BEHOLD THE SNOW DREAM:
Inspiriation board for ALIVE IN THE ELECTRIC SNOW DREAM by William Brittelle.
Alive in the Electric Snow Dream is an electro-acoustic chamber music project composed and co-produced by Brooklyn-based electro-acoustic composer William Brittelle featuring a small ensemble of multi-instrumentalists. The project is being created and composed on location at Fort Tilden, an abandoned army base in Queens, New York, immediately following periods of extended meditation. The piece engages and evokes hyper-reality, the dreamlike quality that emerges in apocalyptic moments, both in the digital world and the realm of heightened consciousness and awareness. The text is by the composer.
The pacing of the music is intuitive, formless, and reflective of the informational bombardment that characterizes the digital world. Very little material ever returns once stated, and musical structure is communicated by rate of change, as opposed to sectionalization and repetition of ideas. The project contains no overt reference to genre or style, and the musical ideas presented are being constantly challenged by digital noise and compositional dismemberment.
At the core of Snow Dream is a true merging of acoustic and digital music, and the project's live incarnation will focus on developing seamless, innovative performance techniques allowing the line between instruments and electronics to gradually recede. Transcending the de-personalization of digital music and developing new techniques and technology to deliver the albums musical message are central to the mission of the project. This extends to electronic sounds happening "off grid" - an effort to inject a string human element into all aspects of the project's recording and performance.
Like much of my recent work, Alive in the Electric Snow Dream is, in large part, influenced (if that's the right word) by the apocalypse. By a sense of elegy, of disappearing beauty on both a personal and societal scale. The piece emerged suddenly following the longest period of writer's block I've ever experienced. After temporarily giving up composing in favor of meditation and the development of an agnostic Buddhist practice, the piece began to emerge viciously and strangely. At first, I found the music to be otherworldly and had trouble making sense of it, but have grown to see it as a deep emotional response to many of the things I was experiencing in my life at the time. In a sense, the project has emerged has a frantic meditation on the apocalypse. If the world is, in fact, an illusion, as Buddhist practice claims, then perhaps art should tell a hidden story, a story guided by dream-logic and impulse, created in a virtual trance, with as little ego from the creator as possible. The Buddhist concepts of selflessness and interdependence seem all the more vital when dealing with something as humbling and colossal as an extinction event (of any kind).
The live performance of Alive in the Electric Snow Dream consists of 8 electro-acoustic pieces performed by a four-person ensemble (electronics/keyboards/vocals, 5-string violin, cello, and electric guitar/vocals). A full evening version including a related suite of material entitled Days of Metal and other paired electro-acoustic work is available at a total running time of around 60 minutes. Basic tech requirements include direct lines for two computer/keyboard stations, four vocal mics, two DI's, and one guitar amplifier. Alive in the Electric Snow Dream can be performed in both traditional and non-traditional concert settings.
MIDI realizations from "ALIVE IN THE ELECTRIC SNOW DREAM".
NOTES ON THE AUDIO: All tracks are unmixed MIDI mock-ups, most are excerpts. All vocals are scratch, and guitars and strings are synthetic and all will be re-recorded. Scored for vocals, violin, cello, electric guitar, electric bass (often synthetic), electric & programmed drums, occasional sax, and live electronics.