David King - Composer
David King - Bio
David King - The New Style
David King - Glossary
David King - Audio
David King - Blog
Press
David King - Quotes
David King - Graphic Design
David King - Contact
  twitter.com/dkingIO
soundcloud.com/david_king_music dhype3@gmail.com
   
BIO

1983-1998: Early Life

1999-2001: PVi Origins, 'P Beats', Cambridge and Paris

2002-2005: The "Industry" Years, Transitional "Dark Age"

2006-summer 2009: "The Expanded Beat", Ideas Original

Fall 2009-2010: Naples 2009-2010 and the Birth of The New Style

2010-2012: The New Style

2013-2015: Industry Return, Naples Revisited

2016- : Transfigured World: Audio-Rendered New Style/"Refractionism"
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1983-1998: Early Life
                David Scott King was born in Rockville, Maryland, August 2nd, 1983 around 9 AM at Shady Grove Hospital to Mary Beth King, a first-grade teacher, and Robert Kent King, a computer technician.
               "My mind was always split - even amongst my classmates, I was simultaneously watching from the outside. One day mom took me to a summer daycare program, figuring it'd be nice for me to make some new friends. The kids went out for recess but I ate inside with the teacher, talking to her about her profession and her strategies for keeping the other kids under control." His parents generally left him alone to find and follow whatever interests he pleased, then supported him in those interests: marine biology, archaeology, design, engineering and architecture, writing.
                He grew up on his parents' '60s and '70s albums - rock, soul, jazz and crossover musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar and Pippin. Mary recalls "he always wanted tapes of the albums for himself - so here's this 5-year old with headphones and a tape player, listening to The Doors, Isaac Hayes, Sondheim, and Marvin Gaye's 70's stuff " By 1993 he was watching MTV's Yo! MTV Raps and BET's Rap City religiously, in the "second golden age" of hip-hop - MTV's exalted Spring Break and non-stop rap videos and countdowns. He always possessed an innate emotional sensitivity for chord progressions, which explains the sentimental attachment to 90's rap, whose samples where his introduction to many of the progressions he'd build his various "chord vocabularies" on in the Ideas Original period. He began to write rap verses soon after, but it would take 5 years for the means, knowledge and ambition to record himself. It can be said that basketball and hip-hop fashion and culture, as well as his artistic talent, were the currencies that gradually gave him the popularity in late middle-school and high-school that he wished he had in elementary - when kids would comes to class talking about In Living Color, wearing Cross-Colors and Jordans.

                Very few composers give summer such a central place in their aesthetic, or romanticize summer as much as King - you find predecessors in the Beach Boys, the late 60's summer pop sound of the 5th Dimension and co., then Dr. Dre's G-Funk, which King watched daily on MTV and Rap City. "In the 2000's I carried around these images - of palm trees, pools, mansions or skies, but I couldn't quite separate them enough to remember which were from my own visits to Florida, drives through Potomac, visits to local pools as a teen, or from rap videos. I realized a lot came from vids like Pac's "I Get Around", "Live and Die In L.A.", Dre's "Nuthin' But A G-Thang", Ice Cube's "Good Day" and "You Know How We Do It", etc. - obviously I wasn't in Vegas or in huge pool parties but the emotion of it all formed into one thing."
                He visited his Grandparents in Naples, Florida twice a year his entire life up from birth to age 28, usually staying 2-3 weeks per visit. His maternal Grandparents moved down there in the mid 70's, following his aunt, who moved there for work and reported back how nice a place it was. They built a house toward the back of a humble inland community called Poinciana Village, abutting a golf course. He'd ride his bike around the neighborhood, draw and write on the back porch, then they'd go to the beach at sunset, or walk around fantastical shopping centers like Waterside Shops with its tropical pond and waterfalls or The Village, a modern caricature of Venice on "Venetian Bay" with small boutiques, restaurants, a Ben & Jerry's and an antique store named Danieli.
                In 1996 he first saw the affluent neighborhoods of Potomac, MD, the suburb of DC bordering the Potomac River. Summer rap and R&B was on the radio, and he'd see the same things he saw in the rap videos and magazines like Ultimate Homes and DuPont Registry. Later he began to get flashbacks of it, and by 2006 he was not only doing aggressive sampled beats per PVi's intellectualism, but integrating the lighter summery style into his aesthetic. In his modern works it's "Glorious Days", inseparable from a dialogue about nostalgia, loss, hope and vitality which came to a head in the events of Naples 2009.

