Transcendental Animal Numbers (Fiepblatter Catalogue #2)

Thrill Jockey
Thrill 356 - 2013

Cassette sold out.  Available for digital download.

Transcendental Animal Numbers the second entry in the Fiepblatter Catalogue series from Jan St. Werner of Mouse On Mars. This follows Blaze Colour Burn released earlier this year. Transcendental Animal Numbers is released on cassette only in an editon of 150 for the world.  The cassette is pro-dubbed on chrome tape and comes with a full color J-card and free download coupon.

Transcendental Animal Numbers is the second entry in Jan St. Werner’s Fiepblatter Catalogue. The work is comprised of carefully edited sounds derived from computer algorithms. There are no intentional references to traditional ideas of tuning, meter or spectrum. Rather, there are unexpected shifts of sonic scales, sudden frequency modulations andextreme panoramic shifts that produce an unconventional chunk of condensed acoustic information. Still the resulting compositions are arranged seamlessly and unpredictably as if they were field recordings of animals in the wilderness. The work is a representation of an acoustic organism where no sound is derived from any living creature or acoustic source, instead it is artificiality incorporating the irrational and unpredictable into a logical mathematical system to create a black box in which sound can scatter. Werner likens Transcendental Animal Numbers to Schrödinger’s “cat in a box” experiment that proves that quantum physics is the unpredictability of one particle simultaneously existing in various states.

Although cassette is the most antagonistic medium to present such digital material, its technical limitations seem perfect for these pieces to come as two continuous 20 minute listening sessions. Werner’s Fiepblatter Catalogue is a series of genre-dismantling releases on Thrill Jockey that encompass electro-acoustic experimentation, algorithmic elements, scored music, digital signal processing, field recordings, improvisation, public performance and graphic works.