bachist marc riordan lends his humble introduction
In the contained materials, the author, a percussionist with some formal training and decades of worldly experience, ventures to extrapolate and describe a language rooted most squarely in military and battlefield customs of earlier times. An improviser of primal physicality, the author chooses instead to communicate his message through modern technological means - one envisions him stationed at a desk, not at a drum set, his creative tools as close to pen and paper as to sticks and skins. Yet, we also “see” him at the drums - the audio in these recordings contains the signature gestural and formal sensibilities those who know his work have come to expect. What then, is the significance of these radical choices? I turn now to a letter of unknown origin, the contents of which I believe will shed or at least scatter some light:
My Dearest Mother,
I hope this letter finds you well, despite the hardships that weigh upon your fragile health. These past several years, I have been immersed in the study of rudimental beatings and fife manuals, as they pertain to our military efforts. The path of my research has led me to delve into the realm of sonic warfare and sound as a weapon, a subject that both intrigues and concerns me deeply.
At first, my curiosity was captivated by the potential of infrasound as a weapon, with its ability to unleash unseen forces upon the enemy. However, my investigations later turned to the utilization of USW, or ultrasound, in our military operations. The significance of these studies lies not only in the instruments themselves but also in understanding the evolution of the drums, which I perceive as an embodiment of military purpose.
From the seeds of intimidation, control, and warfare, a remarkable transformation has occurred, my dear mother. Our drums, once used solely to terrify the enemy, have been repurposed as vessels of resistance, poetry, and cultural change. They have birthed a new language of expression, giving rise to the rebellious spirit of rock and roll, which now reverberates across the land. The writings that have guided my studies, composed during the 17th to 19th centuries, bear a definitive nature that both amuses and terrifies me. They stand in stark contrast to my own thoughts on music, yet I find solace in the fact that our beloved art has taken on a metamorphosis of its own.
As I reflect upon the significance of these discoveries, I am reminded of our shared resilience and determination, dear mother. In the face of adversity, we persist, transforming the language of control and fear into something altogether 'other.' It is my fervent hope that, through our struggles and sacrifices, we may reclaim the essence of drumming and create a world where peace and harmony prevail.
Please take care of yourself, for I long to be by your side once more. Know that your unwavering love and support provide me strength amidst the trials of war. May Providence guide our footsteps and bring us back together in happier times.
With all my love,
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