IDALIS/HADALIS / four-track abstract electronic EP - 2008
The Idalis/Hadalis EP, originally released on CD by Square Root Records in November 2008 as SQR013. Excerpts from the press release:
The album consists primarily of two pieces, “Idalis” and “Hadalis,” each ten minutes long. The two songs were created as one single, multi-layered composition. Through the use of tone and intensity, this composition expresses a basic narrative of rising action, crescendo, and falling action. When the recording process was completed, the finished composition was separated into two distinct pieces by adding and removing certain layers of sound. Elements of each of the two pieces were then modified and slightly rearranged to give each piece a different overall mood. “Idalis” is lighter and more percussive, with an uplifting melodic flourish about a third of the way through. “Hadalis” is more somber, built primarily around pervasive tones and bass noises.
The result is two distinct pieces of music that share a common compositional foundation. The pieces exist in tandem, as opposite expressions of the same basic structure. With that in mind, the next step in the process was to allow the two pieces to coexist. The third track on the album, “Idalis/Hadalis,” consists of “Idalis” and “Hadalis” playing simultaneously, with one track panned subtly to the left and the other to the right. This creates a striking sense of juxtaposition, allowing elements of each piece to interact and create a fully panoramic sonic environment.
The fourth and final piece on the album, “Hadalis/Idalis,” again features the two tracks playing at the same time, but in this case the two tracks have been broken into pieces and rearranged, almost completely at random. This introduces the idea of timing as a factor in the piece, allowing the idea of contrast to manifest itself as a juxtaposition of elements in terms of time, instead of just in terms of sound or timbre. The effect is a fractured narrative, or a set of infinite miniature narratives.
Overall, Idalis/Hadalis examines the way in which contrast and juxtaposition can form the foundation of emotional meaning and tension within a narrative. The album also explores the connection between a piece of music and the technical equipment used to create/perform it. Technological innovation over the past few years has made the concept of music creation universal -- everything is now possible with digital equipment, and more and more music is available than ever before, thanks to digital distribution. The act of creating a piece of music by just moving one layer of sound with a mouse, by rearranging a set of files on a hard drive, is an inherently twenty-first century process. The layered music of Idalis/Hadalis reflects this new method of creation. The fact that the pieces on this album can be downloaded digitally and infinitely recombined by its listeners symbolizes the culture of creativity, involvement, and networking that has flourished online in recent years. With these tools, any narrative is possible.
An excerpt from Textura’s review of the album:
“Idalis/Hadalis, Cantilever's third release for Square Root Records, is a fascinating exercise in formal experimentation that's musically rewarding too. ...The two pieces sound both similar and different, and the same basic description is applicable to both: each fuses crystalline IDM melodies with grimier electronic funk patterns that incessantly whirr, sputter, shuffle, and writhe, and with mangled beats that babble and pop throughout—the one amounting to a slightly distorted refraction of the other. At the same time, there are differences in mood between them, with the first comparatively more buoyant in spirit and the second more somber. ... In executing the project, Streeting set out to explore a number of themes, such as the effects of juxtaposition and the ease with which digital technologies enable endless variations to be generated from a set number of materials. The recording succeeds in realizing said explorations but also as a purely musical exercise that one can enjoy with no awareness of the formal strategies that were involved in its production.”