The Mind’s Abyss: Pairing Dark Ambient with Art
Art is a mirror, one that allows a deeper view into the mind of the creator. What happens when that mind is fractured? Can a broken mirror still show a complete reflection? What happens when another artist gazes into that mirror? Our own ToH member Bucket-o-Blood grappled with these questions and more when he was commissioned by an artist through Reddit to create an accompanying sonic piece for an art exhibit. The catch? The art on display were all reflections of schizophrenia.
Earlier this year, Bucket-o-Blood was contacted by an anonymous Reddit user under the alias “Informitas.” Informatis tasked Bucket to craft a unique soundscape that would reflect the tension and unease created by his own schizophrenic condition. Bucket-o-Blood rose to the challenge, inevitably composing a 17-minute sprawl under his musical moniker Senescence. Bucket’s efforts paid off, as a private party of mental health professionals were equally engaged and disturbed by the pelagic drones reverberating through the small gallery.
The end result was “Abyssal Dregs”, a 17-minute colossus of a piece with brass, reeds, strings, bizarre percussion, and a fishtank. It was a massive undertaking to get everything recorded and edited, and I am extremely proud of the end result.
For his part, Senescence’s “Abyssal Dregs” certainly matched the art on display. Informitas’s pieces show the dark, inhuman landscapes lurking within his splintered mind, and the creeping strings and noisome reeds certainly capture the lurking dread of the rising pillars and scratched walls in the paintings. Senescence’s brooding music certainly seems to reflect the bleak tone and gnawing paranoia evident in his works.
In deference to both Informitas and Bucket-o-Blood, I’d like to propose that you engage with both works of art as the creators intended: press play on “Abyssal Dregs,” turn the lights low, and let your mind wander through the obsidian landscapes. Report back here with what you find inside.