Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rescuing Andromeda

01-Live From The Cafe Annapurna     61:41
02-A Beautiful Tattoo      45:50
03-Let's Go For A Swim      60:07
04-Those Little Men In The Ceiling Tiles Never Stop Working 60:26
05-The Web Construction Kit     66:59
06-Rescuing Andromeda      55:29
Total time     5:50:33

"Live from the Cafe Annapura" is an actual liver performance, outside the confines of my home studio, with a smal audience.  The Cafe Annapurna was a small Nepalese restaurant in Tallahassee and I performed there a few times.  On this particular occasion, I took the recording devices and the computer and recorded the show.  This is the hour.
"A Beautiful Tattoo" is part staring a person's tattoo and the title of a work of computer generated art.  I'm not much on ever getting a tattoo myself, but some are quite lovely.  This is a jam piece, improvs all the way.
"Let's Go For A Swim" is based on rythyms plucked out on muffled strings.  The different patterns blend together to make a long sense of submersion.
"Those Little Men In The Ceiling Tiles Never Stop Working"  I have no idea how many remixes I did on this one.  I went for the subtle approach to the "situation."
"The Web Construction Kit"  A piece based on a study about the effects of drugs on spiders.  It's a great study, look it up.  The music presented here is one of those rare ones that I thought came off very well.  When I listen to it, the changes are subtle, but when I jump around in the piece, or leave it and return, ut changes.
"Rescuing Andromeda"  I was totally overwhelmed by the artwork of Gustav Dore.  The music in this piece is a journey through bits and pieces of the story "Orlando Furioso".  Discover it, if you will.

The Drone's Bauble

01-Monday Migrations      68:38
02-Galaxy 92       93:00
03-Music for a Chimera Choir     61:50
04-Dust Riding The Beam      63:22
05-Days End In The Hive Collective    56:12
Total time     5:43:04

The Drone's Bauble is part sound deco, part space music.  Yes, here I go again.  I was really getting into the Star Trek "Voyager" series, and I began to believe that the Borg have the right idea.  A "bauble" is a collection of trinkets, useless objects.  I was thinking what would a Borg collect and keep whilst crusing around the galaxy, assimilating friends along the way.  All of the pieces can qualify as decoration,  the titles are explained as follows.  "Monday Migrations"  is a piece about the Monday morning commute to work.  Why blame it on the Borg, we are all pretty much drones down here.  "Galaxy 92" is a trinket, such as in "The Men In Black", "the galaxy is on Orions belt."  "Music for a Chimera Choir" is a illusionary choir piece.  The choir doesn't exist, it's in your head.  "Dust Riding The Beam"  Think about it, if you belong to a society where you have nothing, and work constantly, and your thoughts are read, then why wouldn't you believe/fantasize that the dust reflecting in the light that you see in the morning when you wake up is yours?  "Days End In The Hive Collective"  A time needed for rest and relaxation is universal.  Space music in a very dark and scary sense.

Graveyard Shift on a Space Station

01-Graveyard Shift on a Space Station    7:59:59

The most cynical, insulting and rudest disc I've ever done.  Simply put, I was reading a long description of ambient music on the internet, I can't remember the site.  The writer had it broken down into so many sub-genres it was disgusting.  I was reading the essay, trying to be a good sport, but when I came to a line that just about made me throw up.  It stated a part of ambient music called "space music", and in this sub-genre was a sub-sub-genre called crusing music.  This was simply described as "music for crusing between the stars."  "What kind of mutha funkin' bulllshit is this?"  I screamed.  Let me guess, four minute instrumental pieces for crusing between the stars.  Does he mean music like the Theme from the original Star Trek series?  Hello, that was polynesian lounge music.  I began to really dislike the mere term "ambient music".  So, as in a retailiation to the stupidity of a writer who tries to declassify everything and put it all into convineint sub-sub-sub-genre, I came up with something real.  "Graveyard Shift on a Space Station" is just that.  An 8 hour shift, alone on a space station.  I considered the most honest piece of "Space Music" every done.  It took me a week to record it, mainly four all nighters, graveyard sessions to get the feel for the piece.  The cover is a photo of a friend of mine, Karen Selew.  She was posing as cousin It from the Adams Family.  I wanted a picture to show someone gone completely mad.  She posed perfectly for the part.


It's hard to say what happened.  I decided to stop recording in 2009, and proceeded to record material for over 6 discs, about 40 hours worth.  It was a real chore to sort everything out, but the following albums were the best I could come up with.  The order is a bit scrambled, remembering which was first and which was last is not that high on my list of proirities.

Fundamentals of Sound Deco

01-Wallpaper Pattern 'n'     60:00
02-Between the Zero and the One     58:21
03-Drone In Blue      54:58
04-Bay Window       72:55
05-Chrystaline Draperies     60:49
06-Sleepwalk       60:42
Total time     6:07:43

Background to the forthcomeing statement.  I went to my first art gallery while in the third grade.  I was going to school in Silver Springs,MD and we took a field trip to The National Gallery of Art.  The best thing about being in elementary school in the DC area was the field trips.  This was the one place that I made my parents take me to again.  I fell in love with art at a very young age.  I later found that I did not have the patience to be a visual artist, and found that my medium was music.  I continue to study art to this day, and will go anywhere to visit an art gallery.  St. Petersburg, Montreal, Florence, yes, anywhere.  Most of the book I read are about art.  I love it.  From prehistoric cave paintings to modern sculpture, I can't see enough.
More background.  I feel that there are a few things in life I'm really good at.  Dealing with problem animals, making babies smile, analytical chemistry and statistics, collecting record albums, making dessert, chosing women's clothes, and picking and hanging the right draperies.  I've been called a natural horse/dog whisperer.  I can make any baby smile, I should have been a portrait photographer.  I have this 20 plus, love/hate, career in analytical chemistry, and ony enjoy the problem situations.  I have been a vinyl junkie since I was 12.  I can make any dessert you want, and I will put my creme brulee up against any pastry chef in the entire world.  When my wife goes shopping for clothes, she has to take me, and whereas I only wear jeans and t-shirts she is constantly praised on her attire.  I worked doing apartment cleanups while working my way through college, and after dealing with the most atrocious drapes in western civilization, I took a class in Clothing and Textiles while in college and let me tell you, I know drapes. 
This was my forth disc in 2008.  I had been diving into the study of the Art Deco movement in the early 20th century.  I had wanted to do an album of music which would qualify as silence enhancement.  True ambience.  I had purchased blue draperies for my bedroom and found that not only did they look like blue drapes hanging in front of the windows, they changed the overall appearance of the room.    This particular idea formatted the music on this disc, even more, a view of a genre of music itself.  Way prentencious you may scoff.  But you have to admit, the basic idea of one hour pieces of music which only exist to enhace to atmosphere of the room the sound of the music occupies is an idea not shared by many.  At least, not stated in such a way.  This is a disc that can be described as a textbook which gives examples in the fundamental thought of using music as decoration.  The term "Sound Deco" is a new term as such.  I have looked it up many times in many sorces.  It does not exist.  Yes,  I am standing on my soap box here.  But when one come up with an original idea, one MUST proclaim it.
The tracks on this disc are simply stated.  "Wallpaper Pattern 'n' "  is a piece which could blend into, or make, a room as the wallpaper would.  "Between the Zero and the One"  explores the infinte possibilities that are there in the world of analog versus the digital world.  "Drone In Blue"  is primarly a drone piece which utilizes the deep blue hall reverb setting.  "Bay Window"  begins sliently and then comes to life when the window is opened.  "Chrystaline Draperies"  are hung, and the begin to sing on their own.  "Sleepwalk"  is a journey into the darkness of decoration.