                His Cambridge journal mentions how much he loved 'night', how he considered himself a "night person", how he comes alive. As soon as he learned to drive, he took solitary drives at night, traversing many of the same places he romanticized in the summer - Potomac's mansions and the surrounding countryside of Seneca and Dickerson, still and dark, with horizon views and starry skies. In Naples he walked amongst the high-rises of Park Shore at night, looking up at the stars, out at the horizon or up the coast at the jewel-like lights of Estero and Bonita in the distance. He'd walk past closed shops with fashion manikins in the windows. In Paris he walked the streets after midnight and randomly ended up in deserted Montmartre at 3 AM.
                Night seemed to be tied to death, to jewelry stores, to the Fin De Siecle art of Art Nouveau and the impressionist composers, to dimly lit 70's performance videos of Sondheim's Follies and Marvin Gaye's Palladium show, to chrome retrofuturism, to Philip Johnson's Fort Worth fountains, to Brutalist architecture and to the decor of 60s and 70s malls. This is the fascination with an aesthetic he terms "Belle Époque".


1999-2001: PVi Origins, 'P Beats', Cambridge and Paris
                In Wheaton High School, he met up with Pierre "P" Fatal, a classmate who shared King's passion for hip-hop and lived nearby. In the years 1999-2001, David King was D-Hype, the rapper, and "P" did the beats. Pierre originated the name Precision Vocal Inc. as both an aesthetic ideal and the record label name, shorthand 'PVi'. Senior year of high school, the duo took on the identities of aesthetic rebels against the mindlessness they perceived in popular culture, and released a local D-Hype solo album A Journey to Power in the Spring of 2000. A PVi album was in the works which would display more radical, larger-scale beats and ideas.
                The high-school Precision Vocal era was an period of youthful but serious interpretation of a collage of influences: W-era Wu-Tang Clan, Murda Musik-era Mobb Deep, Isaac Hayes progressive soul, Buddhism, Friedrich Nietzsche and Carl Jung, Kung-fu, producer Swizz Beatz, and even the 1983 movie Scarface. Still, aside from the philosophy, these influenced a lot of hip-hop around 2000 - what transfixes the listener is the unique way P interpreted these influences: done on a Casio, the beats have the same anthemic keyboard sound as producer Swizz Beatz, but melodies are darker (minor, sus and irregular chords), more sublime, slower, longer and more freeform. Some of the parts resemble Isaac Hayes’s progressive work on albums like Black Moses and Hot Buttered Soul, except layered over reverbed electronic drums. Lyrics were a multi-syllabic gumbo of inside references (names of classmates, crews, local slang) historical figures, simile, metaphor and 2000 slang borrowed from Queensbridge, NY rappers Mobb Deep and Cormega. Clips from movies, recorded in analogue from the TV to tape or from records stolen from Montgomery College, floated in and out of the beats. Unconventional, unquantized drum programming was considered a challenge for the rapper to build skill, and freeform ‘flips’ refreshed the beat, necessitating a rejuvenation in the rhyme concept for the lyricist. 
                Fellow rappers would visit and jump in recorded cyphers to P's latest beats. In their December 2000 Wheaton High talent-show performance, they opened with a clip from Martin Luther King’s ‘Mountaintop” speech, they borrowed a rock-band's speakers to circumvent the auditorium's sound system limits, performed one "crowd-pleaser" then two of their most avant-garde, going so far over time they were kicked off the stage.
                P and King worked landscaping together that summer, which was when it first occurred to King to make beats: "I was getting out of the landscaping truck, my feet touched the lawn, and I remembered a drum CD advertisement I'd seen in a magazine. I'd already downloaded Cool Edit Pro and I was fascinated by the idea that I could place the drums in different places over the samples. We had been keyboard-based, collaging things on tape and minidisc recorders, so this was a novel idea to me, full of freedom."
                They both went to Montgomery College in Rockville, MD that Fall, while working on the PVi album. Much like Kanye West, King first excelled in visual art, and was a last-second admission into MC's Scholars Program, a 2-year interdisciplinary humanities curriculum, on the basis of his drawings. While studying literature and gaining his first real introduction to philosophy, King did his first beats, and played them in his car to friends in the MC parking lot. Still, P's beats were his main focus - King took a tape of them to Naples that Christmas, and wrote some of his best and most ambitious verses to beats like "At Sea" and "Matter Of Time".
                That summer, King studied at Cambridge University in England with the rest of his Scholars class. While there he took two art history courses, saw Stephen Hawking speak on m-theory, and spent a weekend in Paris, where he visited the Louvre, entered Notre Dame, and walked around Montmartre at 3 AM. During the whole Cambridge experience he kept his first journal, the model for his journal series Chronicles which he began 2007. "I always take the visit to Cambridge seriously, like I have a duty to live up to that, to return there one day on legitimate feet.... Especially in light of the seriousness of PVi's aesthetics." His summer at Cambridge University came to represent high hopes, high ambition, his potential. This romantic intellectual optimism that the Montgomery Scholars experience provided would fade during the business school years, only to be resurrected after graduation -  in 2007 he went back through the journal he kept in Cambridge, and watched old home movies from his childhood, and the association was restored.


