Jekyll Electric Effect

by Kirk Pearson and BIT

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about

In 1971, the USSR financed their most expensive experiment to date: the Kola Superdeep Borehole. The purpose of the Kola Project was to dig to Earth’s mantle purely to see the consequences. By the time the government was forced to end funding, the team had dug thirteen kilometers creating the deepest hole anywhere on Earth-- even deeper than the Marianas Trench. The chasm was abandoned, and still sits in northeastern Russia today.

Like the Kola Borehole, unfinished projects leave quite a bit to the imagination. Incomplete icons are pathways that lead us to alternate histories. For us, this EP was a bit of an exercise in composing a suite of surrogate realities. Each icon we wrote about (be that a building, invention, expedition, composition, or experiment) was selected for its historical relevance to the 20th century. The album is not a lesson in history but a meditation on what small differences could have drastically changed the course of our future. Both the germination and death of these icons have become richly symbolic, and remind us of the starry-eyed aspirations, passion, and shortcomings of recent history.

Our alternate history consists of seven alternate realities to six precomplete icons:
*1915- Cecil Rhode’s Cape-to-Cairo railway (To Kairo),
*1942- Nikola Tesla’s extraterrestrial communication device (Breathe in the Static),
*1961- Buckminster Fuller’s dome for Manhattan (Pressure Dome),
*1971- The Kola Superdeep Borehole (Dig Down),
*1980- the Szkieletor Building that dominates the Krakow skyline (Skeleton Up).
*1992- Texas’ Superconducting Supercollider (Particle Run),

In essence, this EP isn’t finished. And it can never be finished. Those who don't learn history aren't forced to repeat it. Rather, their history becomes an incomplete pathway-- a precomplete history for our perpetually unfinished textbook.

We sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as we had making it.

credits

released August 30, 2014

All songs written and engineered by Kirk Pearson.
Produced by Kirk Pearson, Julian Korzeniowsky, and Hayden Arp.
Album art by Clara Lu.
Photography by Mari Kroin and Will Burris.

*Kirk Pearson* (Mellotron, Strings, Vocals, Electronics) studies composition and film at Oberlin College and Conservatory. His compositions have appeared on NPR, the BBC, TED, and PBS. He currently works as a researcher in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. kirk.pearson@oberlin.edu.

*Clara Lu* (Album Art) is a Queens-based painter and illustrator, currently studying at NYU Steinhardt. Lu holds fourteen awards from Scholastic including an American Vision nomination, as well as a critically lauded 2014 New York solo exhibition. Her works may be viewed at clarajlu.com.
________________________________________________________

BIT is an ever-changing digital music collaborative. The first time many of the musicians meet is on record.

In order of appearance:

*Cole Blouin* (Electric Guitars on ‘Breathe in the Static’) is a multi-stylistic guitarist, songwriter and occasional electronic musician from Maine, currently studying at Oberlin College. Although it's been a while since he's had any significant release, you can find his experiments and live tracks at www.soundcloud.com/coleblouin.

*Caroline Kuhn* (Vocals, Tenor Banjo on ‘Breathe in the Static,’ ‘To Kairo,’ and ‘Dig Down’) is an NYC-based singer and composer currently studying at New England Conservatory. This summer she recorded an EP with bassist Nick Dunston
(soundcloud.com/nick-e-dunston/the-storm/sets).

*Julian Korzeniowsky* (Keyboards, Production on ‘Breathe in the Static’ and ‘To Kairo’) has written compositions for the American Composers Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic and Ethel String Quartet. He studies at New England Conservatory. He can be reached at jfelix92@gmail.com.

*Julia Ofman* (Vocals on ‘Breathe in the Static’) is a senior Religious Studies major at Bates College. This soon-to-be-unemployed adult is honored to have been included in this EP.

