I am proud to announce the release of the newest escalation 819 CD, Marmaros, an hour-long exercise in ambient tension derived from the manipulation of a film theme. Listen to a free excerpt and buy the disc from the escalation 746 website.
Miss Marple is a murder investigator invented by Agatha Christie and first brought to life on the screen by Margaret Rutherford in a series of four films, culminating in Murder Ahoy in 1964. The catchy theme for these is by Ron Goodwin.
As part of my investigation into the tropes of this film, a project suggested and led by Frankfurt-based dramaturge Steve Valk, I embarked on a series of manipulations of the soundtrack. These were based on the recognition that Marple microscopically investigates her surroundings in order to locate discontinuities that upset a rigid ordering of the world. But rather than salving over these cracks, she drives a wedge into them to cause further discord. Her soundings create disharmony.
Marmaros was created by slowing down the 200 second musical theme of the film so that it stretched to an hour in length. The tidal flow of the music in and out casts us adrift on an "ocean of sound" (pace David Toop). Every note becomes a chord, every instrument an orchestra. Our ears wait for the resolution of the expected musical phrases, but the extended duration of this waiting puts us in a strange tension-filled suspension, like some dive into the subconscious.
The title comes from the Greek root of "marble", signifying a sparkling or gleaming stone. But it also sounds like the susurration of waves on the hull. "Marple by name; marble by nature" as one film character puts it.
This piece had its public première 15 November as part of Framemakers Lecture/Performance Series No. 4, The Happening: Mystery, Liturgy And The Void. An inquisitive audience joined Steve Valk, Mary Fox (philosopher), Alan Shapiro (critical theorist), Róisín Kelly-Byrne (sleepwalker), myself and special guest Mark Patrick Hederman (monk and writer). My contribution to the evening consisted of live sonic manipulation and environmental sounds on a four-channel system.
Fans of string instrument textures and deep ambiance will love this release.