Cassette Review: F. Ampism – Black Moss Pot

First I thought of ragdolls. They take on life and dance around in a children’s dreamstate. It is all very British, because these dolls are made in the Victorian age and bring memories of a grand empire, children wearing big straw heads, riding donkey-carts meeting an Indian Sultan on the back of an elephant. The image, I agree, was a bit silly. And the music on the tape shouldn’t stop there, even if you would think of a Powell and Pressburger movie, in which the chalk-faced dolls became actors and danced to different tunes.

I listened again and thought about language. Not every language can be caught in a strand of words. What went through the minds of James Watson and Francis Crick when they discovered the structure of DNA? What is the sound of the formula they wrote down? And coming to think of it, if you go back millions and millions of years, when presumably lifeless matter connected in a structure, that became the origin of all life on earth, there must have been something in the moves of the dead matter. There must have been some kind of communication, not between two entities, but between members of a bigger family.

My impression of this tape is, that the secret of the music lies in the intuitive approach of communication. One talks so very easily about a special ‘chemistry’ between people. But what is this chemistry? How would you describe it? And why should it be called ‘art’ if you try to use sounds instead of the usual sounds that we call language. This tape by F. Ampism is one of the most hopeful works, I have heard in a long time. It is full of joy and wonder. You can easily apply it to the research of Watson & Crick, hear the doubts, the errors, the determination, euphoria, maybe even the memories of long lost days that pearled into the thought processes.

On a different level, the compositions define a period in time, the location that belongs to it, with the special qualities and the undefinable feeling that belongs to it. You will lose that feeling once you move to another place. And that undescribable sensation, which is a part of your personal DNA, has found its expression on this tape.

But I lean back in peace, if you think that Black Moss Pot is a rendition of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.


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