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about

I bang a knife blade against guitar strings to create a metallic, gritty guitar sound. I also use clanking bells, rustling chains and wind-up toys to create a rattlesnake effect. These elements form a sinister soundscape, with shrill screams and mumbling to create a particularly eerie feel.

I play with elements of the subconscious by adding whispering throughout the track, imitating an underlying stream of consciousness. Whispering has connotations of secrecy, camouflage and hiding information. I whisper through a megaphone, contrasting the loud and soft elements, highlighting how intense our inner desires or subconscious can become.

There are many layers in this track – about 40 different sounds, which reveal themselves and fade as the piece progresses. The main vocals don’t contain many lyrics, instead phrases are repeated over and over, bringing about a mantra-like quality to the piece. Words are echoed and repeated, reflecting on how echoes of the past are entrenched in our current language and actions. The opening of the track plays with the archaic phrase “hold your horses”, highlighting how the language that we use today has echoes of the past, which is easy to forget or ignore in our everyday usage.

Dark Horses plays with autonomic biological mechanisms which are often focused on in meditation and are controlled by the most ancient parts of our brain – mainly breathing and our heartbeat. I play with breath by making short, sharp intakes of air and exhaling slowly. There is an underlying low frequency drumbeat in the track, which mimics the thumping of our heartbeat. These elements highlight the meditative aspect of the piece, as the noise and clamour fades towards the end, we become increasingly aware of inner worlds and functioning that we take for granted in order to stay alive.

lyrics

Hold your horses, I'll hold mine.
Hold your horses, take your time.
Fire burning, heat is breathing,
Take one look and red eyes searching.

credits

from You Will Outlast Me, All! Even the Babe​-​In​-​Arms, released November 13, 2015
Glitches, guitar and banshee wailing by Astrid Zeman.
Mastered by Jono Holmes.

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about

Astrid Zeman Sydney, Australia

Solo Sydney musician Astrid Zeman creates lush, ambient soundscapes using a loop pedal, guitar, keyboard and voice. By plucking, tapping, scratching, strumming, knocking and singing into resonant cavities, Astrid manipulates each instrument in multiple ways to extract its full range of frequencies and textures. She infuses her wistful soprano vocals into these richly layered strings and textures. ... more

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