Vulcan Summer

01-Mammon Spake Live 080808     38:39
02-Ganglion Express      44:01
03-Yellowstone       40:22
04-Kidney Shaped Pool      43:47
05-Bendis Procession      76:40
06-Vulcan Summer      134:00
Total Time    6:14:35

"Vulcan Summer" was in the summer of 2008.  I turned 50 that June, and as a present to myself, I decided to learn how to, and purchase, and begin to ride a motorcycle.  They had always scared the absolute shit out of me.  Gasoline was getting really expensive, and my wife had suggested that she was going to get a scooter and start riding to work.  45 miles each way.  On a two lane road.  My son and I emphatically forbided it, knowing that she would not survive such an ordeal.  Not to be anti-feminist or male dominant, but she has carpletunnel and hernieated discs in her neck.  It would not be a good situation.  I had this dream of myself riding a scooter and thought "I could do that."  Then I started looking at different bikes and thought that a scooter was too small, that I needed a real motorcycle.  It was a 40 mile ride to work for me, mainly four lane roads, not much traffic.   In Florida, one of the smartest things the state ever did was impose a manditory class to be taken before anyone can get a license to ride a motorcycle.  I took the class without ever being on one, and much to my suprise, I passed!  The instructor was excellent, previously a Florida State Highway patrolman himself.  I decided on a Kawasaki Vulcan 500.  Not the biggest of bikes, but the shop I bought it from, Thomasville Kawasaki, was run by a small number of really great guys who loved motorcycles themselves.  And opposed to most other motorcycle shops, they were open on Monday and didn't add any hidden costs to the final price.  Hence the title "'Vulcan' Summer".
"Mammon Spake Live 080808" was not a live performance before an audience, it was a one take reheersal performance in my home studio.  I did perform the piece at a cafe later on, and the piece does take on slight variations when performed.  I added it to this disc as an example of how my music is actually done.  It is something that I do in the privacy of my own home, played out, edited and placed together in whatever way necessary to make it sound tollerable, but the pieces are not totally forgotten.  Some pieces, such as this one have been scored, and can be performed by yours truly.  For more information about the piece itself, see the notes on "Why Would Heaven Have A Gate?"
"Yellowstone" is a multi-layered piece, which I consider a picture book of soundscapes describing the park.  I think I did a good job, because a few people who have visited the park as well as heard the piece, believe it to be a good description of the park.
"Kidney Shaped Pool"  Oh, yes.  i constantly remerge to the darkest of feelings.  Whereas "Left for Dead On The Subway Tracks" was about being mugged in a subway station and having your body throw out on the tracks, being left to die a horrible death in the underworld of a planet where no has ever really given a shit about you, "Kindey Shaped Pool" is about drowning in a swimming pool with no one there to save you.  Death in cold, chlorinated water, only to have your body to be found the next morning floating on top.  (As you may sumise, I really loved the movie "Gods and Monsters".)
"Bendis Procession"  Now this one, I planned out quite a bit.  A lot, actually.  I was reading Plato's "Republic" and the part in which Plato describes his trip to a nearby town to witness the procession for the goddess Bendis really got my Southern-Baptist-raised mind going.  "What would that really be like?!?!?!?"  I was totally taken with the idea, the trip, the procession, the discussion, and above all, the knowledge Plato, or anyone at the time, possessed to make a judgement as to how well the did in pulling off this procession.  I did a bit of studying on the whole "Procession" thing, and came up with a musical description as to what it might sound like.  I do have to admit inspirational ideas from The Residents "Souzapart".
"Vulcan Summer"  I recut this thing a dozen times.  One idea was to have it in parts throughout the disc.  One was to make it shorter.  One to cut it in half and bookend the disc.  Then I decided on the two hour plus ride.  I can't describe the music technically beyond the idea of a great loop with very subtle variations.  I can say that it is about riding a bike for the first time, getting over your fears, experiencing something totally new for the very first time.  Something wonderful as well as personal.  I do thank Sam Shabain for the inspiration for going ahead and keeping the full track as one long piece.  I really think it worked out that way.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Throwing Rocks at the Sun

"Throwing Rocks at the Sun"
01-The Morning Show - Opening Theme    25:10
02-Dewdrops Don't Descend     15:13
03-Grey Clouds Approach      8:34
04-Albert's Train      10:23
05-Fried Samosa       5:17
06-Minimalambience 1      17:28
07-Skipping Stones Stoned     41:29
08-The Warm Pond      14:48
09-Mirror rorroM      4:01
10-The Fun House      30:00
11-Laugh With Us      7:22
12-rorriM Mirror      8:11
13-Minimalambience 2      28:09
14-Variations on a Loaded String    16:33
15-sin(r2)/r2       24:51
16-The Ripple Tank      21:00
17-Minimalambience 3      13:35
18-The Morning Show - Closing Theme    7:59
Total Time   5:00:11
Subtitled "and other acts of futility"

It's dfficult for me to write about this one, because every time I lisen to it, the explinations get buried in the music itself.  The title "Throwing Rocks at the Sun" is similar in language to Patti Smith's "Pissing in a River".  Exercises in futility.  I was at this point in the world of Oenyaw that I believed that it no longer had a purpose, so I just impoved.  I was playing with no preplanned ideas for the music, practicing for gigs that might never come.  What happened was that the music was better than anything else I had ever done.  There was an apparent fact that I didn't want to accept:  That when I planned out every step of the way, the journey was quite boring.  But with this one, I planned nothing and the music, from the direction of plaing and recording to listening, was much more enjoable.  I wasn't about to ditch planning enirely, but this project was very liberating.  One person up against the universe, feeling that insted of finding an area in the shade or retreating inside to a shelter, he'd rather stand out in the middle of the desert and throw rocks  the sun, hoping to send it away.  Any sane person knows that this is a totally insane idea, but from the viewpoint of the person throwing the rocks, the sun does eventually go down, and he wins his private battle every day.
"The Morning Show"  begins as a happy morning soundscapes, which ends as an self-inflicted withdraw into anger.  The sounds and playing of the Opening theme was made using a clear guitar sound through a "Growler" filter".  The closing theme is made up of the same loops, but closed into an infinite echo shell.  Overtaken by it's own creation.
"Dewdrops Don't Descend"  Illiteration is something I aspire to.  So much for the title.  The music is made by using a loop while playing a minor scale.  Which one, I would have to go back and figure that one out, and since sometimes I play more than one at the same time as well as throwing chromatic runs in on top of it all, it may be difficult to state.   To further complicate matters, I start with a loop, play in G minor, and the switch to D major, starting to throw notes into the loop that are contained in both scales, and when the first loop begins to fade, the new loops take over, and the notes that differ are then played.
"Grey Skies" approach is a small, dark soundscape which uses the same patterns used in "Dewdrops "Don't Descend" but have a few different filters thrown in.  I let things get out of hand at the end, which led to some of the sounds used in the ending of "Albert's Train."
"Albert's Train" is a psychedelic train ride, named after Albert, the inventor of LSD.  "Fried Somasa" is an Indian inspired soliloquy to the piece.  I hope someday to travel to India and ride on top of a train.  The train sounds in "Albert's Train" contained heavy reverb and flanging, to give a very heavy feeling of the the steam engine struggling to turn the wheels.   The train is a scary way to travel when you feel the pain of the train.
The background loop in "Fried Somasa" is played like a sitar, one finger playing up and down strokes across the chord without using a misharab.  The lead on top is an improved jam, using a muffled filter and a U-Vibe modulation.  But the world is beautiful when you leave the box and step outside.
"Skipping Stones Stoned" More illiteration.  Not as much in the area of loops as usual.  The loop eventually sneeks in, but is then pushed into the backgound, the overcoming loop changes the mood from a riff to a drone.  Happiness to the anticipation of the upcoming event, and then stress to the event in the emotion which questions "will I get it right?"  In the end, all walls are torn down, and I just start trhrowing the stones.
"The Warm Pond" is another continuation.  Starting once again witht the "Minimalambiance" theme, but then allowing it to be washed away in the echoes and reverbs which define the piece.  After the stones are thrown, just dive in.
"Mirror rorriM", "The Fun House", "Laugh With Us, and "Rorrim mirroR"  are a set of pieces which combine in a Psychedic Carnival sort of way.  The bookends, "Mirror rorriM" and "Rorrim mirroR" are done with a short loop piece which is doubled, reversed, and then separted into two reversed tracks: track one A, A reversed, track 2 A reversed, A.  "The Fun House" is a piece which starts out scary, but then you realize there is nothing to be afraid of.  "Laugh With Us" is a much happier side insanity.
"Variations on a Loaded String", "sin(r2)/r2", "The Ripple Tank".  I didn't want to name these "Jams 1, 2 and 3".  They are improve pieces, but as my improv pieces go, they are a bit more involved than playing box runs over 12 bars.  (I don't mind the blues, I just detest people who think blues musicians in the 21st century are in anyway creative or relevent.)  The titles are taken from a website which occupies a significant amout of my time.  It is a set of mathematical aplets in which a digital artist with a knowledge of physics a mathmatics I will never prentend to even touch has set up on the internet for anyone to view.  I copped the titles based on the feelings of which applet best fit the music which was playing.  It was one of the most enjoyable time consuming afternoons I have ever spent.
There are three pieces called "Minimalambience", which are similar in musical structure and delay/modulation, but the differences distinguish the separate pieces.

