Marc Kate – As If We Were Never Here

marc kateLast week’s post on PS’s fine new album Finding My Own Way Back Home put forward the idea that minimalism’s lack of sound is the only truly innovative thing going in music these days. (Still looking for someone to challenge me on that by the way.)

A new disc from San Francisco multi-media artist Marc Kate – released yesterday – takes that question in a different, related direction. Its title is to be taken literally. “What is absent, what is missing and what is lost?” as the album’s promo sheet puts it.

“Corpsed,” is a good example of where he’s coming from. Kate set up microphones in an abandoned department store basement in Portland, Oregon. The idea was to record a vacancy; pretty heady stuff. The full 11 minutes vibrate beautifully. Check out tomorrow’s podcast to hear it for yourself.

Elsewhere, Kate draws our attention to the nuanced difference between inorganic and anorganic.

The former is well known: it is anything not made from or containing plant or animal material. Appropriately, Kate’s piece “Inorganic” has a distinctly synthetic feel.

The latter relates to humanism. German philosopher Werner Marx described earth as our “anorganic body.” That is to say, we belong here. Realizing our potential, at least in part, involves living off the earth.

The album’s lead-off track carries that title. Perhaps Kate’s intention here is to recognize our biological connection to the planet before proceeding with what he describes as “the concept of non-being.”

Fascinating.

Kevin Press

 

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