Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Posted By on July 15, 2009, 8:24 PM

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For those of you who just tuned in, City Weekly contributor Curtis Jensen is currently on the road with Utah's Eagle Twin who are touring in support of the mighty Sunn O))). No one tells it like Curtis.


What is the link between the improvisational capability of Eagle Twin and the long phrase of Sunn O)))'s Slow Music?

Action. Improvisation is a rational and gestural act, differential in nature, rolling forward from point to point to point never freezing, eye to eye with it's inevitable end, resigned to this end's possibility, but at the same time receptive for opportunities to build and sustain its passage in time. The improviser must communicate, must subjugate the ego in order to allow for the dual nature of the improvisational act- too much self, and the improvisation collapses into masturbatory wang-noodlry. But also the improviser must assert her or his self, must seize the momentary points in the music's current, and again the dual nature of improvisation manifests itself in this aspect of the act: the improviser must at once listen and react, flickering between the two, transient and finite in time at once. Improvisation is not consumption, it does not destroy the line of music in the current of time. And so is determined the long phrase of Sunn O))). Sunn O)))'s human-plectrums are the improvisers, finite in articulation, but transient in their wash of wave forms.

In both cases, the long phrase of Sunn O))) and the improvisation of Eagle Twin, the multiple contingencies of language slough away, so deterring the naturalization process of the unhealthy signs that infest our daily symbolic geography. Improvisation and the long phrase of slow music exist in the indicative mode, at unity gain of meaning. In nature, improvisation and the long phrase share the characteristic of a rational and gestural dialog, a dialog which roots both in the indicative, factual mode, and in so doing fortifies each against the crippling myth-making/marketing processes that terribly shimmer out in all directions of our daily lives. This is not to say that the performances of Sunn O))) and Eagle Twin cannot be recorded, reproduced, and distributed, exactly that has happened, and with the fierce-some marketing force of Southern Lord Records brought full to bear in both ensembles' histories. But live, on a stage in a town in Illinois, plaster and paint flaking off the walls, under an electric storm in full panorama, in every direction flashes and ground strikes, a fire fly tracing loops over the back of your hand, they are unrobbable by the naturalizing, parasitic processes of 2nd significations.

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