drew harkey

everything is completely Sound

Drew Harkey is a visual artist, interactive designer and digital music composer based in Tallahassee, Florida. Drew creates soundscapes and visual experiences, with much of his audiovisual work developed for Imaginalia Institute, a scientific research project exploring the nature of the unconscious psyche.

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I shall call to mind how music was always celebrated and held sacred among the ancients, and how very sage philosophers were of the opinion that the world is composed of music, that the heavens make harmony in their moving, and that the soul, being ordered in like fashion, awakes and as it were revives its powers through music. — Ludovico da Canossa (1475-1532) in Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier, 1528

everything is completely Sound

image of an organic leaf emerging from computer circuits

There is a mystery at the confluence of science and mind, at the intersection where matter is both a wave and a particle. A place where reality depends on how we observe it — where the structure of the world “out there” may be only an allegory of the strange loops, recursions and self-mirroring that underly it all.

This project aims to explore that delicate, dynamic realm found at the margins of chaos and order, entropy and coherence, the imagined and the material.

Poised in that narrow band between the repetitive and the unpredictable is music — that peculiar ordering of sound in time — something we experience as different from random noise.

Down there, at the level of quantum strings, it can be said everything is completely sound. Perhaps then music is an analogue, an ontological portal into that liminal space — between the duality of structure and waves — reaching through the mirror of our consciousness and expressing the non-verbal, non-linear possibilities of the human mind.

From strings above, to strings below.


I. A Walk in the Fog Short instrumental meditation.
atmospheric / cinematic
A short reverie composed for a string ensemble of viola, cello and bass. The viola plays flageolet to convey a sense of strain and wandering, and the melody line is actually a weave of textures. The chord arrangement progresses through a feeling of searching — perhaps a bit of longing — and resolves in a closed, positive cadence. posted January 06, 2023

II. Departure Interweaving fugue state.
downtempo / psyambient
This is the first composition where my goal of creating emergence is explicit rather than inferred. I believe there are sounds “heard” in the piece that are not programmed or played by an instrument. They are instead created by the interference of the waves, in the mind of the listener, an aural illusion much in the same way the color magenta is visual illusion. The effect is most pronounced in the second half, as the weaving sine waves interact with the “trance choir.” Creating the effect was an accident: I was trying to overcome a timing issue of quantization that was creating digital artifacts, and loosening the precision created the “tranciness” of the repeating waveforms. And out of that emerged a sort of U-sequence of implied sounds. posted January 06, 2023