The Telescopes – Harm

Which must be one of the most inappropriately named albums ever.

teleSee, I’m not going to try to convince you that this is easy listening. It isn’t, far from it. What we’re hearing here is essentially feedback and noise, with an added spacerock type of pulse in the second track. Human voices are there, but a distinct message – or even word – is not what they deliver. These are some very abstract musics.

If you read the quotes they have on the page, you’ll notice one of them calls it ‘harshly constructed noise.’ It’s the only quote which, for me, misses the point of it, seemingly equating this type of composition as being harsh because of its very nature.

Because I don’t find this harsh at all. I think it’s almost ecstatic, certainly the most celebratory sort of feedback driven soundscape I’ve ever heard, and having spent time with academic notions of ‘interesting modern compositions,’ I’ve heard quite a lot in this category. There is much to be said for harsher stuff – it can be strangely cleansing when the moment is right, but this is a different thing entirely. I don’t think its even in the same park. So this is not ‘harm’ for me. (Compare it to one of their other albums, which I could only stand for about 5 minutes…)

So here’s where I tell you that this thing syncs up somewhat with one of my upcoming changes. After I put out my next album, I was planning on doing a switcheroo on all my tunings. Now, if you’ve looked down the bottom of the bandcamp page, you’ll see that this album is performed in Solfeggio tuning, which is one of the tunings I’m going to use (the other being the 432Hz variety). This album turning up in my consciousness at the time that I was about to make the transition is a pretty surefire nod from the universe, as far as I’m concerned. (By way of hat tip for this album, I should point out that I finally got round to going through the final ‘Address druidons‘ on Julian Cope’s website, and it was via this that I also discovered the wonderful Inutili).

But anyway, there are all sorts of claims made about the Solfeggio tuning. If it’s the tuning system itself that makes ecstatic, celebratory sounds out of feedback and noise, what else can it do?

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