Gene Coleman Exploratorium

False Walls
27th October 2023

Format Info


Gene Coleman is a composer, musician and video director, who has created over 70 works for various instrumentation and media. Central to his work is the inventive use of sound, image and time, and the desire to create experiences that expand our understanding of the world. Since 2001 he has explored the global transformation of culture and music’s relationship with video, science and architecture. Gene has been developing a series of works around concepts of Neuro Music and Transcultural Music, some of which are collected for the first time on Exploratorium, which is also the first album exclusively
dedicated to Gene’s compositions.

Gene defines Neuro Music as “an area of research and creation based on the study and application of models and concepts from Auditory Neuroscience, as a form of musical composition. … The Neuro compositional methods I have developed are modeled on the auditory pathway of the brain … including the three mechanical stages of hearing (outer, middle and inner ear functions), the auditory nerves and the various stages of auditory information processing, ending in the neocortex and so-called frontal networks.”

Neuro Music concepts are explored across various works on the album, including string quartet, and pieces which combine voice, electronics, shamisen and/or ensemble. Gene defines Transcultural Music as “an area of research and composition based on the integration of music from different cultures and traditions”, and has been exploring how musical styles and traditions might meet and combine in new ways for over 20 years. Models of Neuro and Transcultural Musics have been combined in the longest piece on the album, Across Time (Transonic Symphony #1), which explores new possibilities for what a symphony can be in the 21st century and features musicians from many different places and traditions.

The musicians featured on the album include Nicholas Isherwood, Adam Vidiksis, Sansuzu Tsuruzawa, Toshimaru Nakamura, Otomo Yoshihide, and Sachiko M., alongside The Hemmi Quartet, CumTempora Ensemble, and Transonic Orchestra. The album also foregrounds Gene’s integration of material from the writer Lance Olsen’s novel Dreamlives of Debris.
This is Gene’s second album on the False Walls label: Storobo Imp., a set of improvisations with Uchihashi
Kazuhisa, was released in 2004.