For today’s post on Noise, I invited my good friend, noise-expert, former host of Smoooooth Beatz, MD20/20 enthusiast, and all-around fucked-up member of anti-society The Gimp to write an intro on the topic for you all. By choosing to read the following, you’re, um, consenting, although I suppose el Gimp would say none of you ever had a choice. In either case, consider yourself love-bitten.
Hi all you sweet things, your beloved blogger had the ill-fated idea that my contributions would benefit you and her blog. But today you’re gonna have your tail tucked in between your legs, so spread ‘em and cringe!
Ok cuties, today’s subject is Noise. Here’s how my blindfolded eyes see it; in the beginning there was noise. Noise is unfiltered sounds that you encounter every day. Escape your harness, untie your ropes, get your leash and collar and walk outside and listen. What your fragile ears will hear is noise. Everything is Noise. And from Noise’s vile womb crawled out Sound. Sound is the isolation of specific parts of noise. So when your wandering about outside naked and battered you should notice things like talking, cars driving, , screaming, flushing, crying, whips cracking and spanking. Those specific instances are sounds. From the greasy ectoplasm of sound one can conjure up the primordial elements of Music. I hear that sigh of relief you just let out at the mention of music. But don’t you dare think I’m loosening those handcuffs just yet. Music is simply organized sound. Taking these random sounds beat them into submission and you will find tones. Tones can be made into notes then with a little discipline notes can be organized into scales. With a firm hand can make notes into a melody which is all tied together by rhythm and a beat. And before you can utter a safeword you got Music.
Now back to gettin’ rough and noisy. In this macabre world of Noise there are levels of abuse. For a beginner you can start with the gateway experimental music. Usually experimental music has congenital instruments like guitars, pianos and drums and what not. But these nascent toys soon are often thoroughly violated. It’s here you find your Sun Ras and free jazz or your Keith Rowe and prepared guitars. One foot in the accessible the other in the dungeon. If you prefer to be slapped around a little hard and don’t mind teeth marks you can try Avant-Garde on for size. Similar to Experimental music but also includes “non-instruments”. “Non-instruments” are objects can be found sounds or everyday objects that have been made to squeal by their masters. Some patron saints are Pierre Schaeffer the creator of Musique Concrete. Feel up to this kind of torture John Cage’s 4’33” and Frank Zappa’s Bicycle piece are as classic as leather and ball gags.
Not enough? For all you orange flagging sick freaks there is unadulterated ear exploitation know as Noise. Let your hair down, zip up, strap on and get beat up. The Magus’ of this brutality are many. Prurient and Aaron Dilloway will break you, Christian Marclay and Ryoji Ikeda will make you bleed and Merzbow and Hanatarash don’t know what a safeword is.
Why should you submit to such ruthless sonic treachery? Because noise is like the apocalypse. You can talk about it all you want, make theories about what’s gonna happen, postulate reasons why, but it doesn’t mean a damn because it’s happening no matter what. You can waste your time wondering or can you just submit to the inevitable. But at this point your choice is meaningless. You’ll just be givin’ yourself a paper thin illusion of comfort. Noise exists without your consent. Ignore or embrace it. It ain’t goin’ anywhere and it ain’t gonna wait for you.
Thanks, Gimpy! And if I may, I’ll also add a hearty recommendation to listen to some Whitehouse.