Title frame for Ramblinactivist’s video Ramblinactivist’s Music: ‘Aldous Huxley’s ‘Ultimate Revolution’ (1962) – Radical References No.3’
“That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude. This is the, it seems to me, the ultimate in malevolent revolutions shall we say.”
Ramblinactivist’s Music:

‘Hydrolysis 1’

The rhythmic soundtrack to my video, ‘Aldous Huxley’s Ultimate Revolution’, no.27 of 2022.

‘Ramblinactivist’s Video’
2022/27 Soundtrack:

Download the soundtrack as an MP3 or an Ogg Vorbis file. Click for keyboard instructions (or press hotkey ‘X’)

“There is no movement without rhythm”, as a wise man once said. The idea for a new video came to me while I was sanding an old door; but it was the door, and the rhythms of physical movement around it, which provided the background music.

I’ve recently been trying to get back to music-making. That requires ‘space’ in the daily timetable – something which I’ve rarely had for many years. But with my fingers starting to seize-up from years of manual work (like sanding doors!) it really is “now or never”.

As part of that process I’ve been trying to re-equip myself with a decent recording set-up – which these days means organising a computer to do the work for you. I’ve the basics of that from setting-up a small-scale studio for video production: Now it’s time to work on the musical side of that process.

Using the Hydrogen drum sequencer
Using the Hydrogen drum sequencer

This track – ‘Hydrolysis 1’ – is the first output from setting-up the Hydrogen sequencer with my own, bespoke programmed virtual drumkit (it’s complicated!) using a personally-tailored set of samples to make noise. Hence why I called this track ‘Hydrolysis’, as hydrolysis is the movement of energy within chemical reactions using intermediate hydrogen-based compounds.

Rhythm is the basis of music; and may have been the basis of early human communication, as recent studies with drumming African chimps has discovered. Hence why rhythmic music has the power to convey all kinds of non-verbal information.

While working away I had to sand an old door before painting it. Sanding starts easy, with coarse grade paper or a mechanical wire brush. When moving on to finer-grade papers to get a finish on the wood, though, it requires more effort, and the finer grains drag on the wood fibres. That’s why, as the track progresses, there's more energy and movement in the three rotating rhythms.

Playing with ‘The Doors’
How many wannabe musicians get to say they were inspired to create a piece of music after a day playing with ‘the doors’?

The idea for the latest video – looking at the sixtieth anniversary of Aldous Huxley’s famous speech on ‘The Ultimate Revolution’ – formed and developed while I was working on two doors. But it was the rhythm of the sanding, the creaks of the loose boards in the door as I sanded them, and the counter-point rocking of the trestles on the uneven ground as I applied force, that created the rhythm of the work.

It’s also rather serendipitous that thinking about Huxley while mending some old doors should inspire music: He did after all write, ‘The Doors of Perception’!

When it came time to make the video, I had to work on the music track first – and Huxley’s ponderous manner works with the beats to dictate the process of visual editing. Having the Hydrogen software all set-up with my own preferences allowed me to recreate the rhythmic ear-worm in my head as beats in a track just as I experienced it. It’s not slick; it’s not got a smooth groove; but in terms of how the music of the video relates to the content, it’s everything that was in my mind in that moment.