Born in New-Zealand, based in Los Angeles and formerly known as Koronis, Jesse Woolston is a multimedia artist and composer whose music is inherently linked with audio visual and installation arts, technology, precision programming and motion design. Following on from his 2017 EP Circuits which was already “exploring the relationship between classical instrumentation and experimental electronics”, µstructure is Jesse Woolston’s third album.
The record was self-released on 17 May 2018 last on his own Vènka Industries label in digital format, and the CD version also includes an art book showcasing a series of microscopic (µ) photographs taken by the musician himself.
The six compositions on µstructure are all musical illustrations for audio visual installations showcased at various international venues such as Mexico city, London, San Francisco’s electronic music festival MUTEK or Alys Beach’s Digital Graffiti Festival in Florida. But highlighting further the visual inclination of the album, four pieces were also visualised by cross media design artists such as Tobias Gremmler (“This Way Comes”), Peder Norrby (“Piano Form”) or with film footage (“Movement”).
Every piece throughout the album is built around different “structures” using algorithms, tone and time delays, frequency ranges or triggered sounds and loops. The mesmerising piano-led “This Way Comes” for instance was
built using an array of different time signatures and delays both in 4/4 and 3/4. Using this technique, the introductory piano evolves and falls in on itself creating new melodies and harmonies. The more time the sound spends within this “structure”, the more the pianos become the texture and atmosphere for the next section of the piece.
But if logic, geometric visualisation and precision programming underpin Jesse Woolston’s approach, there is also an attempt to unearth organic patterns, to mimic nature or to introduce an element of randomness.
Countless plants or natural phenomena down to the microscopic and molecular structure of the physical world for instance also feature symmetrical and fractal patterns. In other words, if there is a constant relation between visual media and music in Jesse Woolston’s work, there is also an attempt to bridge the gap between technology and nature.
The beautiful track Winter for instance, a minimal piece for solo piano to celebrate “the ending of the year and winter season” released in December 2017, was improvised in the studio and illustrated by the slow-motion and symmetrical swell of waves gently crashing on the shore. The cinematic and orchestral “Movement” on µstructure was written as an “ode to nature” and illustrated on YouTube with B Takes from Alejandro Iñárritu’s movie The Revenant. All the shots compiled highlight the fact that nature is full of fractals – trees, mountains, shells, icicles, clouds, fire, snowflakes or water flowing etc.
From microscopic photography to looping beats or glitches, ambient textures, recurring piano motifs and audio visual installations on a much larger scale, µstructure is a very original and kaleidoscopic creation achieving a delicate balance between logical composition and spontaneous craft.