Since Saxon is getting serious about putting out a zine by the end of the year, I decided I should also get serious about writing something to contribute. Idea #1: "the Presence of the Spiritual in Noise. Today I sent out the following plea for info to members of Yellow Swans, Wolf Eyes, and Oscillating Innards:
I am in the process of writing an article examining the idea of spirituality in noise music. Historically, the genre of noise has been linked with ideas of evil, destruction, power, violence, aggression, etc. (ie. Whitehouse, Boyd Rice, Throbbing Gristle) However, listening to many contemporary artists, including your project, it seems likely that “destruction” is not the only or even primary element, but rather the music can mirror or serve to represent a type of life cycle- destruction leading to creation or rebirth.
“Noise” often seems to display transition or struggle in an auditory format. One can see connections between the trajectory of the music and the transitions and struggles inherent in our constantly evolving world. The Industrial Revolution undoubtedly changed humanity and society, and in the course of our history serves as a huge reference point dividing up historical eras. As we are still living in an age highly impacted by industry and technology, it seems fitting that “noise” would find a way to create art through the use of actual metal objects as instrument or intimidating circuit boards of “futuristic-looking” cords and pedals and “machines.” I also find it interesting that for performers who choose to incorporate vocals in some form, these vocals almost always seem to have some type of affect and are either muffled and nearly lost in the sea of noise or striving to be heard above it. It’s as though the human voice is trying to survive and be heard amongst the other noise/chaos of the world; a constant struggle representative of the human condition.
Through the building up, crashing, climaxing, and maybe even the silences, “noise” seems to be tapping into some type of spiritual level of death, rebirth, and struggle. In addition, when watching noise performances live, one can witness this juxtaposition of humanity and technology battling it out or perhaps technology enhancing “humanness” through the performer’s dominion over it. I am curious to know any of your thoughts on the subjects presented in the last few paragraphs and whether you even consider “noise” to contain spiritual elements. I am also interested why you began creating this type of music and what it means to you, and also why you choose to express yourself through “noise” rather than a more “conventional” genre. I look forward to hearing your perspective and thank you in advance.
(anyway, we'll see what comes of it)