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Machinist: Convergence

img  Tobias Fischer

A recent comment by Thomas Köner - "I don't believe music relates to any other sense but hearing" – made me wonder: Wasn't this a paradoxical statement coming from an artist known for his vast inner spaces of sound? It is almost as though the work of Zeno van den Broek, whose curriculum vitae as a trained architect mirrors that of Köner's background in video editing, closes the gap. To van den Broek, our traditional perception of the senses fails to take into account that our eyes and ears are merely gateways into a complex web of neurons and synapses, in which the visual and acoustic are two of a kind. After an early phase spent building massive walls of noise, the current phase of his Machinist project has shifted towards more subtle operations and expressive constructs like 'silent paintings' or 'liquified architecture'. Convergence sees his approach in full flow. The first half of the thirty-three minute piece opens with a rhythmically repeated signature building block of Western music: The note C played on a piano. Gradually, sine waves rise from the silence in between two tones like ghost harmonics, then wash over the framework until it is gone. Almost exactly at the halfway mark, the procedure is repeated, this time, conversely, with a deep field recording of a beach scene being gradually infiltrated by tender piano sounds. The abstract and the concrete are perfectly equal here and one could certainly see these events as a meditation on the mantra that everything is music. More profoundly, however, they're confusion for the binary mind, which can never quite decide whether it is listening to a painting or looking at a musical performance. The ambiguity, meanwhile, is purely one of terminology. Deep within the sounds, the truth is clear.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Machinist / Zeno van den Broek
Homepage: Narrominded Records
Homepage: Betontoon Records