₂ Directed / animated / edited by Iglooghost

Director of Photography - Jack Wells

Production Designer - BABii

Band Members - Kasey Warne & Isaac Ashby

1st AC - Jerome James King

Violin - Vivek Menon

Violin Engineering - Drew Atz

A new expedition, communication with the Big Protectors, etc.

 

This is the fourth installment of Glyph Institute research papers - click here to read the previous entry.

 

After spending the last year & a half dedicated to tracing the sprawling history of a phenomenon called Lei Music - I decided to formalise my fixation on the field by founding a research facility called the Glyph Institute². In the following months I will be publishing my experiments, analysis, and best attempts to elucidate the questions that have always eclipsed any formal understanding of Lei Music. Comprised of a tangled nexus of folklore, geology, sound technology and ever-diverging historic accounts - Lei Music’s questions seem eternally shrouded by a dense blur.

 

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-Geode Library, unknown author ₁

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At the Gylph Institute² we are excited to finally share the findings of a recent expedition into the outer M⚮rlands - as well as a groundbreaking summoning that marks the first of its kind. The M⚮rlands is an infinite expanse that surrounds the outskirts of Dorset and the nearby ᴸᵉᶦCounties. It is a vast, craggy wilderness & is governed by hovering drone-like organisms called Celles. A full introduction can be read in entry 02, s₆.

 

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-Recording of the expedition ₂

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Very little formal research has been undertaken on the M⚮rlands. The land itself and the Celles are historically revered as unforgiving, punishing subjects for investigation. Despite this, from the inception of the Gylph Institute² we knew that a deep expedition into the outskirts was a future milestone objective. It took us a lengthy and brutal period of preparation, and while the events triggered were beyond unforeseen - we were able analyse some of Lei Music’s most arcane mysteries.

 

While were were surveying the M⚮rlands - we had time time to test out some new Lei Music pieces in a more natural & uncontrolled environment. The beings we summoned seemed to respond surprisingly tamely to our laptop music, often floating idly or emitting hums in synchronisation with our demos.

 

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- ᴺᵉᵒKarplus Wave ₃

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One of the first tests we carried out on-site had stemmed from improvising over a rough beat that I’d mapped out the night before. Unable to sleep from nerves about the next day, I programmed some simple chords using a new wavetype we’ve been developing called a ᴺᵉᵒKarplus. The sonic characteristics of this wavetype result in a distinct scratchy tapping & tonal hammer sound - as heard in the first few seconds of the snippet.

 

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Pellucid Sickle『RESEARCH•CLIP』

 

PLAY . . .

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We were barely 2 miles deep into the M⚮rlands and the rural outskirts of town could be seen in the distance. Despite only traveling briefly, we’d already discovered a circular formation of Lei Line rich mounds in the hillside. This made for an intriguing location to test out my new sketch, so we decided to unpack our mobile set-up and try to expand on the demo. We integrated a tumbling, disjointed cadence - punctuated by staccato bursts of harsh wind. The entity that this improvisation summoned initially appeared harshly chiseled - composed of drastic & wonky geometric edges. We noticed that as we reintroduced the ᴺᵉᵒKarplus chords, the harsh extremities in the entity’s anatomy could almost be sculpted & softened by the harmonies. Eventually by playing these sombre counterpoints, we were able to carve the entity’s body into smooth, moon-like crescent shapes.

 

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PLAY . . .

 

₃ Physical mapping of a ᴺᵉᵒKarplus Wave, archived by the Glyph Institute², 2021.

Magnolia Gripper『RESEARCH•CLIP』

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As we delved deeper into the M⚮rlands, we carried out around 43 further test summonings. Though many of these improvised tests resulted in summoning a range of blurred, muddled entities with indistinguishable forms - several noteworthy diamonds in the rough were documented. One particularly complex being that we managed to communicate with seemed to be tempted into our presence with a demo entitled ‘Magnolia Gripper『RESEARCH•CLIP』.’ Constructing the piece around elongated periods of near-silence, we allowed the entity itself to dictate when each music passage would trigger. The skeletal creature, with ore-like protuberances and two gaseous cores participated in our song by emitting intermittent thuds. After each thud, we would play a short motif - causing the entity to spin in what felt like agreement.

 

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PLAY . . .

Heliotrope Clump『RESEARCH•CLIP』

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One of the final of the 43 test summonings was another noteworthy occurrence that we found worth archiving. As dusk loomed, the wind brewed an intense howl & began to significantly affect our equipment. By rerouting several pieces of hardware, we were able to use the M⚮rland winds as input stimuli for our DAWs. This created a sputtering backdrop of ambiance to weave melodies around. As a result, we communicated with a lilac-tinted lifeform. It appeared as a confined clump of heliotropic gas - gated inside of an organic metallic enclosure.

 

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‘Contact with a Big Protector’

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Celles - the hovering inhabitants of the M⚮rlands are observable in a huge range of appearances. Shifting and morphing throughout day and night cycles, our longterm monitoring seems to suggest they are in a state of constant flux. Sometimes two will become one, six become two, small becomes large. It seems that the Celles are eternal in age, but limited in number - constantly recycling and shifting. Around sunset, groups of Celles swarm into numerous compacted masses - with each group containing hundreds of individual members. Although the process is slow, it eventually leads to the formation of a massive composite Celle - colloquially known in folkloric descriptions as a ‘Big Protector.’ The name was coined in reference to how meddling with the M⚮rlands in concurrence with the appearance of a Big Protector would often lead to devastating results. Wanderers who overstayed their welcome in the valleys well into dusk would be caught in the waves of seering, golden light that the Protector emits - resulting in an aftermath of multicoloured injuries & severe memory loss.

