Enantiodromia

This fragment – an accidental improv featuring Greg Hopen on saxaphone, Jordan Wallace on bass, Dave Kimpden on drums and Nik Beeson on guitar – was recorded live off the floor in Dave Kimpden’s drum studio by a boombox around 1997. Nik’s voiceover was added a couple of months later.

 

climbing without ascent
running without advance
were you thinking about dying?
or are you dying to be reborn?

Mississippi River twisted meandering - Harold Fisk map

One of Harold N. Fisk’s amazingly beautiful charts of the twisting meanderings of the 2,320 mile long Mississippi River in 1944.

Between the straight line of evolution
and the circle of revolution,
in a held tension,
is a gyre.
In tension, creation,
In tension creation,
In tension, creation.
Snake advances by vacillation along the ground,
gyrfalcon’s wings beating up and down.
In the greatest tension, the greatest creation,
and the greatest creation is the gravest danger,
and destruction is tension held taut beyond limitation.
Taut ’till broke,
bent ’till rent,
the acrobatic art
splits apart,
and the acrobat
falls.

The fearsome fire white hot burning up,
white knuckled clenched fist gripped tight,
the teeth that grind in the night.
The parched string screaming taut,
bow pulled,
quivering,
arched,
shivering back,
bent to point of rent,
releases
the piercing pointed
arrow of light,
seams bursting,
splitting
apart.
FLAME OF CHANGE
WELDERS FLAME
FLAMES TO BURN THE PAST AWAY

Enantiodromia through the wall that is the inside of an egg.
Primal instinct in integration with x-ray vision.
A bow of hope pulled to the tightest taut,
bent to the quivering razor edge of rent,
knocked with an arrow that was blackest coal
but through fear’s anguished energy
was crushed, fused and crystallised
into a piercing pointed diamond
of sharpest compassion.

 

 

Howlings – ambient electroacoustica – now available on CD Baby and iTunes!

Addictions & angels

A persons’ addictions are the angels they must wrestle to win their blessing.

 

Jacob wrestles with the angel - Gustav Doré

Jacob wrestles with the angel – Gustav Doré

 

Ride the comet

“If your project has real substance, ultimately the money will follow you like a common cur in the street with its tail between its legs.”
Werner Herzog, ‘A Guide for the Perplexed

Patterson Ewen - Hailey's Comet

Patterson Ewen – Hailey’s Comet as seen by Giotto

I’m thinking that this statement, while controversial and easily disproven in a variety of cases, holds some truth. And I think it holds a truth for the pursuit of happiness.  If you life has real substance – courageous relationships, meaningful work – happiness will follow.

Chasing money or happiness is like pursuing the tail of a comet: you’re always chasing something that has already passed by and has no substance of its own.  Money and happiness are the ephemeral lingering trails of something substantial that has already passed by.

Ride the comet.

Update on Music for DIVE: mastering, digital distribution, Nostrodamus and a turtle

Dear friends and backers of the DIVE recording project.

A long overdue update is in order.

Much has been done over the last months. Most importantly, more than half of the recordings have been through a first draft of mastering. It’s been a real pleasure to be working with Michael White who has great ears, great suggestions, great competence and great tools. We’ve basically been working our way through every track on every recording, refining, enlivening, refreshing, and clarifying the sound. Very detailed, but also very satisfying when you hear the difference. It can be literally like having your sonic windows washed; it’s as though the original recording was just a little dim and bleary.

Sonic whiz, Michael White, sparking up 'Nostrodamus' to beef up the low end in 'The Pearls'
Sonic whiz, Michael White, sparking up ‘Nostrodamus’ to beef up the low end in ‘The Pearls’

Here’s a link to our first draft at mastering ‘The Prelude’ & ‘The Pearls’. Synths are a little too high in the mix right now (hard to resist with Nostradamus at hand!), but it is a very big improvement!

I’ve also spent a good deal of time researching the optimal digital distribution channel for DIVE (as well as for Howlings, my previous ambient-electroacoustic CD, which I’ll be able to send out to supporters very soon). It was a tossup between CD-Baby and TuneCore, but I’m going with CD-Baby as they have a better reputation for manufacturing hard copy CDs.

During the summer Fides, in a lengthy period of extensive voice work, suffered some damage to her voice. This injury, combined with typical scheduling challenges, has resulted in our delaying the recording of ‘Lighea’s Ocean’, the only vocal part left for Fides to record, until the New Year. This has, of course, moved our CD launch date into the New Year as well. We’ll have a solid date and place for that asap.

All in all the project is going well: the budget is OK, every track that Michael and I work on comes out sounding a good deal better, and we just keeping on moving. Perhaps more like a turtle than a rabbit, but we will get there.

Thanks for your patience… and thank you again for your marvelous support!

Be well!!

NIk

 

A Call to DIVE VII – Lament

‘Lament’ will almost certainly be the last track in the CD.
A very simple, and very elegant, plaintif melody sung (and composed) by Fides over the subdued remnants of ‘The Storm’.

A Call to DIVE VI – The Storm

This week I’m presenting a piece which is an apex work in the narrative. It’s a piece in which Fides’ full vocal power and prowess gets to really let loose in a transcendent expression of extreme rage and grief, swept along by a sonic storm of multiple layers of analog synth, wind, waves and wolves.

Homeostasis, Change, Addiction & Love

This IGNITE Talk (5 mins, 15 secs per slide – GO!) was presented at the Web of Change Conference Sept. 2013, at Balcones Springs just outside of Austin, TX. Huge thanks to the WOCMob for welcoming this errant pitch!

In response to my opening statement “I’m curious why orgs and people fiercely protect outrageous poisonous bullshit that will kill them, while resisting change that is blatantly obviously healthy and liberating.”, I trace an origin of ‘Things’ – conceptual, biological, then psychological – asserting that ego is a ‘homeostatic’ entity. I propose that ego is built up by ‘habits’ cycling around core desires, and that addiction reifies into a ‘cyclostatic’ resistance to change. Addiction is self-generating and delusional, both of which are relatively good descriptions of many orgs resistant to, for example, climate change science. Addictive structures, functioning in denial, are also exceedingly resistant to love, whose nature is revelatory. Situations where love directly encounters addiction are typically ‘apocalyptic’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Call to DIVE V – Lighea’s Idyll

…I’ve saved a bit of a gem for the week after the launch. ‘Lighea’s Idyll’ is really a full on ambient work, summoning a brilliant sunlit sea, awash in the sounds of ripples and waves in a multiplicity of patterns, and the emergence – gently bobbing up from the deeps – of the mermaid as her natural self, in her oceanic element.

A Call to DIVE IV – Crowdfunder Launch!

For real, it’s finally here.
I’ve launched a Crowdfunder on Kickstarter to complete the funding of this project ($3000 smackers is what it will take!).

The exceedingly talented photographer & filmmaker Jeremy Mimnagh created a very cool video for the project, and you can pre-order downloads, CDs, a poster of the cover art, and you can even order me. If you’re really special (I know, you’re all really special!) you can book a visitation from the mermaid herself!

There’s more music to come (and you won’t believe what Mussolini did to the wild), but for now it’s all about Kickstarter.

Check it out, pre-purchase some music, and enjoy the show!