For the past year or so, alongside the more pop-oriented material he's known for, Montreal artist d'Eon has been hard at work on a SoundCloud-only series of instrumental tunes called Music For Keyboards. The second one, to give you some idea of the project's experimental attitude, featured 14 synthetic piano variations of Blink 182's "What's My Age Again," while the third was a "traditional symphony for MIDI orchestra" exploring ideas of Québecois nationalism and "awe for one's country." Volume IV, which he unveiled this morning, is a meta-meditation on the power of MIDI technology to reproduce the sounds of acoustic instruments. Conceptually speaking, it's something electronic musicians have been thinking about since electronic music began (think: the mimetic intent of Iasos' Paradise Music), but it's also a preoccupation that feels right at home on the hi-fi centric Hippos In Tanks roster, which has become kind of the go-to spot for artists who aren't afraid to sound almost garishly, uncomfortably "contemporary." What's cool about "Blackout" though is that it doesn't even necessarily seem like it's trying to be of the moment; it's more like a collection of minimalist improvisations and Irish gigs. Below, d'Eon tells us what he was thinking about when he started the project:
"Music For Keyboards is the outlet for personal emancipated expression, as far-removed as possible from the normal anxieties of influence and the capitalist duress under which all artists produce material in the 21st century. Because Music For Keyboards never enters the "real" "market", I can essentially do whatever I want without concern for page-views, corporate patronage or recouping production costs . Without the pressure to produce advertiser-friendly, ruling-class music, these volumes of material are free to exist solely as exercises in tonal relationships. Whether the material is any good is of course up to the listener, who is free to like or dislike it without a beer company influencing their opinion."