Press Quotes

“Waves of crescendoing beauty…rare in his combination of naturalness of composition and instant composition…great balance, great execution, great freedom…gutsy music strongly recommended.” –Cadence

“A major talent…a thoughtful improviser, generous leader and imaginative composer. ” –Montreal Gazette

” [Hall] proceeds with daring, verve, poise and balls. The compositions are immediate and engrossing. Tight, free, and neatly sidestepping categorization…music on the upward arc and the ride is exhilarating. ” –JazzWise

“Sensuous…a subtle, emotional player capable of conveying a lot of feeling with just a few notes.” –Downbeat

“Probably the most stylistically postmodern association of theme and music, thoroughly cutting across the casually expected.” –Jazz Times

“In the purest American downtown style…proceeding from the most advanced jazz and blues…” –Margen (Spain)

“Devoutly weird music…” –Pulse

“Aggressively contemporary, sitting on the edge of free music but clearly conceived by a man whose sense of the jazz tradition is strong…Hall has all the marks of an original mind.” –Globe and Mail

“Interesting and intense, never faltering…” –Audio Scene

“Hall keeps the balance between the pure flow of sentiments (the melodic line is obviously expressed in his compositions) and tension (he is moving technically on free jazz “standards”)…a very sensitive composer, an arranger who masters his material and first of all, a performer who has made me listen to a revelation.” –Tzaz (Greece)

“One of Canada’s best kept secrets…a huge writing talent!” –Mirror (Montreal)

“There is nothing shy about Glen Hall’s performance…he spells a host of emotions…short sharp bursts of sound, to lyrical, plaintive whisperings…tender and brash in turns. ” –Bombay Mid-Day (India)

“Splendid writing…(Hall) is thinking ahead of the crowd…” –Jazz Report

“Hall comes across brilliantly…a reflective soloist, a magical melodic-sound arranger…his own compositions are surely of timeless worth.” –Times (Germany)

“Frontier-bashing jazz…the creative muse is at the forefront and it’s lots of fun.” –Toronto Star

“Stunning results…one of the most singular ensembles ever assembled…wonderfully elusive, diaphanous sonorities and textures.” –Star-Ledger

Articles

THE RENAISSANCE OF A RENAISSANCE MAN: GLEN HALL

By Philip Ehrensaft 

Gil Evans, the premier jazz arranger of the post-war era, began three months of commuting from New York to Toronto in late 1984 in order to collaborate with an outstanding young Canadian reed player and composer named Glen Hall. Although Evans had an emotional attachment to the city of his birth, this would not have motivated him to make such a major commitment of time and energy. In fact, he turned down a lucrative contract from Sting—one of the few rock stars with a sustained and genuine interest in jazz—because it would have disrupted his collaboration with Hall.

Recognition of a unique mind at work, backed by determined craftsmanship, is what motivated Evans to make the treks to Toronto. Part and parcel of this uniqueness was Hall’s training and passion for literature, psychology and communications. His other intellectual hats have a direct bearing on his music, and vice versa. Hall is a late twentieth-century jazz version of the Renaissance man.

The Evans/Hall collaboration resulted in one of the last and best recordings in the arranger’s illustrious career, The Mother of the Book. This was Evans’ powerful endorsement indeed for a new kid on the block.

After that endorsement, the natural trajectory for Hall would have been to join the inflow of talented young musicians from all across North America to the centre of the 1980s jazz universe, New York City. Hall’s first recording, The Book of the Heart, had already been named as one of the ten best of the year by Cadence magazine, a magazine of reference for serious jazz reviews. That alone would have been a good calling card for entry into the Darwinian New York scene.

But Hall had another precious asset. Evans offered the young Canadian a place of honour in the arranger’s ensemble. Their collaboration, however, began on the very same day as the birth of Hall’s first daughter. It is a measure of Glen Hall’s character that he turned down this dream offer because his family responsibilities came first.

Retrospectively, Hall sees this conjuncture as a blessing in disguise. Had he gone to the Big Apple, there would have been pressure to fit into the parameters of the New York scene, both mainstream and avant-garde. By staying in what was then the jazz hinterland of Toronto, rather than heading to the Big Apple, Hall had greater latitude to work out his unique music. He can be counted among the key creative spirits who bucked the trend towards increased centralisation of jazz activity in New York. The net result is that some of the most interesting improvised music on the continent is being created in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and now Toronto.

