Moor_Pluto continues transcension with Clouds, a collaborative multimedia release with psychedelic tones of nu-jazz, hip-hop enveloped around an array of artistic mediums. Clouds crest a wave of releases by Tyler Tyson, the synesthete artist at Moor_Pluto’s core. 

“I have this thing where I see colors when I’m listening to music,” Tyson explained. “I try to paint pictures in my head with the sounds. My goal is to portray visually what I’m hearing.” The senses swirl with Moor_Pluto: music into art, art into language, language into stories, and into music again. Tyson sees the realm of art and music as pathways of communication that channel into other realms. 

“They say things that we cannot say,” he said. “They provide experiences that exist outside of our perception, but all the same, have so much impact on us and our life.”

Tyson finds beauty in the impact of arranging tones and colors to tell stories. “I’ve set forth to go on this journey of liberation, and picking up some cool cats along the way,” he said of his own story as a Black artist growing up in Pittsboro before moving to study music at UNCG.

“Art from Black men doesn’t just start out from the urban streets where you get back inside once the street lights come on,” Tyson explained. “It doesn’t just come from being surrounded by graffiti buildings and making a beat for the next street battle at the bus stop. Art from Black men can come from the country skyline, creating hues of gods coloring on the sun, or learning how to fight like a man while handling a horse while not having a gun.” 

Attuned to astrology, Tyson aligns himself with the extremities of the planet Pluto; and holds an affinity for the Moors of middle-aged Europe. 

“I felt like this Black boy in the white man’s artistic space,” he noted of his time in music school. 

As a result, “my music is used to heal and tune-in. Acceptance of Black people who know hip-hop, but also know jazz. I’m not lukewarm with my art; I am hot and cold; my creativity serves when needed.”

Celestial themes weave throughout Tyson’s work, as he looks to grow amongst the stars. “The next step in our process of becoming is to tackle outer space,” he noted, “and I want black people in outer space, like yesterday. If we get on some outer space tip, that would be amazing.”

Crediting his metaphysical awareness to Sun Ra and John Coltrane, Tyson considers their music the spiritual place from which his journey began. “Then I fell in love with language,” he explained of studying French and poetry. “Poetry brought me back to my childhood when I used to get down with rapping,” he noted, “then I started studying art so that I could see how these things correlate to one another.”

The correlation culminates in Clouds, where visual art combines with music, tapping into Tyson’s pursuit. Visually, he’s been digging on mid-20th century European works, notably French stylings and German artist, Mati Klarwien. “I’ve been trying to come to terms with the Vorticist movement,” he added, “there’s something I can learn, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.”

Artists coming to terms with the times pave pathways. And between the coronavirus and protests, art continues acting as a metric. “The times are always crazy,” Tyson noted, “and times now are crazy in that there’s so many things we’re facing at once. But artists move with the times--they’re the embodiment of what’s around them. As the movement progresses, so will its representation through the art. It’s a good time for growth.”

Clouds is a projection of that growth wrapped in joy--playing as an interlude as unrest broke around its release. “People need breaks from their realities sometimes,” he explained. “I do support the push of bringing the Black community up through society’s eyes so we can see what’s going on. But, let’s not forget to take time to enjoy yourself.”

Joy is different in the wake of the coronavirus, but growth remains the silver lining. “I miss the feeling of live music with a group of people, vibing to the same songs, rocking out and having fun,” Tyson lamented, “but artists should adapt to bring this joy in a different way.” His next attempt, another multimedia endeavor, “Word to the Mothership,” is already underway.

“Creating something beautiful comes from the highs and lows, the rising and falling, and for all artists involved to be on that same wave,” he said of expanding beyond a single medium or genre. “The sadness, the joy, the in-between. Being able to feel all of those at their deepest level and sitting with them. My goal is to take the listener on the experience with me.”

Clouds, the latest wave from Moor_Pluto is available now via Bandcamp.

Katei Cranford is a Triad music nerd who hosts the Tuesday Tour Report on WUAG 103.1FM, a radio show on hiatus due to COVID-19.

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