Meme From a Parallel Reality

by Sigurdór Guðmundsson

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All the sounds in this piece have their origin in the electric bass. Some are more obvious than others.

Prepared bass with paper clips, E-bow, plucked, scratched, beaten and shaken bass... to name a few.
Reverb, some delay (on the E-bow tracks only) and no compression (except on the two E-bow tracks).

This piece was inspired by the works of Skúli Sverrisson, first and foremost his brilliant debut CD Seremonie:


The idea
To create a world of sounds. Sounds that all come from the electric bass.
Sounds and noises plus more traditional melodies and chords.

In theory then this is an improvised piece. The improvisation of ideas and how they evolve and how the sound processing affects the result and even brings on new ideas and moods. So, if you like, it's a collective improvisation of sound and music.

Improvisation & the force of nature
I often thought about nature while I worked on this piece, especially Icelandic nature (even though connecting Icelandic nature with music made by Icelanders is a borderline cliché).
We experience nature in various ways depending on where we are and where we are from. We judge our new experiences by what we know and what we have experienced before. The same can be said about how we experience art in general and even life with all its experiences.

Many of the sounds are rough and aggressive. Some are very low and deep sounding and together they create (possibly) the feeling of uncertainty and unknown feelings. The rumblings of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the breaking of ice and striking thunders. The force of nature does not care if you are there or not. It all takes place either way. The tree did fall in the forest, did you hear the thud when it fell?

The listener experiences the music and the soundscape, but he has little or no control over what is happening. It's unlikely that the music or the sounds will align with prior experiences (that depends the individual though). Like in the ever changing Icelandic nature, you never know what awaits around the corner. You try to stay on track and look for familiar signs to guide you on your trip. You might get lost and confused in the unknown wilderness. And when you get back on track on the road back home, where everything is familiar and safe (hopefully), then experience has enriched you.
How you get from A to B on your journey is your own responsibility. You decide if you want to stay on the save familiar roads or go wander about in the wilderness. Enter at your own risk. :)


["A meme (play /ˈmiːm/; MEEM)[1]) is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3]

The word meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, "something imitated", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos "mime")[4] and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976)[1][5] as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.[6]"]


released January 16, 2014
Sigurdór Guðmundsson: Electric bass, composition, recording, mixing and mastering @ Skonrokk Studios



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Sigurdór Guðmundsson Reykjavík, Iceland

Icelandic, musician, teacher and audio engineer living in Denmark.

My main instrument is the electric bass, which I've been playing since I was 16 years old.

I've been playing the electric bass in soul, funk, fusion, folk, reggae, jazz, pop and rock styles with various projects and as a freelance musicians since the early 90's.

Since 2010 I've been running my own sound studio, Skonrokk Studios.
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