In order to put the greater latitude of a hinterland musical scene to good use, Hall had to play a leadership and mentoring role in creating a community of musicians who could tackle his experimental jazz. It required great self-discipline and energy to stay the course. Hall has both in abundance.

Now, after a decade and a half of quietly defining and redefining his musical vision, this jazz renaissance man is very much back on a larger stage. Leo Records in London has just released his latest CD, The Roswell Incident. The likes of trombonist Ray Anderson, drummer Gerry Hemingway and the Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo joined forces with Hall in a standing room only concert at the 2001 Guelph Jazz Festival. Ranaldo and Hall then joined the Knitting Factory’s “house drummer,” William Hooker, at the Hallwalls Arts Center, a beehive of avant-garde music, theatre and visual arts that has been carved out of recycled industrial space in Buffalo.

 

A Portrait of the Artist as Pan-Genre Integrator, Mentor and Organiser

Glen Hall’s music calls upon multiple genres, both musical and literary, but it is definitively not post-modern pastiche. This is “inside/outside” music that continuously leaps from conventional to experimental forms, or stays tantalisingly on the border. The way Hall constructs these leaps is directly related to the way he has earned most of his living since turning down Evans’ offer to join the arranger in New York. He teaches communications, psychology and mystic literature at two technical institutes in Toronto—Humber and Sheridan Colleges. Thanks to an exceptionally high energy level, Hall has been able to pursue a career as a full-time musician and as a teacher in his original fields of formal training.

Somebody who teaches people how to think clearly—and then get other people to pay attention to what they have to say—is going to carry this perspective into avant-garde music. Hall provides enough structure and familiar elements so that people don’t feel lost. But they are also presented with the unexpected as Hall expands his own horizons. Seeming chaos alternates with order. Clarity is peppered with enough ambiguity and allusions to keep the audience interested.

Avant-garde music must, Hall argues, tell a story—an interesting story that people can follow, and want to follow. Musical conservatives, especially neo-romantic classical composers, typically advance the proposition that music should include a narrative strand. It is not what one would expect from a radical musician/composer whose ambition is to help take free jazz to a new level. Hall’s music is redolent with surprises and unusual combinations. That is what makes it so interesting.

One has to be a very quick study in order to acquire the real competence in multiple fields that is requisite to telling the innovative musical stories that flow from Hall’s pen and horns. I did not have to spend much time with Hall before perceiving that he is an exceptionally quick study. When Hall decided to leave graduate school in literature for Boston’s Berklee School of Music in 1973, there were big holes in his musical training. After one year at Berklee, his professors advised him that he had little more to learn in terms of formal training. It was time to move into the professional world. Hall packed up his tenor sax, bass clarinet and flutes, and took his professors’ advice.

A musician whose mind and mind-body coordination permit such fast learning is also a person who can improvise at a pace way beyond the ordinary. A most indicative element of what Hall is all about is that his main musical model is not an avant-garde musician. It is the ultimate bebop improviser, Sonny Rollins. Rollins is one of the only people capable of genuine real-time composition at the furious rate with which bebop is played. Barry Kernfield, editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, puts it this way: “Imagine trying to imitate his [Beethoven’s] achievements not at leisure but in a matter of seconds, with the chords changing every measure or half-measure and the measures moving at over 200 beats per minute.”

Hall does not, however, want to play like Sonny Rollins, an improbable pursuit in any event. He wants to understand how Rollins thinks and then apply the process to creating his own kind of free jazz.

This rapid-fire capacity to improvise is joined to enthusiasm and grounding in the avant-garde composers who propelled “classical” music in entirely new directions. His interest in Edgar Varese, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen dates back to undergraduate years. I don’t know of many other musicians who have played free jazz variations on Stockhausen’s daunting compositions.

Hall has strong views on the modern composers who he does or does not like, views that have a great deal to do with the way he plays jazz. Kagel, for example, is somebody he sees as exemplifying overly cerebral strands in post-war composition, music that uses only the left, logical side of the brain. Hall looks for, and aims to create, music that calls upon both sides of the brain, and the heart as well. (I cannot resist a respectful disagreement here with Hall’s harsh evaluation of Mr. Kagel’s music, which is permeated with a playfulness that comes straight from the heart. Hall’s general point, however, is well taken; the dryness in a sizeable chunk of post-war composition is about as enjoyable as doing 200 sit-ups.) The net result is Hall’s rare capacity to employ advanced compositional techniques in jazz improvisations that simultaneously emit a whole lot of punch and bite. The punch and the bite are inseparable from the starting point of his musical journey—African-American gospel music.

