New music (& other bouts of hyperactivity)

Feeling giddy and celebratory of late and who can blame me?

I’m got a brand new book on the way, the most important people in my life are healthy and reasonably happy…oh, and I mustn’t forget that the fifth anniversary of this blog is rolling around. St. Patrick’s Day marks the unofficial birthday of Beautiful Desolation—raise a pint of Guinness in honor of a site that’s managed to beat the odds. Five years and still going strong. Surely that’s worth a toast or two, innit?

Today I put the finishing touches on a CD’s worth of ambient material and added it to my Audio page. Forty-six minutes of my oddball offerings; “Emanations” features some genuinely whacked out and trippy music. I’ve posted a 3-song sampler below. Check out my audio page for several hours of music and spoken word pieces, all of it available for FREE listening:

Emanations II


Seventh Sense

And while I’ve been waiting for the proof of The Last Hunt, I’ve been cleaning up my office, prepping it for the next project on my plate. Finally settling down and doing some reading as well, including a novelette by the great Jim Shepard.

Attended “Silence is Golden” at the Roxy Theater in Saskatoon and posted about it on my film blog. I’ve vowed to go on a reading and movie watching binge now that my book is done. My wife and kids are skeptical but I truly intend to ease up on the workload for awhile. Kick back and relax. Surely a few hours of leisure won’t kill me…will it?

Bit of sad news today as I was trolling through headlines.  Ralph McQuarrie has passed away. Serious “Star Wars” fans will know exactly who I’m talking about. I remember seeing some of his production paintings in science fiction magazines like Starlog long before the film came out. George Lucas gives McQuarrie a good deal of the credit for the eventual look of his movie. Let’s hear it for ol’ Ralph. He helped imagineer a whole franchise. There aren’t many who can say that…


  1. Karen Williams

    Congrats on 5 years. You’ve accomplished a lot and done some remarkable work. It’s been particularly intriguing to see how you’ve incorporated technology. I have listened to a few of your spoken word pieces (and will continue to – but I like listening to just one or two at a time), and was astonished at how many emotions and stories are evoked within the 57 seconds of “July 20, 1969”. Also, the line “bailing out with Amelia Earhart” has stuck with me from “Never”. It will have me thinking for awhile. Looking forward to reading/listening to more.

  2. Cliff Burns

    The spoken word/performance aspect of my work has definitely taken a leap forward (one giant step?) with the new technologies that allow me to record my tales/poems and add music and sound effects as well. And then release them for folks to listen to on whatever gadget they choose. That’s exciting. And I will continue to make most of my recorded work available for FREE, in the hope that people will listen to it and be impressed enough to invest in my longer efforts (short story collections, novels, etc.).

    That’s the theory, anyway.

    Thanks for lending your ear to the on-going experiment…

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