If you just want to see, hear and do everything, then there is Tone Science Live (150'47") - the eighth installment in the Tone Science sub-label/anthology series from DiN Records. Please listen to these six tracks, each performed live at the Capstone Theatre in Liverpool on 22 April 2023, only if you are not afraid of the change caused to the intellect through exposure to innovative instrumental sounds and bold big ideas. Five originals, each actively engaged with the newest of currents of their disciplines, manipulating a menagerie of select synthesizer modules, solo first, then as a group, before an enthusiastic and informed audience, experienced on this evening a sensorial, joyful connection to sound. If these electronic systems are an extension of the body, then the music which emanates from them is an expression of the mind.
The Tone Science Live fivesome each played solo ahead of their participation in a grand finale collaboration. Beginning with a set by Field Lines Cartographer (a.k.a. Mark Burford) the event took flight in a desire to capture concepts that are emotional and instinctive rather than intellectual and challenging. As we experience the electrical presence of this artist's world wish the music moves as with the night, telling a story only the listener can complete. The undulating energy of this realization eventually resolves into an expanding pulse charged with inexplicable feelings.
It would be difficult not to have our thoughts turn to the fate of the Earth during Nigel Mullaney's contribution. After a bracey spacey opening supporting spoken words from one humanity's greatest minds, building beats, grinding grooves, and a spiraling sequencer tension draw the attention back to the body where this composition's movement and motion are best carried out.
Polypores (a.k.a. Stephen James Buckley) is known for producing self-sufficient statements in response to pure inspiration, and not the dictates of genre, style or marketability. His opening urgent gestures soon yield to a nerve storm of dancing arpeggio runs - regulated by spirited changes to tempo and verve. Comforting to a troubled world this work displays both improvisational courage and technological prowess to expose a unique mystique of spontaneous composition.
Over many years of creative practice Ian Boddy has many times encountered sonic splendor on stage. More free than fierce his passage for Tone Science Live seems to seek to restore the contradictory conditions of the dreaming state and reality. Throughout this ample cosmic excursion the plotting is tight and the pacing never falters. Precise, like a prayer, then mechanized by powered patterns of synthetic kinetic this performance generated a wondrously wandering field of liminality, ambiguity and an unexpected tenderness.
Out of an oppressive nothingness Scanner (a.k.a. Robin Rimbaud) issues a sense of psychological unrest. Concealed synth and sample soundscapes beseech as secret machines step up and wind down amidst archaic modulations and breathing textures. Another excellent example of inner world-building, this illuminated proceeding asks us to conjure questions that cannot be answered and images that cannot be seen.
Tone Science Live concludes with our quintet of Electronic Musicians joining forces to bring into being a slow motion minimalist environment of constantly rising and falling, brightening and darkening, expanding and contracting tones and drones. In this location wherein a pentad of singular voices has assembled, for which the observed and imagined melds, we hope to receive a sense of some better realm - which would call upon us to ponder what the human domain could truly be.
The music which our Tone Scientists are circulating has as many interpretations as it does listeners. Attractive to the more imaginative and forward thinking among us, these most personal performances hold values that are rarely known beyond the walls of their concert hall. From the totality of this impressive material a new understanding of these five artists emerges. With night falling we should have with us music such as theirs - always alive, always developing, always becoming - so that when darkness does come we may dwell in a grand space for dreaming of the dawn.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 26 October 2023