Here’s something I wrote to Dad

Dad listened to the Night Mode “Vikram Ray” single (below) and shared his thoughts.  As part of my response I wrote what’s below (in lightly edited form), which seemed to capture something I’ve struggled to express about how I hear and listen to repetition- and drone-based music.

“At its heart I’d call Dirac Spike psychedelic music, even though sonically it’s not what would typically be associated with that.

“One of the main responses the music hopefully elicits is a sort of meditative feeling, a sense of the self going on a bit of an inner journey, or relaxing its grip on second-to-second physical reality for a little while.

“The music does this through repetition and variation, so it was a very different experience to compose than other things I’ve done.  Think of it in contrast to a pop or rock song, which in some ways is a constant stream of new ideas; new lyrics, new chords, new riffs, new sounds, even as verses and choruses might repeat.

“A function of a pop song is entertainment, engaging the mind and its inner monologue.  Psychedelic music can function to free or relax the mind, slowing down our inner monologue or separating us from it for a while, which is a good feeling I think.

“There are ways to mix the two (pop / psychedelic) of course, and people might have either type of response (entertainment and engagement, or relaxation and egoless-ness) to either type of music.  I think about creating in each style very differently, and I think that on the whole people’s responses in aggregate correlate generally with what I’m saying.”

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