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Double Bind

by Geneva Skeen

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about

From Geneva Skeen
I wrote this album over the past year––a bleak but transformative period of time. This work became an extraverbal expression of my interior experience. With that in mind, I decided not to write about it myself.

Instead, I asked my dear friend to reflect on her listening of the record. Poet Aristilde Kirby writes:

Flower branches dowsing rod against their doubles in the wind's aimless static.
Spindled fog verglas plants, caressed by white rays of absolute eyelash.

[A wisp of fresh respiration] ‘The world has no visible order & all I have is the order of my breath,’ says the fifth track on Double Bind. [A ribbon of a scream] It has the incandescent & incantation-like quality of the title of Fushitshusha’s 2014 album: Nothing Changes No One Can Change Anything I Am Ever Changing You Can Only Change Yourself. [Asemic voices from anywhere] What can you count on these days in 2020, outside of the pacing of your breath as we all struggle to cleave to each passing beat pair & repair? [Spirals of a finger on glass] Between two right hands, neither really righter than the other, we have no choice but to hold on to the you one holds dearest to: the beads of just being.

[Sinewaves in phase] When I comb my hair to get ready for the day, I realize that the black static it collects was always meant to fall away. [Synthetic graupel in flames] Here, Skeen specializes in ambient music as the pellucid space of an emotional landscape, limned in Timothy Morton’s ethos of dark ecology & Gloria Anzaldua’s idea of nepantla. It is equally phenomenological, psychological, spiritual & visceral. If you ask me, Geneva is a poet who works in sound sculpture. She cures slabs of lived time as if flesh marble & makes of her subconscious an underworld for the listener to locate themselves in. [Bats that clamor as strata of bleeding leather] The through-lines of her past works are clear as a fault crack & in this instance, glimmer like quartz veins.

[Tiny harmonic partials prick like an ice pick] Skeen knows that to protect the lit wick, you have to cup the darkness. [Anvil & shelves of overcast guitar drop into a weak bell pulse] She knows that to get past a hard period, like timing a total eclipse’s black sun, you have to account for every degree, every granular shift, of lost movement. [Dread awaits, step by step on the tepid bathroom tile, displaced] Do not let the coldness of existence’s indifference make you forget that inside you is a vast reserve of heat. [Glacial light glaives that cloud perception] Everyday, we literally squeeze water from a stone to wash our face.

[The crashing falls look like plumes of sand smoke] The sense impression I got listening to that song, which is a cascading ripple of descriptions I got from other moments on this album was:

“The innermost of all voices centers her poise like mist blankets over morning grass. The blood gallops like cut yew flower in traced stampede dialects for thaw-flecked resonance.”

[Avalanche reverberations boil time’s marrow & glow with Aaliyah tape drone]
Choose yourself. Don’t be scared to live again.

Now, I am dusting a concord grape with my being’s clear lymph before I eat it.

credits

released November 13, 2020

Track 5 title from Água Viva by Clarice Lispector.
Cover image by Geneva Skeen.
Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music, UK.

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Geneva Skeen Los Angeles, California

Influenced by écriture féminine, alchemical metaphors, and a range of musical traditions ranging from holy mysticism to industrial, Skeen works with with recordings, digital presets, voice, and mixed instrumentation. Her performances, publications, and installations focus on the contrast between facing the finite resources of our physical landscapes and their infinite digital representations. ... more

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