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June 25, 2024

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Hilbert's Hotel (Self-Released)

By: Jeb Branin

Another masterful piece of drone art from James Whitehead that illustrates his continual exploration of the delineation between sound and music. Where does sound end and music begin? Are rhythm and melody mandatory components in music? James challenges the pre-conceived and offers his own minimalistic alternative. His sound (his music) is manipulated drone. One looped tone or sound texture that only varies in the mind of the listener. And, as the listener, you are vital to the piece because James's personal interpretation is not one that is translatable. It doesn't matter what James meant when he created the drone, what matters is what you (or I) understand the drone to mean. Thus it (the drone) means everything because the interpretations are as limitless as the number of listeners multiplied by the number of times they listen, yet the drone is meaningless because it is not impregnated with any inherent message. James may see this piece of art as an ethereal landscape but I may see it as the realization of the eternity of spirit. We are both right and we are both wrong. Therein lies both the complexity of James' work and the simplicity of it. For those concerned with technicalities James' built this piece of sound 'from multiple FM sine waves: sequences layered from analogue and digital media.'
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