I've been letting go of "shoulds" in favor of "compellings"...this is compelling to me, and then some. A chance to share with 60 friends and family...
I had the honor tonight of playing for the Ember of Hope dinner gala in the beautiful atrium of UGA's Botanical Garden, surrounded by orchids, kind people, and outside, a hint of snow. When my friend Kim Bennett (from Cultivating a Lifetime of Legacy, Inc., a non-profit which nurtures vulnerable youth) asked, I leaped at the opportunity to support their good work. Tonight the honor went to some truly remarkable folks, among them my friends Life and Elizabeth. The night was perfect, except for my too-close microphone placement. :-) Please forgive bits of unheard-in-the-room distortion and I think you'll hear something special took place.
Isn't it funny to be concerned with originality? I'm selective. My appearance has been done before, and to greater effect. But that's not a prime motivator: my sounds are! My oxygen, cliche, my water intake, over it, my challenges, seen it done it by a billion sentiences before. In the face of overwhelming evidence that perhaps basic lifeforce sustenance is paramount, I ditch my tail, and dig a tale about making novel combinations burrow into the marrow of important stuff, for all the world ascendant.
I'm so glad to be playing the Ember of Hope dinner gala this Friday night (making some Vo-scapes). Cultivating a Lifetime of Legacy, under the direction of Kimberly Bennett, aims to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged youth by increasing post-secondary graduation rates and mentoring young adults. Athens is a great place!
I hope my friend Harry Shaffer won't mind that I'm posting his response to this new recording (absolutely one of the nicest things anyone has written about my work): "I really love the constant emergences throughout the album. Every time a corner is turned it brings with it another world. It’s just like this swirling, impressionistic environment of colors and patterns. This is truly the kind of gestural sound that comes when one tears away the prison of musical history."
And these are my liner notes: Logistics and flow, specifically as relates to what has become this recording, have commandeered sizeable bandwidth within the me project for a month running. How to capture an approach, a concept, an offering, a clarity: in tandem with material limitations, personality navigation, and necessarily condensed timescale (all in service to the inception and to the result) we endeavor to awaken and release novel and considered cOMbinations of sound. The origins of a wa re (pronounced Uh-wah-ray, but surely unoffended by Uh-wear) began in name and haze, nothing concrete, many years back. I thank my childhood friend Eug DeRobertis for exploring briefly a theoretical sustained space owing less to radio formulas than to ancient and all but dimmed interactions between pitch and texture, rhythm and function. While that nascent version never got off the ground, it did better and planted a seed underground. Today I understand I couldn't have properly tended the now flourishing garden without many interim projects incrementally granting access to this rarified realm, and the experience to make the most of it.
Creating room for unrestricted creativity is work. Good, soulshaking, endlessly stimulating work. And hardly my own. Fred Carlson, Harry Shaffer, Lewis Waters, Rick Toone, Chris Duncan, Tim Schroeder, Tris Mahaffay, Zachary Vex, Mason Marangella, and their crews and inventions and inspirations and so many more besides are riding the bowsprit of this cosmic sailing vessel.
My affection for Jamie DeRevere is wholehearted. He's an exceptional photographer, father, husband, and sure can play those drums. There's not a single wasted brushstroke or missed opportunity to impart color and generosity into our duo. He occupies the songspace fully at a relaxedly propulsive pace.
Jesse Mangum has to be considered an essential third of our group. From the cockpit of The Glow he has orchestrated a perfect storm of technical, artistic, and imaginative harnessing. I am beyond thrilled with what he has done and how efficiently he has done it. Start to finish in a weekend of doing after a calendar page's turn of planning.
For my contribution, I have shed yet another layer of increasingly ephemeral tendrils of fear. "They" have been my stumbling block, preventing me from fully actualizing a dream I had of creating music as if I had never been exposed to music before. The funny thing is, having to greater extent reached the substance of my dream, I find the result quite listenable and relatable. In my dream, the music beyond/beside/beneath/between music was just that.
Thanks for listening.
Peace and Love,
Athens GA 2.8.15