Monday, September 21, 2009

TVD Ghost Notes

“Ghost notes are musical notes occurring in a rhythmic figure which are purposely deemphasized, often nearly to the point of silence.”

The musical equivalent of a lost tooth for example, your tongue repeatedly flicking at its absence.

I’ve long been aware that absences have shapes—the loss or the distance becoming a companion. That absence is SOMEthing. A tangible intangible, maybe.

If you’re fortunate to live a long life, one of connections and entanglements, real or perceived—their departures announce themselves with tiresome frequency. Yet, SOMEthing remains. And we replay it over and over.

“Ghost notes, however, are not simply the unaccented notes in a pattern. The unaccented notes in such a pattern as a clave are considered to represent the mean level of emphasis--they are neither absolutely emphasized nor unemphasized. If one further deemphasizes one of these unaccented notes to the same or a similar extent to which the accented notes in the pattern are emphasized, then one has 'ghosted' that note.

In a case in which a ghost note is deemphasized to the point of silence, that note then represents a rhythmic placeholder in much the same way as does a rest. This can be a very fine distinction, and the ability of an instrumentalist to differentiate between what is a ghost note and what is a rest is governed largely by the acoustic nature of the instrument.”

Japan - Ghosts (Mp3)
Japan - Other Side of Life (Mp3)
David Sylvian - September (Mp3)
David Sylvian - Wave (Live) (Mp3)
David Sylvian - Fire in the Forest/Ghosts (Live, 2007) (Mp3)