Universes of multiple independent nows, each with its own synthesized past and projected future—perhaps this might be a useful way to imagine the grainy fabric of existence. Nows are the places where actions are initiated.
This musical project is a collection of convergences created through a unique collaborative process: co-creative sound correspondences. Propelled by our history of concurrent investigations into the origins of multiple times, conceptual spaces and notations, adaptive instrument interfaces, sonic imaging and improvisation, and subtle perspectives on lived musical nows, we were in the process of developing ideas for duo performance and recording projects, when, unexpectedly, our world was confronted by radical challenges brought on by nature. A pandemic dematerialized the primacy of events. Gatherings were exchanged for remote interactions.
For us, new questions began to emerge: what is the meaning of co-presence, if only experienced in isolation? How can we cultivate, consider, and collect spontaneous, shared nows, without being temporally or spatially co-present?
Starting with no goal other than to listen and play, we sent sonic ideas and fragments back and forth to each other, gradually collecting threads, themes, and commonalities. These links revealed themselves in surprising ways, emerging from experiments, transference, and concurrent imagining. A frenzy, a dance, a reverie, a pause, a corridor, a leap, a shattering, a whisper, . . . ear-stopping musical moments emerged as we navigated and validated alternative means of converging on a musical co-presence in an altered world, finding new pathways for co-creation.
Spanning nearly a year, a collection of non-linear sound correspondences accumulated, made with strings, horns, broken circuits, modular synthesizers, night bugs, voices, metal springs, no-input mixer feedback, forests, clap sticks, rattles, jingles, small drums, tuning forks, fire, gongs, vintage analog and digital signal processors, computers and software, instrument interfaces, mountain streams, tuned metal tines, urban and desert soundscapes, and other miscellaneous sounding objects. Individually, we pieced these constructions together to create, explore, and witness an entirely new passing of time—layering moments, folding time, connecting nows. A single sonic fragment from a previous reflection might reveal a new thread to follow, leading to something unknown, a discovery.
Eventually, these co-creative sound worlds seemed to gravitate around certain centers: nature-informed environments, sound texture architectures, interstellar improvisations, and a multiplicity of narrative orbits. Hopefully, our process and its outcomes reflect and illuminate some of the qualities of our times, our nows, on our planet, its organisms, and their ever-evolving, information-energy exchange rituals with our environment.