2002-2005: The "Industry" Years, Transitional "Dark Age"
           
The 2000's can be described as "a dry, political decade", and a transitional period in music - the bling era coexisting with Radiohead, Jay-Z and D'Angelo, Kanye West's gradual integration of live instrumentation, synthesizers and autotune into hip-hop, the emergence of ambient beats, EDM and trap music. The music is paradoxically apolitical and otherwise either murkily introverted or gaudily extroverted and dance-oriented.
            By 2002, "P and D-Hype" had a Soundclick page, and were planning a new, more professional studio. The PVi album with the Casio beats had receded, and during P's transition from the Casio the Korg Triton, King became more active. The Triton had better sound quality, but the situation was never stable to achieve a large output with it - P was already growing into other disciplines, and musically he soon he moved on to computer software, also an MC4000, which was supposed to be "industry standard". Meanwhile, King had grown up on RZA, and now Kanye West, Just Blaze and The Heatmakerz were leading a sampling resurgence in New York. Swizz Beatz was declining, samples were catching rap ears, and King was post-Paris Montgomery College, past the Humanities-centric first year of the Scholars Program and into a business-oriented second year. While the professors steered him towards a visual arts major, he could use a business education in the music industry, he thought.
                  The grandiose marbled-wall home studio was open by late 2003, and P was the engineer and business head, recording singles and albums for rappers, selling "beat packages" on SoundClick and the PVi website, while King did the beats. They had a short-lived relationship with Greg Calloway's Titanium Productions, driving to Virginia and auditioning beats for him, split on whether to awe him with "industry" sounds that could quickly sell or shock his sensibilities with more radical ideas. Calloway was pure business, an A&R that would later work under Warner Bros. King damn near dropped out of school when he presented them with a production contract, ignoring schoolwork a lot of the winter while contemplating signing, then isolating himself all spring break to produce new material. They didn't sign. Instead they found ex-Ja Rule signee Wiz Dinero hanging out at a local fair in Wheaton, MD and produced the demo intended to be his comeback. At one point Def Jam artist Comp recorded a freestyle at the studio. They did tracks with several rappers on the BET freestyle battle circuit. None of the songs were especially good, and the business model was short-lived. Doing albums for local artists like Precise and D-N-B kept PVi afloat. The 50 Cent-concept of mixtapes and free online production websites were diluting the "Soundclick sales" business, Myspace was the new platform. Pre-Twitter and Youtube, the industry had many tiers and gatekeepers, and myths about the tools for "industry standard sound" were still prevalent. Looking at their origins in such radical music, one wonders what were they doing trying to sell music in the new "50 Cent world". 2002-2005 would turn out to be a "dark age" in between the visionary beats of Pierre Fatal and the growing VST mastery of David King.
                In 2004, P introduced King to VST, Steinberg's virtual instrument platform, and the goal was to compose his own samples, then make beats from them. The spectre of P's old Casio beats loomed, spurring King to some of his most epic early productions, eventually leading him to "expanded beat" period. By 2005, P was focused on philosophy, both the ideas of others and the development of  his own, and on the music of Bach and late Beethoven, giants who were only shadows of an ideal music espoused by Lyndon Larouche's interpretation of Kepler's planetary harmony concept. King attended at least a dozen meetings of LaRouche youth and several conferences with P. The objective of Precision Vocal was now culture and cultural reform, perhaps spearheaded or exemplified by music, but no longer inside the "industry", which was just another symptom of cultural decay, devoid of any musical meaning.
                The movement was also intertwined with religion - the enlightenment-era noble artist would exalt God by reflecting the principles of the universe he created. Profoundly disillusioned with the music industry, he took a drive in tne early morning and ended up at the doorstep of St. Peter's in Harper's Ferry, WVA, contemplating the differences between Jesus and God while wandering the hillside graveyard in the fog. He "asked God to imbue him with the ability to compose works that would actualize music's moral potential, and to leave the industry behind". How much of this was his own inclination and how much was the Precision Vocal and LaRouche ideals weighing on him is anyone's guess, and it was hardly a clean break.