Old quotes

I found a notepad of some quotes that I posted on a website I used to attempt to maintain.  After time, some are still usefull.

Life is too short to spend it working.

There is no special place in heaven for those who work through their lunch break.

Replacing time with family and friends with time to make money for strangers who don't even know your name could in no way even come close to be considered a rewarding experience.

"I've been fired from better jobs than this!"  Wayne Higgins to a restaurant owner 1982

Even God took a whole day off.

Time is an illusion in which we have been imprisoned by some superior force that is using us for research.

There are many ways to waste time.  Explore as many as possible.

Leave behind that world of standard formats, programmed answers, impersonal relationships, products which exits only for the sake of selling themselves.

It always confused me.  How can a God that represents infinite love and mercy endorse any organization that would practice the torturing, of any kind, of individuals that do not conform to the principles of that organization?  It's just plain stupid.

If heaven is infinite, than a fence around it would have to be infinitely huge. 

The logic breaks down when you consider that fences are built for containment. 

Infinity cannot be contained.

"What if you go to heaven where all illnesses are cured, but your illness happens to be schizophrenia?  Your problem is that you always hear the angels talking to you.  So you go to heaven and angels are always talking to you."  

The Oenyaw Mission Statement:
"Brain cleansing music for brain numbing times in a brain dead world"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oenyaw's Comedy Divine

Oenyaw's Comedy Divine!
01-Entre-act       11:14
02-The Terraces of Purgatory     15:04
03-Zephaniah's Lucky Day     7:25
04-I Felt My Heart Awaken     14:47
05-The Song of Cerberus      24:32
06-Pazuzu and Captain Howdy Meet Again    8:01
07-Status Meeting of the Second Hierarcy   22:51
08-Eternal Intermission      30:08
09-Malacoda Awaits      34:54
10-Lunch on the Banks of Cocytus    44:43
11-Satan's Calliope      50:05
Total Time  4:24:07
The thought is not to do a musical version of Dante's Inferno, but an album based on a trip to hell by Oenyaw.
01-Entre-act is an overture.  24 really loud orchestral "bangs".  A loud that slowly fades as one is entering the gates.
02-The Terraces of Purgatory is explained as those guilty of the seven deadly sins.  I look at it as the difference between doing time at county as opposed to state.  You're in jail, but it could be worse.  The terrace looks out over hell, not the prettiest view in the universe, but definately interesting.
03-Zephaniah's Lucky Day is a story from The Apocalypse of Zephaniah, an ancient apocryphal work attributed to the Biblical Zephaniah. In the canonical Book of Zephaniah there is a prominent amount of mystical and apocalyptic imagery, and the Apocalypse takes a similar subject to it.  The narrative consists of Zephaniah being taken to visit Heaven and to Sheol, though it is the account of his vision of Hell that is the more notable of the two. In Sheol, Zephaniah witnesses two giant angels, one of which is named Eremiel, and described as the guardian of the souls. The other gives Zephaniah a scroll containing a list of all his sins, but a second scroll is presented and the text is missing at this point. Zephaniah is judged to be innocent is transmuted into an angel.
04-I Felt My Heart Awaken
A poem by Dante, and a break in all the hot action.
I felt a loving spirit suddenly,
past a long slumber, in my heart arise;
from far away then Love I seemed to see,
so glad, I could his face ill recognize.
He told me, “Do your best to honor me,”
and laughter in each word I did surmise.
With my lord there, I was still eagerly
watching his steps, when I, to my surprise,
saw lady Vanna and lady Beatrice
coming towards me, where I still was standing—
one bliss pursuing still another bliss.
And—here is what I am reminded of—
Love said, “The first is Springtime, but the second
resembles me so much, her name is Love.”
05-The Song of Cerberus In Greek mythology, Cerberus or Kerberos was the hound of Hades, a monstrous three-headed dog with a snake for a tail and snakes down his back like a mane, whose analogs in other cultures are hellhounds. Other hell hounds included Orthus, his two-headed brother. Cerberus guarded the gate to Hades and ensured that spirits of the dead could enter, but none could exit (additionally, no living person was to come into Hades). Among his siblings are Chimera and the Hydra. He is the offspring of Echidna and Typhon. In Dante's Inferno, he is described as having a human head. This symbolizes the possibility of Cerberus being more human than animal.  I love dogs, and wonder how I would do with this one.
06-Pazuzu and Captain Howdy Meet Again In Assyrian and Babylonian mythology, Pazuzu was the king of the demons of the wind, and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought.  Pazuzu is often depicted as a combination of animal and human parts. He has the body of a man, the head of a lion or dog, eagle-like taloned feet, two pairs of wings, a scorpion's tail, and a serpentine penis. He is often depicted with his right hand pointing upward and his left hand downward. Although Pazuzu, himself, is an evil spirit, he drives away other evil spirits, thus protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.  I thought a happy reunion like this may occur in hell all the time.
07-Status Meeting of the Second Hierarcy  The Second Hierachy consists of:  Carnivean - obscenity; Carreau - cruelty; Oeillet - greed;Rosier - lasciviousness; Verrier - disobedience
08-Eternal Intermission, time for a snack.
09-Malacoda Awaits  Malacoda is a character in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, part of The Divine Comedy. He is the leader of the Malabranche, the demons who guard Malebolge, the eighth circle of Hell.  Malacoda is mentioned in Bolgia five in Dante Alighieri's Inferno. He with his fiends guards the grafters, caught in boiling pitch, torturing with grappling hooks whoever they can reach.
10-Lunch on the Banks of Cocytus  The first cantica of Dante's The Divine Comedy, Cocytus is the ninth and lowest circle of Hell. Cocytus is referred to as a frozen lake, The lake is frozen by the flapping wings of Lucifer, or Satan; his tears replenish the lake, and are then frozen by his attempts to escape via the wings. Dante describes Cocytus as being the home of traitors and those who
committed acts of complex fraud. It is divided into four descending "rounds," or sections:  Caina, after the Biblical Cain; traitors to blood relatives. Antenora, after Antenor from the Iliad; traitors to country. Ptolomea, after Ptolemy, governor of Jericho, who murdered his guests; traitors to guests. Judecca, after Judas Iscariot; traitors to masters and benefactors.
11-Satan's Calliope.  Captain Nemo has his organ, so I wondered what kind of instrument satan would be playing in his den.  A giant calliope came to mind.  Satan playing a gigantic, steam powered calliope, wings flapping as he plays.  The steam rising through the caverns of hell.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"A Party of One at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe"