*Kate Gratson* (Vocals on ‘Breathe in the Static’) is a composition student currently based out of SUNY Fredonia. Her 2013 release, Coins, was one of the year’s top selling jazz records. kategratson.com/music/

*Nick Dunston* (Acoustic Bass on ‘Breathe in the Static’) has been active in the New York jazz scene for several years. He currently studies at The New School in Manhattan. soundcloud.com/nick-e-dunston

*Lyle Kokiko* (Electric Guitars on ‘Pressure Dome’) is from Brooklyn and has studied jazz guitar and electronic music production.
He is currently working on his solo electronic project, "Grover"
(soundcloud.com/thisisgrover).

*Damon Smith* (Piano on ‘Pressure Dome) plays with the New York rock group Jacobins. He studies with the contemporary improvisation division of New England Conservatory where his music has been critiqued by the likes of Elvis Costello and Brendan Small. (jacobinsmusic.bandcamp.com).

*Zoë Madonna* (Accordion, Sample on ‘To Kairo’ and ‘Glitch’) is a dancing fool and future crazy cat lady who owns far too many swirly dresses. That's a lie. There is no such thing as too many swirly dresses. She is reachable by carrier condor or, failing that, at zoe.madonna@gmail.com.

*Yuri Popowycz* (Violin, Synths on ‘To Kairo’) is a violinist, illustrator, and electronic musician. His goal is to fuse his artistic endeavors and create a universe which he and his friends can fill with their dreams. Sounds can be enjoyed here soundcloud.com/whyouarei and here sons.bandcamp.com

*James Vitz-Wong* (Electric Bass on ‘To Kairo’) is a biorevolutionary, currently defending the fate of the organic world from mechanical annahilators by teaching robots how to love. He needs your help. [NOTICE: If it is before the year 2050, please disregard the above text and proceed to the following biography] James Vitz-Wong is a classical bass player and electroacoustic musician, studying at Oberlin Conservatory. He is a completely ordinary human being and enjoys long romantic walks on the beach at night (especially if you are a biorevolutionary). Enlist now at jamesvitzwong.bandcamp.com

*Ruby Froom* (Vocals on ‘To Kairo’) is a songwriter, vocalist, pianist, mbira player, and arranger, as well as a Music and Neurobiology major at Williams College. She has performed and recorded with the likes of Suzanne Vega, Duncan Sheik, Jad Abumrad of NPR's Radiolab, and The Indigo Girls. She put out her first EP Snow in June and is currently recording more new music, all of which can be, or will be able to be, heard at rubyfroom.bandcamp.com. Check out a recent radio interview for more info about Ruby (www.mixcloud.com/scotttime/ruby-froom-on-the-scott-einhorn-show-81814/). Based in NYC.

*Hayden Arp* (Production Assistance on ‘To Kairo’) composes music for listening and hails from Alexandria, Virginia. He currently studies at Oberlin Conservatory (www.haydenarp.com).

*Jonah Bobo* (Electric Guitars on ‘Glitch’) plays with New York rock group The Bonnie Situation (thebonniesituationmusic.bandcamp.com) and his solo project, Monochoir (monochoir.bandcamp.com).

*Griffin Jennings* (Acoustic Guitars on ‘Skeleton Up’) performs with the NYC rock group Jacobins (jacobinsmusic.bandcamp.com) and studies music technology at Oberlin Conservatory. His solo EP, East River, was released in early July (gjennings.bandcamp.com).

*Brendan Smith* (Vocals on ‘Skeleton Up’) is a rising senior at LaGuardia Arts and a vocalist with the New York rock group Jacobins (jacobinsmusic.bandcamp.com).

*Jakob Roy* (Vocals on ‘Skeleton Up’) is a staple of the New York community of jazz vocalists and currently studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. soundcloud.com/jakob-roy

*Aiden Berglund* (Electric Guitars on ‘Dig Down’) is a multi-instrumentalist who plays with the bands Palm Pilot, The Alright Now and with Michael Eliran. aiden.bandcamp.com

*Isabelle Harari* (Vocals on ‘Dig Down’) studies at Oberlin College.
_____________________________________________________________

Recorded in Oberlin, OH, New York, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and Tel Aviv, Israel.

