Phenomenalism Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20

by Chvad SB

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1.

about

For over 20 years Chvad SB has been performing & recording music, playing with a wide range of innovative & envelope-pushing bands like Things Outside The Skin (Invisible Records, Facility Records), Tongue Muzzle (Facility Records), The Qualia (WTII Records), & recently, experimental music pioneers Controlled Bleeding (Wax Trax, Soleil Moon, others). In addition, he’s been doing film soundtracks that the folks at Fangoria find “discordant & discomforting.”

On Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20, Chvad SB was inspired by two of his favorite science fiction films Forbidden Planet (1956) & Dark Star (1974). The work of Louis & Bebe Barron on Forbidden Planet, which is credited as being the first completely electronic film score, has for years had an influence on Chvad. While a fan of John Carpenter’s film scores, it wasn’t his music for Dark Star that resonated with Chvad, but rather Carpenter & Dan O’Bannon’s (co-writer of Dark Star) take on alien & artificial intelligence. The contrast between those intelligences represented by an alien beach ball with feet with a penchant for mischief & a self-aware bomb confused about its perception on life opened the doors to tying a self-playing composition to a larger narrative.

The entirety of Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 is a self-playing construct created without the aid of any computer or human input. This was achieved by using feedback loops within a modular synthesizer (Chvad has christened this instrument “Hector” as a nod to the sexually confused & aggressive robotic namesake in the 1980 film Saturn 3) to generate non-repeating musical phrases that in the end, had specific musical gestures & intent more so than the randomized noise one would expect when suggesting randomized machine generated content. Over the course of four months, Chvad adjusted & readjusted the design of the synthesizer to find the most relevant “human spaces”.

For the video interpretation Chvad reached out to video artist William Laziza to create a response to Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20. Laziza using a dense array of analog video equipment, older Amiga systems, cameras, & mirrors created the video. A reactive self-generating response to the music creating an evolving, unique analog visual field that mirrors the otherworldly yet familiar tone of the music.

The last element needed was a compelling visual representation of the project & for that Chvad collaborated with artist Heather Bondra on an original collage that would be used for the album art.

After two years of collaboration & experimentation Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 was ready to be released, seen, & heard.

credits

released May 30, 2016

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Silber Records Sanford, North Carolina

Silber has been getting drone, experimental, & other fiercely independent music out to the masses since 1996.

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