Mens Sana in Corpore Sano. Part 1: Louis Michel Marion

A big part of Questioning is whether or not you want the Answer stuck in your head. Some are built to remember, some are not; some are born to be remembering.  May the stakes be raised later today as you question reaching for the computer or cd.  You might ask yourself:  Is there such a thing as a Metaphysical Mattress Discounters Jingle?

Frankly I Do Not Like when music gets stuck in my head, unless I am composing or learning it.  (This distinction alone is likely obese enough to fill a thesis/thermos).  I am toastered plenty and can’t tolerate much replay.  In order to live on earth I require that a sonic poltergeist appear, full frontal, welcoming me into the hallucination that these sounds are all there is; they are, ipso facto, the answer that does not repeat.  You question what you are listening to and continue questioning it.  This is all you can do.  The question is made by hand with an infinite sequence of changing fingers, leaving no hope for extinction.

The following is how I feel two albums manage an unanswerable question.  The technical approach differs dramatically between the two, the visions may even oppose.  Both, however, leave something to be said for the sound of forgetting memory, if it even exists.



Louis Michel Marion’s Grounds is a 33 minute long bass drone.  I don’t know what he is doing to the bass.  The uncertainty is very attractive.  There may be marbles.  There may be brillo pads.  You can hear him breathing intermittently.  This is, after all, what the drone is all about.  Breath.  Here is proof that music induced breathing should be captured in every recording it provokes.  It is important to know that you are not alone (at least as concerns asthma attacks).

Before I wax abstract I want to emphasize that I very much like this record. There is a melting into operating over the course of changes in bow speed and technique.  After years of lived intensity there is this bass drone and it is a relief.

The only thing a drone demands is sinking.  In an acoustic recording such as this the sinking is a singularity.  It swallows you but it heals you.  A kind of phonetic prophylaxis only available to those of us who want our bodies eaten by sound.  When the bass bow scrapes we remember our throat as a spectrum of chewing.  The string races to outdo the hinging and our feet fall off in layers and it is perfectly acceptable.  We surrender the physical to content and enjoy the morphology of vulnerability therein.  This procedure predates every open string.  It is the secret mission of sound and this record reveals it.

The string resonates again and we remember as truth that a physical body is optional.

I do not exist in this record.  Neither do you.  

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