The idea of memory and how we frame these moments we believe to be inconsequential into conscious actuality is a constantly fascinating subject of exploration. As we go about our daily routines, or lack of them, insignificant instances pepper our days – visions that suddenly reappear in our minds, so incidental it can be difficult to clarify if it actually occurred or was but a snatched away snippet of a dream. It’s disorientating and destabilising – as we attempt to piece together the versions we believe to be true, these recollections piece together into physical being – what we could smell, what we touch, even what we could taste – a collage of metaphysical being, so to speak.
‘Vignette’, the idiosyncratic work of artist Twinsen, is informed by such tangible attempts in understanding, providing an individualistic piece that thrives off of its own personal experimentation. It’s approach to instrumentation at this stage is quite minimalistic but playful – the piano is subtle, almost teasing in its uncompromising progression while the beats are sparse yet controlled – a teetering balance of control and unpredictability.
The narrative, much like the instrumentation, defies traditional construction for something more liberating and disparate – like suddenly refocusing after bouts of daydreaming. “Nothing takes a bop out your step like a headphone cable yanked out by the kitchen cupboard, here I am back in reality and I wish I weren’t”, as Twinsen is shocked back into the world by something so domestic, the track urges you to question what’s real and what’s simply a vessel for our minds to subconsciously express itself.
Upon the release of this spirited and experimental piece – Twinsen discusses with us their fascination with memory, the trance like quality of repetition and the endless possibilities in which listeners can interpret their work.
The piece explores something quite tangible in its illustration of memory – how do you feel such a notion has influenced the music you craft?
I’ve always been fascinated with memory and how we re-experience them. Over a long period of time, a memory of mine becomes condensed into a kind of collage of various senses, which I almost feel are raised in significance each time I revisit the memory. I like the idea that if I gave someone this fermented memory without the initial experience, it would feel a bit like this tune.
The track teeters between minimalism and playful experimentation, that’s quite an intriguing balance?
The experience of going to clubs and dancing has always been a big part of my life, and for me I’ve always enjoyed the trance like quality to the repetitiveness and the minimalistic nature of the nights I went to. I always wanted my music to have a solid momentum that carries and chugs everything along, but with enough space to flutter around that centre.
Do you feel you can express yourself as much in the temperament and foundations of delivery as much as in the narrative itself?
Because of how syllable heavy I wanted the tune to be, I think naturally I fell into having little melody so I could really play around in a more spoken word and rhythmic way. From there it became effortless in terms of delivery, as I would just chat it out over the tune. Also I was listening to that Jona Lewie song “You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties” a lot which has probably seeped it’s way in.
There’s quite a multifaceted nature to the project – the physicality of the visuals to the video embody the sudden memories that occur within the track. Was it a natural occurrence for Twinsen to possess such a multi-dimensional form?
The video idea I had originally, was to try and replicate some of the scenes in the lyrics. I sat on it for a while but thought it would make the experience less open. Even though a lot of the lyrics have a particular place in my memory, I want people to hear how they want to. There’s a lot of unrelated lines butted together and I like the idea of people listening and linking them in completely different ways. I feel like this video allows that space for the listener, but also turned out to be quite a nice visual representation for a kind of arena of memory.
‘Vignette’ for me evokes feelings of disparity but also sudden, vivid sparks of clarity. What you have taken personally from exploring this – the first output of the project?
It definitely contains both feelings and a lot more day to day ones in between. Personally stitching a lot of these memories and thoughts together into an audio visual experience has allowed me to process them in a new packaged way, which feels very personal, but at the same time not too revealing.
‘Vignette’ is out now – double-backed A5 Screen Prints as seen here are available from Twinsen’s Bandcamp. Watch the video for ‘Vignette’ here at Wax Music.