This post is in the Sensory Issues category

“My Brain is on Loop” – 2010

My brain is on loop today

sometimes a word or a fragment of phrase

sometimes an idea fully formed

my mind is asserting itself, demanding attention, ignoring my situation, how I feel about it

its just not appropriate!

My brain is on loop today

the thought goes around.

Its sonic but not heard, my ears not involved

The meaning is lost after 4000 times, give or take a few,

I don’t know the number,

but sound has achieved a visual form

a sonic object, taking shape and texture

A virtual sonic object.

heard but not listened, seen but not looked

perceived within, whole and tangible, assuming a shape and form

a solid reality turned and examined and assessed and reshaped.

my brain is on loop today

pushing the bounds of disciplined decency

I can’t hear myself think its so loud

it sits in the centre, takes up the space while I wait on the sidelines for silence

If I speak fast enough I can push it away

pretend that it’s ambience, not allow time for the tide to return and swamp me again

I can teach a whole lecture like this if I don’t stop, don’t think,

connect the mouth to the parts that hold the information the questions the responses the slides the examples.

I pity the students and that’s when I lose it.

I stammer and stop.

My brain is on loop today, an old fashioned tape loop, somehow more real,

but not so insistent

the meaning returns to the phrase and goes wandering

in my memory,

linking itself to thoughts thought before

collecting a web of related ideas and snatches of music and colours and things that I can never name.

I think that they’re feelings.

my brain is on loop but its starting to fail now, hours having passed,

losing its grip on my mind

The vision is somewhat more clouded, less real, its shape inconsistent

time in decay, and turns on itself

my brain is in loop but it can’t last forever

I’m tired

I’ll sleep once its silent

The audio for Brain on Loop has been prepared using ambisonic effects in an attempt to simulate the way that this occurs inside my own mind. In headphones, the central loop, the “earworm” takes the centre, with the deliberate thoughts being forced to the side of my internal space. As in my realtime experience, maintaining a deliberate, constructed thought stream over-rides the earworm to some degree, rather like the effect of a ducking system, but it soon finds its way to the foreground again, often taking on a “cloud”, something like a grain-cloud or infinite reverb. The panning of the main text represents the conscious efforts I make to find a way “past” the stuck thought – think of trying to pass a semitrailer on the highway. I can bypass the earworm if I speak rather than thinking – a somewhat dangerous tactic! There is a visual element to the BrainLoop, in that the stuck phrase takes on a three dimensional shape that takes over my internal “vision-space” in much the same way as the phrase itself occupies the “sound-space”. I can allow myself to become fascinated with this shape and explore its complexity and texture, much the same way that I can explore a heard sound within a piece of music. Its a kind of mental synaesthesia I suppose. The big difference between the experience and this piece, is that I have given you only a few “Brain on Loop minutes”.

I have “Brain on Loop days”.

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