'To Kairo' samples William McKinley's 1896 campaign address.
‘Pressure Dome’ samples 'Whoops, I'm An Indian' by Hal Wilner and "Sit and Listen" by Wax Tailor.
‘Glitch’ samples "Our Town" by Aaron Copland and performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, "Non Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Edith Piaf, "Taxman" by The Beatles, "I've Got The World on a String" by Frank Sinatra, "Scarborough Fair (Canticle)" as recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, "Tea for Two" as recorded by Blossom Dearie, "O Tannenbaum" as recorded by Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Circle of Life" excerpted from the soundtrack to "The Lion King" (1994), "Sail Away" by Randy Newman, and "Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major" as performed by Yo-Yo Ma.
‘Skeleton Up’ samples "Surfing on a Rocket" by Air.
‘Dig Down’ samples a segment of 'The War of the Worlds,' performed by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater, and of James Mason in 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' (1959). The instrumental loop is excerpted from the (unfinished) Symphony 10 by Gustav Mahler.
‘Particle Run’ samples ‘The Mexican Cactus’ by Jean-Jacques Perrey.

Special thanks to Mari Kroin, Will Burris, Larry Dunn, Arlene Dunn, Julian Ring, Carolyn Swartz, Nate Currie, Ralph Bakshi, and Randy Newman.

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about

Kirk Pearson New York

Electronic noisemaker/
sound collector/
aural storyteller/that kid you kinda knew in high school.

Most importantly, composer of electronic music and player of mandolins. Studier at Oberlin Conservatory.

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Contact Kirk Pearson

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Track Name: To Kairo
Johannesburg's skyline clusters tourists much like insects
Johannesburg's skyline's such a sad way to go
Cecil watches the stars much like tourists
Johannesburg's skyline's such a limiting show.

And so we go
all the way to Cairo,
steady as we go,
holding out my family
like we did long ago.
A long way to go.

Back in England we all legislate like fossils.
Back in England, our queen never says no.
Why would you stick around to scuff your feet on forest floors?
When industry can make your continent all uniform through desert and snow.

Until we go
slash the way to Cairo
through the ice and snow
fighting for my country
like my parents long ago.
A long way to go.

Mombasa's skyline used to be not much to look at,
Mombasa's skyline's now got factories galore.
You spiteful savage people,
look at all we gave you.
As soon as we hit Egypt,
you'll have a road to explore.

For now we go
marching forth to Cairo,
hang on as you go,
making the world rotate
like we did long ago.
Like we did long ago.
Like we did long ago.
A long way to go.
Track Name: Pressure Dome
Plexiglass for temperature control
and atmosphere for every single room in the house.
A think tank for the population’s booming
making Manhattan seem small.

Here comes the roar of the population rumble
and the crowded disposition running every single bubble in town.
Three hundred sixty ways of looking out the window
making Manhattan seem tall.

Now you’re free to roam
under your new home,
with a city that’s a living under pressure dome.
Now you’re free to see
the future country
with a habitat constructed for the family.
Anything he say
you better disobey
because the future’s made of clay,
a geodesic, warm display.
Come on and work it out.

Gas exchange, molecular control,
and Victorian kitsch for every single night in the house.
Empire State with the stereoscopic vision
has the view of a contact lens.

We’re gonna change the energy conservation twofold,
we’re gonna change the systems of oppression untold:
a cure for cancer, necromancer, modern dancer
from the comfort of your own biosphere

when you’re free to roam
under your new home,
with a city that’s a living under pressure dome.
Now you’re free to see
the future country
with a habitat constructed for the family.
Anything he say
you better disobey
because the future’s here to stay
a geodesic, warm display.
Come on and work it out.
Track Name: Breathe in the Static
Tesla left on a Thursday.
At least he left the living,
we found him sprawled out on the hotel floor.
Stochastic writing patterns
drawn halfway through the notebook
made up a sequence that I had seen before.

It said we breathe in the static
and sleep through the noise.
Our lives automatic
and solitude destroys it.
Hear the universe calling, see the world as hostile
so I think that you should stay for a while.

Ada left on a Saturday and
just as she slipped away,
we found her motionless-- she died in her sleep.
Her token to the living,
relentless unforgiving.
A number sequence only halfway complete.

