March 31, 2005
This woman Evelyn Glennie is totally incredible. She is a virtuosic percussionist and she is 'profoundly' deaf. I'm not kidding. She performs barefoot because by some twist of Darwinian persistence, she has effectively turned her feet into listening devices. She feels the minute sound vibrations through the floor and her feet rather than through the air and her ears. Weird, huh? I don't know how she does it, but what is entirely clear is her ability to perform at the highest levels with countless other musicians.
It is incredible when you think about it, but I have not done her justice here at all. Being a deaf musician is fascinating, but being an incredibly talented and multi-faceted musician is what is truly worth writing about. When you are a percussionist, unlike virtually all other musicians, you have to master a huge number of far flung instruments. Believe it or not, playing the maracas is totally different from playing timpani, or marimba, or snare drum or... Yes Evelyn, you are amazing.
As far as this cd goes, the concerto for marimba by Ney Rosauro totally kicks ass.
March 30, 2005
maybe we are predictable?
I think I should apply for a job at Universal Studios.
I really am a nice person, I swear.
March 29, 2005
Today is HUGE day in our nation's highest court.
Let's hope for the best.
Here's how it went:
March 23, 2005
I've been fascinated with melting lately. The way something can be totally covered, encrusted, impenetrably and inextricably contained with ice and snow and then it all goes away so cleanly and calmly. It's such a delicate process, this melting, and you can only observe the results, not the effort. It leaves everything just the way the snow and ice found it in the first place. So much so that no one would ever believe the violent and jagged interim status.
It is so cool to watch the changing patterns of white on greenish brown on my lawn everyday. You can see where I walked, where the neighbors dogs ran through my yard a month ago along with shapes that were invisible before (including what looks like some sort of snow gopher tunneling).
I often wonder why snow melts the way it does. Why does my lawn become uncovered way before my neighbors does? Right down to the line where our two lawns meet. It must have to do with the fact that he takes good care of his lawn and actually has grass whereas mine is mainly moss. I like the natural look.
I did some project in a geomorphology class on flooding induced by snowmelt (I believe they called these 'nival' floods) and it was pretty interesting how trees and brush and rocks and general ground cover as well as topography effected how snow melts. I wonder where that report is now.
After the amount of snow we have had this winter (and more in the forecast for tomorrow) I am excited about this melting just to get rid of it as well. Though sometimes I question my sanity for living in New England, the changing of the seasons always reminds me why I love it here so much.
March 22, 2005
back at it (sort of)
I have finally managed to get my head in a place where I can begin to write more new music. It has been so long since I finished a song!! It feels really great to be creating again, though it has taken some energy shifting from cd mode to new-music mode. I'm not entirely there yet; I cannot devote myself singularly to writing as there is too much else going on. I will need to figure out an acceptable balance in my 'music time' between writing, having BYOV events, and the business side marketing stuff.
This new song is all about names, well, one name at least, as interpreted by many...
March 19, 2005
viva la revolucion oceanica!!!
It's pretty clear that I love the ocean, right? Most of you probably already knew this, but the cover of my new album sealed the deal, I'd say. I can't live too far from the ocean; even if I can't see it, knowing it is near and that I can visit at any time is comforting and important to me.
But there are problems with the ocean, mainly with what we as human beings are doing to it. We are fishing it to death, dumping toxic chemicals into it and generally not treating this gift with the respect and care that we should. The oceans do have an incredible ability to cleanse and rejuvenate themselves, as well as provide sustenance and support to most of the world's creatures in one way or another, but they are nonetheless not impervious to harm.
Thankfully there are people who have devoted themselves to preserving and restoring the world's oceans. Two of these people, J. Nichols and Hoyt Peckham, are good friends of mine, and have started an initiative called 'Ocean Revolution'. This program is designed to educate and inspire young people to take an active role in the preservation of the oceans. It is really exciting to think about what kind of impact can be made right now.
We might not all be able to work for such organizations and devote our lives to this preservation, but we all can help in different ways. You can wear Ocean Revolution wristbands to help spread the word; you can go to their site and learn more about OR's activities; you can make a donation to their cause; you can volunteer your time. All these are fantastic.
I have decided to make my donation not only in the form of wristbands for myself and all my friends, but in the form of cd profits. I have decided that for every cd sold to an Ocean Revolution supporter, I will donate my profit (half the cost - $6) to their cause. Now this doesn't seem like much, but it can add up quickly, and hell, every little bit helps anyway.
If you would like to support OR via a cd purchase, please indicate as such in the 'how did you hear about us?' spot during checkout so I can distinguish from the other orders coming in.
We all have an obligation to give back to this planet that supports us. For me, this is a personally meaningful and exciting way. Please help me help OR help the oceans.
March 18, 2005
I suddenly have much more respect for Courtney Love than I ever imagined I would.
Yes, that article is a bit old, but not much has changed, it seems.
March 17, 2005
check out this newly updated website touting the musician/photographer collaboration:
soon, we will be producing a limited edition triptych of the three album photographs.
it's gonna be really nice...
March 16, 2005
I discovered this new fangled record label called Magnatune that is tackling the whole digital age with a very creative approach.
- The acts that they sign are non-exclusive.
- They give the musicians half of whatever is sold (compared to single digit percentages for most major record labels).
