THOMAS ANKERSMIT – Figueroa Terrace


Thomas Ankersmit: Serge analogue modular synthesizers, contact microphones

Referring to the principal sonic informants hired by Ankersmit during his 2012 visit to CalArts, the word “synthesis” discloses what one should truly be looking for when deciding to subject him/herself to a fundamental cognitive process: the acquisition of frequencies that do not belong to day-to-day mundanity. If you approach Figueroa Terrace with the same informal attitude accompanying the picking of a darling album from your jazz/pop/rock archive, be ready to pay the price. This type of mistake excuses (so to speak) people’s trouble in accepting that they are nothing but conductors – more or less excitable – of vital waves influencing their temperament and consequent attitude towards fellow humans and, in general, life events. In essence, the same error explicates the significance of a single noun: “refusal”. Decide where to apply the last assertion for yourselves.

This means that sitting in front of the speakers with these sounds gradually invading the inner ear’s quarters is tantamount to what could be defined as “operational contemplation”. In this music we’re given a chance to choose the (commonplace alert) “point” to enforce progressive focusing, but also allowed to note the phylogeny of compelling acoustic designs, tracing paths through the individual perception of subsonic transference and piercing etherealness. Tactile substances replete with strident components are secerned as well, an integrative development typified by a preoperative exactitude never contradicting the Serge’s caustic irradiations.

As a cathartic terminal section (before an abrupt ending) introduces a quantity of humaneness via a “soloist” wail superimposed to a forbiddingly increasing aggregate of drones, bleeps and pulses, Ankersmit’s ability in eliciting antithetical states of mind and matter with an exclusive generator shines bright, as complex and varicolored as the palette may be. A mix of technological, organic and emotional traits, apparent discord revealing – at various points – the symptoms typical of a deeper connection with something which remains unutterable, barring threadbare descriptions oscillating between fatuous spirituality and the necessity of a straitjacket. There is no need of promised lands: what can be discerned in psychoacoustic terms works at signal-to-intuition levels, unreachable for the intellectual illusions of the great unwashed.

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