The Set Up
Each track on this album has a degree of improvisation to it (some more than others). But each also required a degree of planning. There's a great deal of sound manipulation going on behind the scenes in She's an Atonal Mess. And that becomes more apparent as the album progresses. From the first track, the choosing of the instruments has great importance and setting up these sounds is a time-consuming task. But it's all part of the creative process.
What's an Atonal Mess?
Is this true atonal music? That's a good question. What's for sure is that there is no key signature involved. And at times the music slips into electronic noise which certainly defies the western concepts of a scale or chord, melody or even harmony. It's intentional chaos that seeks to find its own order. Rhythm breaks down into fragments of sound, leaving the mind to put it together in its own way.
There are 12 notes and countless variations of frequencies to choose from. I fear I'm just scratching the surface. But that's what keeps this musical adventure going. And that's the fun in it . . . the exploration.
Improvisation vs. Composition: I have written music note-by-note on a staff. It's its own kind of fun and comes with its own challenges. What happens though is that I invariably write music, I can't perform. First, there are many different instruments involved. Then there's the matter of my own performance proficiency. Suffice to say, my mind tends to outthink my hands.
When I improvise, all the constraints are let loose. And I'm able to create without the limitations of a score. The metronome is always playing when I'm recording but I've learned how to ignore it occasionally. I have my own sense of time that relates to my scattered upbringing and an inability to keep track of life events in relation to time. It all comes out in the music and the atonality fits the timelessness of it.