muted tones

september 02

c'est tout bruit

September's curator is Louisville's Andy Wagner: former flutist of the tundra survey and currently working with members of the Early Day Miners and Strike City.

curator log:

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buddhist sand mandalas

july 26th, 2002

one of my friends called me yesterday to tell me to pick up an album that he couldn’t stop listening to. so i went to the record store cause i wanted to pick up Wilco’s A.M. anyway. after i found the album he recommended, i was parousing the store and i started to repeat to myself that “there’s too much here, there’s too much here.” i mean it’s these stupid observations i make like 23 years down the line. i mean, how many record stores have i walked through before and never thought that. but yesterday it got me, and it was a hopeless feeling. i’m talking about this now cause i just read one of sarah’s entries (something… black—i forget the exact title ). in some ways i think we’re feeling the same thing, overwhelmed in different ways. it’s just a phase though. i’m sure of it because i’ve been really inspired by the infinite world of music before. back then it was like, there are no limits or boundaries and anybody can add become a part of it if they’re trully inspired and determined. from duke ellington to guns and roses, willie nelson, madonna, and all the billions in between, there’s still space for anyone. i think it’s good to go through down phases and to ask yourself over and over again why it matters at all. even if i make an epic record, who cares?? there’s already thousands anyway and thousands more to come. well, that’s a pretty realistic outlook, but also pretty shitty. we should all be proud of what we do and work hard to move it foward, but we shouldn’t rely or worry about where it goes from there. i try to see it like a buddist sand mandala. all those hours, detail and focus, for something beautiful that exists only to be blown away.

out of my mind

july 23rd, 2002

always good to check in on our fellow astronauts, just to make sure they’re not slackin . you know how it can be on a hot day up there. as for me, totally slacked this weekend, but did get to see some good shows. halifax peer and strike city friday night, then wilco sunday. if you get the chance, i’d recommend dropping the coin on wilco if they come to town, it was a raucous.
the ball has been set into motion though. i started with a drum track and some fuzz guitar stuff last night. i’ve decided to record it at home on the free pro tools so i can walk around in my underwear if i need to, spill beer with out consequence, and be close to the fridge for hot pockets or fudgesicles. just a more comfortable environment overall.
i was thinking as i was going last night that i’m going way outside of anything i “normally” do when i write songs, and am disregarding most of the musical influences that are passing through me these days. i’m treating this as an opportunity to create something i’ll never be able to get back to again, and as something far different from what i would say characterizes the majority of my music lately. it’s funny because in the last week, i’ve started up on three new songs, and i think it’s because i’ve been forcing my head to think in a different place. i’ve started to notice phases with myself where i’ll be doomed by certain dryspells for a couple of months, either writing or playing, but when the doom lifts, songs tend to come in the masses. anyway, the flow is here to stay, at least through may or whenever the last muted tones month is.

i’ve set the ball in motion

july 23rd, 2002

sort of prank calling myself

july 18th, 2002

similar to capturing her ideas on the handheld, i decided two nights ago to do the same thing with my four track for some of the musical segments. i set up a microphone and let the mini disc roll for about thirty five minutes both nights and then just noodled and sang out whatever came to me at the moment. on tuesday i went back and listened and marked certain segments to either use or expand on down the line. it’s kind of a liberating way to create because there really aren’t any borders around anything yet. it’ s like prank calling when you don’t know or care who you’re going to get.
so now that i’m going, i keep thinking about doing some kind of progression between raw to polished, and/or acoustic to synthesized, or something with a timeline effect. and i overheard someone talking about how todays younger generation is living in a totally synthesized generation. and that includes music especially what’ s toping the pop charts now a days. i’m just rambling here about the ideas i’m shuffling through, maybe to influence what i end up doing.
oh yeah, i thought this was a pretty cool picture, john lennon smoking, glasses, white gloves, what more do you want? almost looks synthesized doesn’t it?

my ideas for this thing

july 16th, 2002

come close to the fire, warm yourself and relax as i tell the tale of “this thing.”
a while back, i noticed one of my friends carrying a hand held tape recorder around. curious, indeed, i asked her “hey, what’s up with that thing?” and she replied with “oh, this thing, this is my tape recorder.” and i said, “yeah, i know, but why are you carrying it around with you everywhere you go.” and her reason was to record random ideas she would have, or to just talk freely to capture on tape what would have otherwise been private in her own mind.
great, i thought, i mean, i’ve had that idea before but i never followed through with it so i was envious and inspired to maybe do it myself. but there’s more, she actually let me listen to the tape because she got really stoned this one night and really let loose so she was like, “hey listen to this bullshit that i rambled on and on about last night.” so i did, and man i didn’t want to stop listening.
it isn’t often that people get the opportunity to be honest with one another, and it might even be less often that they take the time to be honest with themselves. it happens so scarcely in fact that i felt like an intruder listening to it because it was almost as if i was walking around in her mind. there were ideas about the future of the world, thoughts about her family, her own endeavors, aliens, technology, religion, all these things all woven into a preserved medium that no one was supposed to judge or reflect on, or respond to or argue with or fall in love with. had i not listen it , the possiblility is high that the tape would have never been heard by anyone , and in fact, it would have remained private and personal like our thoughts always do.
anyway, i instantly wanted to use her recording for some kind of sound piece, hoping that maybe another listener would somehow be just as inspired as i was. it just so happens that josh came up with this idea at the same time i was thinking about this piece, so i guess, cosmically, or coincidentally, or whatever happened, they were meant to go together.
i’m going to try to update this thing every other day or so, to make mention of my progress. hopefully everyone involved in this project will use this log to keep track of themselves, and to keep others informed, because, as mentioned earlier, it isn’t often that we take the time to bounce real ideas back and forth.

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