Oh dear

It’s rare that I get any real inspiration from dreams, but it happens. Dreams are “brain processing stuff it didn’t have time to handle while you were awake and it’s not your brain’s fault if it gets the details a bit fuzzy.” Yesterday I took delivery of some new music gear that will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of RECORDING, and was discussing it with my good friend Mark Mosher (whose blog Modulate This! is essential reading for anyone who gives a damn about this stuff and wants to read stuff from someone else who gives a damn about this stuff), and earlier I had been reading another friend’s blog that had an interesting war story about an old club where he’d been gigging that had an ancient lit-from-below dance floor that caused all manner of havoc in the PA, and then I went to sleep and the conversation and the blog post conflated with a memory of an old Michael Jackson video…

I woke up in a cold sweat at 215 AM, grabbed my phone, and mumbled a few words into my voice recorder, fell back asleep, and found the note when I woke up again this morning. I was simultaneously terrified and elated…

I now know what I’m going to be doing for my September 20 show at La Vita Bella. Be afraid. Be very afraid…

MrSpiral

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You Have To Have A Plan…

…even if you know it won’t survive long enough to tell people about it.

As I prepare to wrap up another issue of Recording, I am looking at a bunch of personal/musical items in flux right now, which I must remember to bring to your attention as they come to fruition. Between them they represent most if not all of my musical endeavors for the rest of 2014, not including my weekly Sunday night shows on StillStream and possible gigs in Second Life

I have two albums in the pipeline right now. In addition to on little cat feet, my contribution to the Aural Films netlabel’s Fog Music series that will drop in December… dear heavens, did I just say “that will drop” on my own blog? Gah!… I am currently looking at a release on the revitalized earthMANTRA netlabel, a sequel to one of my more popular albums with details to come.

My next live show will be another gig at La Vita Bella on Saturday, September 20, for the last ArtWalk of the summer; I will probably be playing solo, but may have a surprise or two up my sleeve if circumstances favor it.

I am preparing to explore a new way to do online-assisted music collaboration, from a service called JamKazam. I have friends already exploring it (some of whom are there because I asked them to join me and who are now waiting on me to catch up!), and hope to get there myself soon. In the meantime, there are rumblings of a new NINJAM server being built (to replace the old one run by Darrell Burgan that’s now offline), which could result in a number of cool new releases down the line….

Last but not least, watch this blog for upcoming announcements concerning, of all things, the Different Skies concert series.

Busy busy busy…!

MrSpiral

Palace Of Lights

Well, knock me over with a feather!

Palace Of Lights is a reborn incarnation of the exceptional small experimental-music label of the same name from the 1980s, headed up now (as then) by K. Leimer, whose early LP Closed System Potentials I treasure (not to mention a few of his very early cassette releases). This is some of the best modern music out there, and I was stunned to learn that my playing is featured on one of the label’s newest releases: Tourbillon Solo by Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse, two dear friends who do amazing music of the mind-expanding vein.

The label’s writeup is as follows:

“Not a solo effort, Tourbillon Solo — Gregory Taylor and Darwin Grosse’s new Palace of Lights release –– folds in on itself in intriguing new ways while connecting to the larger world and body of Gregory’s earlier releases including Dua_Belas and Amalgam: Aluminum / Hydrogen. Admirers of clockwork everywhere will also note the reference to the tourbillon, a 17th century innovation that defeats the effects of gravity and extraneous motion by creating a rotating cage to enfold the escapement and balance wheel. Here, Tourbillon also refers to an alternate name for the city of Surakarta, one of the great court centers of Java.

The big news isn’t the sweet pelog barang tuning that suffuses the outing — rather, it’s Darwin Grosse’s move from the mastering engineer to producer of Gregory’s earlier work to collaborator on this recording, reflected in a wider range of materials, from the elegant analog synthesis that underpins Gregory’s usual restrained clockwork, to the inclusion of new sources: Andrew Pask’s reed work on “The Velocity of Rumour” and Mike Metlay’s Mellotron and secretly-sourced sampling on “Weaving All Night”. The titles of these tracks conjure the ghost of a narrative that harks back to an era when recordings were understood as a sequence of pieces whose implied storyline functions as a kind of travelogue for imaginary fieldwork — A headlong gallop to nocturnal communities who live at the base of the holy mountain and tune their radios to mysterious transmissions, resulting in valuable research which must be returned to the security of the hotel safe at all costs.”

A lovely writeup for a brand-new release that I can’t wait to hear… but in the meantime, I’m just going to quietly do the Happy Finn Dance (sorry, Otso) where no one can see me. I’m on PoL! I’m on PoL!!