In 1958, when Hall was eight years old, he chanced upon a radio program featuring Mahalia Jackson. It was love at first hearing. He took up the guitar and harmonica at the age of thirteen. Then it was not too long before he was leading a busy life as a teenage blues, rock and country musician in his native Winnipeg. Hall has never lost contact with this starting point, nor his experiences and joy in connecting to the audience’s hearts, tapping feet and occasionally flowing tear ducts.

A very important consequence of Hall’s early musical biography is the creation of experimental music that is profoundly attached to the whole history of jazz and the blues. One of his recent compositions/improvisations is rooted in a blues song written in 1927 by Blind Willie Johnson. I treasure the opportunity I had to hear a respectful introduction of the Johnson theme by Toronto’s free jazz guitar virtuoso, Nilan Perera, hauntingly played on an acoustic instrument. Hall and Perera then gradually moved into thoroughly “out” improvisations that, however, always stayed connected to the starting point. And that is an accurate metaphor for Hall’s music in general.

Another dimension of Hall’s performance that evening is that he is asmuch a mentor on the bandstand as he is when teaching communications or literature. Until recently, the improv scene in Toronto was mainly the domain of greying baby-boomers. Hall is clearly an inspiration for the burgeoning network of twenty-something improvisers who are renewing the Toronto scene. His new ensemble, redShift, joins senior avant-gardists like himself and Eugene Martinec, Toronto’s pioneer in improvised electronic music, with the new generation. Also, I have been impressed by the way that Hall sits in with ensembles of younger musicians and takes care not to dominate them.

The deep wells of energy that Hall draws upon are equally applied towards building a community for avant-garde improvisation in Canada’s economic and cultural capital. The most current instance is his role in organising an avant-garde concert series, “HearTOgo,” which ran parallel to the Toronto Downtown and JVC Jazz Festivals during June of this year.

 

Where To Next?

Integration of spoken word and musical improvisation has been a prominent component of Hall’s artistic landscape. Hallucinations, produced at Toronto’s Music Gallery in 1997, upped the ante even more.

Hallucinations combined film, video, electronic sound projection, spoken word, visual art (statues, found objects) and a ten-piece musical ensemble. The central elements in the mix were works by the Beat writer, William S. Burroughs. The aural component of this very ambitious project has been preserved in the form of a CD issued by Leo. The appropriate medium, of course, would have been a video, and maybe a 3-D video at that.

Upping what is already an unusually deep ante is precisely what we can expect from Glen Hall. It is going to be a very interesting ride.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

 

The Book of the Heart (InRespect IRJ 009301 H; Koch Jazz KOCH, 1979)

Hall’s first recording, at age 29, featured four of the strongest players on the New York scene: JoAnne Brackeen (piano), Billy Hart (drums), Cecil McBee (bass), Joshua Breakstone (guitar). Very strong and impressive for a debut recording.

 

The Mother of the Book (InRespect 39302; Koch Jazz KOCH 3-7816-2, 1985)

One of Gil Evans’ last recordings. Germany’s Jazz Forum termed this CD “an absolute masterpiece.” It is. Compositions are by Hall and arrangements by Evans. Hall on reeds and Evans on electric piano are accompanied by Toronto’s NEXUS percussion ensemble and a mix of some of the city’s best jazz and classical musicians.

 

Hallucinations: Music and Words for William S. Burroughs (Leo LR273, 1997)

The fact that Leo, Great Britain’s premier avant-garde recording company, chose to issue this CD is a statement in itself. It was recorded live at the Music Gallery in Toronto, with Hall and the pioneer avant-garde trombonist Roswell Rudd spearheading a ten-piece orchestra.

 

The Roswell Incident (Leo LR313, recorded 1998, issued 2001)

A year after the Burroughs show, Rudd called Hall to inform him that he was to perform in Buffalo and would love to do another recording. Hall gladly drove down to Buffalo to take in the concert and bring Rudd back to Toronto. They went into the studio with Hall’s impressive OutSource band: Allan Molnar (vibes), Michael Morse (bass), Michael Occhipinti (guitar/banjo), Barry Romberg (drums). It is gratifying to see a trend-setting European label pick up on the quality of Toronto’s improv scene. Hall and Rudd are in top form, and that is very fine form indeed.

