the feast of brass snakes

emmett kelly

haha 1

HAHA brings you the debut album by emmett kelly. it was recorded amid the chaos of last summer's protests, in quarantine with a roland system 100 synthesizer. it is presented here on cassette with letterpressed details and assembled by hand at HAHA headquarters, los angeles, ca.

here is what ben boye had to say after he listened to haha 1!

"a piece of music is experienced in(/as?) time, and therefore we perceive its sounds to do two things: change or remain the “same” from moment to moment. the act of listening to music, and perceiving its changes or lack thereof, is an experience that is both immediate and wrapped up in a personal life history of similar (or different) experiences. thus, the degree to which a piece appears to change is, by definition, subjective. many music listeners (myself included) are particularly drawn to pieces that, in their perception, change slowly or exhibit changes that are few in number. this kind of music, if it can be labeled, has been called by many names, none of which are important. the important thing for those of us who are drawn to this kind of music are the experiences that are afforded by the relative slowness or scarcity of its changes. in my listening, these experiences tend to induce a state that i am inclined to call “meditation.” when listening to music that i perceive to change slowly or infrequently, i tend to achieve various sorts of calm and focus. this focus sometimes hones in on the music itself and other times gravitates towards my life experience -- past, present, or future. i listen to the purity and seeming disconnectedness of long tones, and begin to draw connections of harmony and notice subtle shifts of timbre. or perhaps that music is a cloud of dissonance, which, when immersing myself within, appears clearly as its own harmonic universe, with its own seeming order and its own perfect beauty. so then, when transitioning afterwards into space of what might otherwise be perceived as consonance and a clearer, more “conventional” harmony, i am forced to recall the strange beauty i just experienced, and i begin to sense a deeper sort of dissonance within consonance. ultimately, when undertaking this sort of musical experience, the degree to which one perceives change shifts: changes that were previously subtle become monumental. and this shift of scale forces us to confront our own thesis about degrees of change within a musical piece and realize that it began with a flawed premise. we have experienced the truth through a sort of obliteration: that there is ultimately no such thing as slowness or scarcity of change. this is the best sort of music."

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