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23

Jun

Stuart Davis – Nothing In Between

There is nothing in between us when we sleep
But every night the bliss begins to leak
Nothing in between us when we laugh
it’s something that our head will never grasp

It’s seen in between

There’s nothing in between your joy and mine
It’s all a lot of nectar on the vine
Joy is how my parents were entwined
and there’s nothing in between their lives and mine

We’ve seen in between

There’s nowhere to hide in the open Reality
Love is so wide, but there isn’t a boundary
There is only one eye without any enemy

when you’ve seen in between

There’s nothing in between our skin and light
There’s nothing in between the wind and kite
There’s nothing in between our lips and grace
There’s nothing in between the tongue and taste

It’s seen in between


(Refrain)

There is nothing in between you and me
Nothing in between blue and sea
Nothing in between us and love
Nothing in between wings and doves

(Refrain)

There is nothing
in between

28

May

Adam Scott Miller




I first saw Adam’s work a few years ago on Integral Naked (now Integral Life). He creates what some call ‘Visionary Art’. Alex Grey is probably the most famous of this breed, his work having appeared on albums for artists such as David Byrne, Nirvana, Beastie Boys and TOOL.

Being a long time fan of Alex Grey and having even gotten the opportunity to play in his Chapel of Sacred Mirrors just before it left New York City I was instantly drawn to Adam’s unique visions of that which normally goes unseen by the eyes of flesh. What visionary art attempts to communicate is that which the eye of the mind and the eye of spirit perceive. These painters just somehow manage to get these visions down on canvas.

Upon seeing Adams work for the first time I immediately went to his website and bought a few of his original paintings to hang in my loft for inspiration. What I attempt with music, specifically what David and I did with The Emergence, could in this context be called Visionary Music. We attempted to communicate Spirit and the struggles along the way to such a realization in sound. As soon as we had the CDs for this project I sent one off to Adam hoping only that this kindred spirit and fellow artist that I have immense respect for may enjoy the noise we make.

I have recently been exchanging messages with Adam on facebook (where you should become a fan of his work). He reached out to tell me how much he enjoyed the album and most recently to say that he just spent about 12 hours listening to our CD while working on the painting you see above. Needless to say the finished product is stunning and knowing that I played even a small part in inspiring the work that went into it is a beautiful fuel for my future creative efforts.

I hope to be collaborating with Adam some time in the not too distant future. His work has only been improving in the past few years and I can’t wait to see his new pieces as they emerge. He was recently on the stage painting live with Shpongle and I’m sure things will only advance from here.

You can see more of Adam’s work and purchase prints and originals from his website: http://www.corpuscallosum.cc/ do it

Who wants to buy me the original above???

Find More Amazing Men by clicking HERE

26

Mar

Stuck in the Middle


The Emergence – Stuck in the Middle

Stuck in the Middle

Oh my God I am so sorry
These words will not stay
Simple one I can’t believe you
Your eyes lead you astray

Hold your head, I gaze inside you
you breathe I bend like clay
Where there are two we are divided
Get too close I fade away

I’ve been stuck in the middle…

Hold my breath to keep this moment
Clench my fist, I can not pray
I try to run, to stay beside it
As my presence fades to grey

Letting go I drift in tide pools
as the Ocean pulls away
Flail my arms and spin in circles
Till the moon pulls you my way

I’ve been stuck in the middle…

I am beginning to discover

I yearn to be uncovered

I’ve been stuck in the middle…

I wanna love you, I don’t wanna lose me

Without you I am only apart

by David Wesson and Devin Martin

05

Jan

Eliot in Orbit

Back in 2007 Tony and Kiki were both working for Bait & Tackle, an all in one, ad agency / production house up in Gloucester, MA. They are a great one stop shop for advertising needs.

Chad who runs Bait and Tackle decided to enter the 48 hour film festival. This is a film making competition where the entrants have 48 hours to make a film within certain parameters that they are given right at the start of the 48 hour period including a line of dialogue. In our case, “If you come up with something good let me know”. Tony invited me up to Gloucester to play.

