As soon as one really starts listening to Ryan T. Dunn's sonic creations as Instinct Control, one realizes that as much as they are improvised, the project name is no accident, as the end result is very much an experiential journey with the composer/performer as guide, "intent" unfolding as it happens. I envision Ryan a bit lost in a pyramid, but far from panicking, he's gradually mastering the texture of the glyphs along the wall, patiently and deliberately finding his way. It's good chaos, like that scene in Tarkovsky's The Mirror, all shaken-out hair and falling plaster rendered in slow motion.
Ryan is a real-time composer, who really knows his instrument, and where you could say this about many in the circuit-bending crowd, when listening to Instinct Control, one really feels the journey—every corner the music turns, every choice the player takes, is an exploration of feeling, a joyous journey, and lucky you get to ride along.
These two sets were rendered absolutely live, on the My Castle of Quiet program of February 18, Ryan seated on the floor, thus somewhat hidden from view to engineer Bob Bellerue and myself. Seemingly very lucid, quiet and confident, Ryan sat before his instrument and found his way, for as long as the journey made sense. And though by the common standard, this is raucous, intense music, to me these are soul-stirring trips—the more I explore these sets, the more I appreciate their energizing quality, their sure power and uplifting vibrance.
Thanks to Bob Bellerue for exposing me to Ryan's music and setting up the meet, as well as engineering the live session. Thanks as always to Tracy Widdess of Brutal Knitting for stomping colorful life into my iPhone capture of the artist at work; buy a radical balaclava from her today—reasonably priced original Canadian folk art it is. And thanks most of all to Ryan T. Dunn for these ever-more-uplifting performances. Hallelujah!