Muzika kao pozadinsko kozmičko zračenje našeg trenutka.
"Apokaliptični zvukovni hipermodernizam."
Paul Dolden begins his career at age 16 as a professional electric guitarist, violinist and cellist. Excited by the possibilities offered by recording technologies, Paul Dolden turns to contemporary modes of production and dissemination in the creation of his music. At age 29, he wins the first of a string of European awards that establish him as a composer. Now the winner of over twenty international awards, Paul Dolden’s music is performed in Europe and North America to wildly enthusiastic audiences.
In a career spanning over thirty years, Paul Dolden has perfected his unique approach to audio technology, using it as a platform from which to launch or capture otherwise impossible musical performances. In this way, he makes his computer behave like a new, virtual orchestra and manipulates it with as much sensitivity as he would a traditional one. His compositions are characterised by a maximalist aesthetic in which hundreds of digitally recorded instrumental and vocal performances are combined in multiple layers.
Paul Dolden’s music has been described as the “missing link” between jazz and rock and the high-brow concert tradition. Critics have called it “music for the information age, enlisting noise, complexity and beauty in its quest for excess,” and characterised it as “apocalyptic hyper-modernism.”
The early works employ a unified approach to timbral and harmonic variation. Under the influence of post-modernism, Paul Dolden’s concerns have shifted to include the juxtaposition and superimposition of disparate musical styles evident throughout the Resonance Cycle of works (1992-96). Always working to surpass himself, with the Twilight Cycle of recent years Paul Dolden boldly investigates the forbidden fruit of contemporary new music: melody and dance rhythms.
Since 2003 Dolden’s compositional approach has included detailed study of different musical styles and nature sounds to uncover their relationships. Dolden then recombines their unique properties to create an auditory bacchanal of otherworldly textures, polyrhythms and microtonal melodies. For example in the Who Has… Cycle of works (2005-09), nature’s handiwork is everywhere, from the massive swarms of insects to the busy sections of brass and winds which model the same intense microtonal and polyrhythmic patterns.
Dolden considers the relation between culture and geography and takes it to its logical extreme. He first recognizes it is no coincidence that country music sprang to life alongside the howling hounds of the open plains, and that Spain begat Flamenco alongside crickets that chirp in 6/8, and then complements these naturalistic sounds with live performers who accompany and comment on the musical circus. Throughout this cycle unity is maintained by recurring melodic themes, presented by a choir, shredded on guitar, barked by dogs and generally embedded and transformed throughout.
While listeners have always concluded that Dolden “has the biggest sound,” he instead suggests that it is nature itself. Scratching the surface behind the tropes and humor within the Who Has… Cycle reveals a desperate cry for both musical and environmental relief. If nature has the biggest sound, nicest melodies, and biggest noise, then it must be respected and protected.
Since 2010, in a series of works for soloist and tape, and in Music of Another Present Era (2013-16), Dolden is inspired by mythologies. Myths are featured in every culture and continue today in urban legends and in the expansive fictional mythoi created by movies and popular music. The works of this period play freely with our historical imagination, specifically, our ability to imagine another time and culture through its mythological stories. At the same time this imagining is always conditioned by our time and the current state of our own music. For example, Dolden imagines that the myth of Marsyas was like our Battle of the Bands, that Shango, the African God of Storms, had a laid back funky groove, that the original Moon festivals had Girly Songs, that the original Cosmic Circle Dance was like a big band swinging in 5/4, and that the Samaritans in the West Bank during Babylonian times performed Show Tunes.
In short, in Dolden’s most recent music, myths from the past collide with present musical styles in a quest for pure musical beauty. - https://www.electrocd.com/en/artiste/dolden_pa/Paul_Dolden
What is the speed of music? At what point does music red shift to ultrasonic velocity like all those spectral objects before it, break the sound barrier and then follow an immense curvature towards that point of incredible sound density, where music can finally move at such violent speeds that it can no longer be heard, even by mutant membranes. The final point, that is, where music breaks beyond the speed of light, falling onto a deep and immense silence.
In this wonderful world, as we drift aimlessly across the mediascape, floating among the debris of all the seductive objects of desire, voyeurs in the cultural boutiques of which our bodies are only random and transitory terminal points, we can finally know the terminal blast of music to be our very own lost object of desire, the field across which bodies are coded, tattooed and signified in an endless circulation of spectral emotions.
If music is so seductive today, that is because it finally delivers on the catastrophe that is our last historical illusion. Music as interesting, therefore, only in its dark and implosive side, in that impossible space where music prefigures our own dissolution into a spectral impulse in the circulatory system of the mediascape. The fascination with music today lies in its violence as a force-field that scripts bodies, codes emotions, processes terminal identities, and rehearses our own existence as crash bodies, by its violent alternation as a scene of ecstasy and inertia.
Sounds appear from nowhere and they decay rapidly. They move across the field of our bodies, and then disappear. They have no real presence, only a virtual and analogical presence. Sounds without history and without a referent.
The brilliant musical compositions of Paul Dolden are an emblematic sign of the times. Dolden is the high priest of crash music for the fin-de-siècle. A ‘DAT’ musician whose music is at the forward edge of the ’90s, Dolden hardwires us into the sounds of terminal culture. His crash music operates like a violent force-field: an oscillating field of energy where rolling walls of sound can achieve such maximal density that they suddenly fold back into perfectly eerie silences. Paul Dolden actually creates the crash sound of inertia and ecstasy.
(A fragment of this introduction is excerpted from The Possessed Individual: Technology and the French Postmodern (St Martin’s Press, New York City, 1992), a theory that parallels Paul Dolden’s crash music.) - Arthur Kroker