 

For Performances, the best way to keep abreast is via Hall’s own Web Site (http://www.glenhall.com/events.html). In particular, watch for redShift, a new ensemble that includes two guitars, two basses, two percussionists, two turntablists, a MidiAxe, a vocalist, and Hall on woodwinds. That’s a lot of music!

 

An Interview with Glen Hall

By Armen Svadjian 

Excerpts (full interview can be seen here)

 

The Invisible Art 

A.S.  What do you do in your music?

G.H.  Communicate.

A.S.   What do you communicate, and why is music the best medium?

G.H. Being in action.

Music is an exploration in dimensions of time, space and motion.  Music is a doorway we can walk through to explore other dimensions.

Sounds seem to move, from one to another over time.  But this is an illusion.  Notes don’t move; they happen and disappear, creating the perception of movement.  So, music deals with creating the impression of motion in time‹tempos, rhythms, overall structures such as sections of a piece, which are sometimes called movements and in space different pitches and the registers in which they happen.

Music is invisible, right?  It doesn’t have any visual representation, any visible form.  Of course, you can write music down, but that’s not music. You can look at a CD, but that’s not the experiencing of music.

Now, when I’m playing, I’m being myself: I’m ‘being’.  But I’m doing something.  My being is in action.  And that manifests itself through sound. Because it¹s invisible and it’s intangible, in a sense, it’s not some kind of a monument, something fixed and permanent.  It’s alive when it’s happening. There’s no music unless it’s actually taking place.  It doesn’t exist in some physical form someplace where you can dig it out.  It only exists when it happens.  And, to me, it’s best when you the listener are there when it’s happening, when you’re experiencing musicians’ beings in action through the sounds they’re making.

Also, the kind of music I play demands that I be present in the moment.  Im not thinking about getting a cab, or taking the garbage out, or something like that.  The music does not allow its musicians to go on automatic pilot. We all have to be right there, with the music as it¹s happening . . . which, personally, is good for me.  It’s my version of meditation, a very active meditation.  And also, this music requires me both to keep my focus on myself but also to abandon myself, to let go of my self so that I can hear what everyone else is doing.  What I do only exists in relation to what the other musicians are playing.  That requires, if I’m going to do it really well – at least in my estimation – a certain selflessness.  I’m not a selfless guy, but this music allows me to get closer to selflessness than I can get in most other circumstances.  This music isn’t about a single person’s idea of it; it’s collective and it requires its participants to become subsumed in and by the process of making it.  So, for me, it’s a good thing, a type of self-discipline or self-development.

 

Motives and Frustrations 

A.S.  Would you say then that self-satisfaction is one of the main motives for playing for you?

G.H.  Well, it sure isn¹t for the money, the fame or accolades, because you don¹t get any, or not much, at any rate.  This, mostly, is a way of finding new things by exploring what I do and trying to knit them together, trying to find things I’ve never found before, or new ways of looking at things.

When that happens, I know what it¹s worth.  What it¹s worth to other people is not my main concern.  That it is worth something to them, beautiful!  And I know for a certainty that it is valuable to others.  But my primary motivation in music is not directed towards others.  It is self-exploration and self-development, so that I can find my way.  Communicating the results to others, however, happens because I play with groups of musicians in front of audiences who pick up on these kinds of inner experiences.

For me, music is a test, and I don’t always pass.  That tells me something; it gives me experiential feedback.  Then I have to go back, do my homework, and study for the next test.

A.S.  Does it bother you that there is not a wider audience for the music that you play?  Is it frustrating sometimes?

G.H. Yes, it is frustrating.  If I were to develop a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, people would beat a path to my door.  If I were to invent a fuel-efficient car, people would be breaking their legs to get to know me, be my associates, use my invention and make me wealthy.  But in our North American culture, very few opportunities exist for the cultural or social rewarding of those whose efforts are directed toward self-expression, its expansion and refinement.  Most people don¹t want to hear someone express himself.  Instead, they want to hear what they’ve heard before; they want their chosen, well-worn ‘grooves’.  They want their habits fed, like addicts.

They want to be entertained.  And I don¹t really resent that.  I like to be entertained, too.  Folks want action-packed movies, light-hearted musicals, diverting situation comedies.  Well and good.

Music as Food

But that’s like living on a diet of potato chips.  It’s not nutritious.  It’ll keep you going for a while.  But if we’re going to grow as human beings we need to have proper nutrients, both in our diets, and in our intake of perceptions or impressions.