2006-summer 2009: "The Expanded Beat", Ideas Original
                Motivated by these new ideals, King began to make "expanded" beats with more frequent emotional and structural changes, orchestrated finales, grooves with tempos outside of rap. "Moral classicism" was the backbone, counterpoint and instrument solos overgrew the open space where verses would have been, and a sense of economy chopped those sections to just 4 or 8 bars: "Rappers would request us to loop a part of the beat instead of taking on the task of designing a song with a real arc. It was alienating. At that point we were split on whether we wanted some ideal rapper like Ghostface Killah or Eminem who was capable of tackling these shifts, or whether we were doing modern instrumental pieces in the classical tradition". Almost all these "expansions" on beat idioms compress into a fast 3 1/2 years, mostly during an unhappy tenure in University of Maryland's R.H. Smith School of Business.
                Graduated with a 4.0 in May 2007, he turned down several job offers to begin a systematic exploration of music theory, his first drafts of Ideas Original. He recalls the perverse excitement he got from telling this to his marketing professor Mary Harms, who businesswise was a sometime mentor: "I told her I'm dropping off the face of the earth". Around the same time, P moves to Boston to attend classes.
                The Ideas Original documents he writes begin as notes, but he never seems to encounter a theory without renaming it and taking its implication into philosophy or morality, or uncovering and codifying some gap between traditional elements, which can be considered an extension of Precision Vocal principles into his own study. "Ambiguity theory" is a study of ambiguity in music that is a "higher species". "Transfiguration" and "counterintuition" lists strategies by which music can be elevated to a higher plane, along with other form-based theory like supersession and preparation theory. "Axiom" academicizes what most musicians would call "texture or groove", and "EFT (effect-function thesis") attempts the same for musical emotion. "Tonal Solutions" tries to generalize musical problems and prescribe solutions, with "higher solutions" as a subset. His chord progression list contains 1000's of entries, with dozens of "vocabulary" subcategories with specific emotional qualities, the source and center of his "Belle" and "Glorious Days" emotion-spaces. His list of 'genius' processes, tasks and traits is the beginning of genius-as-goal, and the concept of music based on extremes, "full commitment". Most importantly, he becomes fascinated with the possibilities of programmaticism - musical symbolism.
           The beats of 2008 are galvanized with optimism, but once into 2009 there's inner tension building - look at the names: at first he is in modernized jazz-fusion territory, somewhere between Cortex and Hendrix with beats like "Still Standing" and the nocturne "Catalog Music", but soon "The War, On TV" finds the same distorted Vietnam-era as the Doors, and "Washed Away" is 70s slang for being killed. The towering "Die In Vain" is epic but also icy and metallic, almost industrial, with a fuzzed elegiac piano part. The last beat of this period is "Never Die", which loops the funeral procession from Barry Lyndon: all pieces are death-driven in one way or another.


