I am by myself at home. It is quiet as I prepare food. Without any thought, a song begins to play in my mind. Perhaps it is by The Eagles, or Eric Clapton. Syrupy canned market research produced crap. As soon as I realize that I am hearing this inside my own mind, I instantly become irritated. A radio I can turn off, unplug, donate to the Salvation Army, throw in the river, torture and ultimately execute. My mind, containing millions of these audio viruses from contagious media sources, I have to live with. The common term for this phenomenon is "EARWORMS". To smother the irritating sounds, I create in my mind a swell of high volumed wide tonal spectrum sweeping noise, like a gigantic industrial sound sweeping machine, whooshes the unwanted viral song into my mental gutter. Guaranteed to crawl back into my consciousness eventually, I am grateful for my imagination, that it can create such a crushing noise to return my mind to peaceful silence. Perhaps this has been a driving inspiration for recent Offset Needle Radius performances consisting of dense feedback and square wave layering noise. One can only wonder...
I have also noticed that when I am confronted by popular music in an instance where I am unable to shut down or remove myself from its broadcast, I tend to change the words, or hum or otherwise vocalize the melody. Admittedly, I also do this with music that pleases me. In both cases, I suggest this is how I enjoy playing with the music that is being broadcast in the space I am inhabiting. In the context of playing this way with music that irritates me, it feels as if I am categorizing the basic elements of the song, breaking it down to focus on the ludicrousity of the material. This feels therapeutic to me and I find that when I am able to play with popular music in this way, it tends not to infect my mind so much and consequently not to invoke negative thoughts.
Years ago I embarked on a mix tape project I titled "Homicide/Suicide". The premise of the tape was to be a collection of all the most infuriating syrupy vapid pop songs I could think of. The happiest, most seemingly perfectly adjusted unchallenging pop songs always seem to conjure images of bloody, violent scenes, terrible thoughts of senseless murder. I've often thought that Sheryl Crow or Edie Brickell would be the perfect auditory backdrop for violent murder scenes in movies. It is as if this music, so perfectly elated and sickeningly sweet, reflecting an impossible reality, must thus be a cover up for terrible guilt, shame, horrible violence and destruction, as an actor who grossly over-acts their part. This range of pop music has such a negative effect on my mental well being that I thought creating the "Homicide/Suicide" mix tape would both serve to over-expose myself and thus hopefully build up my immunity, while examining and sharing for the sake of helping others understand this phenomenon. I never was able to complete the tape.
I hope this admission of my reaction to some popular music won't seem as an affront to friends who may find this sort of music pleasing. I am merely trying to share with readers some of the background that has informed Offset Needle Radius and assuredly all other music endeavors I have ever been a part of. As many of my friends might be allergic to cats and I would not wish to expose them to environments where cats inhabit, I would so request not to be exposed to this sort of music. This is how I am wired. The sounds that I create are a result of this inner circuitry