This is a long night of letting go.
I need to trust that if a part of it is magic,
it is all magic.
I want to hold on,
but instead I need to release.
I offer up even this part.
most damaged part of you,
that I wanted nothing more
than to hold and heal.
So I release even this part.
I offer it up to nature
And put my trust in it.
I hope you thrive
and grow towards love
…even if without me.
(My heart breaks as it opens.)
“The offering up or cleaning up ego stuff is called purification. Purification is the act of letting go. This is done out of discriminative awareness. That is, you understand that you are an entity passing through a life in which the entire drama is an offering for your awakening. You see that the life experience is a vehicle for coming to God, or becoming conscious, for becoming liberated. And you understand ultimately that’s what you are doing here.”
Excerpt from Ram Dass’ book “Polishing the Mirror”
About a year back I decided I wanted to make work that I could just make on my own, spontaneously (should I desire it), and anywhere. I was reacting against the Takahashi performances which aren’t the easiest things to set up. At the time, they required other people, stretching canvas, setting up electronics equipment, a projector, and then having all the things communicating with each other and working. It was hard to have spontaneous bursts of creativity. So I decided to do the anti- thing and just draw. White paper. Black pen. And me.
In tandem with those drawings I started becoming curious about color. There was shift in the Takahashi performances from paint to [colored] light, and this set up no longer required me to stretch a canvas or use a projector–another move towards pre-performance simplicity (though pursuing this colored light stand wasn’t done for that purpose specifically). I could just plug in and go. Though it’s still very technology heavy, spontaneity and technology are not in opposition. So now, working in the muck of the Takahashi lights and the ink drawings, it felt to me like I was exploring two distinct things: precise line work (absent of the consideration for color), and expansive pure color (so really no consideration for space other than ‘all of it’). And they never had to meet. I did not see them as just components of some other thing. Each output, each drawing and water color, each set of flickering light was a thing onto itself.
But yesterday, during a Takahashi rehearsal with Linda Jankowska and Rodrigo Constanzo it occurred to me the water color works are actually perfect for use in the Takahashi light set-up. It’s like one part of my brain has just let another part of my brain in on what it’s been working on for months and months. I think these works are somehow perfect populators of the Color Picker sample space (the color granular synthesis max patch), which before really only had a “place-holder” image (while the image is significant to me, it wasn’t significant to me in this context). I really want everything to be personal, and resonate with me and the things I’m thinking about and consider important in terms of what the performance has transformed into and means now, and in terms of my life, and and and & you and me and us. The body of line drawing work I’ve been doing, now with the addition of water colors, are hugely significant to me and this period of my life–creative and personal. So here we are.
I just want to make beautiful things…and it feels like an explosion.
The following images are stills from video shot by Linda Jankowska during our wider performance collaboration that day
I shot this for Scott Mc Laughlin. It’s a piece he composed called Surfaces of Emergence. Here’s what he wrote on Vimeo about it: ”surfaces…” is for a group of electric guitars (six in this performance) playing feedback only. The feedback pitches are all harmonics of whichever string is vibrating: which is in itself indeterminate as for most of the piece all the strings are free, in the opening 6 minutes only the low E string is free (see the felt “mutes” on the guitars). The guitars change feedback pitch by moving. Changing the relative position between guitar and amplifier alters the phase relationship and allows a different harmonic to emerge. The score does not specify pitches, but simply asks the players to (1) allow a pitch to emerge and hold it, (2) very slowly change to a new pitch, (3) try to return to the previous pitch. Players keep trying to set up slowly oscillating pitch patterns but the indeterminate nature of the feedback interferes with this. The players are also detuning the strings intermittently throughout the piece: players work to an grid of approximate timings, with rest points built in for detuning. What starts as a unified E harmonic spectrum slowly denatures into an inharmonic mass.
Here’s the teaser for a video I’m making that documents the interaction between three composers and two performers in a sort of experiment in collaboration.
I was looking through old files and found these:
This is the painting inspired by a dream that birthed the name Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern. I painted it in 2006. I immediately gave it to Raul Takahashi to make amends for whatever it was I did that caused him to unleash that nightmare on me.
I used a 50mm lens, a shoulder rig, and DMX lights which I manipulated/obfuscated during their performances. Here they are.
Linda Jankowska: Snare-Feedback-String Pattern
Rodrigo Constanzo: Everything. Everything Once. Once (three in an ongoing series)
If you’d like me to apply myself to a project you’re working on just email me so we can discuss what you want, compensation, and timelines. Here are some of the album package designs/concepts I’ve created for some very talented musicians in the past.
If you want to buy any of these albums directly from the artists just click their link above the image. Most recent first.
Silence Blossoms – Lady White single
ink drawing on paper
printed as 6″x 8″ 400gsm postcards
Amp/Al from Richard Craig
Linocut prints, clay, and ink
album concept and execution
Here’s a mention of it in an interview Richard gave in the Glasgow Herald (a little shout out in the last paragraph)
Anton Hunter Trio
Silence Blossoms – Live In Sweden
House paint, ink and conte on canvas
album wrap-around & tape face