A number of years back Anthony Schwartzman approached me to write a song or two for a theater piece he was working on for his theatre company Oblivion Productions. When all was said and done I had worked with him and David Wesson to write, record and perform the score for Hunger Dreams. David, who I had been collaborating with on our DaVerse project, worked with me and the cast as a vocal specialist extraordinaire. The cast sang and flew (sometimes simultaneously). Ed Fians banged on junkyard parts as our live percussionist. We performed Hunger Dreams at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama (fucking amazing room) and at the Brooklyn Lyceum. What you see above is a trailer built from live footage of those performances that Tony put together and I scored in anticipation of the second coming of a story which has yet to be fully told. Some of the music is from the original score, some I wrote for the trailer. Something tells me that the journey is not yet complete.
This is a collaboration between David Wesson and I. David is a Boston based singer and an old friend.
Owen Beckmann of http://www.dwell-being.org/ has just handed in the final proofs of the artwork for the eco-wallets. They look amazing. You should definitely check out some of his other work. The man is a talent and you will be hearing more about him in the near future I am sure. The cover is above. Check out the inside of the album when you get one for a little surprise.
I have just given Sarah Register at The Lodge a few very minor notes on the CD reference that she gave me. She should be making these tweaks this week and then I will have the final mastered album in hand and ready to send out for duplication. Thanks again to Sarah and Heba. They have been a pleasure to work with. Sarah has the perfect combination of technical expertise and a truly musical ear that has really helped this album to sound as good as it can (considering that I mixed it ;).
Find The Emergence on Facebook or MySpace and become one of the first to become a fan or a friend. The sites just went up and will be getting filled out with details, photos and information on how to be one of the 1,000 people to receive a free copy of the new album once it is released. We will also begin posting music in the next week.
And go read Shantaram! (link to the right)
As the album gathers musicians (see below) and production, Dave and I decided to spend our last few minutes in the ‘studio’ playing a few acoustic.
The Emergence – Crazy
I spent the week up in Boston for New Year’s doing some recording and hanging with the Wesson’s. Dave arranged for us to get into the Auditorium at the Rashi school in Newton, MA to run around like idiots making a bunch of noise. Dave recorded some new vocals.
After that, I drove back to Brooklyn and had one hour to unload all my gear from my car and into my apartment, get my shit apart and back together enough to drive to the airport and spend the week in Dallas taking a class for work. I then came back Friday night and Saturday Tyler came over to record some banjo and Robb to record some bass. Then we went out to an art opening and the after party for a bit before retiring to Tyler’s to make a little noise on an armadillo’s back (Charango).
Now I have a mountain of editing to do and I couldn’t be happier.
Well, that was pretty fuckin cool. About 30 of us got a (supposedly) 1 and a 1/2 hour tour which then turned into a 3 and a 1/2 hour tour of Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors by the man himself. We started with his first ever tour of his decades long self portrait project and then progressed into the chapel and then through the rest of his newer works. The questions never stopped coming and he seemed to be really into the conversation. So we all gratefully allowed it to take its course.
Afterwards Dave and I played a few songs in the gallery.
Just being there, making noise, for some truly wonderful people was some kind of wonderful.
Actually made the whole towed car fiasco that followed well worth it.
Announcing a new Meetup for The NYC Ken Wilber Meetup Group!
What: Special Holiday Event @ CoSM w/ Alex Grey – Mon., 12/15
When: December 15, 2008 6:45 PM
Where: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM)
We are pleased to announce that Alex Grey has generously offered to conduct a intimate, integrally informed tour of his gallery for iNYCs members, friends and family. Alex will cover such topics as: state experiences and art, subtle energy, and the use of psychedelics for spiritual exploration.
The tour will be followed by a brief Q & A with Alex.
After which “The Emergence”—iNYCs’ own Devin Martin and his friend David Wesson— will provide a participatory musical experience. Our evening will conclude with a holiday toast.
“David and I took on our current work as an experiment in integration,” Devin says. “The languages we use and the methods we engaged were hugely informed by and part of our Integral Life Practices.
“Recognizing that the road of duality, filled as it is with happiness, is necessarily also filled with all of its opposites, people such as Alex, who have ventured so fearlessly, like a shaman, into the limits of our own consciousness, with the intention of taking pictures and bringing them back for the rest of us, have been an inspiration and a guiding light.”
