Lapse

Lapse is a final product of my time at Southern Illinois University that was created in parallel to the thesis production of The Human Reliquary. The original concept for the collection was to be paired with a single titled Cease. Though that performance’s recording ran into some drastic technical issues. Luckily, a portion of the recording was able to be recovered and transformed into track seven within this collection. Lapse as a whole was to be about some specific moments of extreme depression and how those were beginning to return in late December 2016. In addition to this, some of this work catalogs my experience with recent psychological treatments and prescriptions.

Lapse, conceptually or actually, is about just that - reLapse. To aesthetically achieve this overarching sense of repetition, it was important that I return some of the sound to the album Meditations. This way, the work is stylistically cyclical while also evolving and breaking away from Nulla and Sanctum enough to show the technical and artistic progressions I have concentrated on. Specifically, I was very much interested in recapturing the essence of Meditations “I” which is focused on a higher tonal range than the majority of my sound work as well as this consistent repetition, but abstracted pulse. Different from Meditations “I”, however, is how the higher tonal range is often paired with the bass and mid-range drone I have become comfortable within. This sort of duality within Lapse is becoming more and more important to the sonic palette of Felnyrii and how I think about the conceptual side of the work. Spreading the performance of each piece between a few distinct ranges allows me to imagine them as separate voices. The different voices are often struggling between harmony and dissonance. I believe this train of thought began with Sanctum’s overwhelming bass that suffocated anything that attempted to push through. Utilizing these voices, I had previously used the entire collection to address singular moments, though Lapse progresses beyond this to be an archive of a larger span of time.

 

The album as a whole is my strongest work because of its unified, yet abstracted, narrative from piece to piece. Which, I typically have a moment or action in my mind when producing work, Lapse is more specific, however, and I believe that gives it a sense of movement over the entire collection that translates to the listener more concretely. Since I began thinking of Lapse as a project, I had also been falling to my depression fairly severely. After a series of major familial related tragedies that made it difficult to function academically, let alone internally, I was stomaching my own pain in order to keep myself from further burdening those around me. This complicated itself over the year, though by performing the pieces found in Lapse I was capable of reach out and returning to psychiatric aids. However, over this time I found myself thinking back to previous suicide attempts and tactics, particularly the moments within my first year at Southern Illinois University. The thoughts that stem from my core depression always seem reestablish themselves around transitionary episodes in my life or moments of perceived accomplishment, like completing a degree for instance.

 

The other component of my recent struggle that is embodied in Lapse is a period of relative uncertainty as I searched for an alternate medication for this issue I have lived with since grade school. Sertraline and Citalopram had run their course in the past and my chemistry had become tolerant to those medications. Though never, to my knowledge, has a medication affected me as adversely as Bupropion did this year. Portions of this collection attempt to illustrate some of the experiences brought on with this medication. Horrid moments of slipping lucidity and control that seem to reveal more of what is within myself.

Lapse is the first work under Felnyrii to really have differing concepts from piece to piece. Previously, the concepts I employed were a singular point across a collection or album. "The Statue Stood" and "Where They Touched the Ground" refer quite a ways back in comparison the the recent nature of "Lapse I" and "Lapse II".

In not so much detail, I am the statue. Not always, but often.

As I [the statue] stood where they touched the ground, there was a pull inward and outward. To sway into oncoming danger or to pull away to safety. The point of contact on the ground is the balancing point between the dualities of pain and comfort. Or the extremes of life and death. This is a moment I linger in consistently. "The Statue Stood" and "Where They Touched the Ground" refer to this sensation I describe while also more literally referencing the moments during an attempt to be struck by traffic. Now, this information is not necessary to understand or appreciate the piece, but I have been compelled to put it into writing for posterity and to help myself release it a touch more. As with most experiences, they do not truly leave. They simply cycle within my life. The feeling of standing at the edge of the road waiting for the right force to come is not a singular experience. I relive the sensation of drifting into the power of metal and concrete at every intersection and halted path.

This cyclical experience was the driving factor behind The Human Reliquary and Lapse as a whole. The tracks "Lapse I" and "Lapse II" were the initial concept pieces before the collection evolved with the inclusion of the other pieces. They work with the similar concepts of loop music and emanation that I was interested in when writing my thesis. The concrete text work I have explored details this visually. Within chapter six of my thesis, titled "The Present Continuity of Lateness", I state that "I extend late style for my own experience, so as to create a perpetual cycle". This is to say and embody how Edward Said's On Late Style has influenced much of my thought process on creation and as Lapse was being developed parallel to The Human Reliquary, I suppose it would make sense that the concepts bleed from one to another. I was already experiencing these cycles and Said's writing helped me develop a better understanding of them for myself.

Remnant Thought - 2017

Created in collaboration with Professor Jennida Chase's cinematography class (CP 475 at Southern Illinois University) at the City Museum in St. Louis during the spring semester of 2017.

 

Produced and edited by Jennida Chase.

 

Make up by Niresse Cosplay (Elisabeth Dennis)

Michael G. Maxwell

Felnyrii

 © Michael G. Maxwell