In our second-to-last episode of season one of our podcast, musician and mathematician Vivian Tylinska discusses her Russian futurist-inspired transcendental black metal project, Victory Over the Sun.
"I like to make music that is complicated...to use math, to use the ideas that were developing in the 20th century in classical music using the language of metal. There is definitely correlation between math and music in terms of music being sets of pictures, the frequencies, the way elements interact. Over the last year, I’ve been very interested in microtonal music, which uses notes that are not the 12 notes that are most common in Western music. We get different relationships between tones, which gives you different flavors and qualities of chords. That can give you very different range of emotional feelings that don't exist in Western music. There's math in that, the way that you choose the notes, the way that you arrange things.
Rhythmically, there are also complicated rhythms that have more large scale structures. What I've been doing this year is, I will take off the frets on a guitar and fill them in and cut new frets in. I use 17 tones instead of the usual 12. You get different flavors. 17 is nice because you can do similar stuff that you can in 12 but there are alien sounds, there are foreign and dissonant sounding intervals, which I think are really interesting. Whenever I show people microtonal music, at first, they’re like, 'This just sounds bad and out of tune.' I’m like, 'No, but it's a different tune!'
My solo project is called Victory Over the Sun, which is the name of a Russian futurist opera from 1917. It's designed by this Soviet artist, Kazimir Malevich with text by other Russian futurists. I've been very interested in Russian futurism. Italian futurism was closely associated with fascism, which I absolutely condemn; I have no interest in Italian futurism. Russian futurism is what fascinates me most. I am working on a new project about Kazimir Malevich called 'The Objectless World', based on his ideas about art as pure emotional expression and a non-objective representation of feeling."
Hear the whole podcast episode on iTunes or SoundCloud: Future Prairie Radio Season 1 Episode 11: Victory Over the Sun.