“This is music as incantation, spell and seduction … It’s fascinating and sonically as well as conceptually complex music that is well worth grappling with.”
— International Times review
“Ideas about exploratory behavior, Neuro Music and Transcultural Music have been the basis for many of my works over the last 20 years. Exploratorium is an album of some of those works and a space of exploration. Indeed, all the works on this album are examples of Neuro Music, which is the fundamental connection point across these compositions.”
— Gene Coleman, from the CD booklet
Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and video director, who has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Central to his work is the inventive use of sound, image and time, and the desire to create experiences that expand our understanding of the world. Since 2001 he has explored the global transformation of culture and music’s relationship with video, science and architecture.
Gene has been developing a series of works around concepts of Neuro Music and Transcultural Music, some of which are collected for the first time on Exploratorium, which is also the first album exclusively dedicated to Gene’s compositions.
Gene defines Neuro Music as “an area of research and creation based on the study and application of models and concepts from Auditory Neuroscience, as a form of musical composition. … The Neuro compositional methods I have developed are modeled on the auditory pathway of the brain … including the three mechanical stages of hearing (outer, middle and inner ear functions), the auditory nerves and the various stages of auditory information processing, ending in the neocortex and so-called frontal networks.”
Neuro Music concepts are explored across various works on the album, including string quartet, and pieces which combine voice, electronics, shamisen and/or ensemble.
Gene defines Transcultural Music as “an area of research and composition based on the integration of music from different cultures and traditions”, and has been exploring how musical styles and traditions might meet and combine in new ways for over 20 years. Models of Neuro and Transcultural Musics have been combined in the longest piece on the album, Across Time (Transonic Symphony #1), which explores new possibilities for what a symphony can be in the 21st century and features musicians from many different places and traditions.
The CD booklet includes an introduction to the album by Gene, which can be read here, as well as notes on each of the compositions.
The musicians featured on the album:
RITORNO: The Hemmi Quartet.
Kokhlos I: Nicholas Isherwood, Adam Vidiksis.
Kokhlos IV: CumTempora Ensemble (coordinated by Virginia Guidi), Adam Vidiksis.
Vidrone: Sansuzu Tsuruzawa, Toshimaru Nakamura.
Across Time (Transonic Symphony #1): Transonic Orchestra, Directed by Gene Coleman: Shinjoo Cho, Ko Ishikawa, Sansuzu Tsuruzawa, Thomas Kraines, Naoko Kikuchi, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M., Jonah Rosenberg, Yasutaka Hemmi, Marino Nagira, Yuta Tsubonouchi, Yasunori Onishi, Marcus Weiss, Jean-Michel Goury, Pierre-Stephane Meuge, Serge Bertocchi, Aya Motohashi, Sasamoto Takeshi.
The album also foregrounds Gene’s integration of material from the writer Lance Olsen’s novel Dreamlives of Debris.
This is Gene’s second album on the False Walls label: Storobo Imp., a set of improvisations with Uchihashi Kazuhisa, was released in 2004.
Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and video director, who has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Central to his work is the inventive use of sound, image and time, and the desire to create experiences that expand our understanding of the world. Since 2001 he has explored the global transformation of culture and music’s relationship with video, science and architecture. He began composing and performing both composed and improvised music in the late 1980s; founded the groups Ensemble Noamnesia, Ensemble N_JP, and Transonic Orchestra; was artistic director of the Transonic festival at the House of World Cultures (Berlin), Director of the American Composers Forum (Philadelphia), artistic director of the Public Art festival Site/Sound (Philadelphia) and a Creative Arts Fellow of the US Japan Friendship Commission. He has an extensive discography of both composed and improvised music, including the False Walls CD Storobo Imp. with Uchihashi Kazuhisa (2004). Since 2016, his works have explored the concepts of Neuro Music and audiovisual composition based on Neuroscience. Gene is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow and received the 2013 Berlin Prize for Music from the American Academy in Berlin.
Mastering by Stephan Mathieu
Produced by CJ Mitchell and Gene Coleman
Design by David Caines
6-panel gatefold sleeve, with 24 page booklet and CD sleeve
Booklet includes sleeve notes by Gene Coleman
All Compositions, 2023 Gene Coleman / Lontano Music (ASCAP)
CDs ordered from False Walls and Bandcamp are mailed from the UK. Other places where you can find or order False Walls CDs are shown here.
CD/digital release: November 10, 2023
CD and digital purchase also available from Bandcamp, see above.