Creating a Polyalbum: The Mystery of Grey Matters

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Arts and Humanities | Music


Brian Campbell, Music


In The Mystery of Grey Matters, music, sound, and dialogue provide glimpses into the life of Gregory "Grey" Matters throughout the course of two audio discs. However, a new perspective on his story emerges when both discs are heard simultaneously. The Mystery of Grey Matters is thus a "polyalbum." From a compositional standpoint, a polyalbum must be cleverly crafted so that two discs stand on their own as individual pieces of music. At the same time, their combination must remain cohesive as a rich new piece of art. Since the human mind can only attend to a limited amount of audio information at once, the listener's focus naturally shifts back and forth between discs. In this way, the traditional compositional technique of musical dialogue plays out on a grand scale, with one disc "soloing" and the other "accompanying" at various times. The result is a listening experience unlike any other.