A Party of One at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe
01-Ganesha       3:10
02-3am Cab Ride From The Airport to the Hotel   30:45
03-Belvedere       7:43
04-Lysergic Martini      22:43
05-The Pumpkin Girl      6:15
06-On A Distant Shore      10:47
07-Idyll Idol Idle Ideal     29:49
08-Land Of The Elephants     18:40
09-Deadalus       34:45
10-Initiation of Mithras     8:55
11-Underneath The Overpass     11:33
12-The Dreams Of The Innocent     49:11
13-Left For Dead On The Subway Tracks    19:43
14-Vanilla Shake      20:41
15-112807 (Live From The Lighthouse Keepers Convention)  61:25
16-Mei Fu Flies a Phoenix To Feihong    5:27
Total Time  5:41:38
I don't think about life in 3:15 segments, like pop songs or movie scenes.  So, when I do an album that last 5-6 hours, it's based on an event. Therefore, the representation of that event will be more involved than a drug commercial.  I can't think of anything that would take longer than waiting for your table at the restaurant at the end of the universe.  So long that you sit at the bar, get to know beings from all parts of the galaxy, get really drunk, pass out, and then woken up by the hostess to be shown to your table.
Flip side.  This is an album about art.  Not an artsy album, but a series of descriptions.  "Ganesha" is a Hindu God that represents change, the elephant with multiple arms.  I intentionally started this one in the middle of the chord, spliced off the first few seconds of the begining.  I was thinking of a photo of a statue of Ganesha, but not just the photo.  I imagined Ganesha to be moving, clay mation like in a Harryhausen movie.  Ironically, this one is actually a 3:10 segment.  "Belevedere" is a litho by M.C. Escher.  "Idyll Idol Idle Ideal" is a painting by Joni Mitchell.  "Land of the Elephants" is a tapestry from indochina.  "Mei Fu Flies a Phoenix to Feihong" is a japanese painting.  "Deadalus" is a painting by Albert Masson.
"3am Cab Ride From The Airport to the Hotel" was too real, and extremely painful.  The worst flight I had ever been on.  From Tallahassee to San Antonio.  The first leg was to Atlanta, was more like a roller coaster.  A flight attendent was injured, slammed into the ceiling of the plane.  Then lightening struck the walkway that was supposed to come out to the plane.  We were stuck on the plane for over an hour.  Then the connecting flight was delayed for 4 hours.  Then all of the cabs were taken by each member of the flight crew, leaving all of the passangers stranded at the airport.  A riot nearly ensued.  I was dealing with a swollen disc in my neck at the time.  The music represents two things simulaneously:  the hell of traveling; along with the security that the cab ride is taking me to a place where I can get some rest.
"Left For Dead On The Subway Tracks" started as a joke with a co-worker.  I mentioned that insted of doing songs about happy falling in love, or unhappy falling out of love, I did this one.  This is one of those you've been mugged, had the shit beat out of you, lying on wet pavement, can't move, total pain, brusies, cuts, black eye and toothless songs.  I'm sure someone will relate.
"The Dreams Of The Innocent".  Not children, but dogs.  I was watching my dog sleeping and he was having a dream.  I always wonder...
"112807 (Live From The Lighthouse Keepers Convention)"  A one take, studio performance.  I chose the lighthouse keepers reference as a reflection to three memories.  Klatuu's "So Said the Lighthouse Keeper", Van Der Graff Generator's "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers" and Erika Eigen's "I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper".  I was wondering just how exciting would a convention of lighthouse keepers be?
"The Pumpkin Girl" and "Initiation of Mithras" are stories borrowed from mythology.  The Pumpkin Girl from China, and the Mithras from Rome.
"Lysergic Martini" and  "Vanilla Shake" get back to the restaurant.  Somewhat connected, in a trip across the universe kind of way.
And "On A Distant Shore" takes us back to Douglas Adams and "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy."  I was thinking about waking up on the shore where the sky is purple, the ocean is still and the shore moves back and forwards.  I guess I had one too many pan galactic gargle blasters.  Or Lysergic Martini's.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"A Line From A Pale Blue Dot"

A Line From A Pale Blue Dot
Total Time:  6:00:00

In the book "2001:  A Space Odessy",  Arthur C. Clarke discusses the solitude of space travel.  I had been pondering the idea for an obsenely long piece of music for quite some time.  I had recorded approximately 18 hours of music and was in the process of editing.  I had the idea of taking the parts the fit and combine them.  Having the parts drift into each other.  The overall theme of the piece was that of taking a long journey and looking out the window.  I am scared to death of airplanes, but it's the quickest was to get to Italy.  One time on the return trip, I was drugged with seditaves and dramamine and spent the day looking out the window at the Atlantic Ocean.  It was so beautiful.  40,000 feet and it looked like textured glass.  The question was, if this was going to be about a long journey, then what would the journey be?  What could happen, where could one go in 6 hours.  A drive to Atlanta, a walk to the Auscilla River, or a flight to Vancover?

I began to think in terms of "where would the music go?"  Knowing radio waves travel the speed of light, I calculated that over a 6 hour period, the radio waves in a continous broadcast would travel roughly 4 billion miles.  The next question was "What is 4 billion miles from earth.  So I do a Google search for 4 billion miles from earth and discoverd the wole Pale Blue Dot thing.  The probe Voyager took a photograph from 4 billion miles out, which is the furthest photo ever taked of earth.  So, basically, if I can ever get a radio statio to play this on some late night show, it will theoretically form a continous line from earth to the edge of the solar system.  I think it is a great description of how far does light travel listen to this, and travel at light speed, and you'll be out past Neptune.  Will we ever break the light barrier.  Hell, yeah.

Sample calculation:
speed of light = 299792458 m/s = 6.475517093 * 10 exp 12, 6,475,571,093 km (6 hours) or 4,023,669,776 miles (6 hours)
4 billion miles at the speed of light
186000 miles per second
11160000 miles per minute
669600000 miles per hour
4017600000 miles in 6 hours.
If you think I'm crazy, absurb, ignorant, look at it this way.  Read what was said "before" we broke the speed of sound.
The logical reasons why it couldn't be done.  Einstien figured e = mc2.  When an object reaches the speed of light squared,
it's mass converts to energy. It doesn't mean that it can't be done, It just means that you wont be able to travel the speed of
light squared.   That's 34,596,000,000 miles per second.  Now, that's a bit fast.

"Songs of Praise and Torture"

Songs of Praise and Torture

1:  Invocation                                                            12:53
2:  Basillica Neptuni                                                   43:36
3:  An Ever Bubbling Fountain of Resplendence          49:44
4:  John's Cage                                                          19:19
5:  Indian Summer                                                      14:55
6:  The Big Blue Dream                                              51:30
7:  Mid-evil Mantra                                                    21:59
8:  It was a dark and stormy night...                            14:10
9: An Evening In The Lion's Den                                70:46
10:  Sunrise On North Field                                       33:09
Total Time  5:31:09

All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw. 
Recorded July -November, 2005.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, Fender Stratocaster,
DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay
Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768),
Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.

The cover photograph was taken by Carol Higgins.  The location is near the Grand Canyon in Arizona.  The
reason behind this being used as a cover for "Songs of Praise and Torture" can be seen in the movie "Once
Upon A Time In The West."  It is a scene of torture, death, and a harmonica passage which resonates throughout the movie.  I was going to write a long explanation about it, but I'd rather anyone who cares who
reads this to watch the movie.  Carol had taken the photo during our honeymoon, years before we ever saw
the film.  While watching the extra features on the DVD, we noticed the scene and realized we had been
there and had photographed the same location, just at a slightly different angle.

Subtitle:  "An Apology to Phillip Glass"
I hope Phillip Glass will forgive me.  A few years ago, I wrote a review bit on an Amazon page about the CD "Music With Changing Parts."  I wrote that it was a great CD for clearing the house when you wanted every one to leave, and that if someone did stay, that you should open a bottle of wine and have a discussion on the subject of using music as a method of torture.  I actually happen to love that particular piece of music.  I was going to add to the short review saying how much I personally admired the piece, but hit the send button by accident, got cut off, and then could never edit the review.  I have seen this short review pop up all over the internet, and I hope Mr. Glass has not taken offense to the remark.  I consider him as one of my favorite composers, I think what he did for music in the 20th and 21st centuries will be remembered for centuries to come.  I also think he is a very nice man, having met him and got his autograph on my copy of "Einstein on the Beach."

On the subject of "music to clear the house out."  My best friend, Chris, and I were roommates for years.  We would have people over to where ever we lived, partying in our youth.  But there was always a time when we wanted everyone to leave.  We had certain albums we would put on specifically in mind to weed out the guests.  For example, if there were a bunch of metal heads over,  Side 2 of The Talking Heads "Fear Of Music" would do the trick.  We found that hardly anyone could handle Scorpions "Lonesome Crow", which was an album we loved.  We found this out accidentally one evening when we put it on early on a Saturday and the apartment was cleared by the third song.  I can still hear Chris saying "we gotta remember that one!"

As far as music as a form of torture, this was a concept introduced to me through a news story.  In the 1980's, an officer in the American Army had been kidnapped by the what I think was the Italian Red
Brigade.  He was kept for a long time, and eventually released.  He was not harmed, but when asked about
torture, he remarked that the men who held him captive would play loud, heavy metal music constantly.  He
did not like heavy metal, he considered the act of forcing him to listen to be torture, and said he would never
be able to listen to heavy metal music again. Torture and religion have existed together for centuries.  Every culture in our history has a period when a religious group became powerful and decided to persecute those who did not accept that which the group was forcing on the people.  The title "Songs of Praise and Torture" was picked over the title "What is Art For?".  I felt that the pieces on this album of music each had an air of worship with somewhat of a rough edge.  Growing up in a happy yet weird, religious family, I was exposed to many, many different ideas.  My father was a computer programmer who became a Baptist Minister.  My mother was a wonderful, stereotypical minister's wife who loved movies, including horror and science fiction.  My father was not your normal preacher, he was politically liberal and always into conspiracy theories.  It was the kind of family that would read the bible, sing a hymn, offer a prayer of thanks for the evening meal, and then watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Recorded during the same session as "Basillica Neptuni", I wanted it to be an introduction to the piece.  As
I decided to drop the title of the album from "What Is Art For?" to "Songs of Praise and Torture", this
became a beginning the entire album.

