Pretentious, opinionated language

Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Elaboration

To roll with the theme of my recent ranting, i'm going to go out on a limb here and get all personal. It's hard to discuss this without getting personal. I'd say there's a disturbing lack of personality in the music anyway, and hasn't that become the subject of this whole thread? Call it therapy.

I'm a melancholic. I grew up in a small town where kids in school would vocally protest my presence because i "wasn't normal". I've grown up with that in the back of my head, even as i've become less and less of a recluse, and i've gotten some fairly rigid issues with being around people, down to such things as being seen by people. I was used to being put in the corner and forgotten in school, i was used to being ignored by other kids, and i spent most of my time growing up alone, which led me to romanticize my condition. Normally this is the kind of thing that turns kids towards NIN and Marylin Manson and a very bland dress code indeed, but going in that direction would make me too visible, and i never felt like i could belong to anything anyway. This is the foundation of my life as is, and it's manifest in how i eat, how i sleep, how i talk, how i play games, how i work. Every fibre of my ego stems from feeling like an outsider, even when i'm not. Call it a psychosis, but it's very real to me.

The name Sunjammer comes from a good few things. I believe goth kids get into the whole night thing because they think the darkness is what feels so good about it, but it's really the absence of sunlight. Not light, sunlight. Sunlight is the essence of visibility. It's an agressive, intrusive energy so vast and unforgiving that its very implication is that of dominance. On purely logical though somewhat romantic terms, it's the bringer of life. On the terms of the underdog inclined to exile him or herself from the general public, it's the very symbol of compliance. And we don't like compliance do we. Sunjammer is a short story by Arthur C Clarke. My dad gave me The visual encyclopedia of science fiction when i was a kid, and i grew up thinking the image of the solar sail vehicle was pretty damn cool. I also thought the idea of mastering the sun was wildly appealing, if only for its megalomaniacal qualities. When i first started making music, a direct result of moving to Oslo and experiencing the same alienation here as i'd experienced where i was born and going for a full year without a single friend, picking a name was ridiculously hard, because i had no real idea behind my sound. If i was making hard techno or whatever, that's an idea, that's an image i can attach a word to. If i was making dark ambient, that's another doozy. Those of you that know me or have an interest in my flailings know that i have a tough time deciding what i want to do. So then one day i found this old book, and the word Sunjammer again struck out at me, but not in the same "damn, stopping the sun, cool" way it had when i was little.

I call myself Sunjammer because i want to provide refuge.
People think the idea of stopping sunlight is an agressive measure that propagates death, but it's actually a defensive measure that propagates the individual. I want my music to be the shade that lets your eyes breathe.

On this basic level, i want to reach the right people. I want to be on stage shining that shade, and i want people to feel that i'm giving them refuge. I want people to leave the shelter i provide and thank me for giving them that time of relief. I don't want people to leave the shelter i provide looking for my tunes because they'd flow real good into Mynydd ddu.

Let DJ Producer make people jiump around all he wants, he's good at it, i like jumping around to that too, but it's not what Sunjammer is. I don't create music with the notion that "this would sound sweet on a rig" or "this would get caned for real". Most of my tunes are done in single, one-night sittings, usually when hungry, usually when i can't sleep, or when i'm sick. Everything i do comes right out of my fingers. Sometimes i make total shit. I'd say most of the time i make total shit. Sometimes i make things that warm me and keep me afloat for another week, maybe a month. Then i sink, until i can get that release again.

In my mind, i'm the consummate outsider. I float on the edges and watch as people function in the great machine, i watch the gears turn, but i don't turn with them. I watch, and part of me wishes i could be a part of it. Then i make music to clear my head. I had a moment when i was 16 years old, standing on the subway home from school, and i had a hell of a time not just breaking down in tears right there, just watching people. I couldn't make sense of how they worked, how they could just do what they do and get by. I didn't think this in the sense that i didn't think they know what they're doing, but in the sense that i had to be out of my god damn mind not to understand it.

This is the essence of what i see in myself, the artist. I'm looking in, trying to work it out. I'm the kid poking the anthill.
You have Andreas the artist jabbing the anthill, and Andreas the romantic providing the shade. Andreas the DJ friendly speedcore producer isn't a realistic thought. Hell, Andreas the speedcore producer isn't very realistic anymore, i lost most of my anger with puberty. Now i'm just puzzled and sad.

I don't hate any label. I don't think the responsability for the decline in humanity is with the distributors, but with the artists that let themselves get fucked over, or fuck themselves over. I believe it's the artist's responsability to chronicle her person through the art, not the concepts she adheres to or believes in, and sadly in most cases today the person is lost to the technique.

I'm not technically proficient. I make sound until it sings to me the way i feel it should. To have someone point out that there is too much highend, or that the kick is drowning the lead, well. To me that's not just disrespectful. I don't tell you how to listen, don't tell me how to sing. I don't criticize scenes as much as i criticize music. The endeavor of new technologies have benefited the consumer, but the more control is given to the consumer, the more control is taken away from the artist. An example is the decline of the album, and the death of the concept album. The more control is put in the hands of the consumer, the more the artist is required to appeal to his audience. Today, the musician is a prostitute. I can't think of anything i hate more than the thought of making sound so some little asshole can get his fix or whatever. Jesus, just typing that line makes my skin crawl, just unspeakable loathing.

The message on my site right now.. I'll admit to being a small person. I'm self absorbed because keeping myself afloat requires it, and i'm painfully aware of it. Music to me is highly personal therapy that i have no interest in making a career out of. Hell, i've been majorly surprised at the positive feedback i've been getting, i really never thought it'd have any appeal to anyone but me. But that's lit a flame in me, it's making me want to find those people that speak my language. It's a long time ago now, but i remember listening to Aaron's tracks early on and it just shattered me that someone else was manifesting frustrations rather than rage. That he actually had faith in me to release my stuff was even more mindblowing (even though today i'm very embarassed about HCCB02). I create music to talk with people, not to people, and not for people. It's how i compensate.

There is too much attitude in hardcore and not enough heart. How can you be angry when you don't know what you're angry about, and when being angry pays your rent. Poverty and hunger is synonymous with true art, and i believe living off art is an oxymoron. Art is extrovert decay.

Everyone who's backed me up, you don't know how thankful i am, and how it's driven me in life. I hope you'll still frequent my site and keep up to date. Hopefully we'll have a "scene" of our own sometime soon.

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