MrSpiral

coming soon… “on little cat feet”

I am pleased to announce that I’ve been slated to appear in the ongoing series of Fog Music releases from netlabel Aural Films. These releases number eight so far and have been scheduled ahead through the rest of 2014 and into 2015, to eventually total 24 hours of music in all. To quote the Aural Films site:

“Aural Films presents “Fog Music.” A series of recordings inspired by the weather condition known as fog. Light and dark, wet and dry, this invasive event is a great source of inspiration for sound artists from around the world. This project seeks to publish 24 hours of these recordings as an on-going series for all to hear and enjoy.”

I would like to thank Jack Hertz of Aural Films for giving me the jolt I needed to commit to this project — namely by giving me a firm number in the catalog and a firm release date! You can look for my volume, Fog Music 27, in late December of this year, and I’ll of course provide you with updates as the project comes to fruition.

While plans could change, my current intent is to create a single longform track between 45 and 60 minutes in length, roughly like metric or eocene, in keeping with the theme of the series. The title, “on little cat feet”, is a line from the famous 1916 poem “Fog” by Carl Sandburg (an “American Hoku”, as he called it, that you can read in its entirety here.)

As I commented to Jack, I hope that by the time I get this piece out the door, I will still have something to say that won’t already have been said 26 times before. But I admit that’s unlikely; the eight Fog Music releases out there as of now are wonderfully diverse, and while a few of them contain elements that I might think of including in my work, none of them has me saying, “Dang! Back to the drawing board.” They’re available for free listening and download, although the website does encourage contributions.

Check them out and stay tuned as more releases come out regularly; this is an amazing series that already features fantastic artists like Cousin Silas, EugeneKha, Carbon111, Mister Vapor (a.k.a. Mystified), and my StillStream colleague Scott Lawlor. It ranges from merely gorgeous to simply stunning, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

MrSpiral

The Triumphant Return of Ambitar!

For those of you familiar with Mike’s peers, Allen Goodman (aka AZ the Arizona Axeman aka AZ the Colorado Axeman) will be on your list of “fab guitarists and all-round nice guys”. If you’re lucky, he’ll also be on your wish list of “DJs I want to return to the airwaves”. Lucky? Yes, indeed – because Ambitar Radio, Allen’s own show, came back to Stillstream radio tonight and was, unsurprisingly, a resounding success.

ambitar4Choosing a brand new opening to kick off the show in a decently dramatic fashion (still hoping that the Japanese Sex Dwarves will make an appearance), we were treated to some fantastic Altus tracks and some from Allen himself. Absolutely gorgeous stuff that was very well received indeed by all in the chat room.

As for the chat room – what a blast! It was upbeat, funny and had a great collection of people. Allen was certainly on form and drew a decent crowd, but it’s hard to keep a good man down… or keep people away from a Goodman.

Welcome back, Allen, from Mike and myself – looking forward to catching your show as often as I can.

You can listen to Ambitar Radio and Allen himself on Tuesday nights at 8pm Central, 6pm PDT and 7pm Mountain. Join us in the chat room for great company while you listen to great music. Watch out for live kerchunkages* soon!

«Gypsy Witch«

*Allen’s live improv.

A Brief Pause To Get Wet

The aftermath of the ArtWalk concert has finally settled. As much as I love live shows, they really do put a crimp in the day-to-day flow of the rest of my life, and ArtWalk came amidst a ton of other things here there and everywhere. So for the past two weeks or so, I’ve basically been digging out.

First there was a magazine to finish and ship. Job done and done well, right on time. From the office on the afternoon we shipped to the printing house, I drove home, quickly threw some clothes into a suitcase, and drove my family to the airport, where we caught the redeye to Philadelphia and were in Rochester by lunch.

My entire family lives in Rochester, having gravitated there over many years from several different cities. I only get to see them once a year at most, and that’s hard on my mom, who is 94 and quite frail (although, thankfully, sharp as a tack). So last week was a whirlwind tour of family dinners, side trips to see loved ones in Buffalo and Toronto, and a quick trip to Niagara Falls, where I managed to grab a selfie with the help of the disposable blue ponchos they hand out for travellers on the Maid Of The Mist.

Then it was a brutal trip back home, barely a day to recover, lots of catching up, and a hasty but apparently pretty good-sounding live show during my StillStream slot on Sunday night. And now it’s back to musicmaking again, with an eye toward continued new experiences for the fans… I’m looking forward to it!

MrSpiral

Maid Of The Mist Scary Selfie!

Maid Of The Mist Scary Selfie!