top of page

The Concept & Creative Approach

Artificial Image is a creative practice that explores the compositional approaches of sonic hauntology through revised framework drawn from the Lo-Fi movement and cinematic imagery,

The music of Artificial Image offers both a focused lens on hauntology and the spectral undercurrents of sampling, whilst still maintaining a wider scope of creativity in order to explore new compositional approaches within the space of sonic hauntology. 

The project was influenced by the concept of Seance Fiction (Reynolds, Retromania, 2012) as a framework to explore ghostly musicality of sampling and recording technology within electronic music that brings the 'musical act of ghost arrangement' (p312) into the creative process.

Through Seance Fiction, Artificial Image explores the intersect of hauntology's interest in illuminating the past through contemporary recordings and the lo-fi aesthetic of analog film and rejection of digitalisation to create compositions and releases that aim to push both topics creative boundaries. 

Screenshot 2023-08-19 at 16.43.25.png

Lo-Fi Aesthetics & Sonic Hauntology

Much like sonic hauntology, Lo-Fi is a compositional approach that is engaged to explore a particular ethos through soundscapes and recording technology. The Lo-Fi aesthetic of broken technology, DIY and anti-commercial productions conjure a creative response toward the demand of hyper-polished and 'perfect' recordings, where seminal black metal releases such as Darkthrone's Transylvanian Hunger (1994) can co-exist in the movements discography alongside The Beach Boys Smiley Smile, (1967)

In the 21st where the monolithic entity of capitalism morphs and expands itself to every corner of the economic world, the act of 'being lo-fi' or producing 'rough but premeditated (Morecelli, 2022) content, acts as a resistance to the capitalist desire for the artificially pure, perfect and standardised compositions that has become expected within mainstream music.

What Artificial Image aims to explore is where Lo-FI and hauntology can synthesis, and how if that can be used to address the melancholic attachment that is synonymous with longing, memory and past lives.

Across social media and content-based platforms such as Instagram, there seems to be a mutated form of sonic hauntology and Lo-Fi brushing against each other through music being placed over edits, but almost painfully pitched and slowed down to almost unrecognisable levels. 

Visually, there is also an increasing desire from slower forms of life, with trends like #cottagecore growing more popular that fetishizes prior ideals of living in old cottages, free from technological restraints and the pressure of modern life.

Exploring sonic hauntology through the lens of Lo-Fi aesthetics and approaches allowed this project to engage in the creative process of composition in a deeper and more creatively unconscious way, achieved by having both a framework to work from and a relaxed unbiased approach toward an end goal. 'Providing an escape that could virtually produce new, freer ways of being ones-self' (Moracelli, 2022)

lost utopi

Behind The
Score

'Symphony For A Lost Utopia'

Symphony For A Lost Utopia was actually composed in the middle of writing this album, arriving at a pertinent moment of the process as I was looking for some new direction for moments of rest-bite in the track list.

It was then, that the idea of crafting cues to the imagined film of Blueprints For Melancholic Living 

could not only provide some compositional breaks from the more pop-focused electronica, but through using my approaches to my film composition, could actually be used to 'score' this imagined site of enquiry - a cold, melancholic world haunted by artificial nostalgia and lost futures. 

When composing for film, where possible I always seek to work without a fixed tempo or metronome, and compose in free time to allow the music to be unrestricted and synthetic in responding with what is happening in the scene at that moment.

This approach of scoring in free time and using each last segment of music to respond and further develop become the spinal ethos in creating this piece, and allowing space between each new segment of chords or synthesised melodies enabled a deeper immersion into the site of this world. 

DSC_0505_edited.jpg

When you reach this stage of inhabitation of the world you are creating, other elements which in any other situation wouldn't work, begin to seem synthetic. 

For example, my dad laying chipping stones on the patio just outside my cabin (studio) was heard through my open back headphones as I was listen back to the demo, and it seemed to capture a sense of place and indentity within the piece, so much so that I decided to then go out and record these sounds, before putting them back into the session which they remained. 

Behind The
Score

Instagram, alongside other social media platforms, has long been critiqued as fuelling an unrealistic exception of happiness with the lives of it's users, curating only the best or the brightest of moments to display to your followers. 

Following this notion, it was only natural to expect that within the online music communities and 'bedroom' musicians, a similar approach of reels and short 30 seconds videos of virtuoso playing and riffing was to be expected. 

There is nothing wrong with using Instagram from displaying your musical talents and presenting the best of your abilities to your news feed, especially if you use Instagram as a promotion for your business, your profile is your portfolio. I myself, along with most other musical professionals adopt this and accept this as a tool for 'networking' and business opportunities.

'Online Ghost Market'

p01xcdln.jpg

For the intention of pushing this concept into a narrative for compositional retelling, the idea behind this piece was that this display of a wide variety of music through 30 second videos, taken out of context of the song as a whole performance, could be viewed through a similar interpretation of street musicians, playing music for pass-byers who only hear snippets before they are out of ear-shot of the performer. Social media platforms acting as a ghostly street of nocturnal musical performances and displayers of 'homeless' music. 

bottom of page