Keith Fullerton Whitman
Following Fullerton Whitman's deep dedication to modular synthesizers, Malört was mostly built with Serge synthesizers, to which some voice, voice synthesization and field recording fragments were added, among other elements. The piece was conceived to adapt to a listening process that can be “turned on” and “turned off” at any moment. The qualities of the sound material and the lack of resolution reinforce a somber or even claustrophobic tone, not unrelated to the times we are living in. However, insolvency is not alien to this musician’s work, just as the absence of a settled familiarity and an intentional or sustained emotional retribution.
The tension and disquiet of Fullerton Whitman’s music are perhaps symptoms of the search for a fluidity that refuses taxonomies and stylistic canon. The timbers take off from usages sedimented by the history of electronic music; the rhythms multiply like “aerosols” and the cadences associated to musical genres are deformed, like elastic bands transforming and crisscrossing.
The increasing internalization of decision processes by Fullerton Whitman’s hardware system turns the musician into more of an orchestrator than a direct generator of musical events. He defines internal matters and clocks that constitute the basis for an ecosystem but not necessarily the way in which the creatures that inhabit it develop and interact. And the perspective of the piece which presents itself as if belonging to a line of work that expands, not through the domain of control but instead through those of an enchantment inherent to a progressive abdication of control, and highlights its enigmatic glow, especially in moments when electronic sounds are occasionally and oftly penetrated by acoustic songs. The intensities and complexities of Malört go through us, coming from the past and the future. From its paradoxical tensions, sometimes more subtle and other times more daring, it exudes a quality which is as regenerating as it is abyssal.
by Pedro Rocha
Keith Fullerton Whitman is a composer and performer based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He is currently in the midst of realizing geographically & thematically aligned Live Electronic Music under the "Redactions" banner, as well as performing contemporary revisions of his classic "Generators" and "Playthroughs" frameworks. Keith has recently performed, set up installations, and given presentations at festivals such as Frequency Festival 2020 (Chicago), Silent Night #20 (Prague), NEXT 2019 (Bratislava), Luc Ferrari: Stereo Spasms (Brooklyn), Bach to the Future VII (Providence), w/ André Gonçalves, Clothilde, & Simão Simões at OUT.Fest 19 (Barreiro), Meakusma (Eupen), w/ Tarek Atoui at Kurimanzutto & The Guggenheim Museum (New York), Remote Viewing (Philadelphia), Expo 74 (North Adams), Musica Practica / Elettronica Viva 2019 @ UPenn (Philadelphia), The Kranzberg Arts Foundation (St. Louis), & Sonic Acts 2019 (Amsterdam).