Uncertainty Theory #2

Alexander Scriabin, ANS synthesizer and Coil

In our first chapter we have been talking about the Russian synthesizer ANS. And before continuing to talk about a new instrument, I have decided to dedicate this new program to try to give a little more context to such a finding.

The excerpts that we will listen to explain more about the history of the ANS will be:

Symphony No. 5 Prometheus, Poem of Fire (1910) op.60.
Coil - ANS (2004) 3CD's disc. (CD1 Track1 and Track3)

It is absolutely impossible not to speak about the Russian composer and pianist Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (1872-1915), after whom the photoelectric synthesizer is named. Scriabin was interested in theosophy (occult philosophy) and literary symbolism, as well as in the works of NietzscheHe believed that through music, humans could connect with the whole, that is, the unity of the cosmos, with its rhythms and mysteries. He thought that through music humans could connect with the whole, that is the unity of the cosmos, with its rhythms and mysteries, he believed in the divinity within humans, and that having developed his own he could bring listeners closer to this information through sounds. Taking the theory of synesthesia of the 19th century, which thought of the equivalence existing between smells, colors, sounds, etc., he fantasized about the possibility of building an atmosphere with machines that created smells, a keyboard that converted its notes into colors, and musical instruments that made live a sensory experience that transmitted this idea of cosmic unity as a psychological resonator.

On the keyboard of Scriabin which is equivalent to or translates notes of a tonal scale with light frequencies, i.e. colors. What he did was to give a chromatic value to each note by arranging them according to the chromatic circle of Newton. The idea was to be able to SEE the sounds.

About the Symphony No. 5 Prometheus, Poem of Fire, we can comment that it is a work of his last stage where he was already more interested in a certain atonality, moving away from the romantic musical period. The last works of Scriabinfrom 1910 to 1915, are structured on harmonic elements rather than themes, usually variants of the so-called "mystical chord":

(C-Fa sharp-B-flat-B-flat-Mi-La-Re)

The claims of Scriabin were lofty, he truly intended to change the world through his works. On the concepts of theosophy we can comment that Helena Petrovna BlavatskyRussian writer and occultist, founded the Theosophical Society in the year 1875. It is said that she was self-taught and there is a lot of mystery behind her knowledge. Thanks to this foundation, this knowledge could be spread internationally.

The principles of Society Theosophical can be summarized as forming a universal brotherhood of mankind, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color, encouraging the comparative study of religions, philosophies and science. To explore the unexplored laws of nature and the latent powers in man.

On the disc of Coil - ANS was realized as a tribute to synthesizer ANS cataloged as experimental and avant-garde genre can also be labeled as drone music. Along with the 3CD's it included a DVD with animations by Peter Christopherson which was intended to do the opposite of what the synthesizer did, going from music to images, and thus exploring the subtleties of synesthesia by limiting itself to simple, elegant and subliminal chromatic exercises. About the disc it can be said that slow modulations in the sound/image relationship eventually defeat perception and synesthetic thought processes begin to expand, tuning our cognitive machinery in the mysterious waves of analogy and analogy.

Originally only 500 copies were made.