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MUSIC
from the mind of L.K.

To make music is to make magic. Every note recreates entire lives, every tone is love. I have played with music, flirted with it. I have loved music.

I once sang frequently in public. I have not done so in more than a year, due to my disinvolvement in chorus and choir groups and general life orientation. I can remember the last song I sang publicly, "Judas & Mary." I was Judas while my friend was Mary and played guitar. I sharpened my voice to a mocking sarcastic tone while she smoothed hers. The tune was haunting, running through my bones for weeks. The guitars intertwining with bass and offset by minor-keyed voices.... We stood in front of a rapt congregation and conjured the perfect sound, pulling notes from the aether and inflections from our deepest desires.

During the same period of time I had control of a mess of sound equipment. I recorded the friend who sang Mary and I learned to love the technology of music. I make electronic music now, though I neither publicly perform nor record it.

I have scrounged equipment. I discovered a piece of equipment named "sine square audio generator," on the curbside on trashday. I scrounged two thirty-second tape loops from dead answering machines. Other equipment comes as needed. Sine generator is a black box bristling with knobs and audio outputs. I have found that if I attach a speaker to the audio outputs with a stripped cable, I can modulate a surprising variety of tones or waves by twiddling aforesaid knobs. I record a drum track onto one tape loop and a noise track onto the other. I jam a samples tape into another tape deck. I crank up sine generator and my voice and create a dub equinox. I pour my soul into lyrics that come to mind, while twiddling sine generator into key changes that offset the drum and noise tracks. The samples appear when needed, counterpointing all the rest. It is all totally spontaneous and of the moment.

Cantors crying the Torah or the Koran fly my soul to heaven and beyond. The beauty tears me apart. Opera amazes me and flings me across the emotional spectrum. Piano and strings recreate the music of the spheres for Provokiev and Chopin and Debussy and Rachmaninoff and Gershwin and Eno and Bowie.

A guitar is a best friend and an escape balloon to so many people I love. It is their equalizer. I have innumerable memories of talking to someone who picks up a guitar midsentence and closes their eyes to disappear. And I cannot get them to come back. I suspect that in those moments their entire universe consists of their fingers on strings and their vocal cords, lips and tongue. The emoto-sonic barrier they construct is a shield and a time & space machine.

Copyright (c) 1999 Luke Keller, Synaesthesia Press


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