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???
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.
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 🙂
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 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 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
It was a rough few months, and somehow, jumping back into the blog thing seemed daunting. I’ve talked so much about the homeless situation (which lasted a month) and the events that surrounded it, that I was just bored with it, but felt like i couldn’t just completely gloss over them and post something that just happened. So I didn’t write anything. I’m gonna attempt a condensed version of the past months so I can move on and start writing again, as exciting things are happening.
I was back in Boston visiting the Wesson’s again over New Years. Dave and I pulled together 5 songs out of the writing experiment, got rejuvenated to continue writing and I got to see Dave and Candi’s beautiful daughter Talia take her first ever steps! I picked up Agape from my ex-girlfriends and found out that she is pregnant.