Marking Time - Musical Audio Play

by robert (o) iolini

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Marking Time is 30 minute composition in three movements - Prophecy; Anti - Apocalypse; and Time. It was commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to commemorate the new millennium.

In a world constantly on the brink of, and undergoing, minor and major apocalypses, the periods before and after the new millennium act as focal points. These periods allow an intensification of multiple simultaneous apocalyptic activity, both actual and rhetorical. Why do humans, particularly in western culture, feel the need to manifest such apocalyptic activity?

The composition incorporates a range of sonic elements, including extensive use of spoken and sung text, non linear narrative structures, improvisation, electro acoustics, found sounds, and highly structured musical sections. The artists involved in the project each have a very unique performance language, which they present with a high degree of virtuosity. Materials that were used in the final work were generated through a process of directed improvisation workshops in which the artists were recorded. The resulting performances were then dissected and re-composed using digital non linear editing software.
The result is a new artificially constructed ensemble performance.



And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
And he had I his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.
And cried with a loud voice , as when the lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about top write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me. Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven.
And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things that therein are, that there should be time no longer.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to the servants his prophets.

The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed at the end of six thousand years is true as I have heard from hell. For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite. And holy whereas now it appears finite and corrupt. This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment. But first the notion that a man has a body as distinct from his soul, is to be expunged; this I shall do, by printing in the infernal method. By corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying infinite which was hid. If the doors of perception were cleansed and everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up until he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

X-Files, Sightings, Independence Day, Contact. The prophecies tell us . Men in Black. 2012. 22 December 2012. Armageddon
200 miles away Deep Impact 2 = 4 + 8 = 12, 12, 12 month in the year, 12 inches in a foot. Asteroid. The number 12 itself. 1, 2…. Recalculate Number 13 is magically important. Everywhere on the tenth day the Third Sign comes……..

Many of you know already what’s going to happen. It is not a negative event.

There will be signs. The first sign was famine that will not be spread worldwide. Many of you know already. If you look at Africa, we've heard of these things worldwide, yet we did nothing about them. It is not a negative event. The Second Sign was when you begin to see life around you change in form. This planet is not going to be destroyed. This planet is not going to be without living beings. The Second Sign was shown to us just last year. And it began with the frogs; now it's into the chickens, the cows, the sheep and into a lot of the plants and vegetables that we eat. This planet is not going to be destroyed. That was the deformity, the deformity that comes through in three and five legs. six and eight fingers, legs that aren't there, hearts that aren't there, This planet is not going to be without living beings.

Space weather is going to get worse.
Reliance on thousands of chips and millions of lines of computer code could make nuclear weapons especially vulnerable. Space weather is going to get worse.
Solar cycle 23 and 19 19 19……. It is not a negative event. Rework the figures. Recalculate. Solar cycle 23 is expected to reach its maximum strength around 2000. The Rapture. Recalculate. Rework the figures. Revelations Recalculate. Rework the figures.
That’s if asteroid1997 XF11 hits planet terra nova and misses us. It will be a win win situation for many. Rework the figures. It could be seen as the purification that was necessary to proceed to the next evolution of Earth's existence. Other members of earth’s population will be drawn back to the church and religion of their choice in mass numbers. The power of prayer. Divine intervention. Of course there will be new churches and new religions.

Satan-Prince of the Powers of the Air, Lord of those that Fly, Intelligence behind UFO manifestations and alien encounters….
For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed…

Your dead ones shalt live, my dead body; they shall rise up. Awake and sing, dust dwellers; for the dew of light is your dew; and the earth shall cast out the rapha (to be judged). Come My people, go in your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little moment, until the fury passes. For, behold Jehovah comes out of His place to visit iniquity on the dweller of the earth.


Without horizon
Without hope
Imagination reigns
Entangled in a rhetoric of ruins and speed
The question remains
No return
The question remains and comes back
The explosion has already occurred

The end of the ends
The pole of reckoning
La fin de la fin
The passion for meaning
No meaning. what more do you want?
No return
La la la la

It is useless to dream
Everything is retroactive
What more do you want?
.........a theory of narrative, positing a universal urge on the part of finite human being to imagine the end of the story in which they find themselves always in the middle.
What more do you want?

