Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

CD

Artist Jameson Swanagon
Title Changelessness
Label Self Produced -

In Changelessness, simple melodies are subjected to an array of rhythmic influences. Many of the tones are held silent behind gates that are only opened by a specific key. Sometimes the key is the regular pulse of a metronome, and sometimes it is the more intermittent crashing of waves on a beach. Additional rhythms were created by improvising in isolation. Two independent improvisations stacked on top of each other create many rhythms that might have been overlooked by a musician at the mercy of his own limited vocabulary and taste.

The resultant mingling of natural, mechanical, and chance derived rhythm is analogous to the infinite variation of movement and materials found within our own environment - the way a tree is such a profoundly coherent sculpture, yet each branch, and each twig and leaf moves differently in the wind, a kind of perfect dance that would be maddeningly tedious to choreograph.

The guitar melodies, and the synthesized tones, use the same collection of notes with the hope that it will seem as if each is generating the other. The guitar pieces, which were composed first, follow the rule that each adjacent note should be played on a different string, allowing for the melody to ring over itself and create a wash of sound.

The title, Changelessness, comes from Samuel Beckett. I have found constant inspiration in the author's interest in the pathetic, the failing, the darkness and confusion, and ultimately the beauty of mankind. There is always something of this sentiment in my music.

The cover art is based on Sol LeWitt's wall drawing 123. "Copied lines. The first drafter draws a not straight vertical line as long as possible. The second drafter draws a line next to the first one, trying to copy it. The third drafter does the same, as do as many drafters as possible." In this case, there was only one drafter, and a fairly small piece of paper.

Electric guitar, cymbal, synthesizer, and tones triggered by the crashing of waves on California’s Baker Beach, Sharp Park Beach, and Grey Whale Cove