Basillca Neptuni
I've been experimenting, and achieving music that sounds like it was created underwater.  The Basillica
Neptuni is an actual location in the forum ruins of Rome, but I thought it would be a good theme.  A temple
erected for the God Neptune should be underwater, no?

An Ever Bubbling Fountain Of Resplendence
This one has been bounced around so many times, and reworked and redone and remastered and recut, that
I have no idea of the original idea.  My son is good at helping me with titles, he came up with the ever bubbling fountain bit.

John's Cage
A homage to John Cage, of course.  The notes imprisoned the loop were created with a "tuned" ring

Indian Summer
Another song of nature from Oenyaw.  I thought this depicted the stillness of the short season which comes
after the first burst of cold in the winter, followed by warmth before the winter actually sets in.  I don't know
why we call it "Indian Summer", but I have always considered it a romantic time.

The Big Blue Dream
In a roundabout way, I was asked to do some rock and roll or blues.  I did a few different smaller things,
standard 12-bar  blues riffs and progressions.  I decided to put them all together in a dream sequence, sort
of like the second side of Mountain's "Flowers of Evil" album.  Honestly, the choir at the end of the last
part just “appeared.”  Freaked me out!  One of those recording sessions when you hear something
happening and you place yourself under an enormous amount of pressure to “not make one single
mistake.”  Torture. 

Mid-evil Mantra
As the title suggests, this one is a repetitive piece in a Gregorian tone, a chant, a  music for making a
tapestry depicting some mid-evil adventure.  Like the torturing of people who do not accept the ideas of a
minority of religious nuts who happen to be in power.

It was a dark and stormy night...
The original title was to be "It's Raining, The Monster Is Approaching, And My Body Weighs Heavily In A
Vertical Position Against The Stone Wall As I Reach For The Huge Obsidian Door Knocker", but I opted
for the famous opening line of Snoopy's novel.

An Evening in the Lion's Den
This is a personal favorite, and center piece of the entire project.  I was thinking of a painting of Daniel in
the Lion's Den that I saw as a child.  Daniel was in the middle of the lion's den, standing in a light coming in
from the ceiling (or maybe some holy energy).  All the lions were around him, quietly content, and not
bothering him at all.  The piece is in three movements.  The first movement is "being shown the door", the
part were Daniel is taken into the den.  The second movement is a song of praise, Daniel thanking God for
everything he can possibly think of, as well a song of faith, the knowledge that God will keep him safe.  The
third movement explores the reality of the situation.  "Oh shit, I'm in a den of lions!" The book of Daniel is
really good, but it seems to be not written by Daniel himself.  

Sunrise on North Field
There is a sod farm near by the place I live.  The fields are named according to location.  I have seen the
sun rise, and set, on the farm and it can be absolutely beautiful.  Deer walking around, squirrels playing,
birds getting what ever insects they can find.  This piece is about the beauty of nature itself.  I was riding
home the other night through the country and was passed by an SUV with the kids in the back seat watching
television.  I went on a rant,  “Don’t look out the window, and do not talk to mommy and daddy!  Just watch
your show and be quiet.”  Pitiful.

All selections copyright 2007 David Wayne Higgins review

"Wakulla Sketchbook"

Wakulla Sketchbook
1: Water Surface No. 1    7:19
2: Glass Bottom Boat     50:44
3: Water Surface No. 2   12:55
4: The Black Lagoon      55:20
5: Water Surface No. 3   20:20
6: A Safer Place              56:44
7: Water Surface No. 4    7:11
8: 19,000 Feet                 73:27
9: Water Surface No. 5    9:30
Total Time  4:53:34
All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw.  Recorded October/November, 2006.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768), Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.
The cover photograph was taken by Carol Higgins.  It is from a boat ride at Wakulla Springs.

I really can't remember the first time I came to Wakulla Springs.  There have been picnics, boat rides, viewings of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" on a big TV, special occasions spending the night and a wonderful breakfast.  I presided a friends wedding here.  I have spent many quiet weekends at the park.  It's almost like the natural elements absorb everything undesirable and leave you with a feeling of wellness you which is so difficult to find and impossible to buy.  The best description was given by a cousin from Italy who said "This is the real Florida."  Before one visit, my wife remarked that she wished she could see a Manatee in the wild.  The next time we went out on the boat, a Manatee poked her head from the water and looked at her.  The whole place is an absolute miracle.   The springs are going through a difficult time due to a constant population increase which persist in the area surrounding the park.  The glass bottom boat rides are becoming rare, due to the decrease in visibility of the water in the spring which is being caused by development which is happening miles away.  A large area of Central North Florida contains an underground, underwater network of caves which lead to sink holes, springs and lakes.  Such a natural network is sensitive to any type of development, and when the work goes unabated, problems will persist.  The benefactors are few, whereas the victims are numerous.

Water Surface Nos. 1 through 5
A series of sketches of water surfaces.  Anyone who has ever taken an art class as probably had to turn in a drawing of a water surface as an art project.  This is a collection of water surfaces.  I was attempting to do one long piece, but instead, the individual works stood up well enough on their own.

Glass Bottom Boat
A favorite attraction of the park which is now a rarity.  Due to development in Tallahassee, the run off into the spring has made the ride impossible.  The piece is a narrative, musical memory, complete with birds and other wildlife, and boat motor sounds.

The Black Lagoon
Dedicated to my favorite movie, and all who worked on it.  The great thing about Wakulla Springs is that when you watch that movie and visit the park, the natural surroundings haven't changed, as well as the sound of the birds in the background.  Suggested listening is at night in the dark.

A Safer Place
The original version was scrapped.  Too much noise and not enough happening.  Just didn't do it for me.  So I completely redid it with the same theme in mind.  One for the animals, who are always part of someone's food chain.  The idea is that they are always searching for a safer place.

19000 Feet
Not a fetish or a head count, but a record.  The longest dive in the under ground/underwater network of caverns is 19,000 feet.  I'm not a diver or a spelunker, but I admire all those who venture into the unknown.  It is said that the caverns will take many years to completely explore and map.  It is not a task for newbies.   Some very skilled and good people have descended into the depths, never to return.

Copyright 2007 David Wayne Higgins review

"Why Would Heaven Have A Gate?"

Why Would Heaven Have A Gate?

1: Abaddon's Key Ring        49:13
2: Stairway To Hell              60:36
3:  Mammon Spake             46:29
4: The Knees Of Ananke  142:06
Total Time  4:58:24
All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw.  Recorded January - July, 2006.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768), Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.

The cover picture was taken by Carol Higgins at a place near Naples, Italy.  It's actually an entrance to an ancient sauna used by the Romans.  The area is a place of volcanic activity, where mud boils and sulfur rises from the ground.  I picked this for the cover due to the story that Catholic priests used to tell people that it was the entrance into hell.

It's simple.  I was driving by one of those gated communities.  You know, the ones encased within a big wall or fence with a guard or an electronic gate at the entrance.  I was thinking about how glad I have never lived in such a neighborhood, and going over the reasons why a place would exist.  Mainly, these places are conceived to keep the undesireables out.  The people who don't belong.  As usual, while driving around, my mind wonders and I began to think of the afterlife, and how heaven itself is described as having pearly gates.  I started to compare the two and wondered further, why would heaven be a gated community.  I mean, it's infinite, it's owned and operated by the superior being, it has powerful angels that have been around throughout eternity.  Why would there be a gate?  If it is to keep out those that don't belong, then maybe this superior being isn't so superior after all.  If it is to keep those that have entered from escaping, then maybe it isn't such a wonderful place.  Now, I could understand Hell having a gate.