Naples Visits and the Birth of The New Style
                In March 2010, King's Grandfather fell while trying to get up from bed, hit his head on the nightstand, and ended up in the hospital. His Aunt and Grandma called and e-mailed, keeping him in the loop over the next weeks. During this time a series of tragic misadventures with the hospital and rehab facility had resulted in his Grandfather weakening, and then catching pneumonia. A hospice decision in the balance, King and his family went down
to Naples in mid-March.

              "In the months before this surprise Naples visit, I was supposed to compose a work while I was there, something to summarize my study up until that point, but I couldn't relate, I couldn't do it. The only possible entry I felt was through subjectivity, but I hadn't yet realized how subjectivity could interrelate with classicism...So, here there was no subjectivity allowed - and my mind was dominated by this sense of loss - I was grieving for my Grandparents while they were still living, and for my past too....Then my latest studies and theories from before the trip were about modernism - ambiguity theory, full commitment, my itemization of barriers and extremes, even my conception of symbolism was more Joyce than Bach. I was reading history articles and my view of mankind was becoming more complicated." King was trapped in a 'rabbit-hole' of Wiki articles about death that lead King to the history of lynching, where he found inspiration for a new project, an escape or "pressure valve" from classical works: an opera about the 1909 lynching of Will James in Cairo, Illinois, an especially morbid town-square spectacle that happened almost exactly 100 years to the day. King begins it in PVi enlightenment philosophy but over the course of several drafts it morphs into Wozzeck-esque, sonoristic conceptual modernism, what Larouche calls "deviant". Each draft ends at a new lack of truth in humanity: is it about race? Is it about Socratically redeeming humanity? About the psychology of the lynch mob leader? About redeeming the lynch mob leader via Christianity? Humankind receding into a faceless mob? It disintegrated altogether. He wrote a list of its problems, then generalized it into a list about music's aesthetic problems, called "100 Problems of Music". He came to the conclusion that composing was dead - that for him, he "killed music". It was his lowest moment.
                Obviously, on the drive down, things were different. "I had so many flashbacks on the way down, like I was watching my life from the outside, and the present and past were converging. Through Maryland I was seeing Potomac back in 1996, then in Virginia on I-95 old trips to Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion. On the 2nd day I kept remembering this sunset I saw in Georgia and county fairs, and in Florida, the trip to Naples we took in '96 and Busch Gardens Tampa. All this summer imagery". He arrives at his grandparents' house, where the hospice decision is already made. He eats lunch and leaves for a long drive around Naples on the summery October day, immersed in the past, but dogged by tension.

               During these first days in Naples, King was confronted with the reality of loss, of his Grandparents, his past and youth, even Naples itself. He probably developed a fear of losing Naples soon after high school, if not before - he talked about a "Naples depression" that would come upon him during the second half of each visit, when he was close to leaving and would have to face the "real world" back home. He visits his grandfather in the hospital.
               