These are the days salvation,
a little hesitation.
These are the days where every person like electrons can flow.
These are the day's locations
of pure line computations.
Raise up your own antenna,
raise up antenna tonight.

We breathe in the static
and sleep through the noise.
Our lives automatic
and solitude destroys it.
Hear the universe calling, see the world as hostile
so I think that you should stay for a while.

Now there’s no finite number
of all the combinations
of letters I could write on back of this card.
And there’s no single pathway
to raise a real number
to yield a current and illuminate my yard.

Crank out the brass schematic
secured in central static.
Ada and Tesla and the now precomplete.
For purgatory is abating
for those communicating.
The little bit of liminal where the unfinished meet.

And so we breathe in the static
and sleep through the noise.
Our lives automatic
and solitude destroys it.
Hear the universe calling, see the world as hostile
so I think that you should stay.
Track Name: Skeleton Up
Skeleton, stand still for me
And rise up through the skyline
Pile of bones, please dance for me
and hold yourself upright hand over fist-

For we have got a congruence sometimes.
And we have got a signal sent across enemy lines,
yeah, we have got a congruence sometimes.

‘Cause culture’s a lie——
don’t hold back the curtain.
As the years go by——
our future is certain and only our structure remains.

Martial law, till a body is bended,
And skin, they could never exhume it.
Taphonomy, like Gorbachev intended,
I'm shouting it out.
I'm shouting to whom it-

Would be a form of it sometimes.
Though the outside world ignores it, you’re sure to realize.
And we have got a confluence sometimes.

Cross culture’s a lie——
don’t hold back the curtain.
As the decade goes by——
our future is certain and only our structure remains.

The fruit of knowledge bitten,
They tried to clothe you in advertisement.
your text is shallow, still mostly unwritten
on the money that you and I spent on your

beauty left and opulence sometimes.
For we all need some pulchritude across enemy lines
for we want to be beautiful too.
For we want to be as beautiful as you.
For we want to be as beautiful as all of you.

‘Cause culture’s a lie——
don’t hold back the curtain.
As the centuries go by——
our future is certain and still that damn structure remains.
Track Name: Dig Down
Where are we going?
Peninsula's asleep with ocarina sound,
said what lies down under ocean's subducting?
A land where we have yet to be found.

And I'm worried that it's gonna be,
as unfinished as the stratigraphy
as we dig down.

So they dug to the bottom,
towards our magmatic igneous sea.
We were faced with the eternal autumn,
evolution with nothing in common,
the biome over my country

And I'm worried that they will be found,
As the government went underground,
As we dig
Down

They heard the voices at thirteen kilometers.
Their people welded the project shut.
And Brezhnev never found what lived at the bottom,
a land that our planet forgot.

Now our passage sits abandoned,
our connection's still stranded,
so please dig down.
Track Name: Particle Run
Used to do my time in Texas,
rolling cross the desert ground
They got a lot of room in Texas,
so we chose to stick around.
Build a giant ring of magnets,
let the magnets run for days
giving Newton some misfortune.
In the quantum, anyways.

Do the particle run
when there's nobody around you left to hear your fun
and you're sticking to the bridges of a smoking gun
'cause the southwest give a damn about the side that you're on
but the side that you're going to.

Used to drown myself in acid.
I'd fit in better with Texas and what's underground
if I were a brachiopod.
Acid makes the world go round.
That was when I slept with Abbey,
Abbey gave me life to look forward to living to.
Abbey sleeps with engineers now.
Abbey lied.

We made the particles run
and as everyone but government had up and gone
when your biggest fear in life is that you don't belong.
And the reason your around is for the graviton,
but you can't find the gravit-

On to a better life I told myself,
to a life I can complete myself.
Spent all these years hiding my accent from the midwest,
I escaped from the

Midwest where the people complete themselves.
Spent my childhood home with the white trash.
Sweat and tears both took me to grad school.
This is happiness,
that's what
the man on the TV once said it is what the TV man said
it so it is all true now.

If I were a stromatopore,
I bet the team would take interest.
In the land of chionophores
my life is nearing completion.
Please tell me Abbey's returning,
so I can finally