This is Cellophane Orchestra‘s first solo release!
iona is the Spanish word for “canvas,” and also the fitting name everyman (Cellophane Orchestra’s founder) gave his deaf white cat (pictured on the above album cover sitting on top of a real white canvas!)
Says everyman, “This isn’t meant to be received as ‘music’ . . . but a chance to leave your body for a long time, only to return as a child, reborn, and rediscovering the joys your new life can give you. I don’t know why, but to me, it feels extremely white. Full. Loud. Intense. Noisy to the eyes and ears, just like the color white. The entire thing is sort of a tribute to that. . . not just the color, but the sensation, emotion, and the metaphor.”
“The original concept behind this was to program my computer to write its own composition using samples of the human voice and a harpsichord. While editing it down, very late at night, I discovered some rather unorthodox ways of digitally arranging the results that really tied the piece together. I edited them down carefully, and almost got the sound I desired.”
“While getting up for a drink, my cat iona jumped on my computer keyboard and managed to delete the entire thing. Frustrated, I stayed up later and rearranged the piece all over again. I was extremely pleased to find my second attempt blew away my first one. While saving my results, iona then jumped on an extremely old and dying Casio keyboard. At first I thought, ‘this is a terrible, awful sound . . . I need to get her off of there.’”
“Then I thought, ‘no . . . this is the most beautiful sound I ever heard in my life!’” every man proceeded to tape the keys down where iona patiently rested her paws in the same position, as if she knew precisely what she was doing. Once he finished, iona jumped off the keyboard and went to her bed and nodded off.
everyman recorded this sound for the next two hours, despite the rising sun signaling that he has been awake for more than 24 hours. Listening to the recording, he found that in his tired state the microphone was accidentally left on, adding an unexpected layer of the same sound being played back through the speakers (which created an unusually random leslie effect.) The microphone also barely captured the sounds of breathing, walking, eating, and swaying bead curtains. This added a whole new dimension to the sound, one that seemed inseparable from the original. It made perfect sense. every man spent the next several hours incorporating this heavenly “accident” into what became the final mix of “iona.”
So, what exactly happens to people when they listen to iona?
Says Varian Shepherd, a friend to everyman, but also a known Ohio composer of avant guard electronic works, “It is my favorite piece I have heard you do. It was amazing. I feel that the whole CD constantly became more and more intense…”
“When listening to it there was another person in the room with me, they were positioned similar to I, and was also uninterrupted.. While listening to it … I was lying on my back… and was rather naturally unaware of anything beyond my vision of the bottom of my ceiling … and the sound I was hearing… I would say at about 40-70% through it… when I later realized (as meaning as it was happening I was not aware, but in retrospect…) I faded away, as completely as I ever have… of a sudden I noticed that I had vision and that something was getting really loud… my body was tingling with the sensation of sensation returning to ones limbs… I sat up and looked around. Trying to figure out what was so loud… I realized that there was no sound playing… that the CD was over…”
“I had no idea how long it had been off… and that it was the lack of sound that was loud…. I saw the person who was listening to it with me there on the floor, lying… they were “asleep” and drooling…
“I said aloud ‘wow that was really interesting’, the person suddenly sat up, lit a cigarette and said ‘WHAT’, raising eyebrows opening eyes, ‘was interesting?’
“He then also said … “that must have been a really big CD you put in’ ‘Why do you say that?’, I replied. ‘It would have to be… to fit all that on there.’
“I asked him how long he thought the CD had been over for… he also had no idea… he said he couldn’t even tell how long he had been listening to it.. Before he went away, or when I even started it…”
Reports like the one above kept coming in, so we decided to release iona to the public.