DIVE Header


Wow, it's already been two weeks since I last sent a missive.

The word from the street is that folks seemed to gravitate to 'The Pastry Shop', which is no great surprise. But let's face it, my mission, at least in in part, is to shift the centre of gravity.

So, in a last bit of gentle hootzpah before I lay on a CrowdFunder, I give you 'PaulArio'. This is a piece which some of you may genuinely wonder if it actually qualifies as music, and some of you will think maybe Brian Eno met Kayhan Kalhor... Persian Ambient Psychedelia?

How can I explain?
Two searching souls meet one another, and through a strange course of recognition and discovery, become inextricably bound to a divine being, and a mutual pathway of devastation and awakening.

Headphones are especially useful.

* A note of clarification. These pieces of music that I'm presenting are rough drafts which will go into the creating of a CD to be completed somewhere between September and December 2014. The music was written for the sonic theatre/opera work, 'DIVE'.

Previous Emails

A Call to DIVE Pt 2

A Call to DIVE Pt 1


1. Prelude & The Pearls

2. The Pastry Shop

3. Lighea's Lovers

4. Bar Hades

5. PaulArio

The Story

Having lost two lovers, 'abandoning the world', and entering a seedy Hades-esque café, Paulo encounters Senator Rosario La Ciura. And so begins an unlikely friendship, sparked by a shared Sicilian heritage, between Paulo, the young journalist for a pulp/propoganda newspaper, and the aged and reclusive Rosario, "the most illustious Hellenist of our time", "an honour to the nation and a beacon to all cultures."

Paulo is flattered to be in the presence of the great man, yet also shocked by his blunt, carnal, even obscene apprehension of life, and frequently offended by his innate sense of superiority and his intrinsic disgust at the 'nonsense' of the concerns of the world, "the Factory of Lies". Never is the Senator more offensive than in his discussion of Paulo's former lovers as 'squalid' and 'diseased' 'carcasses', and his love-life as a "pestilential mire of... slimy pleasures. Rosario, for his part, appears to initially find the youth an amusing diversion, but seems to grow increasingly attached to the youth as they share their love of "eternal Sicily, nature's Sicily", and in particular of the sea..

The Music



Click here to listen

Sampling, pitching, processing + remix - Nik Beeson


'PaulArio' was assembled using a few different techniques. I had been listening quite a bit to a very gifted Persian improvisational duet. I sampled very small fragments, and then drastically manipulated pitch, and/or looped these fragments, live processing them with a degenerative delay toool. Then I mixed and matched the results, bringing sections in and out, to create three distinct sections.

What the track still needs

I would probably let the sections bleed into one another a little more. I'm also seriously considering asking one or two musicians to improvise over the current track. Flute? Shakahachi? Cello?

Suggestions welcome!


In the last missive, tracking an interest in the tension between 'fascism' and 'the wild', I gave a very basic definition of 'fascism', and promised I would 'go wild' this week.

It’s likely that the word wild came from the Teutonic and Norse ‘will’, or ‘willful’, emerging into wild to mean ‘unruly’ and ‘uncontrollable’.  One of the most fascinating attributes of the word is that, in the domain of dictionaries and definitions, wild is almost entirely described by what it is not. The Oxford English Dictionary describes something wild as undomesticated, uninhabited, uncultivated, uncivilized and inhospitable. It lacks discipline and restraint, it’s unreasonable and improbable, it’s inaccurate, irregular, and insubordinate.

Gary Snyder, in ‘The Practice of the Wild’, remedies this negative approach. The wild is a free agent, uniquely endowed, “self-propagating, self-maintaining, flourishing in accord with innate qualities”.  The wild is original, intact, potent and pristine.  It is excessive and exuberant, self-reliant and independent, fiercely resisting any oppression, confinement, or exploitation.  It is spontaneous and unconditioned, expressive, openly sexual, and ecstatic.

Given our previous definition of 'fascism' it's pretty plain that these two are unlikely to get along.

Coming soon: how Mussolini treats the wild.

"give me a wildness no civilization can endure."
- Thoreau


Thoughts, ideas, suggestions on the music, on the story, on spreading the word, on my sanity?
I'd love to hear from you!



"Utram bibis, aquam an undam?" - 'Which are you drinking, the water or the wave?'
-- John Fowles, The Magus



Ontario Arts Council