- They promote Creative Commons licensing with no Digital Rights Management built into the music you purchase.
- They sell music only by the album, not the song and they let their customers listen to anything they want (in full) prior to purchasing.
So far this is already not your typical record label, BUT, are you ready for the big one? They let the customer choose the price! I'm not talking eBay or Priceline here. I'm talking as long as you pay at least the minimum amount ($5 per album), you are free to choose what you want to pay. The more you like the music, the more you pay? The more money you have the more you pay? The more you think the musician needs it, the more you pay? There are hundreds of reasons to choose what you feel like paying, but the fact remains that it is your choice, not some long string of middle-men marking up the price and leaving the musicians with very little.
And guess what the average price is for the albums they sell? $8.93. Not only is it ~80% above what someone has to pay, but it is even ~12% above what it is suggested people pay. So when people can listen for free to their heart's content and they feel they have all the information necessary to make an informed and comfortable decision, they are more than happy to not only pay for music, but pay for it at a rate higher than they are asked to pay. On the one hand this is amazing, but on the other hand, it doesn't surprise me. And I think it is fantastic.
So everyone head on over to Magnatune and listen and buy some really interesting new music. Maybe some day you'll see aesthetic evidence up there.
March 15, 2005
Apparently it takes LOTS of photos of me to get anything halfway decent. The results of my first ever photo shoot are in and I must admit that the experience of looking through 72 pictures of myself was a bit jarring. I'm working on trying to love nothing more than staring at myself, as that is part of the rock star personna I am cultivating, but I haven't been making much progress, it seems.
Let me be clear that my photographer did an excellent job not only taking the pictures, but putting up with me in the process. The reason there was a small ratio of acceptable to totally embarassing photos was because I seem to be really good at putting on weird expressions. Thankfully, the photos do accomplish what we wanted them to accomplish as I will certainly be able to get a few usable ones out of the bunch.
So I will share with you guys some that ended up in the good pile. Let me know what you think!
less serious Halsey
someone missed someone else
March 10, 2005
I leave for Houston, because, as the song says:
March 09, 2005
Is it possible? Are all the parts of this cd actually completed and together in one place? Is the only step left assembling and mailing to the hordes of rabid fans? Yes, yes, and yes!
The cds themselves arrived today thanks to UPS. They were remarkably unsurprising because they look exactly like the mock-ups I made. Of course, they are silkscreened instead of printed paper taped to a cd, but the look is just the same. This is good, as I am sick of surprises at this point.
I have assembled a few of them and they look awesome all together. Believe it or not, I still have a few openings for volunteer cd assemblers over the next few weeks. The six hour slots are filling up quickly, so hurry and let me know when you want to do it because I won't be able to guarantee this opportunity for much longer.
Now I can move on to the excitement that is promotion. I'm hoping to have three cd release parties/Bring Your Own Voice events; Boston, Portland, and New York. And if the planets align, perhaps I'll get some press interest. Wish me luck.
Oh yeah, don't forget to PLACE YOUR ORDER!!!!
March 08, 2005
The Morton Feldman cd is one track, 79.35 long! And it feels like there are about 4 notes in the entire thing. Really quite remarkable in its own incredibly sparse and beautiful way.
March 07, 2005
tanja and halsey have a photo shoot
tanja really knows how to capture me at my best!
Scarborough ice swamp - one site on the shoot
what have I gotten myself into?
what happens when Halsey tries to take a picture.
all joking aside, I think we got some great shots that might actually make me look like a rock star, or at least not a total idiot. unfortunately, we have to wait until next week to get the results as tanja's lab (the one that processes color film better than god) takes 4-5 days to do the job right. I can wait to see 72 images of my face.
March 04, 2005
the first delivery
It seems that everything takes longer than I want it to, but at the end of the day, if the results are good, then a few extra days here and there aren't really a big deal, right? No need to get annoyed or angry. Ha.
Today is the big day for the cd artwork. They were supposed to be done yesterday, but the final quality check at Ambit Press failed as there was some streaking visible on the tray cards. Thankfully they saw this on their own and didn't waste time sending it out to me only to have it returned. So today, they delivered one disappointingly small box of cd booklets and tray card inserts to my doorstep. I couldn't believe that 1000 copies fit in that tiny box, but hey, they say size doesn't matter, right? What matters is they look very nice! I have assembled a few in the vinyl cases with cd-r versions of the actual disc and it is really exciting to actually have an official looking product. I'd say it's worth $12 just to get the reproductions of Tanja's three beautiful photographs.
I am now told that the cds themselves won't be delivered until Wednesday. I will be using a different middle-man next time. His performance was simply unacceptable. Hopefully the results will look good. Keep your words crossed!
March 03, 2005
protection *and* sharing
I joked the other day with a friend that I was going to charge her royalties for being in her dream. No, it wasn't that kind of dream. Sometimes I think our intellectual property laws are being pushed to such extremes that this isn't as ridiculous as it sounds.
Everyone should be familiar with an alternative:
March 02, 2005
something I never thought I'd say
"sorry, I've got a photo shoot this weekend, so I won't be able to join you"
I'm beginning to realize that it is all about the attitude. If you think you are a rock star and behave like a rock star, you actually become more of one. So I'm going to start being really arrogant and self-absorbed. Consider this fair warning.
I gotta go trash a hotel room...