Abaddon's Key Ring  preview
Abaddon, as the keeper of the gate to Hell, the Angel of the bottomless pit who binds Satan for a thousand years.   Also identified as the angel of death and destruction, demon of the abyss, and chief of demons of the underworld hierarchy.  So the idea for this theme was based on the personification of Abaddon.  Everyone has a job to do, and his is to guard the entrance to Hell.  Quite a job, unrewarding, don't ever answer the phone, no boss, everyone complains but to who.  So does Abaddon get a 10 minute break, a lunch hour, a day off?  If so, where would he go?  My original title was  "Abaddon, Sysyphus And Pericleese Take The Afternoon Off", but I opted for the present title   to comprise the overall theme.

Stairway to Hell
I had come up with the second movement by accident one day and proceeded to spend the following four months trying to recreate it.  The long standing problem with electronic music is that when you come up with a desirable patch, it's not easy, or sometimes impossible to replicate.  Personally, this is what makes it so much fun.  Writing down a series of notes in standard western notation is easy.  Even though the computer will save the recordings, mixings and settings, there are still some things you just have to "tune in."  The second movement was the focal point.  After many months of failed attempts, I decided to turn everything off, and it worked!  I was trying to figure out a complicated patch which wasn't complicated at all, just a combination of a 8 beat playing on a 13 beat loop.  The first and third movements where written around the second.  The sound of the second movement was that of descending down a long dark stairway. The first movement, which is previewed, became the passage to the stairway, an aviary containing evil birds.  Thoughts of Salmon Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" section "Mahound" where Lat Uzza and
Manat torment Gibreel through eternity prevailed.  The third movement became the inevitable gate into the darkness, the fall into a bottomless pit. Oddly enough, the overall inspiration wasn't a Led Zeppelin song  or a parody thereof, but more so inspired by the stairway to the roof of the Duomo in Florence, Italy.  I feel like eternal damnation would be close to complete insanity, therefore, the overall emotion of the piece is total madness.

Mammon Spake
"Paradise Lost" John Milton.  Book II, Lines 229 through 283.  My favorite section of the poem, so far (I will not stop reading and studying this masterpiece of literature, nor will I cease to be amazed).  The section is Mammon's opinion of the thought of returning to battle with the angels of heaven, a fight to be accepted back into the fold.  Mammon is against returning to heaven to forever worship a God that they hate. The thought is that eternity in hell without oppression of the soul would be better than eternity in heaven in disgust.  Hell and Heaven are states of being, and depend on what you make out of it.  At the time of the writing, Brittan was going through intense political turmoil. Mammon's speech was a political statement of what was going on at the time.  I'm sure there are plenty of studies and dissertations which describe this section far better than I could, and I have read quite a few other references on the subject of Mammon.  Musically, the piece represents his speech, the arguments that ensued, and the emotions that followed.

The Knees Of Ananke
In Greek mythology, Ananke  was the personification of destiny, unalterable necessity and fate.  In Roman
mythology, she was called Necessitas ("necessity").  I was looking for a theme which would involve large swelling chords, as well as a glimpse into eternity.  I read this bit out of an encyclopedia of mythology describing the return of Er from his death in battle, a story from Plato's "Republic", book 10.  Er's vision of the afterlife consisted of souls travelling towards a pillar of light, which were connected to an enormous spindle that rested on the knees of Ananke, causing the eight spheres of heaven to revolve.  Upon each sphere stood a siren singing a single note, and the eight notes together made a complete scale. 
All selections copyright 2006 David Wayne Higgins  review

"It's Just A Matter Of Time"

It's Just A Matter Of Time

1: Hoping Tomorrow Never Arrives    67:04
2: The Sun, The Moon, And Talia       50:52
3:  Strength Through Joy                     65:36
4: The Mystique Of The Event            67:17
5: 70 Years                                        60:55
Total Time  5:12:22
All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw.  Recorded January - July, 2006.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768), Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.
The cover photograph was taken by Carol Higgins.  It's me, standing at an abandoned gasoline station in Greenville, FL.  I picked it to go with the title.  It's just a matter of time before these stations, this industry, and this way of life become history.
The title of this album carries a dual meaning for me.  My view of the difference in my own music is that it is just a matter of time.  I do long pieces.  Oenyaw is about letting go, and allowing the music itself to take control of the situation.  I have, for a very long time, been discontent with the 3 minute 30 second, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-diddle-in-the-middle-verse-chorus-repeat-chorus-and-fade song.  The idea of cutting the music short to fit within the time constraints of commercially produced media is a travesty.  While in Italy, I saw a painting in a museum which, at some time, a buyer of the painting had cut a section of the painting out so that the  painting could fit in a particular room in his house, as in next to a door frame.  I was horrified, and I feel that so much music is treated this way.   Some of my music takes a long time to develop, and sometimes I allow the pieces to fade out on their own.  The second meaning is a bit more personal and egotistical.  I feel that it is just a matter of time before my ideas catch on.  I really don't believe that I will ever be the mainstream, that kids will ever be "on the lookout for that new Oenyaw album, but I am very slowly receiving compliments as well as advice on how to keep this thing going.  I'm just glad I have a reasonably good day job.

Hoping Tomorrow Never Arrives
An improv piece recorded New Years Day, 2006.  Due to the holidays, I had just spent two wonderful extended weekends with my wife at home.  The next day was the day to return back to the normal dirge of everyday life at work.  I didn't want the day to end.

The Sun, The Moon and Talia 
I was looking for the right title for weeks.  A title to encompass a dream, wonderland, fairy tales and fantasy.  I had the composition and theme down to the finish with the sound of an alarm clock awakening the dreamer.  I picked up an old book from the shelf that I bought at an antique book store a few years ago.  "The Uses of Enchantment" by Bruno Betelheim.  I read the section on The Sleeping Beauty and found the story of Sun, Moon and Talia. 

Strength Through Joy
A construction piece.  The piece is composed of 112 chords played in 1792 measures.  The original progression is 28 triads, which become sevenths, which become ninths, and then become all the notes of the key signature.  The idea for the basis of the composition is a demonstration of the Nazi Propaganda tool "Strength Through Joy", developed to keep the workers happier by providing group vacations.  The idea was that the workers would be more productive if they were alloted group vacations paid for by the  state.  It turned into a large bureaucracy that spend more money on itself than on the mission.  The musical illustration of the idea is that one is listening to a happy tune which is based on a systematic progression.  As time progresses, the chords, signifying the stress to the listener, become a greater weight until the listener is eventually listening to every note, or performing every task.  The happy melody becomes an over bloated, unbearable, cacophonic chore.  To date, this piece is the longest I've worked on.  A year after I had completed it, I found software that enabled me to accomplish the original intention.  This version 8C.

The Mystique of the Event 
The original idea was a sarcastic one.  The disgruntled musician, unhappy with the role taken in an ensemble
situation.  As with all of my work, I like to write (or not), perform, record, mix, produce and then leave alone for a time before listening.  This piece was very difficult to accomplish.  The primary theme in the music became a struggle of a single note to be recognized by the whole of the composition, the piece itself became an illustration of the situation.  The single note is forced to be part of the composition, but is unhappy with it's role.  That note not only wishes to be heard, but heard alone in its own idiom.  The suppression of the note breeds discontent within itself to the point of making the composition uncomfortable.  At the end the challenge is made, and the note is heard.  After the note is allowed, the composition returns to its original, but more relaxed state.  A piece that symbolizes turning uncomfortable emotions into emotions that bring total contentment with one's self.

70 Years
In memory of my father.  I was watching a video of the Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies Tour and remembered my parents taking me to my first two concerts.  They didn't attend, they just dropped me off, went to see a movie, and then waited for me after the show.  The first concert was The Guess Who, the second was Alice Cooper.  Watching the movie brought back thoughts of my dad.  So I plugged in and did an improv in a minor key.  I called it 70 years, due to the length of time he spent in this worldly existence.  He was a baptist minister who spent most of his life spreading the gospel and taking care of people.  Though I was raised in a religious family, my parents are responsible for my politically liberal views of which I will not alter because of any other forced opinion.  Anyway, my dad was a good one, and I feel fortunate to have had him for a father (even though he didn't let me grow my hair long when I lived at home.)
All selections copyright 2006 David Wayne Higgins.  review

"A Whole Day Off"

A Whole Day Off

1:  Vladivostok Girls                        31:24
2:  Palatine                                      79:37
3:  Music with Changing Stuff          72:41
4:  The Tilapia's Dream                   62:01
5:  The Crystallized Delusion           79:02
Total Time  5:25:29
All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw.  Recorded July -November, 2005.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768), Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.
The cover photograph was taken by Carol Higgins.  We were in Pompeii the week after Christmas.   The ruins of Pompeii are populated with stray dogs that merely hang out while visitors and locals feed and take care of them, but I actually believe that the dogs couldn't care less about the annoying humans.

