Next stop, a blank city emerges. Chimes and instant conversions, over-bleeding, then slanting off some slipway. Countless runs of indulgence, at which juncture we might part company and – gliss. – jolt supercharged, our speed closed off by the hand, then measured out in careful, plotted streams. Somewhere, this material is cast directly, sacredly blown into distinct bits by digital stabs, skin funnels, shattering wood skiffs. Notes are elicited as gases, in sudden light, bringing witness to these amputations, not mindful of any upward baton swing.
A written flex comes back cursing black, hard to pick, true to form. The frame stands utterly dark, sustained in combinations poised on reset. When the figure comes up, reinstated, soaked in these different orders, collapse may come at any moment, reserved in its hold. At its barest mention, lumbar sound blushes at the spread of its own weakness. Its puncture, loaded with active ingredients, probes into already infected areas. It comes out as a crisis of accepted motion, recognised as partially inhabited madness. An absurd charge, a bridged glissando with the leaflet enclosed. Engines idle, winding out, as feathers drift from the flight line. Distribution rams every extension of the chest, spiking every direction with bone levers, electric props of chaos.
In service, not at rest, but cast over the flats, provided with tendon flexes and smudged cones, grizzled, spatted, every slap recorded. A course cannot emerge from itself, from underneath ceaseless coverings of withheld noise, without introduction. For sure the machine is running now, a spew forthcoming, come upon a shallow primer clamour. Sunken formations, globe bunkers, risen where deltas swell, transport and wallow in sheets, half-tracked, like glaciers held back in patient reticence. The fault hinges thought and sensation at the saddles, only part-formed, a dead man’s switch.
Points are left proud aboard the slick, levelled with sheer disregard. Let them swell their dots and point to the melt storming the stem – a disease should always begin as a mist. Cut from it a carriage of strings over an iron frame. The reflecting ceiling produces its own hub, a mirror made distinct, reaching parts so scattered, forming locked rest that won’t be refused. Fist coils swarm in search of balance or leakage, contiguity breeds resemblance. Everything becomes secluded in images, interacting as written.
Instructions remain silent, holding at cross points of fixation, stepped and dragging like the graph stalled at the stylus. This is presented as done, close notated, fitting on length, folded over the other. It gets guided to safety, a slowed detachment from inner strictures, combing outfields, poised for insertion, raiding all sets for overall advancement. Interrupted sleeves switch from dead still, let loose from waiting coil pitch of acuity. Now, on the level, let us turn and shorten this long stock, then be thrown, utterly erased. The universe will respond… begin wave at interval and, psst, raise manual audio… That recapitulated instant is a line scanning, taking half the evens from the sleeping amino.
We long to suspend the filament from our island lunettes, or to prise open insertions between flushes – dream welts of continuous fifths, layers rubbed thin over pigment droves, edging up to fluted busts. A pitted bitstream is left to disperse in silence. Edges and tips cut away in preparation for directives. We are ready to stand in, to interlay spineless partials over the whole. A serial darkens into words. A surface crumbles toward touch. A sectioned plate rests, undecided, then blinks. Flay reed tongues, their roots clipped toward the source, are hands indiscernible as back or palm. Amongst these goads and traps, there are bones to be found.
There are sections missing from the shape yard. For less will suffice: pinpoint a hanging door creak above the harrier grass – each gesture starts and ends as imperceptible, each suffering its own grip. And if your bow would snap loud, the phone chirrup will be shipped via slow grates, tightening chords rumbling in the well. A shine of cymbal lines lilts on a sudden spit, undaunted, before a piano then falls for the fingers. Stripping from the surface any standard start, lest there be a misunderstanding about this general economy. It forms looseness, as it references structures of units, all these mystery segments… for the next stop inevitably gears us toward increasingly rousing markings, fuzzy alignments overtaken with charges, their formations fraying at each end.
