a.k.a. john daly
tunedin52 'sweet slow music':
to state the obvious, we do not hear things the same as others do, and even more exciting, we do not interpret as others do, the sounds we hear into emotions, meanings, or other responses either. the composer, in this case me, is not concerned about this, but it is a matter of interest to me. i would like to state here, just in case it completely passes everybody by, that this is a soul album. the title 'sweet slow music' comes of course from 'sweet soul music', a hit soul song for arthur conley which had all us white boys sweating at a tennis club 'hop' in 1967.
far removed from all things 'black', in the midlands of ireland, soul was getting it's first real airing, along with blues, underground rock, pop and everything else that thankfully undermined a stifling white catholic society.
that was then.. now it's really not so different, but never mind, the wheel keeps turning.
i'm a sound creator who is not very concerned about convention. the familiar soul formula is not evident here, how could it be? i do not care to generate soulfulness with a 'formula' extracted from a music perfected by generations of cool african americans who's sound i have loved for fifty of my living years. the soul in soul like the jazz in jazz can not be formulated, it is the experience of love, pain, sorrow, joy, regret, celebration, hardship, loss, wrapped into sound. so my only claim here is that my experience is in the body of these sounds, it may not be the soul with which you are familiar, that would just not be possible. not always an easy or comfortable listen i can only ask to give it some time and promise that with familiarity will come a feeling, a new experience.
technical information: all sounds are created by my guitars with the exception of two sax samples on 'junk drunk', kindly donated by my good friend zenjungle. for the most part tracks are live improvisations after some live loop preparation.
at the end of re-recording 'el dia de los muertos' eerohz made a series of comments about the four tracks that ended up in the final version. here are some fragments:
doing this re-mix of your compositions made me... makes me think of death!!! [what a surprise!] i never thought about it until today, now that i am re-listening to the work in its entirety, and non-stop that i associate death with sounds. maybe you didn't notice but there is a heart beating just in the beginning. and the heart stops beating, so, that is the sound (no-sound?) of death, non-existence. so death is noisy, i presume, inside our heads, a heavy noisy burden: the beginning of existence, because when someone dies we are forced to check all and everything, and there is a kind of rebirth, or not? when my father died i was utterly relieved with the circumstance and i accepted that completely, bon voyage, au revoir, i hope never to see you again (something that i presume didn't happen with yours.)
i must confess that i did this on purpose, the beat. metronomic. a march. a funeral. there is death and the disposal of the remains. it is martial. i wanted to make it loud and really military but i didn't have the means. i didn't go to the funeral of my father, i refused, actually. and i do not regret doing that. i was relived of him going away not to be seen again. he had two marching bands (philarmonics, actually) guiding his last steps to oblivion. the thing is that your work brought me back my father very strongly and i do not regret it, once again. my mother accused me of being an ‘ice hearted little man’ (her words). i wasn't and i am not. the consistence of my feelings are strong and upheld well, i realise now. wow. this is a confessionary, and i didn't want it to be that.
it is obvious that i only used your sounds in this beginning. but it has the most adorable moments, the pseudo-sounds of bells. they are the first sounds i remember, the sounds of sheep bells. and the bell from the front gate as well. so i needed to include them on this requiem. bells reminds me of death and of life also. the bells on the christian churches reminds more of indoctrination and slavery than anything else, but these are the bells of the front gate, of the mass service, they smell of incense and rosemary (which reminds me also of witchcraft). bells brings me also the memories of crying, sobbing and shouting in mourning.
this is the beginning of the journey, starting to cross the styx, cavernous and ugly and dark and no-way back, no solution, no salvation: the point of no return. so the bells toll in an archaic beating, the demons being conjured, expelled, exorcised. after death it seem tha anyone is good, even the dictators that perpetrated genocides. this work is not about the latter. it is about the bells of those who leave us, announced or not, to peace and limbo. that's why i used some figments of forthcoming elements. the dead never abandons us, whether we want it or not.
i think i fucked up your bass line, didn't i? so sorry. but i like the fragmentary and unusual development of it. i just decreased the pitch. i do like the elements of things to come in the mix.
the chugging reminds of steam trains, the reversed guitar is the main motif of a forthcoming segment. it is very frippian, is it not? but it sounds lovely, i think, among all the distortion and echoes. it is kind of a maelstrom spiral vanishing from reality to volition...
the transition between tracks it is not perfect but it is on purpose. after death come the burial. the shock. bluntly: from hot to cold. past and present.
i am only too aware that these comments are my reaction to your work. this transition is smooth and perfect. done with the ritual, buried the corpse. that was a moment of calm and beauty, there is a moment of introspection and collapse as well as the body goes down the earth. i won't call it soothing, but mesmeric. part of the services of life, of the costumes and habits. a temporary salvation of sorts: ‘it is done, let's calm down and celebrate’. some celebrations are endlessly moronic (drowned in alcohol or not) but this, mine, is telluric. the return to earth ‘of always’; we belong there. the bible, from ashes to ashes, earth to earth, no? it is in this moment when the one gone becomes memory. in some cases a saint...
