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Works in Progress Vol. 6

by Al Swainger's Pointless Beauty

subscriber exclusive
1.
Out of Time 06:34
2.
Threshold 02:46
3.
Ebb & Flow 02:56
4.

about

Out of Time

An improvised piece inspired by church bells in Valencia.
I love the contrast of a simple descending scale representing an idea of order which becomes chaotic in practice due to the failure of people to be perfect while striving to do so. That this is happening not just within the community of one church but in multiple churces all over the city simultaneously and in tandem with the hustle and bustle of people getting on with their lives massively adds to the complexity. The patterns of life are there but so complex that they appear random and so all pervasive that they get taken for granted to the point of invisibility.
Performed from the point of view as an observer from outside the city there's 1) a stage of discovering the soundscape habits of an other way of life, 2) this gives way to a transcendent peace of mind at being freed from the concerns of what you left behind, 3) then becoming entwined in the rhythms of elsewhere and finding your own way to move with it before 4) having to return and being left with increasingly fragmented memories of the experience.

Threshold

Another improvised piece using a modular synth this time. There's an underlying, semi-random, rhythmic figure that I'm improvising the texture of. This is also influenced by the held pad sound played above it. I like the contrast of the busy with the calm, seemingly separate but both having an influence on the other.

Ebb & Flow

Another of my folk / rock pieces. Put together quickly and recorded as a series of overdubs back in 2020. Sadly the original parts were lost in my hard drive crash during the pandemic but I do still have video footage of the various stages to possibly help me reconstruct what I did in the future. The thing is that performances are never the same when the original inspiration is based around improvisation and I struggle to go back, without wanting things to evolve in some way, so this probably will be the only document of this piece in this form.

credits

released September 6, 2023

Al Swainger - bass (Out of Time / Ebb & Flow), VCV Racks modular synth (Threshold), piano (Out of Time)

Copyright 2023 Other Compass Records

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Al Swainger Bristol, UK

Cinematic Fusion for the Emotionally Curious

www.pointlessbeauty.com

Rich and eclectic atmospheres to help you daydream and stimulate your emotions.

Pointless Beauty is the contemporary project of bassist, digital artist, composer, producer Al Swainger.

Blending a wide range of influences improvised music, this is a very personal take on what jazz or progressive music could be.
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