Invisible Illusion – Tian Keng

Invisible Illusion – Tian Keng

Invisible Illusion

“Tian Keng”

The Necrophile Hummingbird Netlabel presents Tian Keng by Jeff Sampson & Ed End.

« Cosmic Ambient Music for Human Music Lovers »

It seems that this year there will only be one release per quarter on the netlabel. Listening to this album, you might think it’s due to a desire to achieve a certain level of refinement. This is a misconception; we did not seek to direct it towards any particular form, but rather explored its essence as the tracks developed around the title track. We did our best to listen to what was being created. Listening is a balance between flexibility and stability. Of course, our common taste for subtlety, which goes hand in hand with a certain sensitivity, has left its mark, but the intensity inherent in passion has also found its way. If its final form is more a result of its essence, it is necessary to understand that reality is more subtle, as is often the case when questioning the predominance of a projective mode over a perceptual mode or vice versa; the answer often lies in their interaction. That is why, even though it resembles the genre of ambient or dark ambient music, it is much more than that. Regardless of the quality of what is defined, it will always be only a tiny part of the undefined. Instrumental music has a universal reach because it welcomes the dreams of everyone. It resonates with our emotions without them being imprisoned by the staging of song lyrics.

Just as a sharp mind can uncover the unsaid in a sentence, a trained ear can perceive what lies beyond the surface of music.

We can play with the link between the visual and the audio to better understand the meaning of this music. Moreover, the visual of Awakening Ritual, by moving away from the ritual to focus on perception, refers to the incessant flow that pulls the sleeper out of their torpor. And it also refers to the incessant flow that plunges the sleeper into their torpor. It is undoubtedly a quantum state that can only be resolved by stepping out from behind the screen.

This is the extension of my escape from social networks since January 2024. The enslavement to the continuous flow of the news feed seems to me to be a perfect example of mystification. At most, some people fish for clickbait traps that they will share again. The content is terribly secondary behind the engagement rate. The ‘like’ has the merit of giving importance to both the giver and the receiver.

It wouldn’t bother me if it only concerned culture, but amidst it are delivered the very real horrors of our world, including massacres and catastrophes, all the news that serves no purpose other than as a pretext for the opinion wars in which players are summoned to participate.

But to ask for didactics, for these data to make sense, instead of serving to keep internet users captive and to brainwash them day after day, seems to be asking too much. It is very reminiscent of creation in large cities when cultural offerings are so abundant that we cannot even attend all the events of the week, and they are forgotten the following week. How can one create under these conditions without participating in cultural hyper-consumerism?

Why leave the comfort of routine to take the time to think for oneself and make one’s own choices?

Why cut off the flow of the netlabel, when on Bandcamp profiles the sessions are accumulating?

Because aware of the flood that awaits us with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence, to which sooner or later the listener will not be able to resist, like the series eater condemned to see several new ones appear every time one ends. The model of both art and entertainment will not be able to maintain its current form. It reminds me of the beginnings of shareware, when we could try out all the computer programs on the planet.

How to develop cultural intelligence? Just as with food, we try to avoid certain addictions like sugar and fat, we try to find a diversified and balanced diet, it is up to those who cultivate themselves to find out how to do it. I believe there is a name for those who do this: aesthetes. Only it would be necessary to abandon the pejorative sense of the word to return to its root aisthêtês, the one who feels. And perhaps replace the dogmatic beauty often associated with this word with something more open that encompasses everything that evokes emotions within us, why not the marvel ?

It is not new, since entertainment has supplanted culture; we are immersed in ‘junk food’. Excessive quantity, negligible quality, overemphasis on packaging and triumphant marketing. On one side. And on the other side, unprecedented access to all ‘craftsmanship’ on Bandcamp has absorbed much of the free music and independent music and offers a great diversity, often of quality.

Yet one must not misunderstand; when I speak of quality, it has nothing to do with technicality, aesthetics, or any kind of ranking like a top 50 of economic value or a top of artistic value by a music critic. But once again, returning to the analogy of food, what nourishes is authentic music that stems from life experience, not the artificial one grown in the hydroponic greenhouses of the entertainment industry.

It is therefore an invitation to a common reflection to discover how music can still exist in this frenetic society of perpetual saturation.

What place remains for singular music, which does not seek to appear and prefers to be imperfect, demanding to the point of often asking you to challenge your certainties?

Without financial value, society seeks to deny it. Yet it survives in the margins for those who try to live differently. It exists like no other, even in our own discographies. Authentic. Spontaneous. Anachronistic. Primitive. Unclassifiable. It is the meeting of three universes, the convergence of our universes with your universe. A cosmic experience towards the wonders of the intelligible world at the click of a button.

Dedicated to those who refuse to live in illusion.

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