Valencia College, Lake Nona Campus

Artist Spotlight – DIVERSA

DIVERSA’s music blurs the line between natural and synthetic…

My description of the nature of lone producer Diversa’s music shares his name: Harmonious Diversity. In it, contrast thrives, creating not discord, but unity, as he sows together sounds from the far ends of our sonic spectrum in a unique and trance inducing way. Birds chirp behind chopped robotic synths, impossibly fast acoustic percussion runs alongside melancholy meanderings of a grand piano, clapping echoes above heavily distorted bass hits. These separate worlds dance nimbly around each other, but as you listen, you find that Diversa has not only found out how to make two entirely different noises cooperate, but can make sounds that take root strongly in both nature and synthesis, seamlessly fusing together two distinct worlds. They come together into a seemingly infinite soundscape where your mind dances or rests in thrilling serenity.

One of Diversa’s favorite instruments resonates over many of his tracks. Heavily manipulated, filtered and layered upon itself, inflecting up and down to the desire of it’s creator, it is a noise we would never hear in nature. It is also, unmistakably, the human voice. Its wail carries with it emotion that is not synthetic, and it can be felt clearly in spite of, perhaps even amplified by, the skilled digital manipulation of the artist.

Diversa’s warped vox can be heard here, warbling just above the surface of the music. Slow and minimal drums support wave after wave of tumbling synth, it’s movement conjuring an image of being in an ocean, swaying, floating in gentle waters that suddenly swell into a powerful crest and crash into turbulent synth stabs as you tumble under the surface. One can almost imagine the voice as some creature caught up in the roaring waters, howling in awe.

This last piece conjures a vision of water in a very different light. It opens with the noise of gently splashing fluid alongside soft and solemn piano chords. A slow rise to a drop is signaled by drums, and the sound of water and piano are replaced by soft digital keys that drip softly into your ears. The drums are tight and loud, the hard snare is eventually accompanied by a powerful sub-bass, but never do they detract from the light keys. To me, this song is the perfect metaphor for water; it can be so soft like an early afternoon sprinkle, or a trickling creek. But at the same time, that creek flows thousands of gallons of water every minute, and that light rain shapes mountains. As one Soundcloud user comments, “light and deep at the same time”.

Many producers create contrast in their music; it does not take genius to put 808’s (drum machines) under a jazz piano. Diversa stands out because he puts the music into his instruments, not the other way around. The contrast of heavy and light, natural and synthetic, form a conversation that moves unexpectedly and constantly contradicts itself, much like us. His synths sing and his drums run, the heaviest and most “unnatural” sounds move and dance like a living being. Even songs with no discernible natural sounds have a breath of life and the emotion missing from much of the computer-produced music of today. Diversa finds harmony in complexity, and unity in diversity, and the product is a single, beautiful, living mess of emotion.

Perhaps a metaphor beyond music?

 

Listen to more DIVERSA:

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