"Moldflowers" was recorded in parallel with "Gray" (SOUN017) and involves a nearly identical process: cutting loops from found cassettes, deciding which loops fit into the aesthetic, and applying processing. However, the present album focuses primarily on relaxation and new age source material instead of modern classical as was the case with "Gray." Another primary difference is that nearly all pieces consist of one loop (sometimes with two distinct melodic motifs) instead of the additional loop of static noise heard on "Gray," resulting in a decidedly more melodic experience.
When one listens to a piece of music, although the piece may be hundreds or thousands of years old, it is typically presented in the timelessness of the present instant, preserved through live performance or noiseless digital recording of a particular (and, usually, recent) performance. the notation of the piece does not age or decay from copying and it may be recreated on demand--it is easy to forget its mortality.
In contrast, my intention for this album was to emphasize the passage of time through the application of damage to media, in this case, the cassette format. As a result, the comforting and meditational focus of the new age music used as source material is brought into conflict with its own mortality.
The particular musical tradition of new age music was among the last popular musics largely focused on the cassette format, suitable for long form compositions ("jams"), DIY production and functional background repetition, contrasting with the hands-on nature of the vinyl listening experience. These characteristics are also common to the current usage of cassettes in experimental music. Thus, it seemed logical to subject found relaxation tapes to the natural processes inherent to the format for a purpose superficially contrary to that of new age music's own message of reassurance against pain and conflict, using techniques derived from experimental music traditions. Ultimately, however, both aesthetic processes in their own way lead to the same conclusion of acceptance of the inevitability of death and acknowledgement of the universality of this natural condition.
Thanks is due once again to Soun Records for offering to release this series, and to Danny Clay for inspiration and feedback during the making of the piece.