        That week, his Grandfather came home to die, for in-home hospice. He began thinking about music again: an analogue to Joyce called "the mature style", and a kind of sonorism called "the nature style" intended to replicate the vastness and detail of nature.              
                He writes: "This is the ‘transfigured world’ - the real-life domain of someone facing death. It’s deeply poetic, tragic and looms larger than I ever imagined. It’s not funny at all - it’s like a vacuum - a real person dying, the energy gone, memory shut down, the being who once was vital, impactful, thoughtful, loving and intense is gone - in any sense we can perceive. How can that happen? The individual-scale philosophical mystery of all time..." During the hiatus, King thought about trying to write a "requiem" of sorts for him, but the "100 Problems of Music" were still very real constraints to him: "As much as I wanted to compose, I couldn't act as if those words I wrote in 100 Probs weren't true - I couldn't ignore them."
                The night his grandfather died, King drove out to Park Shore, and stayed there until morning. looking out at the water he gets the vision for The New Style.


 2010-2012: The New Style
               
We don't really know how much of the New Style he thought of at once, but it involves the leap to theoretical or purely "described" composition, which allowed him to break many of the '100 Problems' blocks.

"Looking out over Park Shore in cloudy blue light around 5 AM - the first thought distracted me - write this whole experience down as a composition in itself - a full, united programmatic description of these Naples events leading to a written description of the nature style pieces I'd been unable to practically create, so you'd see the genesis and the result. Thinking then of the potential of this description, especially liberation of rendering, I began seeing a new domain beyond physical music, what I now call “theoretical composition”, breaking from all music, modern or otherwise, into what feels like the ‘blinding revelation’ - an explicit task to discover and organize the impossible - with “full commitment” to breaking any constraint and creating physically impossible concepts, naming them. They then can inform the modules in their task to represent philosophy. The benefits far outweigh the inherent absurdity (which was a desired trait anyway), puts me in permanent rarified air, no barriers in physical space, up there with theoretical physicists. Looked at Proust and Joyce as analogues, concept map and layering for format…It can only be labeled visionary, now the only criterion is the quality of the visions. We said goodbye outside and I walked over to The Village, I sat on the bridge thinking about the possibilities."

               
Back in Maryland to carry out the vision he now possessed, he continued work on the New Style. The sole audio work in the 3 years 2010-2012 is from May 2010, the short improvisations of the "Echo Setting Suite", a foray into 'axiomatic' sonorism - sonorism with a recognizable idiom, in this case echo. Drums are conspicuously absent. They're still ruminating on the scale of nature he observed on the Naples beach, that music was so helpless to rival, and some harmonies reference elements of Belle Époque. Nevertheless they primarily represent a preview of the void he'd seen, the sadness, ugliness and evil of life, the "world of pain" whose themes are more violently addressed in the 'Phase 2 Sketches' from 2013. He wouldn't compose another audio piece for almost 3 years.
                NS was vividly fleshed out over this time, going through its initial development, then a second phase which built off of the NS structure in more audacious ways, generalizing each Ideas Original theory to its extremes, then yielding theories and thought experiments like "real-world counterpoint", "the NS inversion", "blinding genius", and "hypothetical innovations". There was a new emphasis on complexity as the truest philosophy, then once "describing the world" began to feel more like a scientific task, King introduced more shades of subjectivity. It was published in August 2012 as a work-in-progress, with a very practical reason at the heart of it: "I needed to 'formalize' my 2009-2013 years because I was developing a resume again, looking at job applications - money was finally too big a problem to ignore. I needed a talking point, some official-sounding achievement, so I decided to organize my writings into some white-papers, make a glossary, group together some sketches for hypothetical NS reifications, and go ahead and publish it. [The NS site] was never accessible from my site's main page, though - you needed a separate extension."
                The practical problems with the New Style stem from exactly this parallel with other theoretical disciplines - that it's now in the realm of academia, that like he wrote in 2011, "there is no 'public Beethoven' or 'public Bach' - any composer today who is exalted by the public to that degree has inherently ignored the advances in music over the last century, esp. the last 50 years, and because of this, there would be a huge gulf between the acclamation of the public and acclamation by specialists. Acclamation by one group prevents acclamation by the other - they are mutually exclusive." Even in the realm of academics, it's not as if King is putting forth a Promethean template or a style for future composers to utilize - he wants to retain exclusive ownership, to keep it within the realm of subjectivity, or introversion - i.e. the system is best actualized inside his own head, in his mind. He treats it with a sacred quality, talks about esotericism as a virtue, that an "objective" version of NS is essentially a description of the world itself, with all its complexity, interrelatedness and unpredictable emergences, that it only has meaning when it's contextualized within the individual.


