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Within You (Cycles)

The Synchronicity Wavelength.jpg

The Synchronicity Wavelength

Within You (Cycles)Echo Cain
00:00 / 05:51

Genre:
Psychedelic Rock/Spoken Word

Instruments Used:

Vocals

Electric Guitar

Acoustic Guitar

Ocarina

Pan Flute

Alto Saxophone

Snapping Fingers

Lyrics:

 

[Reversed vocal audio and reversed electric guitar introduce the song]

[No drums play while an ocarina and a pan flute alternate between swimming around the dense reversed electric guitar]

[Eventually, a reversed acoustic guitar joins the mix while the electric guitar disappears]

 

Who’s really to say that I’m not eating you?

 

[The reversed electric guitar revs back into the mix while normal acoustic guitar accents the reversed electric guitar]

[A happier mood is set with a single normal acoustic guitar joined by normal electric guitar, snaps, and finally a saxophone]

[The cycle begins again with the reversed vocal audio]

 

Expansion of the mind requires a series of pan flutes played in quick succession over unaltered drumbeats from Sri Lanka.

Nirvana requires an underestimated flying machine perched upon a mountaintop, next to a peach tree, exposed to high heat afterwards.

Release requires a lampshade teetering on the brink of breaking despite metalsmiths hammering at its delicate, sinuous rods for upwards of twenty hours a day for seventeen and a half months.

Happiness requires a cup full of snake bile, seal’s penis, rhinoceros’ horn, monkey lettuce, an airplane safety manual, and three exquisitely produced ham sandwiches. 

Immortality requires a nonagon of seashells, gemstones from the brains of celestial whales, a ritual sacrifice of one’s own heart, seven aardvark snouts, and an obsessive love of stale grape nuts.

Fusing of the soul with the physical body requires a drawing of a porous stone excreted from the depths of the esophagus.

True perception of the self requires a dog sitting beneath a sofa to bark at exactly 301.54hz, causing a chain reaction within the neural interfaces to produce a mandala of neurotransmitters linking the perceived body with the mind.

Analysis:

    

      “Within You (Cycles)” is one of my most heavily edited songs. I created a multiplicity of recordings of electric guitar (all within the same key) and one recording of acoustic guitar. I then stitched these recordings together and overlaid them with vocals, audio effects, and aeronautic instruments (mostly ocarina and pan flute). The music in this song is modally Dorian and highly variegated. This piece is a microcosm of the entire album, displaying the cyclicity of the narratology via a direct repetition of the beginning of the song that dovetails into a different version of the same song later on.  

       The reversed electric guitar is heavily layered and causes the entire song to feel oppressive and intense despite its relatively low volume. Interestingly, the original inspiration for this song was the life cycle of the Ichneumonoid wasp. I decided to complete a biology project concerning Entomology with the help of my musical skills. I made a few other songs that remain unreleased; they are much more explicit about the wasps through lyrics concerning our perception of insects and their importance in pollination and pest control.

        The wasp that I was describing with the instrumental portion of “Within You (Cycles)” had a life cycle that involved eggs being injected into live caterpillars, those eggs hatching, the larvae crawling throughout the caterpillar, and finally killing the caterpillar with their violent escape into its adult form. The song is from the wasp’s perspective. Ergo, the cacophony of the reversed guitars is eventually resolved into the harmony of the normal guitar and saxophone. Then, the egg is laid again. The reversed sections represent the “nesting doll”-like nature of the parasitoid wasp, an invader within the host’s flesh. Then, the sound turns inside out; the wasp leaves the caterpillar and flies before restarting the cycle. This structure: displaying one thing and then turning it inside out will become a repetitive theme throughout all my work and can be used in a multitude of instances.

        Interestingly, the basis for this song interacts with the previous, as both deal implicitly with perceptions of insects. The instrumentals are a disturbing look into one of the most monstruous life cycles in the animal kingdom (according to humans at least). This is yet another challenge to the concept of the whole world being beautiful. The talisman from the first narrative cycle that finished in “Not a Cloud in the Sky” is being questioned actively by the universe, displaying ideas that make it difficult to agree with the statement of total universal beauty.

        Once I begin reading the poetry of the later section, the meaning of the song shifts. The cyclical nature of life itself becomes more apparent and I draw attention to self-help gurus, false knowledge, easy spiritual fixes, and the illicit wildlife trade. Each phrase begins with a signifier of contentedness, success, or realization. This is then followed by a condition that must be met in order for the former to be achieved. At times, the trial is impossible to complete. Other times, the trial involves some sort of ethical issue (gathering rhinoceros horn is an extremely evil action, though still regularly done). I use the signifiers of the illicit wildlife trade to demonstrate the ethical issues. This displays that true perfection, true spiritual enlightenment is impossible in a place that has so many pitfalls. What is “being good”? What is “winning”?

        The final signifier is true perception, which I describe as only being possible under a very specific scenario. Because one cannot force a dog to bark at this hertz, the scenario is effectively random. Awareness and intelligence are coincidences. To successfully achieve any of the signifiers, time and money is certainly required. We are all either blessed or cursed with a certain amount of privilege, security, and leisure time. These privileges allow people to use their time with agency, promoting study and awareness to some and sloth to others. The choice between these could have to do with nurture and how one’s privilege is constructed in youth by one’s parents. Ultimately, the big takeaway from this section is that our existence/non-existence, our happiness/sorrow, and our success/failure are all coincidences and luck. Our material conditions define our futures; reward more often goes to the already rewarded.

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