No background spirit or loosening grip can sweep such shard filings down, all percussive, falling just behind united structures, barred to stutter. Just imagine a banister unfurling the staircase. Saliva slips on no credential, simple enough at first, before it begins to trail over the image range, for a second there paused without use. Sounded out. The dead, having passed, then creep their return as standard lights punctured across a certain distance. Square feet, longing to be. King of anything, back again, sure now that every last tumble is worth doing, doping up on green, walls white with noise, especially over the corners. The pitch is cutting up, twin lungs complain and bellow, bemoaning every theft.
Our fields speak as the smothered, gagged here and there, whilst added to the step. Applied silence is stuffed with sirens. Common sounds are designed to culminate in panic, to take on the beaded resin and disappear. We are pressed to jettison on no lack of need, rather a dry heave. If we open the bluish sluice, rid it of empty, we’re left with rubbings hands, high stats in dark specs. Hiding a perfect fit, we twitch free to a captive crowd. And from nowhere comes the exit… the current sidles out, through, and so on – force out glass, counter the nerve bile – each substance murmurs its own course, gumming up the expanse. A communicated notion of the vulnerable remains inside sound, its proximity composed on bars, louder now, the penumbra with central solidity and aberrant strands of noise. All just associative theories of dust-filled digits.
Thumb the collar. Roll the bridge of the neck across a flattened head and check the pitch. Ask again, for all numbers, before reinserting the stitch and tracing the drag of the chute. Take strike for the lines drawn on the outer side. Let the invulnerable participants stand on stations, astride a dial layout, each cast as a meeting inside negotiated sectors. Keep in mind your back formation, longways, always an admixture. Go hear, pinch worm, to measure the manifold. Staunch blocks with joystick tilts, instrumental to each, stacked or let free. Cut offs sustained, red, black and blue, watched stopped. Determinate structures construct a selection of maximums on each direct move. Several points cancel, their activities continued as previous. They arrive at the wedge, as hidden as visible. Let the open ring. Reach into the body, dab the pedal calyx, then squeeze into force. Pour open, mouthed, and come lyrical.
Our skins can be slipped through these tokens, both ‘mitted and ‘ferred; each is left to promote the long gone, so long, closely fitted to the attention. No decision is that but by action, coming undoing, pending from the ground up. A grinder, a job done against itself, prepared to push for every contingency. You might think all shores are lost to haze, the players charged. To withstand; well round, to resist and counter. No separations. On cue – try this, try this, get to the fitters. For single sheets read function leaks – find the sweet spot, and thumb it out to distend. Gaps release according to demand, the impossible runs into the necessary. A final move, in the arco-slow, is led to ignore, no longer sure of its sift. Assembly points fire, on lowlife timings, all for this closing clasp. Groupings come in sequence then cluster, trapped in transparencies and summed by part.
Switch hands. Another kind of sophistication gathers at some removed insistence. Note the phrasing and the flight; allow it to stop when it seems grateful. Pick your way, as if through glass, amongst wired pillar copses. As one thing exposes itself and runs to the next, resist numbering the speeds at which things happen. Surround yourself with a collection of tools and start the machines ahead of their coming advance.
Each isolated effort is to be bonded, sounded out to flail, and positioned amid the axis. This is to be excepted, just as one swings to dislodge one other, before noting shortfall’s excess and gaping open, leant out from fatigue. This bold business comes with a flat feeding-face, as all directions are to be followed, components paraded, web-sensitive and as close as a ribbon seam in a mountain belly. At the immediate stroke, frontlines are to crest the foil and rise, summoned toward attack. In the main, the operation works out of slippage, sought when locked and crammed – an alertness staunched, yet still worming into the mouth. At the risk of light, just as word-spit loses control, the bell’s plate is split to the brim, the surface underside, stars thrown at the ceiling. The game is the same. Listen out, as fragments mass for the exploration of all proceeds. All operators raise their sum in the chamber, and spin in affinity.
This text was printed as a chapbook to accompany the performance of Representations 9, part of Dominic Lash’s modular composition for improvisers, at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival on November 24th 2008.