2013-2015: In Exile - Industry Return, "Rendered NS" and Naples Revisited
                "The third rendered style", the greatest of the three, while "in exile", and "finally becoming himself"'.
                Why did he revisit beats at all? "The New Style was published, it was on the site...it says as one of its main doctrines that rendering it in audio would diminish it, that it wouldn't make nearly the sense it does in theoretical form because you'd always be hearing a miniscule subset, or misinterpreting the scale it's intended to be on. Plus I wanted to revisit the historical lineage and 'play on their field' again, limited by audio. That inspired me." Meanwhile, his beats from the industry and expanded beat periods were beginning to get recognition by certain rappers as much as 10 years after they were made - used in 2014-2015 albums by Cynical Minded, D-Hype and Ben Famous. In 2015, Kendrick Lamar made To Pimp A Butterfly, possessing some of the PVi and expanded beat ideals they stated in various writings from 2002-2005: multi-form tracks, multiple perspectives and flows, live instrumentation, freeform spoken word within a rap context, the necessity of a concept album.
                2013-2014's The Lone Wolf Project was a collaboration with childhood friend Henry Guzman, rap name Cynical Minded, even made under his old moniker D-Hype, the name he considered burying numerous times. In this case, all the beats are from the 2002-2005 industry period, aside from 2014's "Crying Over You". Over the years, Guzman would visit the studio, and King would give him beat CD's to listen to, but to his surprise, he'd been working on songs to them from 2008 onward. From that point on, King considered TLWP as a full-scale experiment in his past genre to try, in I.O. terms, to "transfigure" his own beats, Cynical Minded's lyrics and the album itself - could the album become more than the sum of its parts, as the '60s concept albums he grew up on did? (What's Goin' On, Days of Future Passed). Practically, it served as a job reference, filling the gap between a short-lived stint working at the Music & Arts music store and a future job, allowing him to search for work and research new paths. Doing its videos allowed him to explore video directing and editing, skills which he used on the Naples footage and possibly in the future for NS's "real-world counterpoint" (?).
 

Revisiting Naples:
               In the 2013-2015 phase of beatwork, we begin to see the many mature themes emerge, most originating during the Naples 2009 trip: reliving mental spaces of the past, the scale of man vs. nature and the universe, humor, transfiguration, minerals/jewels, and of existentialist truths and how to relate to them - the problem of widespread evil in mankind, ugliness, recession, and death. He begins releasing pieces representing parts of the Naples 2009 situation - scenes which explain the stoppage of "rendered music" from late 2009-2012 and the genesis of NS. "Phase 2" has become a single symbol of the void of existentialism, worldly negativity, a corrective against his more escapist or introverted aesthetics like "Glorious Days" or "Belle Epoque", also the experience from which NS sprung, from which a new identity was built. "It feels like I saw everything, then it was like I took on the sins of the world. NS is my reaction, my answer to those realizations." "Essentially, I am him, the person in that period. More accurately, the he is me - he doesn't exist outside of me, but I exist outside of him, because I'm continuing a longer, bigger, more complex story."

