Mad Scientists

This week’s edition of At Water’s Edge features new works by two great musical Mad Scientists: Michael Brückner and Jeff Duke.

Bela Lugosi

Michael Brückner’s “Naura EP” hasn’t even been released yet, so this is its official internet debut. Hold on to your tinfoil hats, ladies and gents; it’s a mad ride! In a good way, of course.

Jeff Duke’s new release Closed Worlds is our second Mad Scientist entry for today’s program, and explores the question of perception vs. reality. Where does one end and the other begin? What is reality, anyway? Listen and perhaps you’ll create your own answer.


Michael Brückner: Naura EP

“Rauka – Wild Mix”
“Rauros – A Drone”
“Rauka – Disciplined Mix”

Michael writes this about Naura, which has a most interesting premise:

“In March 2013 I was approached by the label “Klangwirkstoff”, who release music based on (or tuned to) natural, or “cosmic” frequencies (…going back on the ancient idea of a “music of the spheres”), for a contribution to one of their various artists compilations.

Triggered by this request, I started working on a track using a.) binaural effects and b.) tuned to the earth’s magnetic field’s basic resonance at 7.83 Hertz.

The result of my efforts is this little EP, containing two variations of the main tune, and two other tracks, which are based on the same material.

The degree of “binaurality” and “cosmic tuning” varies a bit, with track four having only the tempo as a reference, and otherwise using just standard chromatic tuning in the key of A.

Please note that this is an experiement and a bit of “sonic research” in the first place, so any comments on (positive or negative) effects of this music are very welcome.

Please also note that it’s recommended to listen to this EP in the original order, and on a system that is able to reproduce deep bass frequencies. Headphones may help to a deeper experience, too…

If You want to learn more about the ideas behind binaural effects, tuning to cosmic frequencies etc. have a look here:

Jeff Duke: Closed Worlds

Jeff Duke’s new release Closed Worlds is our second Mad Scientist entry for today’s program.

“Existential Threats”
“Trapped in Time”
“Mind Storm”

Jeff’s Closed Worlds is “mad science” of a different sort: perceptions vs. reality, and the exploration of the question “What is real?”

What is real, indeed? Here’s what Jeff wrote about this release:

Closed Worlds is about perceptions vs reality.

I believe that the world is different for everyone according to all that has made up their perception of it. As I view the world around me I see glimpses of other worlds and planes of existence but can’t quite see how to access them or feel locked out of them by design.

We exist, but by the very act of living we are moving inexorably toward non-existence. Humans are, perhaps, the only animal that lives their lives knowing that it will end. Only the exact time and method are, usually, a mystery. “Existential Threat”

When we first become aware of our being at a young age, life is so full of wonder, mysteries, and perhaps at times frightening.”Emergence”

Various states of being seemed to me boring really. I have found the most interesting parts of life on the transition boundrys. Change can be very uncomfortable, even scary but also liberating. Life on the edge. “Transitions”

“Escapement” is a device for the transfer of stored energy. In life this can be events or actions taken that drive or form future possilities.

“Flux” – Never wanting to settle into a steady state! As J.G. Ballard wrote “I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring.”

In the words to “Trapped in Time” it says in part “In your mind, imagine you’ve locked all your troubles in a box and tossed the box into a deep, deep, ravine.” This I imagine to be a satire on the mental state we are so often asked to assume. Self deception can be very powerful leading to altered views of the “real” world that surrounds us. I believe it is attractive because of the feelings of powerlessness in the face of problems we all face individually or in the macrocosm as a nation, world, or species. Everything is out of our control. We are being driven by forces we can’t or don’t want to understand

“Mind Storm” is a state we can arrive at when thoughts come so fast and furious that focus on any one thing becomes nearly impossible.

This album and all these thoughts and this music came about during a time of reading Iain M Banks and JG Ballard novels. What brought it all into focus was the cover art by Ade Hodges. A simple image created a new open world.


As a bonus, Bert “Phrozenlight” Hülshoff provided us with a link to his epic release, “Return of the Mad Scientist” — download it!

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