I’ve been riveted by Bad Unkl Sista’s butoh-inspired performances for several years, and was honored to be invited to contribute a remix to their latest release, “Reincarnations.” My offering, “And Every Breath Between,” draws source material from most of the tracks of the original record, “First Breath – Last Breath,” so it is more of a remix of the entire record than a single track. I have intense memories of their performances, and I accessed these experiences when composing this piece. I tried to find my way into the portals of the present they opened. Reaching into the past for memories of present intensity for the sake of creating music intended for future, present moments… A strange and contorted pose with regards to time, perhaps… but it finds resonance in Bad Unkl Sista’s time-warping, quivering spacial physicalities.
Having also had the pleasure of mastering “Reincarnations” I have become intimately familiar with the other 14 contributions to the record (from as many producers), and I feel that most of the other tracks also strive intensely as I did to somehow capture the essence of the energy of this fantastic ensemble and translate it through their own lenses. Of course, such energy cannot be captured, but all this striving to do so has yielded a record of which I’m very proud to be a part.
Troels Folmann at 8dio asked me to make a demo for their new dubstep sample library. 8dio make fantastic virtual instruments; I’m a huge fan. A lot of the string work you hear on my tracks comes from their Adagio libraries. So, I figured, this is as good a time as any to try to make a dubstep track: an invitation, fresh sounds, and the genre is huge right now, but will fade soon. I actually much prefer the notion of “post-dubstep.” “Post-anything” allows one a certain genre-obliviousness – a perspective I find most fertile. So with dubstep, I figure: Let’s celebrate all the fun possibilities that the genre brought us – a new taste for wild synthesis, sound warping, insane low frequency techniques, and (imo) a bridge from the avant garde electronic music of yesteryear into popular culture. It has opened our ears. And deafened more than a few.
Now, I say, let’s breathe back some dynamics into this kind of music. Let’s create exquisite subtleties to complement the aurgasmic climaxes. After all, you really don’t get much bang for your back if it’s All Climax All The Time. I tried to invoke this sort of expanded dynamic range a bit with this track – while still staying within the genre as it exists now. I had fun making it. May it find its way to receptive ears…
This piece was composed for my dear uncle, Ken Hatt, the husband of my father’s sister, Susan. Ken passed away in December, 2012. He glowed. He was deeply kind and curious, and I remember him with a big smile on his face. Satie’s Gymnopédie #1 was one of his favorite pieces, and I wrote this fantasy for him a few weeks before he passed. I wanted to write music *from inside* the beautifully simple sound world that the original piece creates. I played the piece today at a memorial service for him in Victoria, B.C.
Last night, Brass Menazeri, the Balkan Brass band with whom I’ve been playing for the past 10 years, played its final show. We were joined by hundreds of loving fans and collaborators at The New Parish in the Oakland, CA. We played for nearly four hours. There were too many emotional high points to even make sense of it all. I’m filled with a deep gratitude for my fellow bandmates and all the multitudes of deliriously dancing friends we’ve shared moments with over these years.
Here is the DJ set I played in between the two Menazeri sets: 30 minutes of fresh Balkan brass remixes – including sneak peaks of some of tracks which will be released in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned – I’ll let you know when the individual tracks are available for download.
Although Brass Menazeri will not be performing any more shows, there will be several albums of material of all kinds – pure acoustic, remixes, and hybrid collaborations – all coming straight to an eardrum (or two) near (or in) you!
Until then, maybe this will help tide you over.
Love, the only beauty. You, the only light.
My offering to you in this moment – at this Turning Of The Page – is a simple prayer, refracted through a kaleidoscope. I allowed myself to embrace the bewildering, refracted perspectives of “all that is struggling to attain form” (i Ching Hexagram #3 – “Difficulty At The Beginning”). I encouraged myself to revel in the awe I feel for the raw fact of existence, hurtling through time… and that it keeps happening!
And these times are strange indeed. A few days ago, on December 20, on the eve of the Big Question Mark…Read more
Sometimes you just have to let it go. In my last post, where I introduced Nest Of Wishes, I stated my intention to release music like a thistle gives its seeds to the wind – freely, without knowing what will become of it. Well, now it’s time to get down to it. I’m releasing a new song today.Read more
On September 13, 2012, while hiking in Tilden Park, I came upon a bunch of thistles that had just released thousands of fluffy, white seeds. They were covering the ground, clinging to the plants and being whisked away by the wind. It was an enchanting scene – like the forest after a fresh snowfall. I took a bunch of pictures. I thought about how many people would watch one of these seeds drift by and all the children that would run after one hoping to catch, make a wish, and release it again. Here I had found a nest of wishes.Read more