This record is a celebration. It marks the 10th edition of a collaborative experiment and emerges as a real artifact of a growing virtual community.
On the digital commons of a Facebook page, artists gathered to share their love of sounds and even some of their own. Not all gatherings of individuals coalesce into something greater, but here we are now with this proof and production from the Ambient and Experimental Music Community (AEMC). AMEC stands as a global network of artists who care not only about each other’s work, but each other. This community is not fully encapsulated by the mere 16 artists able to participate on this record, for it is so much larger and includes artists from the nine previous productions as well as the music to come.
In “Communal Music”, the rules are simple. Each participant of the project sends in two samples, from which a common piggy bank is formed. This pool of sounds ranging from plucks of instruments to the sound of a factory floor becomes the only available material for the creative process that will ensue.
You can do anything with these sounds, but you can’t use any other sound sources.
Yes, this is another attempt to turn a formal exercise into art. But here we have not just a challenge, but also a virtual commune full of artists, acting as a closed system, almost a subsistence economy.
If you want to draw, prepare your paints. Once upon a time (how long ago?) this was commonplace.
There is no guru in this commune, everyone is a teacher to each other.
What is taught?
To build the world anew, according to your own rules.
To seek clearness in the unclear.
To be content with little, compensating for the lack of means with the intensity of attention and breadth of thinking.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – do you remember this quote from T. Roosevelt? This is our case.
The process, as well as the result, becomes a celebration of the unity and difference dichotomy.
Which is stronger, the source material or the composer transforming it? Where does the composer start and the creative engineer end?
Each sound presents itself as nothing more than what it is, it’s history only imagined. The sounds cannot communicate, they are born fragile as is every sound that dies just as it is created. The process presented here is sustaining. It allows the sounds to sustain, to absorb, and mask each other, and they are allowed to vibrate together and live on together.
Nothing is ever universal in a community because our own histories are real. We however, share a process – we create, we share, we feel. The music won’t create words for itself, but its character will emerge. It so happened that the characteristic feature of this particular anniversary album was the mood of sleep, inherent in one way or another to almost each track. This dream is not always calm and may not even be always pleasant.
The unity of building materials works for the logic of this dream; the difference in the thinking, approaches, and style practiced by the creators works for its randomness. It is useless to look for any meanings here. Just give this to your subconscious mind, and it will surely find a use for this strange phenomenon. At least because it’s beautiful. Whether it’s humanly beautiful or somehow un-humanly – what difference does it make?
Above all, the Communal Music series is a celebration of experimental music and the collaboration between – often underappreciated – artists.