‘The License to Interpret Dreams’, an intensely focussed dreamworld produced by Antonymes, first became available on the 21st April 2010; it didn’t really sound like it belonged in that year, at the time or now, too ancient seeming, too abstract, too intimate, too damned heart breaking! It could have been made years before, as out of place as it might have seemed, and yet still perfectly valid, a wistful psychedelic anomaly fitting into a fast evolving recorded musical world.
'The Licence To Interpret / Re-Interpret Dreams' is being released in a different form, in a different home, with a fresh visual approach, with new mixes by a fine selection of sympathetically sensitive fellow travellers in tune with its desolate, epic shimmer, as interested in the decay of sound, and just as committed to making time audible, it belongs, and doesn’t belong, just as much in the year of our mayhem 2018. It’s new dream home is the handsome Fluid Audio imprint, of Bristol, the stars and the moon. The re-versions and di-versions through a looking glass are by gorgeous deep-thinking collaborators; Christoph Berg, Humble Bee, Tape Loop Orchestra, Olan Mill, Clem Leek, Ben Chatwin, Aaron Martin, P Jørgensen, Marconi Union, Bill Seaman, Hummingbird and Ian Hawgood, all of them helping the music grow into itself, become more and more itself, changing and not changing, opening-up and keeping itself to itself. Still in hiding, but revealing itself, straining against centuries, if you care to notice.
It is beginning again, having once started, and not quite-started, and there is a sense that it could begin again every eight years for the rest of time and sound perfectly in tune, and perfectly not yet apparent. I envision it reappearing out of time in 2028, still sounding as ancient as ever, but as uncannily tangled up in whatever the modern is. As ‘The License to Interpret Dreams’ moves, into new places, bravely all by itself, even as some of it is in the dream filled hands of others, tenderly raking up the past, faithfully taking a new path, it becomes clear that for all its quietness, and obscurity, and chiming, glacial sadness, wherever they are, North Wales or south of Oslo, and wherever they belong, Emily Bronte’s windswept moors or Edgar Allen Poe’s chilly lakes, Antonymes have found a world where they can exist, because they have no choice. For all the music’s unplaceable darkness, it exists to illuminate the world as it is.
Antonymes, at the shyer, lonelier end of the post-ambient spectrum, have fluidly been becoming themselves, or him or herself, an enigmatic unit or a one-man band, for most of the 21st century. They make music by following their instincts; they compose by ear. They make music by looking at the oddest of things they find in the oddest of places, by noticing things no-one else does, by dredging up dim memories and preserving absence; they compose at their own pace. If you ask them how they write their music, they will admit that they do not know. “We just do it like this,” they say, playing one note on the piano at a time, seeing another world entirely in the spaces they leave between notes. “That’s all.” You can choose whether to believe them or not
It is of course music that is meant to be listened to in a very different way to anything conventional, mainstream or song-y, a looser, much more personal way; some might consider this sort of music to be more musical, and more than music, because of this, because it tries to open the mind, whilst those that are simply bored by what they see as insulting slippery monotony and dead-end endlessness would think it lacks the basic, propulsive elements of change, transition and blatant surprise that make it music. A boring work for some is an interesting work for others and vice versa. Somewhere – hidden in those aching, unfathomable spaces between notes – there is the truth.
When I listen to her/them/him etc, inscrutably taking shape behind their veil, moving forever towards completing a piece, discovering and rediscovering its duration, invisibly working out their form, lamenting at exactly the right volume, often on the verge of dying at any moment, greyed in yet discovering more space, which become invigorating new places, revelling in this after life, I am reminded of something the great experimental composer Cornelius Cardew said about the softest, slowest music of Morton Feldman; “I see it as a narrow door, to whose dimensions one had to adapt oneself (as in ‘Alice in Wonderland’) . . . only when one has become accustomed to the dimness of light can one begin to perceive the richness and variety of colour.”
It’s time once more, or for the very first time, as the silence creeps in around the edges, to take a deep breath and open the door.
Made by hand,
Letter-pressed 6 panel covers
Printed on GF Smith 540gsm embossed buckram card
2 x glass mastered CDs
24 page perfect bound photographic book printed on luxury uncoated paper
1 x limited edition print commissioned by Antonymes
1 x vintage (circa;1890-1940) Ordnance Survey map of Lake District
Made with love...
released September 7, 2018
Audio - Antonymes, Christoph Berg, Humble Bee, Tape Loop Orchestra, Olan Mill, Clem Leek, Ben Chatwin, Aaron Martin, P Jørgensen, Marconi Union, Bill Seaman, Hummingbird and Ian Hawgood.