radigue's beautiful electronic compositions-- and a healthy amount of gabber. most of the sounds are produced by fm and waveshaping. the material is largely simple and repetitive, not just because it's the result of livecoding, but also as a choice. i generally go for a more granular approach to sound, so the sound of smooth oscillators is kind of a treat for me. the warm tone of the amps is really what pushed me in that direction. to record this, i used a pair of binaurals clipped to the little 8ohm speakers you see in the picture above. in these sets i'm particularly fond of waveshaping by phase-indexing a sinewave or set of sinewaves with very low frequencies (1-24 hz). this technique adds a throbbing nonlinear distortion that can be both timbral and rhythmic.

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