Punani Rubberist is a new composition for computer, bass clarinet
and gas horn. The CD includes remixes by Kazumoto Endo, eRikm,
and Joe Gilmore, and an additional unreleased solo computer
composition (Excelsior Punani) from 2003.
He plucked a hair from his body, chewed it up, spat it out, made the
magic with his fist, said the words of the spell, and shouted “Change!”.
It turned into hundreds and thousands of little monkeys, who rushed
wildly about grabbing weapons. The strong ones took six or seven
each and the weaker ones two or three, and between them they
removed the lot. He climbed back up on the clouds, called up a gale
by magic, and took all the little monkeys home with him.
— Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West
We cannot compare the pitches of other noise sensations in the way
we do musical sounds because all their vibrations are continuously
changing, both in their rates of vibration and in the loudness of each
of them, in a very complex way. Every noise changes in a sufficiently
different way from any other for us to be able to tell each of them
apart. Although any kind of sound can be called a noise, and the word
has several different connotations, a better word for all noises except
a steady-pitched sound is ‘transients’. A transient means a changing
sound, and it also includes the sense of something which appears and
disappears rapidly, which is a useful reminder that all sound goes
past our ears at a speed of about 330 metres a second, and it is only
available to our ears at the instant it passes us and then disappears.
If we are to remember transients we have to remember the way the
sensation changes instant by instant, and then recognise that same
way when we obtain a sensation that changes in the same pattern.
Many of them last for much less than a second. Most of us remember
and can identify many thousands of transients: noises and words.
— James Beament, How We Hear Music: The relationship Between
Music and the Hearing Mechanism
142857 is a cyclic number. You can find its multiples simply by
rotating its digits.
A design principle of the Klingon language is the great degree of
lexical-cultural correlation in the vocabulary. For example, there are
several words meaning ‘to fight’ or ‘to clash against’, each having a
different degree of intensity. There is an abundance of words relating
to warfare and weaponry, and also a great variety of curses (cursing
is considered a fine art in Klingon culture). This helps lend a particular
character to the language. There are also a very large number of
‘in-jokes’ built into the language. For example, the word for ‘pair’ is
‘chang’eng’, a reference to the twins Chang and Eng, and the word
for ‘fish’ is ‘ghoti’.
Ghoti is a constructed example used to illustrate irregularities in
English spelling. It is a respelling of the word fish. It has ‘gh’,
pronounced as in ‘tough’; ‘o’, pronounced as in ‘women’; and ‘ti’,
pronounced as in ‘nation’.
And now what am I driving at, in all this long rigmarole? It is this.
You may put ‘is’ or ‘are’ between names of two THINGS (for example,
‘some pigs are fat animals"), or between the names of two ATTRIBUTES
(for example, ‘pink is light-red’), and in each case it will make good
sense. But, if you put ‘is’ or ‘are’ between the name of a THING and
the name of an ATTRIBUTE (for example, ‘some pigs are pink’), you do
NOT make good sense (for how can a Thing BE an Attribute?) unless
you have an understanding with the person to whom you are speaking.
— Lewis Carroll, The Game of Logic
Airbus Burnt Pine
Rabbi Sunnier Put
A Nubbier Print Us
Rabbit Supine Urn
Ban Turbine Sirup
Monkey then went to the outside of the Yellow Flower Temple,
pulled seventy hairs out of his tail, blew on them with magic breath
and shouted “Change!”. The hairs turned into seventy little Monkeys.
He then blew a magic breath on his gold-banded cudgel, called
“Change!” and turned it into seventy two-pronged forks, one of which
he gave to each of the little Monkeys. Monkey himself used one of
the forks to twist the silken ropes as he stood outside, then they all
attacked together to the rhythm of a tune, tearing the ropes to pieces,
each of them tearing off over ten pounds of rope. They dragged seven
spiders out from inside. Each was about the size of a wicker basket.
All of them held their hands and feet together and had ropes round
their necks. — Wu Cheng’en, Journey to the West
“Breakneck compendia of digital pratfalls and collisions”—The Wire
Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, Andorra, August 2008
Computer-based infernos where the rate of event recurrence exceeds
the ability of our brain to follow their succession after a tentative —
and useless — struggle are unquestionably fascinating. There is
another side of the coin, though: a measure of change — or relief,
if you prefer — should ideally be applied, otherwise what comes out
as unpredictable at first tends to flirt with standardisation at the end.
This is exactly what happened to yours truly with Punani Rubberist,
a record that was obviously assembled with the highest degree of
creative meticulousness. The title track, which opens the programme,
promises (and mostly delivers) great things, its fiendish concoction
of clarinet-derived finesse and perpetual intermingling of disparate
kinds of sonic constituents rivaling certain overhyped acousmatic
productions whose budget is largely superior to this.
Impertinent humiliations of whatever sense of continuity one might
wish constitute the tourist’s menu throughout the set. Zapping cata-
clysms, utter drubbings of potential anticipation and opulent deploy-
ment of electro-acoustic paraphernalia seem to divide the listening
room into small cubicles, each episode a frantically lyophilized
commentary on human inadequateness when rational aptitude is
called out to respond to unusual sounds.
Yet, once the halfway point has passed and no sign of meaningful
divergence from the general canon is noticed in the formation of the
tracks — call it sameness in variation — we somehow start to smell
a slightly musty aroma, as if the explosive energy and vitality of the
music had suddenly turned into a battery of wet-powdered guns.
In conclusion, following the initial shock the work proceeds rather
inconsequentially, deprived as it is of a veritably unique trait.
Quite preposterous, given the zillions of clashing facets that it
presents. The ultimate verdict is: very well constructed, but some-
Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes
[…] both the 25-minute title track and the eight minute coda ‘Excelsior
Punani’ are extremely entertaining. They’re breakneck compendia of
digital pratfalls and collisions that suggest a tripartite union of drill ‘n‘
bass, Milton Babbitt and Carl Stalling. Jiménez lists one of his interests
as “binary obfuscation”, which sums up the disc. It’s delightfully
confusing, vibrant, cartoonish music, with lugubrious interjections
from Jakob Draminsky Højmark’s bass clarinet among the gurgling
sonics adding to the absurd comedy.
Keith Moliné in The Wire
My God! This is a ‘typical’ computer-based composition. But WOW!
one that can only be described with exclamation marks!
When I started listening to electronic and electro-acoustic music
I really dived into the catalogue of stuff that was available. Which
was not very much. At some point, after listening to Stockhausen,
Schaeffer and other serious European hardball players I found
a record by Jon Appleton [called] Syntonic Menagerie. I was
immediately captured by the playfulness and the open character
of his compositions. Not that deep, profound, frowning stuff but
contemporary society captured intelligently in music. Another
album I found by Appleton was quite the opposite: [work for]
the Fairlight Synthesizer. Quite formal.
This CD presents a bit of both approaches. It is totally computer-
based (in structure), has the open sounds that remind me of the
Fairlight (mathematically-designed harmonics) and the playfulness
of the bass clarinet and the ‘gas horn’.
The first half of the main composition (which lasts a whopping
25 minutes) is rather indeterminate (at least to my ears). There are
a couple of cycles which start with a plain analogue recording,
which is then followed by deformations. The second half is more
thoughtful. The cycles are more discriminate.
What bites my ears is that the sound spectrum is continually in
the same frequency range: there is hardly a passage where the
bass dominates; [its] only there as lower parts of the sounds that
we hear. The same counts for the highs. There are hardly any
exceptionally high passages.
Jos Smolders at Earlabs