[III] i do adore this segment, not my favourite but my second favourite. ethereal, pensive, quiet, oblong, transverse mourning and hope. i would like to think this is a moment when hope and happiness returns, in a calm way. a balm, like moments frozen in time, omnipresent, indicating something else than death. a moment of clarity. maybe the daylight is coming from behind the mountains and the sun rises like a precious omen of comfort and illusion, so it is because what is life but that? and it is i only saying that.
the customary enchantments of life: repetition makes us happy in the certainty that we are alive. routine comfort us, calm us, it is assuring of the things we have, people or objects or memories. repetition is an indoctrinating device and is consoling. memories too. even the ones we invent to fool ourselves and others. not lies, lies are never comforting. but death or the observance of death made me aware of the need for tricks, a panoply of excuses to keep us going, to keep us alive and go on living. so repetition is our graal. even to those who do not realise this.
i must tell you that i am only ‘alive’ and myself when i am by the sea. so the waters should be here. water is life. it is rebirth, it is above all mutant shape and artifice, changing ever into other things. it is not 'from earth we were created' but from water we were and from water we were created and to water we will return (i know, it sounds ridiculous...)
creating this sub-bass from your track was delicious. the sound of the chimes just popped out and i thought it would be a great idea. after all anything about death is related to life. and what else but rhythm and drums and dance is more LIFE?
another seamless transition from one track to other. i think i left the best i did to the end. now on there is a subdued sense of fulfilling and happiness or, in my case, relief and passion. i though my repetitions would make you sound like a early eno/U2 guitar loop, but now that i am listening to it again, no.
as i said before this sub-bass kills me, i adore it. it is not in the original track but it made all sense to keep it on going, it fits. it is a giver of life. and after all these grey senses going on it is a spring of fresh water. it speaks...
and you know this is my favourite part!
in 2002 i was numbed, like many people around the world, by the action of suicide bomber ayat al-akhras. the spate of bombings at the time and the employ of this kind of protest or war strategy has transformed how we deal with 'terrorism', and how we view the actions of our own governments and in particular the plight of the oppressed in countries devastated by internal conflict and invasion. in ireland too we have witnessed the most heinous acts committed against the civilian population and the security forces by those whose sense of reason is subverted by nationalist beliefs and hatred.
the question of right and wrong and making a judgement for or against the oppressed and the oppressor is a deep and many faceted quandary.
as a former catholic or lapsed as it is referred to here in ireland, the idea being that one day you will return to the fold, i became curious about the idea of judgement and the afterlife. i imagined the passage of souls after death. aya al-akhras, an eighteen year old palestinian girl and rachel levy a seventeen year old israeli girl were destroyed in an instant by ayat's body bomb. what would their respective gods make of this, or if there is indeed one true god how would he judge these souls?. so too with all the warriors who pray for gods blessing on their fight, from george bush and tony blair to osama bin laden, what is the passage of their souls, who is the god that can judge them, and what are the implications of that judgement?.
shamanagans is a spiritual contemplation on these ideas, a book of prayer. on the original cover i stated 'the oppressor and the oppressed will sing together as angels among the heavenly bodies.'
information on ayat al-akhras:
recorded in a farm house in delvin, mullingar. 2002
john daly worked as a photographer and printmaker in various labs in england 1980-2000 and in mullingar 2000-2007. music and sound technology are hiss greatest other interests: playing in bands in the 60s-70s and exploring sound with synths, midi, cubase, djing, and experimental guitar all through the 80s-90s. having listened to much rock, jazz, classical and music from other cultures, he became interested in sound without conventional music structures. sound artists seem to create what interests him, in listening so he tend towards this discipline but he is not sure that he consider himself an artist. over the last two years he have collaborated over the web with saxophonist and digital sound creator phil gardelis (zenjungle). this collaboration explores experimental soundscapes, some musical pieces and a post davis/coltrane freejazz directive with less 'jazz' and more glitch, noise and electronics.
currently he uses a baritone guitar with some physical interventions, delay and loop pedals playing through gleetchlab. there are six loopers within this software which expand the sound possibilities to orchestral dimensions.
sound art performances:
2012 4th friday at open trades club. sept/oct/nov
2012. drogheda arts festival (may 2012)
2012. tank. christchurch, triskel arts centre, cork city
2011. the joinery, dublin
2011. ctrl-alt-delete. galway
2013. album: soft envelope. tunedin52: http://tunedin52.bandcamp.com/
2012 the sonic abyss, made during sonic abyss drogheda arts festival ~ track 2: john daly, anthony kelly, harry moore, mick o’shea, robin parmar, jesse ronneau, david stalling
duration: 21'12'': free download
2012 album: still life: tunedin52 + zenjungle
2012 album: mesh: tunedin52 + zenjungle
2012.album: behind the shed music. tunedin52 + zenjungle
2012. album: jazz subversion. tunedin52 + zenjungle label: catalogue of wonders, london.
2012. album: inner orbits. tunedin52 + zenjungle ~ label: bruitsnetlabel, france.
2011. album: feedback generators, grains and electric guitar. tunedin52
2011. abum: confinement. tunedin52 ~ label: modisti, spain.
2002. album: shamanigans. john daly ~ label: catalogue of wonders, london