Sound collage provides a beautiful background for writing. My recent exploration of that genre led me to an artist, tyynyliina and a sumptuously gorgeous album that has been on constant winter rotation: nach dem rauschen.
The sonic landscape on tyynyliina’s record is at all points a delicate one. At times, it borders on downright fragile. The influence feels like those sounds barely heard, just within our limited range of hearing. Lush piano keys sparsely struck, backed with a smattering of natural sounds and looped, multi-lingual vocals. It’s like a dreamscape. Sometimes the woman is cooing in broken French (“mai le papillon est vrai”) or repeating a single, haunting line “look into the mirror/pitch black” (“umluat (disgust)”) and other times she’s delivering enigmatic spoken word dissertation, discussing Robert De Nero at the close of Once Upon A Time In America.
For those unfamiliar with sound collage, a rich off-shoot of electronic/ambient, it is a patchwork, what might be recognizable as music barely a thread connecting the different pieces. Often sound collage is jarring, deviating into noise, broken up with beats but not tyynyliina. She crafts more a constant canopy of sound. Listening to nach dem rauschen is like watching the summer full moon while passing under a tree lined boulevard. There are alternate views of light and dark, animated by the imagination. Perhaps the most recognizable “song” among the ten is a cover of The Cure’s, “In Between Days” a bouncy modern rock classic turned somber, cold.
What makes tyynyliina so delightful as a writing accompaniment, aside from the abstractions, the dulcet tones, is the quality of being able to walk away from it. This isn’t a slight to the music, but those loops, those soft, gradually progressing dulcet tones allow the imagination to wander. They also allow the writer to rise, return and pick up.
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