Check out Alex Grey on Integral Naked: http://in.integralinstitute.
And his artwork also on IN here http://in.integralinstitute.
As most of you know, CoSM is leaving Manhattan at the end of December. Alex and Allyson Grey will be creating a new chapel and retreat center about an hour north of NYC. So this may be our last chance to the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors as it stands today.
Special iNYCs fee for this event: $20.
Please arrive at 6:45pm so we can begin the tour promptly at 7pm!
Learn more here:
In an iNYCs email thread recently Randi posted about ‘Solitude, intraperso
Making sound is all about communicating. Audio editing is part of the creative process for me. It is all about enticing the other and making the content accessible. Often times it is the most fruitful and adventurous part. It is often when I take artifacts that I have created and look at them as if I had never seen them before. It is a play of states and perspectives. It is an experiment in hearing anew over and over again. Often times it is a day spent romancing myself to arouse the muse. Sometimes there are day long stints of Alpha wave laser focus with little or no conscious thought. Sometimes it calls for drugs.
For me editing is in no way separate from writing and recording. All are happening at once. It is a fairly fluid process. Compared to you perhaps I am lucky in that the recording never necessarily has to stop. Sometimes I am working with a song that was written a good time before, other times there is nothing written and editing is the way my voice first takes form. I play with samples, with instruments, with friends, software and my mind. Sometimes it requires sitting in silence. Other times I get drunk and dance to what I’ve just done. All are part and parcel.
At times it is a collaborative effort with another musician and we can go from silence to song in a matter of hours. Other times something is written by myself and/or others and the process of getting to know the piece takes a year or more.
I’m currently planning on getting things organized and ready for some serious plane editing. I figure a flight to London is a great time to get some of the more tedious work (time correcting) done. Sometimes holding myself captive is the best way to force the focus.
My editing style is as destructive as possible. I prefer to commit to something as quickly as I can and move forward. This generates a sense of momentum and trust in what is happening and takes away a lot of the room for second guessing and redoing.
I use multiple programs that have different specialties. When I am stalled working in one I will move a song or parts of a song to the other. I bounce back and forth and am never sure till the end which one will produce the final product.
I consistently try muting or deleting the things that I have assumed are the core of the pieces to see what has been built around them and what is still relevant. What I am working on now is acoustic guitar and vocal driven electronic spiritual music. Everything is written with guitar and voice, but those original parts may or may not bare any resemblance to the finished product.
All of this is done as part of an expression of what the moments reveal as a communication to others. Of course none of this was part of the plan when I first picked up an instrument. But I have honed these skills for a reason. And I love it and it also drives me crazy at times. Right now I have no idea how I will get this project finished in anything resembling a timely manner. But I will. And I will be alone in a room for most of it. Feeling excited by and connected to others.
I was looking through a notebook trying to find a song I wrote a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon something else (quite a bit older), written in a very weird state. I had driven cross country, from Boston to San Diego with Kristine helping her move. We had been dating for a while and it was time for her to switch coasts. I welcomed the adventure and was happy to be of service to her in the move. Once we got her settled I spent a month bouncing around California visiting Josie in L.A., getting my dove tattoo started, back to San Diego for a bit, back to L.A. to get the tattoo finished and ended up in San Francisco visiting an old friend and my cousins Tara and Priya.
I spent a day walking around the city by myself just getting to know the place. It had been a whirlwind adventure of a trip so far and I was a bit beat up emotionally, physically, and also really fucking hungry. I hadn’t eaten all day. I walked back to my cousins neighborhood and bought two slices of meat lovers pizza. They didn’t last long. I then headed back to Priya’s apartment where her roommate was hanging out. We went to some biker bar, sat outside, had a beer, then went home.
I remember remarking that I was tired or not feeling well, then laying down for a second. When I woke up and looked at my watch 12 hours had past. I stood up, said ‘something doesn’t feel right’, stumbled to the couch and passed out again. When I woke up this time another twelve hours had passed. I was really confused; felt horrible and disoriented. I walked to the bathroom and threw up (very rare for me). I then walked back into the room I had been in, fell on the mattress that had been laid out on the floor for me and passed out. I woke up 12 hours later. 36 hours passed in all before I really came to. When I opened my eyes my head was on fire.
I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the following; what I just found in my notebook. Some of these thoughts were new, foreign to me at the time. I know not from where they came. I’ve tried to type it as it was written.
