Mathew Ritchie is deeply interested in the ways in which perception and reality, myth and history, information and knowledge are retold, redrawn and re-articulated to the point of abstraction. Past legibility - but not past comprehension. 'The Ninth Wave' refers to three interlinked and speculative theories of suspended origin.
In 1908, Carl Jung observed the theta rhythm, regular, but mysterious brain waves in the hippocampal EEG. It has since been suggested that the theta rhythm functions to separate periods of encoding of current sensory stimuli and retrieval of episodic memory cued by current stimuli so as to avoid interference that would occur if encoding and retrieval were simultaneous. Still it remains mysterious.
The title refers to a sailing expression - to a wave of great size that comes after a succession of incrementally larger waves. A lifetime sailor, Ritchie often uses sailing expressions to parallel non-terrestrial experiences. In Celtic mythology, (another deep interest of Ritchie, whose family is originally from Scotland), the Ninth Wave is the barrier that separates the Earthly world from the Hy Breasil, or ‘otherworld’. In the song of Amergin, the modern Irish are repulsed from their efforts at invasion by their predecessors (the unearthly Danae). They are pushed back, over "nine green waves", back into the sea of memory.