Closure is a skill that I learned in my adult life, making it easy for me to end just about anything. Whether initiated by me or by nature, I accept when something is over and move on quite easily. That being said, I am relieved to announce that I have quit all music, making PROMONTORY my final album.
PROMONTORY is my 30th release, delivered on my 41st birthday and the 20th anniversary of my musical debut, BEFORE, AFTER, THEN. I began planning this ending while completing PROHAIRESIS several years ago. Although my music has been the only reason I’m alive, and its creation still fills me with joy, I eagerly anticipate selling all of my gear and emptying this room.
In time, my music became a satisfactory expression of who I am, my values, and what I want from existence. Originally, I decided to make music as a means to influence others into becoming more closely aligned with my ideals...with a long term goal of making existence more hospitable for me. Selfishly.
Being someone who embraces introspection and the failures it may uncover, I recognize that I have never really influenced anyone in this life. I have failed to amass any measurable audience for my work and made very few friends along the way. The world is just as insufferable now as it was when I began this quest 20 years ago.
However, I do not consider my work to be a failure. Regardless of its lack of popularity, my music is successful for three important reasons.
01. My music has always asked “why”.
Rather than create an expression of his mind, most contemporary artists choose to limit their palette of expression to emotion. An ambiguous articulation of short-sightedness defined by a vague notion of “passion” has replaced the intellectual evaluation (and recreation) of reality...ultimately striking the question of “why” from most art.
In the early days of Shoryuken! Records, I too succumbed to the false virtue of “passion”, but I outgrew it as quickly as I could. As my music matured, I decided to create art involving concepts and ideas. I chose to recreate reality with my music, all the while asking why such a recreation was necessary. What I lacked in actual musical abilities I made up for thematically. My music is specific in its philosophy.
02. I have maintained complete self-sufficiency.
Not only am I proud of what my music represents philosophically, but I am also proud of the fact that I did it on my own. I do not come from any sort of musical heritage and took no lessons (obviously). I figured out how to not only compose, but how to operate all this crap by my self, making many mistakes along the way. There were no tutorials or guides on how to program synthesizers and sequencers in the mid 90s and I had neither family nor friends to help. Furthermore, I have chosen the reclusive life of an introvert, rejecting all varieties of music communities and scenes.
In addition, all of my music gear was purchased by me with money earned honestly in the private sector. I have never asked for financial help nor thought that I was deserving of any. I've worked crappy jobs since I was 15, getting better and better in the workforce to earn more money to buy more gear. My success as an artist has been directly linked to my achievements and progress at my “day job” working for the man. Please don't misunderstand...I loathe “the man”. But I found that I could barter my independence 40 hours each week in exchange for the opportunity to have pure autonomous artistic self-sufficiency. It is critical to me that I leave no room for excuses or blame. This was not a sacrifice, but an investment.
03. My artistic choices were made without chemical influence.
I take great pride in making avant garde, obtuse, and deliberately “far out” music without partaking in any mind-altering substances. I have nothing against the use of drugs and alcohol, but prefer to challenge myself to push boundaries while maintaining all of my diagnostic faculties.
Most of the music that I enjoy is very heavily drug-influenced. The evidence is solid. Drugs do help most people to create wonderful things. They lend a new perspective on reality and open one's mind to possibilities that might not be realized otherwise.
However, I aim to profess the virtue of a closed-mind with my music. I wanted to create experimental compositions with deliberate focused intention....unabashedly obstinate to all outside influence. Not only because it allows me to stay true to my originally idea, but also because it's more difficult this way. Making crazy music fueled by pizza and soda is the artistic equivalent of taking the road less traveled.
The result of this approach is a catalog of music that, by and large, lacks a groove. Additionally, my music does not coerce others into a feeling of unity or extroversion. Perhaps this straight-edge (or some might say, straight-dull) approach to electronic music is more obvious to others that I have realized, possibly explaining why I haven't gained an audience over the years. Regardless, I hope that some day people may find value in what I have done, why I did it, and how I put it all together.
So yes...this is the end! The Jon Zaremba Epilogue is essentially an egotistical letter of braggery. So be it! In this moment, having just completed PROMONTORY, anything less than total self-indulgence would be dishonest.
I made music solely for my own satisfaction and now I’m satisfied.