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Sparse Memory

by Ken Ikeda

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Hearsay 06:36
Breathing 05:00
Yayon Yuyon 06:12
Morning Glow 07:56
Norarikurari 07:00


From Ken Ikeda
’Savage Mind’, the text written by Claude Levi-Strauss, has always fascinated me. Whilst some of it now feels rather distant and trapped in the 20th century, there are aspects of it that still deeply capture me. His writings around ritual music, bricolage, mythologies and ideas of nature have sat with me for many years and seeded many ideas, some of which are captured on this recording.

Sparse Memory is a kind of evolving mythology in a sense. Each sound, most of which are loops of varying lengths and complexities, speak a certain tone or timbre. The sounds when experienced on their own expose a particular sense or quality, but once they are brought into relief with other elements, a sound-mythology emerges. I think of it as a mythology as each voice, each loop, impacts on those around it. The way we experience the music is altered and is always shifting as we navigate the many potential readings of the combination of sounds.

The title also reflects upon the choice of materials I called upon to create it. Almost all the sound sources are from rather archaic synthesizers and low resolution digital equipment. I gathered together parts from my Akai machines, my Yahama DX-7 and also my Korg SDD3000, and used them extensively to form the many layers that comprise these pieces.

For me, these instruments speak to the fundamental failings of the human memory. They create imperfect reflections, they are ambiguous and somewhat obscured. Yet still through these conditions we can extract a unique and compelling realisation. It might not be how things actually happened, but it is how I happen to remember them.


released April 21, 2023

Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space


all rights reserved




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