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.