Our bodies require food.  If we don¹t get food for, say, thirty days, we die. Our lungs, blood and physical brains require oxygen.  If we don¹t get air for five minutes, we die.  Our consciousness requires ‘impressions’, experiences.  If we aren¹t able to receive impressions, we’re already dead. Each one of these things is a kind of food.  Impressions are a nutrient for our consciousness.  Perceptual impressions are simply not recognized or understood as another sort of ‘food’.

Our minds and beings grow in response to our perceptual ‘diet’, the kinds of music, art, literature, dance, philosophy, psychology and the like that we consume, that we expose ourselves to.  And the music I try to be involved is intended to be a type of ‘food’: one, regrettably, people don¹t think of as being necessary.  It doesn’t mean that it isn’t needed.  It’s just that, since people don¹t recognize this nutrient as being necessary, they aren’t going to actively seek my music out, make me widely acclaimed and wildly wealthy, and put my picture on the cover of People magazine.

 

The Balancing Act 

A.S.  Are you trying to strike a balance between structure and improvisation?

G.H.  I like improvisations to sound as if they’re structured.  They don’t necessarily have to have a pre-existing structure.  But when I play, I like there to be ideas that flower and fade, which produce a discernible shape or structure.  The shapes are perceptible.  There has been a change that has occurred.  We’ve moved from this part to that part to the next part. This approach comes out of the way I think about improvising.  I think of improvisation as instant composition: composing in real time.  Melodies, rhythms, textures, structures, these all emerge from ideas generated during improvisation.

When SonoRa played at a festival, the artistic director came to hear us. Afterwards, he asked us how long it took us to memorize our pieces.  He was stunned to learn that every note was improvised.  We had to explain that our approach was to find and build structures on the fly.  Because we actively listen for musical events that lend themselves to various types of development, we can collectively make these structures while we’ve improvising.

 

A Doorway to Other Dimensions

A.S.  The dimensions, the sizes, shapes and intensities of your music vary from ‘big’ to ‘small’, from very loud to very quiet, etc.  Why is that?

GH.  Musicians like to go for the ‘big effect’.  Often, we blow our brains out, thinking that all this sound, all these pyrotechnics and histrionics will make a big impact on our listeners.  But it’s been discovered in biology, in creatures from sea anemones to humans, that very tiny impacts can have significant effects.  Even the most gentle, subtle stimuli can provoke profound reactions.  In part, this is why my compositions vary from full-tilt, leave-no-stone-standing-upon-another-stone, take-no-prisoners blowouts to delicate, ethereal, minimalist pieces that can only make themselves felt if the listener makes a conscious effort to listen very closely.  The range of impacts allows for a greater range of expressiveness and for an overall movement between intensities over the course of a CD, a concert or a set in a club.  That spectrum of dynamics, densities, textures tempos and the like opens the way for greater freedom and wider opportunities to explore sound.

Being able to move freely across that spectrum‹not being locked into one mode or approach to playing or composing‹is something I’ve been focussed on for a long time.  In the liner notes to my first album, The Book of the Heart , I wrote about being ‘master of the option’, being able to go back and forth, in and out of structure, harmony, time.  That concept is still very much a part of my thinking about music.  I have faith that listeners, if exposed to a range of weak to strong stimuli in music, can go through a doorway that connects them to other dimensions in their imaginations, their consciousness, their collective unconscious.  My music, in that respect, is an equivalence, or at least an analogy, to that movement from one dimension into another.

Comparisions  True but Limiting

A.S. Why the comparisons to so many musiciansŠMingus, Ornette Coleman, Frank Zappa, etc.?

G.H.  Yes, as a musician, I’ve been compared to Brian Eno to Wayne Shorter to Charles Ives.  It goes on and on.  I think that people hear in my music what they’re listening for.  In that sense, my music is a mirror for what they want to hear.  The fact that people have compared my music to Carla Bley’s or Ornette Coleman’s is, on one hand, flattering.  On another level, Mingus and Zappa and Carla and Ornette were formative influences in me becoming myself, musically speaking.

I can think of a few tunes that I’ve written that, I would say, sound like Carla Bley or sound like Ornette Coleman.  But that’s because I’m working with their vocabulary, although I’m telling my own story.

The number of times I’ve been compared to utterly different players , not in my compositions but in my playing, is, I find, astonishing.  People hear Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Roland Kirk, Wayne Shorter, Albert Ayler, John Gilmore, Dewey Redman, Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Farrell, Sam Rivers—an amazing array—again, the list goes on and on.  All of those musicians I have listened to very deeply, with my whole heart, because they played with their whole hearts.  So it’s not surprising that at moments some of their fingerprints might be apparent in my playing.  No one I’ve ever heard in 100% original.  We all come from our ‘parents’, so to speak.

