Discovery of Meaning – Spotted Peccary Music SPM-1407
Meaning is a very human experience. Consider the nature of signs the mind makes use of for the understanding of things, or conveying its knowledge to others, and how the artistic conventions of sounds can be interpreted. Consciousness, like spacetime, might have its own intrinsic degrees of freedom, and that one’s perceptions may be as real as (or even more real than) material objects.
The rest is history.
1. About the album Discovery of Meaning
The evaluation of meaning, whether by a single person or an entire society, is a human product. Human knowledge comes from observation, experimentation, and rational analysis, and possibly from supernatural sources; the nature of the universe is what people discern it to be. According to the ancient doctrines of naturalistic pantheism, the meaning of life is to care for and look after nature and the environment. I like that.
Answering any of these fundamental questions (Where Do We Come From? Where Are We Going? Why are we here? What Are We? What is life all about? Also, what is the purpose of existence?) leads to territory that has nothing to do with the task at hand, what about the music? Accept the challenge. Different generations may have different experiences at similar points in their own timelines, interpreting the meanings of the origins and ultimate fate of the universe. Imagine a tunnel of light and spiritual figures, often described in reports of near-death experiences.
One definition of the “Berlin School” style of music stems from the early German music pioneers who specialized in electronic music using sequencers that would play repeating music patterns, originated in the early 70’s by Asha Ra Temple, Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze. Patterns and rapid melodies float through what we imagine outer space to feel like, keyboards control part of the journey, textures and sonic lights blend into the mixture. Electronic inner space journeys, blending the far distances with the infinite interior spaces; awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation, you make meaning of what you perceive.
2. The tracks
The first track of Discovery of Meaning…
…begins, uncoiling in the darkness. The glowing background contains some odd bending or fluttering tones, and the pace locks in, we are in flight at last. The transformations continue through the track. “Perception Stream” (12:26) eases in with grace and mystery, establishing a lush backdrop for weird tones and forms to emerge, floating about cautiously, then the rhythm begins. Perception is our neural processing of vision as well as hearing, smell, taste, and physical contact. We experience and process information about the features of the physical world, and we can dance, physically or mentally.
Word meanings are measured by the company they keep, the relationships among words themselves provide the context that signs and symbols take form within and without. Each idea is understood to be necessarily about something external and/or internal, real, or imaginary. The beat picks up and there is fantastic kinetic boogie action in places, building to a release, resting and reflection. “Discovery of Meaning” (4:26), the title track, builds upon the first track’s established flow, cautiously like cells dividing and multiplying.
There are necessarily meaningful, such as words and nonverbal symbols. A continuum is a continuous extent, series, or whole; something that keeps on going, changing slowly over time, “Continuum, Part 1” (5:13) gathers in formless chaos, and comes into focus. German language vocalisms emerge, the liner notes provide a full German transcript, with a translation in English, here are some extractions: time prevents everything from happening at once, time stands still yet slips from our grasp, our presence in time and space moves forward…
The cosmos and spacetime continuum…
…is vast and there is no finite direction for time to travel, we have been here before, we have been here all the time. The message is transcendent cosmic poetry and love of wonderment.
“Continuum, Part 2” (10:20) expands without language, only the grand synthesizer vistas blending with intoned vocalisms, gradual transitions from one condition to another without abrupt changes and involving notions of thought, intention, or understanding. This is perfect space music.
The past lingers, semantic memory is memory for meaning, events are preserved in episodic memory, and what can be expressed about the past is a declarative memory. “Adrift in Memory” (6:21) is a track haunted by vocal hues, slow, dreamy, and layered.
The keystone track is an intact soundscape within the universe of the album, home is where we dream of familiar elements. “Cottonwood” (20:48) opens with the natural sounds of summer birds, joined by the throbbing cosmic machine with constantly changing color overlays, a sound collage with electronica and field recordings.
To bring us back, the final track, emerging from the dream, remembering some familiar sensations, “Festive Awakening” (12:02) reminds us that the calibrated scale of what we have just traveled has been enormous, now we find ordinary satellites and meteors and there are some areas where there is a familiar kinetic force.
3. Where to buy the album Discovery of Meaning?
Written by Robin James, February 3rd, 2022