Friday, December 23, 2016

LFZ “Pointless Prism” (Stimulus Progression)




What makes a prism pointless? Does light tend to lose its nature when refracted into its constituent colors? Or do each of the color bands take on new and different meaning? I’m going to take a stab and say that listening to LFZ’s meditation on the subject (or meditation within the subject, depending on if he, that is, Sean Smith, actually believes that there’s some sort of pointlessness to prisms, which I hope for his sake and ours is not true) renders the argument obsolete. Pointless Prism is made up of fourteen short synthesizer meditations, each one an improvisation within a scale aimed at stimulating an emotional response. The good news is that Smith isn’t necessarily interested in the type of response his music engenders, he just wants you to feel something while you’re listening to his art.

Perhaps we back up then, reverse the light through the prism to its source and begin there. I’m reminded of the great Tarentel song, “It’s In You Right Now, Just Get Still, Think About It, I Am Light Filled,” and I wonder about the internal workings of spirit and individual consciousness. Heck, even Yoda weighed in with “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” There’s something about music, I think, that unlocks that inner illumination, that allows it to take over our consciousness and connect the dots to great mysteries normally out of our grasp. It at least goads our imaginations to enter a space where possibility is infinite. Pointless Prism does just that, and it intends to, right from the start. LFZ asks us to “explore the mind and body's response to the frequencies and combinations of each key,” and whether it’s “Involuntary Memory,” “Deepened,” “A Personal Voyage” (does Sean Smith hang out with Steve Targo, aka Inner Travels???), “Transparency,” or “Reverence,” the tones and chords strike the right vibe each time, shifting subtly between tracks and revealing pathways to new internal adventures.

Thus Pointless Prism becomes an outward expression for all of us, its meditative passages prompting us to project our light outward, and so be it if it becomes refracted into colors both visible and invisible.
The takeaway here is that LFZ has created a sound cycle that can inhabit us and change us, our attitudes, as we listen to it, and as it builds within us, it stretches our personalities until they burst externally with positive heat and light. It’s a primer for a better life – well, at least for a pretty good day, anyway. Nothing pointless about that.




--Ryan Masteller

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