Chad’s vision was ridiculously ambitious. We ended up having footage of the band Guster live on stage saying lines, an underwater camera shot, shots from two planes in flight, one over the Panama canal. We shot in two states in the US as well as in Panama, had stop-motion animation, fireballs, a green screen shot, dolly shots, sunset camera boom work, too many locations to remember as well as original music written and recorded during the 48 hour period.

I ended up being credited as Sound Engineer, Music Supervisor and co-producer on two of the original songs. I provided a couple of sound effects as well.

Way too much fun. I need to do this again…..though maybe a little less ambitiously.

28

Dec

Stop Motion Animation

I’m always wishing I could score more video. Animation has always intrigued me, stop motion in particular (think Wallace and Gromit). I got my first hands on taste of creating stop motion working with Eric while volunteering at Camp Bright Feathers. For years I have been looking for artists to create the visuals for me, so I can focus on the sounds. Volunteers are still welcome, but I’m through just waiting.

I’ve had visitors staying with me 3 of the last 4 weekends. This long weekend I decided to hole up in the house and get creative.

I’ve got my new camera (Canon T1i) that I bought for a trip to India, but will now be using to photograph where ever in South America you all send us while traveling with The Hostel Life instead. I’ve got iStop Motion installed on my little mac mini (got this really cheap from the 2007 MacHeist)and I went to the store around the corner and got some clay. I also grabbed a little wire framed fisherman toy that my mother gave me a while back.

I’m studying Latin rhythms a bit to get ready to travel to South America with The Hostel Life. I taught myself how to play the Timbao rhythm on a djembe (don’t have congas). I didn’t record that though….not there yet. I grabbed some samples of a Samba rhythm and built off of that for the score. I, of course, threw a break beat over the samba to funk it up and then added some individual hits from a kit drum on top of that to give it some heft. Then I recorded some acoustic, electric, classical and bass guitar before layering pads and assorted bits with my new little Micron synth (It’s a bit digital for my taste…I need to get my Virus fixed soon) and a few other soft synths.

What ended up on the video is a 30 second edit of the 2.5 minute track that emerged. The edit was taken at an early stage while the song was still fairly empty. The full track starts out fairly organic and beautiful then takes a sudden turn for the darker before it ends back on the samba groove.

The focus of this stop motion test was to learn about how to sync movement with sound. This is fairly easy to plan when the numbers are simple. If the music is 120 beats per minute and the video is shot at 10 frames per second then I know right away which frames will land on a down beat. The music here is at 115 bpm and the video was shot at 14 frames per second. This is not as simple or consistent. I’m figuring out tricks as I go. I did decide to upgrade to the ‘Express’ version of iStop Motion as this allows soundtracks to be imported and video to be imported for rotoscoping.

What we have here is a 33 second clip comprised of 468 frames made from 431 individual photographs taken while enjoying a glass of red wine (note the drip running down the side of the glass once it is empty).

I’m guessing it’ll be 5 years or so before I’m making anything truly impressive to look at. Owen begs to differ pointing out how the mind links different arts such as music and sound. I’d agree, but things will go a lot faster once I get people like him on board to collaborate.

Here’s the full track:

right click to download

27

Dec

I’ve Joined The Hostel Life


I’ve just joined the cast/crew of The Hostel Life. As I mentioned before, I was scoring some promotional videos to help pitch the show to some networks. I had mentioned to Mehdy, the host of the show, over a few months of working together by phone that in order to write music I need inspiration, so at some point he would have to take me on one of his trips.

I was sitting in my apartment catching up with Benjamin and buying a plane ticket to India. The plan was to fly to Bangalore on Christmas to attend The Art of Living‘s Yes+ Winter Break meditation and service courses and then backpack around for a few weeks by myself hopefully meeting up with some family who would also be traveling in India at the time. I would fly out of Delhi returning to NYC on January 22nd. Literally as I was pushing the purchase button my phone rang. It was Mehdy. He told me that he was planning his next trip, the first real attempt at the show with networks watching. And he was putting together a new cast/crew. It’s going to be a three person team. Mehdy is the host. Luke is the Director of Photography. They needed one more person; a sound guy, second camera, co-writer, editor, photographer, jack-of-all type…and I was his first choice. The travel details will be up to you (the audience), but it is looking like it will be to South America for 5 weeks.

