“As a core aspect of ecological and evolutionary thinking, symbiosis and its associated symbiogenesis, affirms the interconnectedness of life and all living things (Scofield and Margulis 2012). – – We are ‘holobionts’ or complex, collaborative organisms consisting of trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that coordinate the task of living together and sharing a common life”, writes philosopher and Professor of Sustainability Glenn Albrecht.
“I once heard the writer China Miéville use a particular phrase for the realm of fungi: “The kingdom of the gray.” It captured their otherness: the challenges fungi issued to our usual models of time, space, scale, and species. “You look at the network,” Sheldrake said. “And then it starts to look back at you.””, Robert Macfarlane, The Secrets of Wood Wide Web on New Yorker
Imagine being able to hear healing, rebirth, vitality, new growth in your cells and neurons, sound of nature’s nurture and nourish, life itself. Well, that is simply how Akusmi’s album Fleeting Future feels. This music is pure bubbling joy, loveliness, hope, sun and sets one to another scenery, connects to a way bigger organism instead of individual …well… tree. Fleeting Future includes ritualistic, even shamanistic effects and tones, but also very neat electronic production, a chessboardlike or mathemathic punctuality and the chaos and fusion of jazz. It’s a seamless and effortless combination of ancient and contemporary, something exciting, making new footprints, indications and exploration markings to the possible futures that are still nonexistent, fleeting. In addition to Fleeting Future being music composed with high quality and full of artful references and genre fusions, that is something present moment in human history certainly needs.
It all began in the forest, actually. Akusmi, a.k.a composer Pascal Bideau travelled to Indonesia and studied gamelan. Gamelan (Javanese: ꦒꦩꦼꦭꦤ꧀, Sundanese: ᮌᮙᮨᮜᮔ᮪, Balinese: ᬕᬫᭂᬮᬦ᭄) is the traditional ensemble music of the peoples of Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments used are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called Kendang, which register the beat. In indigenous gamelan a nuclear theme typically extends over a number of four-beat “bars,” against which other instruments play a related countermelody. Another group plays rhythmic paraphrases of this theme, and a fourth group fills out the texture with delicate rhythmic patterns. Highly important are the punctuating, or colotomic, instruments that divide the musical sentence. ”Many of the themes, motifs and melodies on Fleeting Future seed from the ‘Slendro’ scale, one of the essential tuning systems used in Gamelan. However it is not musical scales, but scales as in the size or extent of things that most fascinates Bideau, specifically he explains; “the compelling way things dramatically change when you shift from any given scale to another.”
Indonesian indigenous first people, ”Sons of the soil”, pribumi, or bumiputra lived in Indonesias islands, where fossilised remains of Homo erectus and his tools suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by at least 1.5 million years ago. Despite the long history of various rulers and the Dutch being the foremost colonial power for their 350 -year presence in the archipelago, Indonesia still has vast areas of wilderness that support one of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity.
Indigenous music might have sensitivity and wisdom we, western antrophocene colonialists, with the attitude of growth-addicted industrial-technological consumers don’t have a clue of. Australian philosopher and professor Glenn Albrecht explains in his essay Exiting the Anthropocene and Entering the Symbiocene how during a relatively short period of human history we have seen the emergence of society that has achieved its success at the expense of the vitality of the Earth. ”At the same time as this system has produced global scale pollution, negative climate change, mass extinction and human wealth, it has impoverished and corrupted many of the efforts that have been made to emerge into some sort of harmony or equilibrium with the Earth. The usurpation by a powerful elite, and their instruments such as mass media, of concepts like democracy, sustainability, sustainable development and resilience have all taken place.”, he writes to descripe antrophocene and it’s attitudes and explains one by one it’s phenomenas and instruments and the definite need for new approach and story – symbiocene. And what is that new almost fleeting future like? ”The new foundation, built around a new meme, will need to be an act of positive creation.”, writes Albrecht.
And that is something Akusmi’s Fleeting Future is. It is joy and healing in times of apocalyptic news and views. It is light, nurture and hope. It represents new (ancient) interconnected symbiotic way of social networks and existence without destruction, seeing hostility and threath around, selfjustified exploitation and endless circle of suffering, death, and guilt.
Certain kinds of common fungi for example exist in subtle symbiosis with plants, bringing about not infection but connection. These fungi send out gossamer-fine fungal tubes called hyphae, which infiltrate the soil and weave into the tips of plant roots at a cellular level. Roots and fungi combine to form what is called a mycorrhiza: itself a growing-together of the Greek words for fungus (mykós) and root (riza). In this way, individual plants are joined to one another by an underground hyphal network: a dazzlingly complex and collaborative structure that has become known as the Wood Wide Web. We now know that, for example, health in all forest ecosystems is regulated by what are called “mother trees” that control fungal networks that in turn interconnect trees of varying ages. The control system works to regulate nutrient flows to trees, such as to the very young, that need them most (Simard et al 2015). It raises big questions about where species begin and end.
Beautiful, at times fierce Fleeting Future ends with Yurikamome. The word means black-headed gull in japanese. Yurikamome’s genus name Chroicocephalus derives from Ancient Greek khroizo, to colour, and kephale, head. The specific ridibundus is Latin for laughing, from ridere, to laugh. Yurikamome (新交通ゆりかもめ, Shinkōtsū Yurikamome), formerly the Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line is also an automated guideway transit service, that is, a train with no driver. “A last journey that feels like a new beginnig”.
Think about that.
“Akusmi is the new project moniker of French-born, London based composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Pascal Bideau, who signs to the new Tonal Union imprint for the release of his album ‘Fleeting Future.’ With its hallucinatory, genre-defying blend of minimalism, cosmic jazz and Fourth World influences, and in its quest for optimism in the face of unknown and limitless possibility. ‘Fleeting Future’ stands apart as an inventive and inspirational debut.
The creation of the album’s richly colourful and multi-layered sound world was originally inspired by Bideau’s journey to Indonesia, where he immersed himself in traditional Gamelan and gong music.
The album connects directly to nature and the wider world in its evocation of perceptive shifts and transitions from microscopic to macro scale, as evidenced by the opening title track ‘Fleeting Future’, on which a simple dotted saxophone line morphs and billows into synths, brass and strings, indicating the musical voyage that lies ahead. Like the start of a journey or adventure it is full of anticipation, its arborescent growth conveying the optimism of the unknown and of limitless possibility.
‘Fleeting Future’ is the first release on the new London/Berlin based Tonal Union imprint, founded by Art director and curator Adam Heron. It was composed and recorded by Bideau between 2017 and 2019 in his North London studio and features additional contributions recorded in Berlin by Florian Juncker (trombone), Ruth Velten (saxophone) and regular collaborator Daniel Brandt of Brandt Brauer Frick (drums / electronic percussion).
Totuus. Truth. The Official Music and Art Magazine of Finland. “Love, and do whatever.”