Vladivostok Girls
Communist Party was a band that never existed, never got past the planning/writing stage. Songs such as "Serfs Up!", "March Around The Square", "Ivan B. Goode", "Do The Trotsky", and "Vladivostok Girls" were never performed. This is not the original version, but a homage to a humorous idea which never materialized. The vision of a black and white filmed video of a teen dance show, with couples dressed in military uniforms, fatigues and work clothes. As the video come to the end, the camera pans back, showing the entire set and a backdrop of Eisenhower, Kruschev and Mao-tse Tung on a grey wall. The entire idea stems from a scene in the Porgy and Mudhead movie, High School Madness, whereas the rival high school is named Communist Martyrs High.

An aural painting of Palatine, one of the seven hills of Rome, a personal favorite place. I find it hard to describe in words, so the attempt is through the music.

Music with Changing Stuff
A tribute to one of my favorite composers, Phillip Glass. Five movements based on minimalist themes. The process of recording and mixing developed into an attempt make the guitars sound like other instruments, and then returning to guitar sounds.

The Tilapia's Dream
Based on a discussion on the subject of fish contemplating their existence in a finite world, or a universe with a ceiling. What is the fish's view the water surface? I have been told that fish aren't capable of such complicated reasoning. My reply is that humans are not capable of time travel, have never come back from death, nor have they ever met their respective superior creators, yet we write about these subjects quite often.

The Crystallized Delusion 
A term in clinical schizophrenia which refers to an elaborate delusion or hallucination which remains consistent over a long period of time. This is also a construction piece. The tracks are made up of loops of note patterns which are the same played backwards and forwards, or musical palindromes. The loops are recorded, reversed, and then mixed together to create the delusions of a mixture of instruments which do not exist.
All selections copyright 2005 David Wayne Higgins.  review

"Leave That World Behind"

Leave That World Behind

1:  The Tutor Of Achilles                                               26:02
2:  Greenland                                                                59:28
3:  The Reasonably Well-Tempered Assembly Line       68:28
4:  Eye Ten                                                                   65:57
5:  Cicadas Lullaby                                                       77:51
6:  Leave That World Behind                                        15:10
Total Time  5:13:03
All selections composed, arranged, performed, recorded, manipulated, treated and produced by Oenyaw.  Recorded July -November, 2005.  Equipment and software used: Epiphone Sheraton, DanElectro Black Licorace Distortion, Morley Volume Pedal, Line 6 Modulation Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler, Lexicon Omega Desktop Recording Studio, E Machines T2542 Computer (RAM upgrade 768), Cubase LE, Polderbits Sound Editor, All Audio Converter V1.50, Windows XP.
The cover photograph was taken by Carol Higgins.  The location is White Sands, New Mexico.  In the center of the picture is my son and I, relaxing in the desert.
This was the first Oenyaw project.  I had originally recorded this and "A Whole Day Off as one long 10 hour MP3 disc, but found that the quality of MP3 formatted files was not as good at 1286 KBS as 256 KBS.  I had to return to remaster everything, which was quite a chore, but necessary.  The theme I was going for as an introduction to the music was to simply leave the world of standard product formats in music behind.  A bit astintatious I'll admit.  But hey, I can't help the way I feel.  As Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Slaughterhouse Five, "let him write his own damn book!"
 So, I am.

The Tutor Of Achilles
The title is taken from a line in the film "2010: The Year We Make Contact."  As the programmer tells the
computer he is opening a new file named phoenix, he asks the computer if it knows what the term phoenix means. The computer replies that it has 23 references to that word.  The programmer asks which reference the computer believes is the correct reference. The computer replies "The tutor of Achilles?"; a reference the programmer is not aware of. The composition is a construction piece, playing a specific note at different octaves within a loop and filtering the loop while recording. Each loop is recorded onto a separate track and then each track is filtered and treated. The tracks are ultimately mixed together, making up the composition.
Incidently, this piece was featured on a compliation entitled "Frozen Light" released in Romainia, and was used for a dance recital.

Hoping to call attention to the environmental catastrophe which is taking place in Greenland. As close to a live piece as possible: recorded in one afternoon, one take, no overdubs. Thanks to Cleo and Munchkin for attending.

The Reasonably Well-Tempered Assembly Line
Another construction piece. Each note was recorded in a 2 minute loop, with the loops arranged into place according to a written composition. Each track is assigned a step filter and a position in space between the right and left channels. The intention is an industrial fantasy of an assembly line which plays music after the humans have vacated the premises.

Eye Ten
A heavy-metal/industrial ambient piece. The camshafts view of a trip down the highway.

Cicadas Lullaby 
An insect bolero. Living in a forest as I do, I am heavily influenced by the sounds of the night, primarily that of insects, frogs, and wild turkeys. This one is dedicated to the cicadas.

Leave That World Behind 
A short construction piece which took up way too much memory to be forgotten.
All selections copyright 2005 David Wayne Higgins.  review

Copyrights, ect.

I'm upset with copyright laws and confused about licensing.  This argument seems to be a buy or not buy argument.  Greed of musicians?  If we musicians were greedy, we'd be something else.  Gene Simmons says that the only reason one becomes a musician is to get laid.  I have always said that if you are running a restaurant and someone is stealing money, the person who comes to you (the manager) privately everyday with new information on who may be responsible for the disappearance is your thief.  In other words, those who accuse are often the ones who are guilty.

Here's my take on the issue.......
We make music, we own the copyright.  No one can take that away from us, but we can sell it.  We can sell the copyright off to a record company, giant or inde, and they can sell of the liscense to anyone who pays.  If I write a little tune and Miller want's to use it for a beer commercial and gives me enough to make a house payment, cool.  If I write a boss hit bound single which is sung by the latest winner on the American Idolatry show, there is a vast number of options for the royalties to be received.  It's how you write the contract.
Take a step back to Oenyaw's world.  I'm not making music here that sells millions.  Some musicians work quite hard at organizing and establishing an independent label that will provide our own music as well as the music of others to the public.  If it makes grocery money for that slow month at work, or provides a bit of money to buy a bike for the kid a Christmas, I personally cannot define this as "greed".  The point is that I think makes this a heated issue is based on the idea that if the pop music industry can make millions producing the same crap year after year, why shouldn't we make $25 producing a work of art?  That's what I felt when I started the Oenyaw, LLC kingdom in cyberspace, and that's how I still feel even after slitting the throat of Oenyaw and throwing the kingdom in a vat of sulfuric acid.  Basically, if the money's there, I'd like a slice of the pie, but would be happy with the crumbs.

The reality facing us in the 21st century is that the technology of music availability is changing constantly.  Once upon a time, musicians made records for record companies, the records were played on the radio and sold in stores.  The investment and risk was on the shoulders of the record company.  Then came cds, and the record companies cashed in big time on selling the same records over again but now in a different format.  Then came the ability for the public to burn their own cds, as well as the ability to download music for free off of the internet, and the shit hit the fan.  There is a huge difference between sitting in your room with a portable radio and cassette player, waiting for your favorite song to come on so that you can record it without buying it for $1.  Now you can find the song, download it in a few seconds, and then burn it on to a cd with close to the same quality as buying it in the store for $20.

My problem with the present situation is that the copyright, royalty, licensing laws are more and more apparant to be written and enforced on the side of the companies, and that the notion that they are "protecting the artist" is ludicrous.  Furthermore, the balance is on the sides of the biggest companies.  The attitude of the big three is no longer "here's a record you kids will really dig"; it's become "hand me the pliers and pry that little bastard out of his corner cyberspace and crucify him!"  The record companies have never been on the side of the buyer, no company is.  But in recent years, they've become zombies eating the flesh of anyone that gets in the way.  Sadly, this doesn't only apply to the big three, but to many of the indes as well.

