Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing

A very odd piece of music composed by Robert Ashley in 1979. An explantion from

On Automatic Writing, which comprises one 46-minute piece, Ashley repeats the line, “My mind is censoring my own mind,” or a slight variation of it, a dozen times. The composition is based on a recording of the composer’s involuntary speech, a symptom he attributed to a possible “mild form of Tourette’s.” “It is against the ‘law’ of our society to engage in involuntary speech,” he wrote in the liner notes of a 1996 reissue of the record...

In his searching, Ashley distorted his voice to the point of granular gesture on Automatic Writing. (Save for a few moments of clarity, it is only possible to understand what he says by reading the transcription that accompanies the release.) In a rare example of an echo being more legible than its origin, the emotional resonance of his mouth sounds is underscored by a whispered French translation of his involuntary speech performed by long-time collaborator Mimi Johnson. The faraway melody of an organ and the murmurings of a Polymoog, the latter evoking a crate of old-fashioned milk bottles jiggling against each other in transit, hold the space for the two voices. Layered together, these four sonic elements—or characters in an opera, as Ashley saw them—have a proto-ASMR quality, textural and sensual.

I think the whole piece would work well as the soundtrack to a horror movie.

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 05, 2021
     Category: Music | 1970s

Sounds like aliens attempting to unscrew a manhole cover.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 02/05/21 at 11:05 AM
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