Spatiality: another critical point in the Elements music is the use of particular places and spaces assigned to sounds. In Francium and other alkali metal musics there is a variety of spatially moving sounds, not just by ping pong echoes but in much more complicated ways. Often such placement is linked to gates and envelopes derived from the sounds themselves. Not only is this music created by the creation and by the composition of sounds, but it is also largely composed by composing a virtual space for each of these sounds and for a virtual space created by all of this together. As opposed to a live performance of music in a certain room or hall which is in itself not composed nor part of the music itself, here the space is very much a part of the composition, and this can be a different experience in a room through speakers: sounds will appear to not really come from the speakers. A final element is the always intentional semi-permeability in van Dillen’s electronic music: this music is intended to sound in and with the world around, so random surround “noise” shall be incorporated into the listening experience.Continue reading →
Haunting pulsations are the basis of the music of Caesium. A long and extremely slow crescendo begins the music, and in mirror fashion, a long and slow diminuendo al niente ends it. The sounds used have been created using a semi modular synthesis, involving a virtual modeling.
Whereas music normally sounds against a background of time, this music suggests sounds on the inside of time itself.Continue reading →
Though similar to Potassium, Rubidium has no function in any known living organisms. Yet is easily absorbed into the human body due to this similarity and thus a radioactive isotope of it is used in MRI imaging.
In technology Rb is sometimes used in solar cells, and a possible projected future use might be in deep space exploration, as it would enable the creation of ion drives, which effectively inspired the music in this album.Continue reading →
While the music of Natrium resembles a somewhat singular obstinate idea travelling through various spaces, each time adapting to its environment, it always has an undercurrent of time, suggested fast rhythm, and even haste and a sense of speed and hurrying. The tempo of the music of Natrium resembles the Jazz concept of forward motion (fast music without fixed structures in time). Such pulsations, sometimes resembling rhythm, but always with a certain drive, play a role in all the alkali elements, most of all in Caesium, the atomic resonances of which have been used in extremely precise atomic clocks since the second half of the 20th century. The music of Kalium has slower basic pulsations overall, and even seems to pause at times, but it does share the traveling through environments we heard in the Natrium music. The sounds often evoke suggestions of life, both animal and plant life, sometimes even quasi-intelligible voices can be heard, as well as the environment with which all life is interconnected, and depends upon.Continue reading →
van Dillen composed a basis for the alkali metals’ music eventually used for up to and including the 5th period alkali metal Rubidium (element 37). The sounds used at the basis, the “canvases”, were created using additive modular synthesis, and have a very aggressive character, they are deliberately overfilled with noise and spectral information. The further composition processes in Natrium, Kalium and Rubidium as a consequence have been using a variety of complex subtractive synthesis, then filtered down and sculpted into the music to fit these elements.Continue reading →
Lithium’s effectiveness against bipolar disorder is more or less a mirror of it being a very reactive element on the one hand, and one effective as a drug on the other. In the case of Lithium it is not so much the compound in which it is ingested, but surprisingly, it is the element itself that is medically effective. These two opposing characters mirror the strong mood swings, extreme highs and lows, and strongly inspired the music on this album, so they led to the use of two sample groups of opposing sonic character.Continue reading →
Thallium is mostly found in potassium-based minerals in the Earth’s crust, although it cannot be extracted in this form. Human biochemistry mistakes Thallium for Potassium (K), and the resulting accumulation slowly poisons the brain, kidneys and heart, and leads to severe health problems.Continue reading →
Boron is the lightest element of Group 13, and neighbor to Carbon, to which it is very similar in many of its properties. Despite the fact that Boron has 3 electrons in its outer shell, which would suggest metallic properties, its relative small size make these bond too strong to behave as a metal.
A very special fact is found in its origins: almost all elements are created by nuclear fusion in the cores of superheavy stars, but not Boron. The Boron we find on Earth is actually formed in space: fast travelling protons colliding into atomic nuclei they encounter in interstellar space. This process called spallation has been the main inspiration for the music of Boron on this album: travelling particles, now and then colliding, sometimes fusing.Continue reading →
This acousto-electronic Symphony concerning whale languages makes use of hybrid technologies, using mostly sampled sound in coordination with pure synthesis and electronic modulations. The sampled sounds are of musical instruments: violin, viola, cello, contrabass, flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, piano, vibraphone, harp, and percussion, among which are timpani. These have been changed and modulated to alter their pitch, their sound, and in the case of longer samples, their phrasing.
No samples of whale and dolphin sounds were used at all. In other words, the composer tried to “speak whale”, to “speak dolphin”, using human means, human musical instruments, and contemporary musical technology.Continue reading →
Well known and very visible applications of Al are in the construction of practically all airplanes and helicopters, and high voltage wire systems, it is the sounds of these two that lie at the heart of the music presented on this album. The sound of fast or pressurized air recreated by intense noise, and the sound of wires sounding, recreated by electronic triggers modulated by the noise bursts on to piano strings, by means of a specially designed module van Dillen named transverter.Continue reading →
“The new BIG STORIES are all told by science, their scope is vast, and their telling has only begun relatively recently. We are daily getting updates on answers to all the ancient basic questions of life that inspired human art, cultures, and religions for millennia, and we are getting verifiable answers this time. Most important is perhaps that we are also facing completely new questions.
It is high time the old myths and beliefs are abandoned and replaced by contemporary, that is to say: scientific sources of information, imagination, and inspiration. The vast field of modern science is far more complex, has a verifiable and direct relation to reality, and it offers a far greater abundance of possible stories and references for artists in all disciplines than any older belief or myth system, however poetic, could ever come up with.
In our times we need new and innovative operas and symphonies, whether electronically or no; let these forget the simpler stories of our past and use these new narrative sources of our present and future for reference and inspiration.”
–Oscar van DillenContinue reading →
The music of Indium contains very slow transitions with pantonal use of tanpuras, suggesting the world of the traditional transparent element of Akasha, prior to and behind the ragas in which these instruments are usually employed. In opposition to their traditional use here the many tanpuras take an almost melodic role, meanwhile keeping their normal harmonic horizon function. The music is developing so slowly that discerning its overall long form is a challenge to the attentive listener, and the sections created in this album can help as a guide.
van Dillen, with a background of years of studies in Hindustani music, has long had a vision of a larger work featuring many tanpuras on many pitch classes, and here it is to last: Indium.