For the advantage of those willing to stop by his Bandcamp page, Jim O’Rourke has been offering numerous cookies at steady pace in recent times. Whenever we receive an email alert containing the emblematic “nonsense” word – thus the composer labels his output – the bell rings: time for a plunge into the fundamentals of audible transmutation.
Just because one can resort to circuitous gibberish (of which we’re notoriously experts), this doesn’t necessarily mean that success will be achieved in portraying what O’Rourke hears (and sees) in the sounds he puts on tape. Besides, that’s not the task we’re actually required to perform.
As every respectable teacher should do he throws little seeds for us to water, our consciousness chronicling the ontogenesis of an electro-acoustic creature after having been intimately switched on.
Quite different from he who steals grown plants from someone else’s garden and sticks them in front of a gullible weakness. “Look what I know. Look what you will never be able to do”.
In fact, what we seem to know when listening to Eppis is systematically jeopardized by O’Rourke’s exclusive dexterity in camouflaging determinants and perspectives.
You can’t be sure if those ponderous gusts are remote marine washes or accumulations of shortwave energy. Or if that vacillating flute-ish moan in an environment of gossamer suspended chords is a mere daydream. The lone certainty registered was given by the pairing of singing birds and insects appearing towards the end, the noise of distant cars used as a more tangible signature.
At that point the music has almost completed its process of transformation from near-indeterminacy to relatively quieter dynamics. Still without a definite “harmonic” connection.
But it’s another type of harmony we are dealing with, in this case.
Everything observed from departure to arrival adds a new layer of cognizance. It can really be felt, wordlessness once again being the necessity. We’re asked to pay attention to each of the strange inflorescences generated by the osmotic symbiosis between synthesis and intuition.
Even impurity turns into clear-sightedness in this small universe of transitional colors and frequencies. Shut the door, close your eyes. Don’t let anyone cross the fences that encircle the unspoken principles.
And remain rock-minded in the inevitable ephemerality.