Human beings imagining the end of the story…….
The imagination stands always at the end of an era
in which they find themselves….
Truth, power, ethics, power
Always in the middle

What more do you want?
What more do you want?
What more do you want?

The idea that one's life is a work of art, that one's existence s a process of self-creativity, runs counter to both Christian prescriptions for the salvation of the soul and human sciences prescriptions for the normality of the individual

The imagination stands always at the end of an era

The question remains and comes back: what can be the limits of demystification. No doubt one can think - I think this - that this demystification must be led as far as possible, and the task is not modest. It is interminable because no one can exhaust the overdeterminations and indeterminations of the apocalyptic stratagems

What more do you want? What more do you want? What more do you want?


How can a human being, within his restricted life-span, cope with the fact that the world is expanding beyond historic time and beyond the temporality of nature into a virtual infinity, with the discrepancy between the potentiality of an individual life and the general time limits of the world at large become cope with the fact that the world is expanding beyond historic time and beyond the temporality of nature into a virtual infinity, with the discrepancy between the potentiality of an individual life and the general time limits of the world at large becoming intolerable.

Time's new dimensions have thrust individual lives with their limited time spans into meaninglessness. On the one hand, a cosmos extended to incomprehensible limits with its corresponding time dimensions; on the other, a life stretching over a mere seventy to eighty years. The dimensions of time as we knew them have suddenly been smashed and the expanse of ether has become visible.

Humanity's need for time has become boundless.

The time dimensions of the world and those of the individual human being have once and for all been separated from each other.

Where does the history of humanity begin? Where does it end?

The history of humanity is swallowed up by the history of life and of nature. In this regard, too, human beings experience that sense of being lost in time.

Only our concept of Time makes it possible to speak of the day of judgement by that name; in reality it is a summary court in perpetual session.

Throughout history those who have sought to mold humanity's activity to their purposes have recognised that action in the world is constrained and made possible through particular constructions of Time, that an age belongs to those who have (or can seize) the power to define it.

Human beings cannot comprehend infinity; they do not even possess the power to grasp the enormous time dimensions of the finite world.

It is extremely difficult to avoid seeing the history of humanity as a history of progress, although a certain view of history has repeatedly arisen according to which the "Golden Age" is to be found at the beginning of the history of humanity, the periods after this being considered, rather, as periods of decline.

Historical development was usually conceived as the history of the expansion of humanity's reasoning powers.

We, today, are increasingly experiencing the indifference of time towards the reasoning powers of both the individual and the whole of humanity.

...promising an end to time, and therefore to evil .....

Time continues to be not only the form within which all historical happenings take place, but itself has taken on an historical quality. History, then, no longer takes place within the framework of time, for time has become a dynamic power in history itself.

The faculty for memory has become the very centre of the conflict between an individuals time dimension's and those of the world.

The complete cycle is terminated by a dissolution, which is repeated more intensely at the end of the thousandth cycle. .....And then everything will begin over again - ad infinitum.

…….a perpetual calendar of human anxiety and of human hopes………


Composed, Directed & Produced by Roberto Iolini with:

Amanda Stewart - voice
Michele Morgan - voice
Jim Denley - saxophones, flutes, flax
Phillip Mar - saxophones, electric guitar and bass, violin
Robert Iolini - Midi guitar and sampler

Recorded at ABC studios Ultimo, Sydney, 1999

Marking Time was commissioned and broadcast by the ABC audio arts program The Listening Room. Production for TLR Sherre DeLys, Engineer - Andrea Shubunov.


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robert (o) iolini

||| Internationally recognised composer...
||| Two solo albums released on British avant-garde music label ReR Megacorp...
||| Style apparently follows function...
||| Chamber ensembles, Outsider theatre, Large-scale works for radio, audio-drama.

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