                During the New Style period, King went back to Naples one more time to take footage of it with an HD camera, in the exact order of the Naples 2009 events. The lion mask from an antique store called Danieli became his "logo". Music was now an obviously personal enterprise. I wonder sometimes, aside from the professional angle, why a Proust or a Joyce would ever publish something so autobiographical, when you can go deeper into yourself than anyone, and art is the main tool for doing that. I wrote it down as a testimonial, a record of it, not a novel, mostly designed to be contextualized by Ideas Original and The New Style." A bit more elaboration? "This is the age of self -actualization anyway. I don't know if anyone else would visit Naples and understand why I'm mythologizing it. It would seem like some byproduct of a privilege they imagine I have, to apply a Joycean treatment to what they'd consider a benign tourist destination, a retirement destination, a bourgeois something. I felt like my work is more about the cracks between tourism there, or like I'm renting out certain places in Naples for the tourists, that I go when they leave. I'm at Park Shore, but it's after my Grandfather's death. The beach outside those Port Royal mansions hardly ever has anyone on it, especially if it's not "the season". It's just a shadow of the real meaning and power I see, feel or imbue Naples with, and more assertively the power Naples has. I don't know - maybe the power of Naples is in some ways self-explanatory, because it's giving me this long stream of inspiration to do these works, its where I recalibrate and restore myself. The crazy thing is that in 2009 I was mourning all these Naples locations from my youth that had gone out of business, replaced by other things...then I went back and documented the rest of the places in the next couple years - now there's a whole new wave of defunct places that played big roles in that actual story, that I have footage of - the old church is gone, Perkins is gone, Cartier and Silver Spoon in Waterside is gone, and most importantly Danieli went out, which messed me up."
                "I began asking, what if that first month wasn't just about nostalgia, but about the dichotomy between going into the past to cement your identity and going forward to become something unforeseen? And the impending dying of not only my life but of the past and the dying of the future - Belle Époque can mean the dying of the future or the dying of optimism. Also the theme of transformation, that I came from a place of wholeness and then was progressively disoriented by life, which means I have to recover wholeness, my identity. In the past I had an assumption that I would always possess wholeness - and that's what Glorious Days is about - somewhere throughout life you lose your wholeness and you become preoccupied with defining it and then getting it back through 'acts of definition'. Then the theme of transformation: the idea that you must transform into your definition of your optimal self. Whether this is being creative, realizing some aesthetic ideal, freeing yourself from certain influences, or having a family, its the same thing - though I found through that experience that the ideal self is not a preservable state but exists only in moments, and living a continuous life is something althogether different."


2016- : Transfigured World: Audio-Rendered New Style
               In January of 2016, King released an 80-piece retrospective on SoundCloud and restarted his Twitter, opened up each of the pices for commentary and graphic design.
                Still, it's clear that the "retrospective" is not so much a new beginning but about closure. Though the third "expanded beat" period is his greatest - unlike its predecessors it is fully informed in the wake of Ideas Original and The New Style - it only lightly foreshadows his new direction and takes only small moves toward synthesis, still far behind his theories. To achieve the holy grail of a single reconciled style, retaining features of The New Style but in the traditional domain of audio, to bring years of Ideas Original theories and language codification into the historical conversation, will require a higher level of discipline, more so a different process, but most importantly, to sustain the realization that there are still dozens of musical areas to actualize within his work.
               What are these areas? "The 2015 retrospective kind of distorts things - most are beats or sketches with various shadows of my real goals. Symbolism is the obvious one, manifestations and implications of that, like General Form. What it symbolizes, of course - things will get more specifically autobiographical, and it should bring out a tension between subjective and objective ways to see the world. Exhibitions of Ideas Original theories doubling as symbols. Harmony-as-place hasn't been codified, my harmony is going to get more advanced, and when I integrate veiling, it will become three-dimensional. Introducing semantics in a way that isn't song or sampling from little clips, but some crack in between, and pointed - more specific, speaking with real philosophical goals to achieve. A big goal is to make the works completely free of samples from others, but retain the advantages and modernity of sampling - juxtaposition, semantics, unpredictable effects of layering. New naming strategies. The bend language should at least rival the most expressive music out there. New time-scales, both larger and smaller than the beats (which even when "expanded" aimed for brevity and sharp transitions, always ended up 2-3 minutes). Then there's the outer structure, which is really unprecedented. There are also multimedia options - the Naples footage, "real world counterpoint", applications to bring NS to life, animations, visualizations..."

"It's all there waiting for me".

Complied from interviews 2014-2015.
(c) Ideas Original 2015-2016