Atomic is a 5 part visual EP, with music by countif, and videos by Ben Smith, Tom Brown, Emily Bailey, Andrew Hall and L’Aubaine. The sound was mastered by Katie Tavini.
The five parts are:
- Strange Strangers – Ben Smith
- Appearance is the Past – Tom Brown
- This Sentence is False – Emily Bailey
- Atomic (interlude) – Andrew Hall
- Essence is the Future – L’Aubaine
Atomic is inspired by the work of Timothy Morton, in particular the concept of ‘hyperobjects’: things that are so vast in space in time that they become impossible to grasp in their entirety, even though we are constantly aware of their pervasive influence and our own enmeshment within them. The most obvious example of this is perhaps the climate crisis, which we all affect and are affected by.
I discovered Timothy Morton’s work as I was beginning to write this music, and the concept of hyperobjects resonated with my interest in the interconnectedness of musical structure and content. In atomic, all of the musical content and form is generated in part by some permutation of the Fibonacci number sequence, and although it is pervasive throughout the entire 23 minutes there are only glimpses of possible permutations at any point.
At the same time as the music began to form so too was the pandemic gathering pace, and parallels with these musical concepts seemed to emerge in the tensions between interconnectivity and individualism that were playing out around the world. In this way, atomic became about this tension: the simultaneous transcendence and anxiety of an individual dissolving within an unknowable vast system.
My thanks to all the amazing artists who created such stunning visualisations to accompany this piece:
Ben Smith – benbernardsmith.co.uk
Tom Brown – http://tombrownvisual.com
Emily Bailey – https://emilybailey.co.uk
L’Aubaine – https://laubaine.net
Thanks to Sasha Ilyukevich for the wonderful poetry in Strange Strangers. https://www.sashailyukevich.com
Thanks also to Katie Tavini for mastering the sound. https://www.katietavini.co.uk