asked me to try this exercise for transliteration's musical maps contest
, and i'm sharing the process since it's all new to me.
it’s based on a piece called “in the air” from tim hecker’s ravedeath, 1972
. some might call it drone music, postmodern accessory, dense hipster shit, et cetera. i figured i’d stab my ears out if i chose pop songs about alien sex (yes, phone home is now a euphemism for sexting).
BACK ON TRACK.
my initial candidates included brian eno and ben frost, but i ended up going with a textural midpoint between the two. i divvied my paper into bars and followed instructions. the scribbles didn’t make immediate sense, but hey, poetry’s about recontextualization. so i lumped the hazy ambience of the song with the visualization resembling a column of smoke, you-reek-uh.
i progressed in a stream-of-consciousness way in relation to the music map, and was left with the key image of a lost heart as martyr/dove/tongue lolling in ash. i tweaked the religious imagery to reflect drone music's spiritual roots and the album's pipe organ rafters; and fiddled with the smoke/consumed heart imagery evoked by the lonely/ascetic/anguished reverb. things came together in the song’s nebulous likeness once i cut the outliers and edited the heavier diction.
at this point, i did more research on the album's production. after laying down the track structure organically, tim hecker started doing a lot of digital editing, adding effects and whatnot. in emulation, i collapsed my analog “voice” on paper into quanta of rhyme by keyboard, then i removed punctuation and capitalization, introducing a certain ambience.
a few edits later, i had the product of an interesting creative process.