Ian William Craig`s score for the quantum mechanics-based game, Magnesium_173 is epic. Building from the smallest of stirrings into something orchestral, operatic. Where a big bass drone sets everything buzzing, resonating, erupting into Earth-shaking rumbling. While the software attempts to redefine time, the album clocks in at 80 minutes. The 12 musical pieces very much a suite, where themes and melodies appear, disappear, distort and decay, in a sort of serrated symphony. Its edges torn, as it approaches through the ether.
Everything is centered around radical treatments of Ian’s classically trained voice. Ringing with echo. Drenched in delay. Humming with haunting heavenly harmonies – near religious, warped, word-less wailing, and monastic multi-tracked chant. Cloistered whispers made the size of a whale. These are do-wop-like lullabies of a fragile, broken beauty, delivered by a disintegrating diva, surrounded by, surrendering to, downpours of showering static, and electrical storms. Thundering vibrations generated from tiny amplified details. Contact-mic-like crackles, dodgy connections, and fractured footsteps. Glitches, serendipitous errors of sound. Squeals of circuitry. Machines feeding back. Mimicking the squall Jon Hassell`s Fourth World horns. Screams, shouts, odd outbursts. Before fading into a sea of bleeps. The torched songs, burning, as if in fierce flame, fanned by forceful winds, fighting, struggling to smash through. The interwoven vocal loops creating a sometimes challenging cacophony of cryptic, occult, sonic collage, as the music moves though oases of calm and bursts interference, diversions of distressed noise.
Played end-to-end the LP has the overall feel of a traditional hymn, a choral composition, drifting out into space. Breaking free of gravity. Being pulled apart. The vibe a little lonely, but not lost. Gazing in wonder at the vast expanse, the Universe. Eternity.
Ian William Craig`s Music for Magnesium_173 is released tomorrow, on 130701.