 

For obvious reasons, almost next to nothing is known about the Big Protectors. This goes as far as the actual function of their appearances, to how many of them can simultaneously exist. The latter is particularly difficult to measure due to the illusory & morphing geography of the M⚮rlands. The driving goal of our expedition was to initiate some form of successful & peaceful communication with a Big Protector - however the outcome feels unimaginable in comparison to our original intentions.

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₄ Archived photograph of GI² members with a Big Protector, Glyph Institute², 2021.

 

₆ Archived photograph of the ◊œ, Glyph Institute², 2021.

- A Big Protector takes form ₄

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Our team reconvened to a chosen landmark of towering granite at as the sun sank into the horizon. As calculated, a Big Protector had already began to form. The Celles seemed to have congealed into the form of a looming, empyrean bivalve. Segmented by countless hinges, the conglomerate being appeared to inhale, filter & exhale. As new growths & gates folded out of the being, swarms of the ribbon-shaped Celles that had followed us all day began to worm their ways towards the Big Protector’s core, adding to the net mass. As the being continually respired, rays of light fluctuated from its valves, painting golden beams across the M⚮rlands.

 

The song that we composed on site was simply entitled ‘Big Protector.’ Improvised partially to communicate with the looming organism before us, and partially to protect ourselves from its foreboding bursts. We began the track with a steady wall of slow motion passages. The compositional makeup of this section allowed us to manipulate the Lei Lines around us into a barricade that provided temporary shielding from the Big Protector’s ejections. The piece was played through a mix of software processing and updated mechanised versions of traditional Lei Music instruments.

 

This section of the piece was guided by a Specular Clatterer, a chime-like instrument powered by see-through ore blocks. When impacted with a mallet, the pulsating clunks were a perfect tool to send gentle footstep-like transmissions towards the Big Protector’s general vicinity. It is through this invisible interaction that we managed to establish the beginning of a rapport. The being’s harsher emissions began to lower in heat (still appearing increasingly bright), which we took as a sign of cooperation. To nod back, we began to lower the thick tonal pads that we were using as a barricade. This section was powered by the Tabular Hummer, a flat, annular disc-shaped instrument that’s played almost like a touch-screen xylophone.

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₅ Archived photograph of a Big Protector, Glyph Institute², 2021.

-The being respiring Ribbon Celles ₅

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As our defenses had began to subside and the Big Protector hovered in anticipation, we advanced into the introduction of a new layer to the composition. Using a modified GeoShrieker, we rigged it to trigger reassembled & remapped interpolations of some string arrangements that our colleague Vivek sent over a few weeks ago. The weaving network of instrumentation seemed to pierce & glide through the air, disarming the being. Matching the intensity, it began to shoot out Ribbon Celles from its primary bivalvic chamber. This behavior was read as hostile at first, but as the patterns became clear - it seemed to be more complex than a simple threat. The Ribbon Celles were released, dissolved into concentrated light orbs, then siphoned back into the Big Protector’s core. Our gut reaction was that it seemed to be trying to explain something to us, perhaps relating to its own complicated recyclic nature. The true meaning of the gesture went beyond our understanding, and the Big Protector had already began to assume a new stance.

 

As our piece reared towards a crescendo, the Protector had parted in two - unleashing a cyclone of light that engulfed everything visible in a sweltering, magnolia wave. As our eyes gradually adjusted to the light, it became clear that we were not alone with the Big Protector. Gliding flocks of shimmering entities were streaming out of the Protector’s core. Arranging themselves in interlocking formations at dizzying speeds, the lifeforms were recorded as having strangely stable form. Generally Lei Music seems to summon temporary & unstable approximations - yet here we were greeted by these seemingly finalised beings. More research is currently being undertaken, but for now they have been tentatively identified as ‘◊œ.’

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-The ◊œ arrange themselves ₆

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Around the moment the ᴰᵉᵘˢScope+ was destroyed, the Big Protector also collapsed - dispersing into thousands of smaller Celles. We waited for hours in the aftermath, cautious to even vacate the site in case of unexpected danger. Our group stayed until dawn, surrounded by the swirling echo of the night’s events; a soundscape that was integrated into the last section of the resulting track ‘Big Protector.’ The Lei Disk that the song is stored on has been mounted to a sampled piece of stone that we excavated from the M⚮rlands & is currently archived within our building’s artifact storage. The mechanisms & true nature of the Big Protector’s inner-core are currently being feverishly analysed.

 

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Further Glyph Institute² papers to be published soon...

 

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╰ ⋵ ⋰☗∰፨☼⑇ DIRECTORY . . .

 

Entry 01: Introduction to Lei Music, etc.

 

Entry 02: Daosing, Pebble Networks, etc.

 

Entry 03: Sylph Fossil development, proto-builds, etc.

 

Entry 04: A new expedition, communication with the Big Protectors, etc.

 

 

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₁ Selected fracture recovered from a discarded Lei Disk found in the M⚮rlands, p. unknown author. Glyph Institute², 2021.

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