Necromantic Glissando / Necromantic Bounce
Necromantic Glissando was released as a cassette by Bánh Mì Verlag, an imprint dedicated to contemporary experimental music and culture run by Jack Callahan. The cassette was produced for Neo-Pastiche: Changes in American Music, a critical musical gathering featuring presentations by living American composers and performers.
Necromantic Bounce was recorded live on March 24th, 2019 at Bossa Nova Civic Club.
Necromantic Glissando is a presentation of ~1,000 “institutionalized” samples organized as a waltz rhythm, slideshow, and glissando oscillating between 15 and 185 BPM. Taking seriously and whimsically Henry Flynt’s anti-art treatise “From Culture to Veramusement,” specifically his assessment that institutionalized amusement is not a cogent activity, the piece presents a palette of sounds described as “Necromanticism” — a form of non-narrative fiction that romantically celebrates not the teleological death of music performance, but the deadness of it.
In response, Necromantic Glissando is a stacked presentation of hundreds of experimental performances in institutionalized contexts, as well as self-produced recordings, composed into an arrangement that exaggerates a flatness of sound, a general materialism of the audio file, and (hopefully) the basic execution of a compositional approach or technique — in this case the use of a volume pedal and click track to emphasize and cut-out the dynamics of the waltz and rising/falling action of the glissando. In playful homage to Flynt’s critique of the arbitrary nature of text scores and word pieces — their “blatantly sailing under false colors, and being pulled by mutually nullifying purposes” — the piece is considered to be for strings and ”bowed.” Necromantic Glissando is also considered to be a kind of “Traditional Music of a Wrecked Species,” described in one of my essays published in 2017.
Generally, Necromanticism is a doomed and mad romance with the renunciated “deadness” of music (killed by Flynt’s Concept Art). Necromanticism aesthetically emphasizes a summoning of sound (necromancy) as an act of conjuring dead cultural contexts and musical materials as a way for humans to commune around non-human expressions of the meaningful. In Necromantic compositions, sound is treated as a corpse, and performance an open casket wake. The gesture is meant as a contemporary, if not doomed, attempt to cultivate empathy and romance. Necromantic Glissando uses the programme of historical minimalism as a shitty “spellbook” for conjuring the corpse of sound — exaggerating the dance of the institution as a zombie, and compositional techniques as amorous manipulations of the walking dead.
— Nick James Scavo