Hopefully I'm not repeating myself

The concept of Oenyaw began in the beginning of 2005.
The idea actually developed while working in a chemistry laboratory. As with many work situations, when treated like a human on the job and not some prisoner in a camp, we were allowed to listen to music while working along with my fellow workers. Someone would select a radio station and set the volume to a comfortable level and work would continue. The division of the company of my previous employment would not allow any music at all, and oddly enough it was only that division that didn't allow such a benefit due to the policies of a cruel manager who no longer worked there. The restriction prompted me to leave that particular place of employment, as did quite a few other odd practices of the powers that be, taking a pay cut to drive 65 miles each way to my new job.
(This is quite an unbelievable story of tension at the workplace during the 21st century, but I had described Tallahassee, FL as being a city which widely practiced the theory of hyah, mule! management for years.)
At the new job, there was a radio, and the few employees there would take turns selecting a radio station to listen to. Within a short period of time, I realized the problem with radio that existed from the early 1970's was still there. No mater the format of the music, every station plays a very small rotation of musical selections, interlace with commercials, announcements, opinions, and news. The music is a very small part of the musical programming, and as far as the music in the program, most of it is selected according to the opinion of what some manager believes his audience would prefer. With millions of recorded songs available to play on the air, why are only a few selected for airplay. The arguments are that they only play songs that are hits, but the way radio has always been programmed, the hits are selected before release. Another argument behind the theory of entertainment programming is that the average person's attention span is limited to 10-15 minutes. If that is correct, why are the best selling novels over 500 pages in length? Why are the biggest selling forms of entertainment video games which can be played infinitely? I had made a conscious decision to compose, perform and record music as a solo artist three years before that.
I was studying classical sitar while involved in the creation of yet another rock band. As usual, I was playing bass in a band in which songs were selected by various members of the band, and my role as a bass player was to politely accompanying and compromising to accommodate the situation. A role I had never found to be uncomfortable, and most of the time enjoyed. But a few minor trifles sparked an outburst of temper from within that no band member had ever witnessed. Upon being told to turn my amp down, something snapped. All of my musical frustrations exploded at once. The situation, from my view point, was prompted by seeing a list of song that had been selected as numbers to appease the imaginary audience. I was familiar every band members CD collection and taste in music, and the only reason for these selections was to entertain people that didn't exist. Another whip across the back was the lead guitarists persistence to diddle around with possible lead guitar line while the rest of the band was rehearsing a song. An act that, when I became part of the play,
I realized the entire concept of Alternative rock. Just play the damn song and stop trying to be Eric Clapton!(He also seemed to have this idea that a guitar was a more difficult instument to play than a bass because it had two more strings, but that is another story.) The final straw upon this camel's back was upon the arrival of a drummer, I turned the volume setting on my amp from 0.50 to 1.0. This proved to be way too intimidating for the lead guitarist and I was told to play softer. My display of temper reached the level of embarrassment, and I departed never to be seen rehearsing with a band again. Not to say that I wouldn't play in a band now, but I things would have to be different. Anyway, I embarked on the journey of thoughts to lead me down the road of becoming a solo musician. I continued with the sitar, until conflicting time schedules prohibited the education. The study taught me more about music in on year than I had learned in my entire life. The techniques of playing, along with the theories of performance and composition, changed my view point on music itself. But not everyone who picks up a violin wishes to play Tchaikovsky's violin concerto. I began practising acoustic guitar in many different genres, blues, bluegrass, folk, and ragtime. But again I found myself doing what I have previously complained about, selecting music on the basis of what some imaginary audience might appreciate. It's akin to painting your house and selecting the color yellow because you think a higher percentage of people driving by will prefer a yellow house over a green one. I had to be comfortable with the music I was presenting. I had to be honest with and true to myself. It sounds like an old pop song, but "I gotta be me!"

Searching for the right place

A Technological Dilemma
The good thing about being your own company is that no one tells you what to do.  The flip side of this advantage is that no one tells you how to do it.  You learn by reading what ever information you can find, and through trial and error.  The first and second discs were recorded, each containing 10 hour of music.  Each transferred to MP3 format at 128 kbs.  The sound quality seemed compromised, but due to the repeated listening of each track, many times, hours of listening to each one, I would get to the point of
asking myself “Is it the disc, or is it me?”  I learned that there is a grading scale of MP3 sound quality, ranging from 128 kbs to 256 kbs.  After learning this, I discovered that it was possible to transfer my music to an MP3 format at 256 kbs, it just would not be possible to fit 10 hours of music on a disc.  So, since no one out there seemed to be rushing to buy a 10 ambient music MP3 disc, I decided to sacrifice quantity for quality.  The discs have been redone, at 258 kbs.  They are no longer 10 hours in length, more like 5 to 6.
Back in the 1960's, American radio was a different world.  AM radio consisted of popular, rock & roll, country & western, rhythm & blues, and news, sports and weather.  FM was the music that was associated with doctors offices, elevators, and shopping.  A splendid example for those of you who are either too young or don't wish to remember, is in the movie "Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb".  Peter Seller's character (as the British Air Force Officer) finds a radio
in a computer printer.  He turns on the radio and music is heard.  THAT was 1960's FM radio.  Background music.  Among the original intentions of Ambient music, one was to replace that music.  My parents were suckered into buying a console stereo system once with the bonus of 50 free record albums.  The 50 free record albums were not albums that we could purchase from any store, but the stereo stores albums, which consisted of nothing but background elevator music.  My parents were quite elated at this bargain, and took me in to select a few that I may have wanted.  I may have been less than 12 years old, but I knew the real thing, and this was not it.  After looking, I decided to be polite and pick an album which had two extended cuts, one on each side.  "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Theme from Midnight Cowboy".  I selected this one due to the length of the arrangements, thinking this should be interesting.  What I received was my first dose of ambient music.  I can't say I like it particularly, but I do wish I still had the record.  I only listened to it a few times, and it would be interesting to hear it now, picking out what elements had left their mark. 

Strategies in Marketing Music
Potato Chips.  Let's say that you are a department manager in a really big store.  Your area is snack food.  You know that there is a new potato chip that is better than potato chip ever made.  Chun-yen's Organic Potato Chips.  They deserve an entry in the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Universe, they are so good.  The problem is that they are not advertised, so they don't sell that well.  You, the manager, have 500 feet of shelf space.  If you devote 5 feet of space to Chun-yen's Organic Chips, that is 5 space you
remove from the already 495 feet devoted to all those other brands that have been selling for years.  The brands that sponsor race cars, the brands that super heroes eat.  It doesn't matter how you feel about these chips, you will not be looked on favorably by the long line of superiors that you work for unless you keep those chips moving.  No matter how they taste, no matter what the nutritional studies from India are proving, you will stock the best selling chips, if you want to keep your job.
Such is the case with everything everywhere.  You are not going to walk into any store and find Russian sci-fi films,  obscure early seventies hard rock bands, complete selections of Legiti or Schoenburg, books on esoteric philosophy, or magazines translated from other parts of the world so you can read another cultures view point on global situations.  You will find, however, in any store in the United States, many different magazines reporting on what happened this week on various television soap operas, and the daily life stories of stars and idols.  The majority of the public is more apt to spend their money on frivolous gossip than intellectually stimulating material.  Supply and demand is why those magazines cost so little, and college classes cost so much.

Oenyaw searches for his place
The major function I try to convey is that music is a form of art.  I like to draw, and I consider my music to be drawings.  I happen to do these drawings without a constraint of time, for I do not believe it should have a time limit.  There is no reason for doing any act if the intention is to do that act merely to finish it.  "Hurry up and get it over with" translates to me as "don't take time to enjoy what you're doing, just do it."  Also, the question is not "How do I do a piece of music which has a long duration of time?"  The
issue is more about allowing myself to create music that has a long duration of time.  Another development in my music is that the music itself has risen to a synergistic level along with the equipment being used.  I have found that if I try to force something to happen, it comes out as a contrived mess, not worthy of being listened to a second time.  If I allow the equipment to act as part of the composition itself, than the music becomes more honest, more pleasant.  If music can be composed to express the
dynamics, tone color, and range of a cello, than why can't it be composed to express those qualities which exist in an electric guitar going through various effects such as distortion, flanging and reverb?
So, where does that leave me?  I would like to be able to, or shall I say, there is a need to, classify my music and place it into some type of genre.  I consider it to be electronic music, but that has become beat orientated dance music.  I intended it to be ambient music, but as stated above, I'm just not that comfortable there.  I would like for people to listen to it. 
Post 2K digitally enhanced sonic expression?
Avante-Garde Psychedelic Experimental?
Suggestions will be considered.