“When do you leave” I asked

“January 22nd” he replied

Interesting right? This was on Monday December 14. I decided that I couldn’t leave for over two months without some more prep-time and out of respect for my day job. So, I postponed my trip to India and will be heading where ever people send us with The Hostel Life. We meet up in Tampa on Feb 1st for a couple of days of test shooting and then we will be leaving the country. We’re going to be moving fast and covering a lot of ground. We will each have a lot of responsibilities potentially both on and off camera.

The success of this thing is going to lie heavily on audience participation. This is truly intended as an interactive guide to traveling on a budget. There will be polls on the website and what the audience votes we do within the budget while showing you how. The idea is to show how you can have an amazing adventure while on vacation for $300-400/week. We’re not talking about sitting in a little hut on the beach. We’re talking about getting off the beaten path a bit and seeing the exotic as well as festivals, fairs, natural wonders, music, doing service in the community and meeting as many unique and interesting people as possible. I think I’m going to document the food that we find in each region as well.

We will be off the grid a fair amount, but are committed to finding the internet every few days and uploading video and other content to the site.

So PLEASE find The Hostel Life on Facebook and become a fan. The page just went up, but we already have over 2,000 fans. A lot of them are from India, which excites me. Maybe they’ll vote the show there next. You can also sign up for email updates on the web site. You’ll probably hear me petitioning for certain outcomes for the polls, so I may need your help steering the ship to interesting places. I never promised to be impartial.

Check out the photos page on the site. I’ve just put up some photos of my trip to Brazil.

20

Dec

Practically Ideal


Logan recently reached out to ask me if he could use some of my music for his new podcast called Practically Ideal. Billed as a ‘podcast for idealists who like to keep it practical’ Logan Beaux and Bob Caswell speak from an intelligent and pragmatic Libertarian perspective. Quite often Libertarians espouse an idealistic, yet completely unrealistic view of how the world ‘should be’. These guys keep the hope alive, but look deeply at both the limitations and confusions inherent in many ways this political ideology is often expressed. They offer us a nuanced exploration of how libertarian thinking and action does and does not fit into the lives of intelligent, compassionate, integrally informed and open minded individuals who like playing video games and watching TV as well as being political active; or at least informed.

I, for one, am interested in Libertarianism both for specific reasons related to smaller government, less war, increased liberties (LEGALIZE IT!!) and increased individual trust and responsibility. But, as much as you may or may not support one particular flavor of free market capitalism, who doesn’t feel the need for a viable 3rd party in American politics?

Practically Ideal touches upon politics, technology and pop culture….and they play my music. And who doesn’t want to hear The Emergence every chance they get?

You can find the podcast at their website: http://practicallyideal.com/ or on iTunes.

Check it out, it’s definitely worth a listen.

21

Oct

The Hostel Life

Owen Beckmann recently put me in touch with an old friend of his named Mehdy Ghannad. Mehdy is a world traveler who has mastered seeing the sites on the cheap and now wants to inspire and educate others to do the same. To that end he is pitching a TV show called The Hostel Life to a number of networks. It’s basically a reality show that will follow him on his travels. He will be operating on a limited budget ($300 a week I believe) and the fun part is that there will be a website where the audience can interact with him and even choose where he will be going.

Mehdy has asked me to provide music for the clips, and hopefully for the show if it gets picked up. So check out the two vids I’ve got here and then head over to The Hostel Life on Facebook and become a fan. The more people show an interest the better the chances of this thing getting picked up. And who knows, I just might get to do some traveling around myself.