But I can’t actually play like any of these people .  I’m unable to play in any musician¹s style for more than a bar or two of music.  As a consequence, if people hear those things in my playing, they’re imposing something on my playing that I’m not actually able to put there.  They can relate to what I do via those comparisons, but I’m pretty certain that the reality of what those musicians are doing is not the centre of what I am doing.

A.S.  Do you find the jazz tag limiting?

G.H.  No, not particularly.

It’s a cliché to say that one just plays ‘music’.  But, truthfully, I don’t always play jazz.  Certainly, in EAR-CAM, I’m not playing jazz.  In SonoRa, there are virtually no jazz elements.

So, am I a jazz musician?  When I’m playing jazz, I am.  When I’m not, then I’m something else.

Actually, I¹m always the same person (laughs).

I have respect for people who can speak various languages.  That’s sort of what I’m doing.  I’m doing what I do, but I’m translating my ideas, not into words, but into chamber music or sound art music or electroacoustic music or free jazz.

 

Non-human Elements in Music 

I have two tarantulas, and I don’t relate to them on a ‘human’ level.  They don’t express themselves in human ways, as we like to think dogs do, for instance.  I can’t anthropomorphize them.  They dont ‘smile’ and ask to go for a walk.  They don’t ask to have their bellies rubbed.  But one can communicate with them in other ways.

SonoRa just finished recording a series of pieces based on radioactive elements.  My instructions were that our rhythms were not to be human. Nothing you can shake your booty to.  Think of patterns being emitted by elements, stones, particles.  These things are not remotely human.  Try to merge yourself with something not human and see what you can come up with.  These things are part of our world.  Why restrict our intuition and creative impulse only to that narrow bandwidth ‘humanity’?

Using these kinds of things as inspirations helps take us out of our habits.

You can¹t play Berg’s Lyric Suite licks when the subject matter is selenium.

A.S.  That sounds like an out-of-body experience.

G.H.  When it’s working right, it is.  The music takes me out of myself.

There are times when I feel like I’m locked up in my body.  Now, I’m in no rush to die, but once in a while I’d like to go on vacation from ‘the meat suit’.  Music is a way of transcending the body.  And I can tell when the music’s going really well when I’m not there anymore.  Something else is happening.

 

Reality is an Illusion

A.S.  Your pieces Alamout and The Book of the Dead on Hallucinations: Music and Words for William S. Burroughs talk about illusions of time and space.  Is this a recurring theme in your music and your thinking in general?

G.H.  Yes.  It is my understanding that our perceptions of time and space make them seem absolute.  But this appearance is, in part, the result of our physiology.  Our eyes see less than a fraction of one percent of the electromagnetic waves we call light.  In addition, physicists explain that matter consists mostly of space and is not solid.  We can’t see this; we can’t experience it directly through our senses.  Consequently, for us reality is actually a fiction, an illusion, and vice versa.

In those two pieces, I convolve concepts drawn from Burroughs, the Sufi poet Rumi, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and contemporary physics and the psychology of consciousness.  I use language to allude to or to outright state this concept of non-absolute time and space.

In my compositions, I like to deal with the same concept, only using tempo, meter, pitch, rhythm, tonal centres, themes, motifs, and various sorts of patterns.  In my music, tonality is malleable, not fixed, not ‘absolute’.  Time speeds up, slows down; it ‘bends’ or stops.  Ideas are stated and invert back upon themselves.  My music reflects my understanding of the non-absolute nature of what we take to be reality.

 

Travels in Sound

A.S.  Why do you do this (music)?

G.H.  Perhaps one day, I’ll have learned how to experience the reality of these concepts for myself.  Maybe I’ll experience their truth directly.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to make ‘invisible art’ and to explore the freedom music permits me to experience.  Music allows me to walk through a doorway into other dimensions, to remain in my body and consciousness while being able ‘to fly’.

One thing I¹m certain of is that, if I am ever able to experience these things directly myself, I won’t be able to tell anyone about such experiences or explain them in words.  But maybe, somehow, I’ll make music that can embody or indicate the possibility of the liberation of perception.  The transcending of time, space, body and self.  Meanwhile, I travel — travel in dimensions of sound.