‘No Wise Man’ by nathan.wright___

Uncategorized September 13, 2022

‘No Wise Man’ by nathan.wright___

Exclusive track premiere of ‘No Wise Man’ by nathan.wright___.

nathan.wright___ is a project that aims to illustrate the techno-dystopian anxieties of the modern world through music and video. The individual songs occupy separate sonic spaces, but are tied together by a narrative theme that unfolds over a consistent stream of 6-week releases. The project is recorded and produced by composer/songwriter Nathan Wright, with cameos from other top performers from the city. ‘No Wise Man’ is a swirling mix of acoustic and electric sounds, manipulated into the uncanny valley elicited from AI art generators like DALL-E. The song is narrated by an individual making the choice between maintaining their relationship with the real world or fully plugging into the network that has given them their sense of family, education, and meaning. The song addresses questions of reality and authenticity in an increasingly digital age.

We’re occupying a new and often terrifying technological era. As we discover the potentials of artificial intelligence or algorithmic interjection into human consciousness, we open up exciting new doors as well as new ways of torturing and limiting ourselves. And nathan.wright___’s new single, ‘No Wise Man’, captures that duality, both in its sonic palette and lyrical content.

Hailing from Tulsa, nathan.wright___ uses both acoustic and electronic sounds to draw our attention towards the uncanny valley. Wright is like a tight-rope walker, never falling completely into the realm of flesh or the meadow of wires. Not only does Wright write, arrange, and produce this music, but he also fronts a nine-piece funk/afrobeat/latin group called Count Tutu, and contributes to a host of other projects.

‘No Wise Man’ sounds like the child of Radiohead and Frank Ocean. With a haunting acoustic guitar surrounded by haunting synthesizers and digital soundscapes, Wright leads us into the space between a dream and a nightmare. As Wright repeats the phrase, “Faces creasing for selfies”, he draws our attention to the ways in which social media are distorting our humanity.

Sometimes, it takes music like this for us to realize just how far we’ve fallen. Have we lost our souls in the race for clicks? Have we descended into a void of clickbait, branded self-presentation? While nathan.wright___ may not present us with the solution, the question is worth asking. Through ‘No Wise Man’, Wright gives us these important social dilemmas on a platter of clever instrumentation and dystopian lyrics. It’s up to us now.

Listen to ‘No Wise Man’ below, and check out our interview with Wright!

“I wonder if local communities will survive the century”

Was there an event or series of conversations that inspired the lyrics to ‘No Wise Man’?

Nathan Wright: ‘No Wise Man’ is a part of a series that interrogates our relationships with technology, especially future technologies. Living in what is maybe the first era to have too much information, I’ve found that it’s responsible to try to remain unsure about things I can’t reasonably be sure about. A piece of advice that I encountered was to write down all of the things I know are definitely true. That’s good advice, in my opinion. My list is very important and useful to me.

It dawned on me that a substantial amount of good advice and guidance I’ve received has come from the internet. It has its issues, but the web’s natural fragmentation into social groups represent new versions of family, village, and tribe. It still takes a village, though your village may not ever meet you.

There is a dark line of questioning regarding how many people abandon their families for their digital communities, falling into cults of ideology that ask them to reject their geographic neighbors. I wonder if they’ll be led by increasingly savvy narcissists, or some version of artificial intelligence. I wonder if local communities will survive the century.

How do you go about arranging songs? There’s so much going on in this single, and it’s a testament to your gift as a producer and player!

Thanks for the kind words. I have this spiel about how music theory and logic are the wrong tool for producing melodies and musical moments. Once I have a mood, melody, and lyrics, I improvise over the song with different instruments and tones for several days in as close to a flow state as possible. I discard 99% and retain my favorite moments. I end up with stuff I never would have thought of consciously, and the end product teaches me more about how I’d like to sound when I play.

What is your thought about the digital marketing that pervades the musical landscape today?

I have mixed feelings about it. One thing I’m sure about is that I don’t particularly enjoy doing it. One of the themes of these songs is how we’re incentivized to “play the game”, even if we’re conscious of the negative externalities and the raw deal we’re getting as individuals. It’s just another multipolar trap, another race to the bottom, another manifestation of Moloch. Nobody wants it, but there’s not enough coordination to change it.

What do you hope people take away from this song?

I want to find the tiny minority of people that want to hear this exact kind of music. My goal is to produce exactly what I want, unrestrained by genre, contracts, status seeking, or even a live band. I want to use music to adequately record some sort of diary entry about what it’s like to live right now, and what kind of anxieties are drifting through the air. I have other musical ventures with different goals. To me, this one is the most pure.

nathan.wright___ Official Website / Instagram / Twitter / SoundCloud / YouTube

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.