At the times that books and math and friends and schooling and thoughts in general have been constraining or hurtful or just plain unsatisfying I have found much solace in music.
I have seen it as a means to understand, cope, express and relate many things that got lost between the words that I speak and the thoughts in my head. Or even between the thoughts in my head and the emotions, the feelings in my body.
At times music seems to rise out of the depths of me. It comes from somewhere I have never seen or heard of or in any factual sense even know to be absolute. But I have no doubt it exists, for I feel its presence. I am its presence. In many ways it is all that is me. All that manifests in my words and my actions and so much more that I yearn to be in touch with and share with others. Something that rings in the silence of the slowest deepest kiss, that screams in the blind frustrated rage of a fist thrown in desperation. Something intrinsic, something universal and divine. Something I know that I must find.
And so I look to music. Somehow basic and instinctual, yet capable of so much complexity and diversity. A universal bond. Something capable of stirring emotions and sparking desire. So often a way to remember. When there was a pervasive quality to a trip or a night or an event so often is is most commonly recalled by the music that decorated is peaks, that permeated even its silence.
Where does this music come from. Even assuming this deep unifying intangible factor in all of us, we can’t assume that it is music itself that ___ us life.
We are sentient beings. Highly evolved products of billions of years simple, basic, thoughtless needs. Driven surely by instinct as much as any thought or desire. But at some point we developed these ideas, these words. At some point we became aware of our instincts, our needs. We began to formulate and postulate. We began to predict and to plan and to consciously attempt to understand what we need. And to understand our interpreted means to those ends as our wants, our desires. Something fueled by a need, but never a need in and of itself.
At the time of, or simply as a product of this consciousness we developed, we somehow began to create language. A tool. An amazingly powerful tool used to express, to relate, all of these thoughts and desires, discoveries and pains, not only to others, but also to ourselves.
What is all to often forgotten is how much we think using language. We dream using language, and obviously we talk with language. But it seems obvious to me that our minds encompass so much more than that which language is. There must be so much more that language does not yet allow us to express, or even to think about. Pure powerful emotions that seem to encompass so much more than simply fear or hate or desire or even love.
What happens to any very basic and necessary product of sentient life that is a part of us, as conscious beings, but which we can not consciously relate to through language. I project that these things are most prevalent in music. I think that music has helped us to fill the gaps that language has created as we made the jump from pure sentient instinct into consciously formulaic thought. I suggest that in many ways music is our most direct conscious manifestation of our most basic and important bodily functions. The rhythm so inherent in the beating of our heart, something which both regulates and reacts to all that we are, is quite possibly the most vital ingredient in the music that rises from us.
Perhaps when we smell a flower or feel the wind or see a sunset or taste sweet fruit or touch another it causes so much to happen within us that language could never express it all. Maybe the truly simple “natural” creatures can revel in the joy of nature without all of our human inventions and constructions due to the true sentience of their beings. Maybe this attempt to express and relate through language is so much of what makes us feel all of the spaces in our consciousness. And maybe music rose out of a need to fill these spaces.
Maybe music is in many ways our most direct connection to so much of our most neglected, but obviously important inner truths.
I was in a dream at an Integral Salon and we were discussing the difference between rational understanding and ‘knowing’ when these cries of “Budhha” came crashing through and woke me up. Turns out it was Talia, at all of 21 months old, screaming from the other room. I asked Candi if I was hearing her right and she said, ‘yeah, sometimes she says that’.
I’m in Boston this weekend. I drove up with my sister and brother-in-law yesterday. I dropped them off and went to David and Candi’s house to work on our music and hang out with their daughter Talia. Tonight I am going to see my parents in Ashland and then we are taking my mother out to the Top of the Hub for dinner to celebrate her retirement after over 25 years of teaching. I don’t think she’s done yet. She has much left to give in ESL (English as a Second Language)
David and I have been writing songs and preparing to record them this summer. We are going into the studio next weekend to do a preliminary acoustic recording to help us hear what the full production versions of the songs may sound like and also to hand out to other musicians we are going to invite to play on it. Our working title for the project has been Witness (no more DaVerse), but it looks like we are going to end up calling ourselves The Emergence. Here is a list of songs that we are working on/considering for the album. Some of them are working titles.
Stuck in the Middle
It is I
Torn by the Highs
Wake the Dawn
I Before Abraham
One Great Sea
Lost in Place
To die by these Kisses
dum dum beat