End of Time is an exciting new musical group that creates immersive meditative sound experiences by fusing acoustic and digital instruments. Recently they have added the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 to their set up, and naturally, we just had to know more. Artiphon co-founder Jacob Gordon chatted with Anthoni Logos, the Amsterdam-based producer (and mad scientist of the trio) to dig a little deeper.
Jacob Gordon: Your performances are both meditations and live sets. Can you describe what someone experiences at an End of Time show?
Anthoni Logos: Depending on the venue, people lay down, sit, or stand in the middle of a 3D-programmed multi-speaker set-up. We bring them on a journey that starts off more meditative and progresses from there. Depending on the crowd, it can sometimes become a full dancing experience.
JG: What instruments, technologies, and sounds are you bringing into these performances?
AL: We do not approach music in a traditional way. Instead of creating songs, we create sonic-scapes that form an aural field through the use of ambisonics technology. This enables us to use space as a part of the composition. We fuse ancient and mystical instruments such as the gong, quartz crystal singing bowls, chimes, shamanic drum, Tibetan singing bowls and tuning forks, with layers of cosmic soundscapes in Ableton Live, using MIDI controllers (including the Ableton Push and the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1) and synths like the Virus TI Snow and Deepmind 12.
JG: You're using the INSTRUMENT 1 in some very interesting ways. Can you tell us about your setup?
AL: Because of my background as a bass guitarist and a synth lover, I have always tried to find ways to perform on synths with the same skills as I use to play the guitar. I hook up the Artiphon INSTRUMENT 1 to external hardware synths such as the Virus or the Deepmind to be able to play them more expressively.
JG: We're seeing more and more people control analog synths with the INSTRUMENT 1. What does this combination bring to your playing?
AL: The INSTRUMENT 1 is the first controller that really allows me to play my favorite synths as a guitarist. This is revolutionary for me – something that I wanted for years. I even tried to put MIDI elements on my bass guitar but the tracking was horrible. Next step is to find an analog MIDI MPE compatible synth that fits the sound of End of Time and use that to explore even deeper dimensions of expression.
You have quite a bit of formal musical training. How are you incorporating those skills into End of Time?
AL: For End of Time we do not work in normal song structures, or sometimes even harmony. So I use my formal musical training to know how to break or maybe use the rules in a different way that sounds good. We do not necessarily work in keys or song structures but we approach music as spatial sound scapes and from a frequency perspective. So for example instead of writing a track in Db Minor, we write a track in Frequency-of-the-Moon Minor. The frequency is the root, we are experimenting with detuning synths and instruments to just or pythagorean intonations to explore what these more natural scales do to the listener. So we detune the synth internally or with Max for Live and I can play the Artiphon as a normal guitar and the Max patch or synth detunes the notes to the specific frequencies.
JG: What happened in Davos this year?
AL: End of Time performed throughout the week at BlockBase, a future-forward summit during The World Economic Forum. We are grateful that we were able to perform our multidimensional music for some of the world’s leading tech entrepreneurs and business and world leaders. The backdrop of the Swiss Alps was truly magical.
JG: Do you see people approaching the audience/performer relationship different these days?
AL: Definitely. Even the experience of a music performance hasn’t really been innovated on lately. So we really feel there is a role for us to play in exploring new ways to approach this relationship and this experience. People start with lying or sitting down, with their eyes closed. Really taking the time to come to themselves and actively listen to what is happening. We start really slow, as a break of the fast-paced lives that we all experience. Then we take them on a sonic journey. The spatial audio really works well for this, because suddenly you’re enveloped in the story that we tell. The distractions become less and because we start sitting or lying down, you are really there and present, actively listening to a sonic story. Then when the story develops, we subtly invite people to stand up and move or dance to the added beats, but by starting in the meditative or slow way and enveloping the audience the experience of listening/dancing to music and the relationship between audience and performer is completely different. We’re in it together, immersed in a story, we ourselves also don’t know exactly where it goes, it develops to wherever it needs to go.
JG: How do you see the connection between music and consciousness?
AL: Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher, said that music was the highest art, because it is the only art that is able to use building blocks from the pure numerical proportions that govern nature and the universe. You, as a human, are constructed from these proportions. That's the reason that harmonically pure music can so profoundly touch you.
The music of today is not harmonically in tune with nature and the universe anymore. This is because in the West all instruments are tuned on a principle called 'equal temperament.' In this system all tones are artificially divided in equal steps over an octave. This is artificial because it varies completely from the pure numerical proportions which govern nature and the universe.
With End of Time we want to once again return to the authentic. Our music speaks in the language of the universal essence. Our sets are made with natural harmonic frequency music, both digital and acoustic, which is matched to the planets of our solar system and the building blocks of our visible reality – the visible light color spectrum. You'll be transported through wormholes with the specific color through the seven worlds. With our accompanying live reactive visuals it will seem like the whole dance floor is traveling through these worlds, supported by the right frequencies.
Catch a performance, listen, and follow along with End of Time of their official website here.