Loved Matmos' new Marriage of True Minds even before I knew anything about how they made it. But how they made it is bizarre and fascinating and so takes up most of the head-space in this interview...up today at BLurt.
MIND MELD Matmos
Feb 26, 2013
That nagging itchy sensation you feel in the lower left-hand corner of your head? It's the Baltimore duo's ongoing experiments in telepathy. Be very, very afraid.
BY JENNIFER KELLY
"I love that moment in composition when you're trying to get something going and you've got this emptiness and then suddenly from out of nowhere it forms," says Drew Daniel of the experimental electronic duo Matmos, explaining the appeal of the telepathy experiments that formed the basis for this year's A Marriage of True Minds. "It seemed like doing these experiments was a way of having that moment again and again."
He and his partner, Martin Schmidt, have been making strange, beautiful music out of the oddest elements for 20 years now, but they have, arguably, never done anything as unusual as these Ganzfeld-style parapsychological experiments. The two of them led roughly 50 sessions in Baltimore and Oxford, England, in which participants laid down on a mattress, put noise-cancelling headphones over their ears and halved ping pong balls over their eyes.
Daniel, meanwhile, in an adjoining room attempted to convey the theme of A Marriage of True Minds telepathically to them, and the subjects described the images, sounds and idea fragments that came to them as they lay there, blind and deaf. Their impressions were recorded on a video tape, and once they were finished, Schmidt escorted them out of the room - without any discussion of what had happened. Later, Daniel and Schmidt used the video tapes as the basis for music, sometimes literally, interspersing the words and recreating the sounds suggested by the tapes, and other times more liberally, as a prompt for more open-ended composition.
Hey, in other, completely unrelated news, my son Sean got into his first auditioned theater BFA program...at Savannah College of Arts & Design. he auditioned as a walk-in at the Unifieds earlier this month. Yay, Sean! hope there's a couple more.