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Decay data. Atomic disintegration. The cold properties of dark matter. Slumped depression. The salve of the deep drone.
Longhand: Ununtrium's Daughter is a very personal album for me, and that sentiment probably comes more from the context out of which this album was made. With the benefit of critical distance, I can still say that this album is a somber one. That was certainly a mood prevalent during the compositional process; and ghosts of that emotional state seem to resonate within the four interlinked pieces. Ununtrium is a synthetic, highly radioactive element with an atomic number of 113; but it may not this element's name for long, as this name is merely a temporary placeholder until the powers that be come up with something better. Much of what is known about this element is the stuff of scientific prediction as this substance is very unstable and difficult to create in the first place. Ununtrium itself becomes an allegory for an existential transitory state of self-disintegration through which the subject is painfully aware of its accelerating collapse furthered by the anxiety of its identity being stripped at the any time or whim.
Most signals that transmit through these compositions have already lapsed into their shadows, ghosts and echoes even before I began to work them into these chorales of electricity. But a few of them speak of their former lives, or at least have some interesting poetic allusions. "Virgo" came to fruition through a very brief field recording that I captured before my batteries died of a huge piece of plate glass that had been shattered during a Black Bloc splinter riot in San Francisco, 2012. The glass itself held its form but was groaning under its own weight through a filigree of delicate crackles. This is but one sound in this piece, yet it spawned many of its neighboring forms. Ultrasound recordings of a diesel locomotive punctuate "As We Spiral Backwards" with these microsonic rasps and blurts emitted by a lonely, idling engine at the Port of Oakland. Sounds of a semi-successful attempt to record the tides of the Atlantic Ocean on the South Carolina shore through a long-thin wire vibrating in the churning currents are found on "…And The Flowers Fall." I might have gotten a better sampling but my recording session was shortened by an intrepid crustacean who sent me on my way with a sharp pinch on my toes. I got the message that I was no longer welcome.
If there are any comparisons I could make, I heard of Harold Budd's dark ambient masterpiece Abandoned Cities when I was composing this album at the beginning of 2013. Having no luck in finding it at that time, I wondered just how gothic and grotesque could Harold Budd get. This became my imagined homage to a recording I never heard. Let it be known that I did finally track down a copy of that album; and no, I didn't come close.
Make of this what you will. Ununtrium's Daughter is still a sad album.