by Darren Clarke, March 1, 2022
“One of the things I wanted to do was just let it sit in its relatively bare majesty.”
Tim Hecker, Spin Magazine Interview, 2019
When I was a kid, in the absence of the internet, a DVR, a VCR, or any control over what show my parents had on TV, I spent a lot of time outside. When my friends were doing their own thing I spent much of that time quite contentedly alone. On my own, in the winter, I could often be found in my backyard imagining, dreaming up stories, characters, whole worlds.
I have a vivid memory of being in my back yard and taking branches that had fallen from our maple tree and planting them in the snow that sat on a rickety table we had in the centre of the yard. I had the branches set up like a network of antennas to receive imaginary transmissions from other worlds.
My hometown, Thorold, was quiet at night, especially in the winter. Often on these frosty evenings the trees around the neighbourhood were filled with hundreds of black crows. You would have these crows just sitting there in absolute silence until suddenly, moved by some shared connection, they would abruptly squawk and to the sound of hundreds of beating wings, move to another tree. They would quickly settle into their new rest spot and that enormous quiet would return to the world.
Those nights were something. The cold vividly sharpening the darkened world around me that seemingly stretched to the heavens. The world seemed massive. The quiet seemed massive. And within this context I dreamed.
And I think, the transmissions I received there, dreaming in my backyard, are all contained in the ongoing work of Tim Hecker.
Listening to Hecker’s music is like tapping into a dream more received than conceived. It channels transmissions from other worlds, other realities, that have long been saturating the material that separates us from greater unknowns, on the verge of flooding our senses with something entirely outside our reckoning. But it’s not all warm and fuzzy. There’s many layers to Hecker’s slices of alternate reality including an ever-present threat.
What is that threat?
I don’t know really. Maybe something from the stereotypical storyline of a UFO/alien landing and after the initial feel good, “Boy, you know what happened to me yesterday? I met an alien!” stage, you start to get the feeling that maybe what the alien really wants is to entirely devour you.
And it does.
Tim Hecker’s music wants to devour you. I suggest you let it. Let those atmospheric pressure systems rummage about your inner landscapes and oceans and relieve you of all your intellectual burdens.
Hecker might not provide the freedom you want but he absolutely delivers the freedom you need via fucking with your frequency, un-calibrating your timing belt, varyingly flooding and starving your senses, providing proportions of dreamlike sounds heretofore unimagined.
Set yourself adrift. Let yourself float in unimagined possibilities. Get out in the backyard and dream.
Just press play.
If You Bring Music
I think that was the really cold November days////// things that were more skeletal and things that were more fragile/////// some of this stuff sitting in a more gentle way,//////////// almost like thinking about weaving fabric,///// a refuge from the malaise of partisanship///// So if you bring music,///////////////////////////////////////////// One of the things I wanted to do was just let it sit in its relatively bare majesty./