13

Jul

The Emergence – Please Rise 2

In November I broke my pinky finger hanging temporary shades with wine. I put one foot up on the radiator and the other on the arm of a reclining chair. The chair tipped over of course, and I caught my fall on the top of the head rest of that chair creating a ‘minimaly displaced fracture of the distal fifth phalanx’. When I looked down and saw the tip of my left pinky finger bent back a bit beyond a perfect 90 degrees I immediately grabbed it with my right hand and SNAPPED it back close to straight as I collapsed with a scream down to my knees. It didn’t quite make it back into place. My pinky was still curved a little bit backwards at the tip. I sat there for half an hour bending my finger over the back of a spoon trying to get it to pop back into and stay straight; all the while thinking, “this is going to make recording the rest of my guitar parts really f*$k!@& difficult!” Eventually Amy convinced me to go to the E.R. to get it looked at. They looked at it, x-ray’d it, declared it broken, declined to snap it any straighter, put a $0.50 splint on it and told me to go the Drug Store down the street to get a better one. They also sent me to a hand specialist to get a custom splint made. Apparently hospitals don’t specialize in splints. Everyone was amazingly nice to me, cut me deals, slowed down and were present with me (who has no health insurance) and honestly seemed concerned about my musical ambitions. I felt somehow blessed to live in this place.

My finger is still crooked………………………. but I can play just fine šŸ™‚

I made the page of ‘Nine Fingered Tasks’ above listing things that i could accomplish on the album while on the plane ride to London ten days later that only required nine of my fingers (no guitar). I did some pretty intense time correcting, granular editing, mixing, vocal comping and arrangement of parts. All in all, The album ended up taking about a year and a half, from deciding to start writing to CD in hand. Not too bad me thinks.


About a year and a half ago I showed up at David’s house in Boston with a contract which we signed with each other stating that we would write and record a CD within a year and then give away 1,000 copies. This included us each writing a song a day for the first 30 days. I live in New York City, David lives in Boston. The plan was to make this a The Postal Service style project sending each other pieces of songs to work on, except instead of the mail we used ftp transfers, email attachments, shared google documents, flash cards, notebooks, skype video chatting and any other means available to communicate. We even got together in person at times to write and play.

Directly upon returning from that initial trip to Boston I found out that my entire building had been vacated. Basically, over 200 people, largely artists living and working in loft spaces we had built out, had been kicked out of our homes and work spaces by the department of buildings. So I found myself suddenly homeless, though my cat Agape was actually padlocked into my aparment. For the next 30 days, while staying with my sister, friends Amy and Logan and in hotels and while at my office I wrote, recorded and sent David a song a day……for well over 20 days. At some point it just became ridiculous (the laptop I was using for recording died). But the time was fruitful for both David and I. Many of the 19 tracks that made it onto the album came out of this time.

David and I met back in 2000. I was DJing at raves and clubs around New England and looking to get back into making my own music as opposed to just playing others. David was making noise in various bands and looking for a more spiritual project to engage. The first time we got together to play the very first thing we did was write a song. I said something to the extent of ‘fuck playing covers, let’s just write something’ and then started strumming chords. David just started singing and within a short while we had written GA, which later appeared as a hidden track on the Hunger Dreams soundtrack. We wrote songs, scored theater, played shows, collaborated on the recording of another project and then went our separate ways for a while. I had moved to North Carolina, dug into my career a bit and recorded some bands on the side. David became a Jewish Studies teacher and later the director of a Jewish school, got married and had a daughter and played in a few musical projects of his own. This album represents us asking the question of whether or not music is still an integral part of our lives and our relationship. I think the answer is a resounding yes.

Over the last year and a half we worked with 25-30 songs exploring themes of love and spirit, of loss and despair, of transcendence and embrace, integration and dissolution; reaching a new level of collaboration between us. This manifested as an amazingly fluid writing process. We co-wrote both the music and the words on this album with an intense openness, vulnerability and clarity often times tearing each others work down only to get together and rebuild it. We recorded in Brooklyn and in Boston and finally had it mastered in Manhattan. We are now in the process of giving away 1,000 CD’s. We invite you to find us on Facebook or on MySpace, become a fan or a friend and ask for your free album. You can find David in Boulder, CO this week and in the Boston area after that. I am in and around Brooklyn, NY. We would love to share this music with you. If you go to www.NoAffiliation.com and make a donation of $5 or more to cover shipping I we will send one to you.

This is project NA0018 from my label NoAffiliation. The CD is free, but we are accepting donations to help fund this and future projects.