Sometimes I get fed up with the printed word and either descend into my basement lair and slap paint on Dollar Store canvases, or haul my MIDI keyboard up to the office and make weird noises for a week or so.
Then the spell passes, my Muse relents and the words (and voices) return.
Here’s my latest audio concoction, dubbed “Prayer For the Dead”.
It was created in recognition of mortality and aging, the impact of the COVID epidemic, the uncertain future humans face on a world that grows more and more inhospitable to us…
Call it “dark ambient” and approach with caution.
Yours truly will be making an appearance at the Strata Festival of New Music at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
Along with visual and performing artists, I’ll be offering my response—through poetry—to the three musical compositions making their debut that evening. I’ve never done anything like this before, so it should make for an entertaining and nerve-wracking evening.
Details below and here’s a link to Strata’s official page.
I have been privileged to have Jackie Latendresse and her Free Flow Dance company use numerous pieces of my music in their performances. I treasure that relationship and am always amazed by the interpretations and insight they bring to my work.
Later this week, they’ll be presenting to the public and if you’re in the Saskatoon area, I hope you’ll attend. Modern dance has never been more entertaining and impressive. Give it a chance and support a wonderful, original company of dancers and choreographers.
Yes, I’ve been ensconced in my office-slash-recording studio, concocting more strange music with no audience or venue in mind.
Just fucking around on my MIDI keyboard and seeing what I can come up with.
Quite pleased by this latest batch o’ tunes, especially the very first cut, “Ominous IV”, which wouldn’t be out of place as the main title track of the next “Alien” movie.
Here’s the tune in question and if you want to listen to the entire EP, go to my BandCamp page (everything there is FREE, no strings attached, honest) and download away.
The Free Flow Dance Company (Saskatoon) will be holding their annual gala performance in November (23-25th).
This year, Jackie Latendresse and her amazing troupe of dancers will be employing around 40 minutes of music from my “Pensees” release (listen to it on BandCamp). They’ve used my stuff before and I’m always amazed by their creativity and insight. They intuitively draw meaning from the work, using movement and visualizations to express so much more than the music could manage on its own.
I’m honored to participate in such a worthy event.
Here are the details:
Actually, there are a couple of milestones to mention:
I turned 55 this past week and this happens to be my 500th blog post.
Time to celebrate.
Today I’ve posted a new album on my BandCamp page, over forty minutes of original music, titled Non nobis solum (“Not for ourselves alone”). You can find the new tunes here.
If I had to choose one of the new pieces to highlight, it would have to be “Drowning, Not Waving”. Have a listen:
This new batch of music seems more spiritual than spacey, a welcome change of pace.
Besides creating music, I’ve been doing lots of painting, spending part of the summer setting up a mini artist studio in our cold, stone basement. Ensconced in my wee grotto, I daub and smear, accompanied by music and podcasts, working without fear, philosophy or prejudice, just…creating. Making shit up. That’s when I’m happiest.
I employed one of my recent paintings as cover art for Non nobis solum. See what I mean? That’s the kind of weird crap I get up to when I’m left to my own devices.
Thanks to one and all, for hanging out here for the past 10+ years, continuing to support an irascible, uncompromising indie guy with a taste for satire and a propensity for giving offense.
Love your notes and messages, your praise and brickbats.
Keep ’em coming…
I added some background music tracks for dramatic effect and I think this performance is an excellent teaser for the book.
If you want to hear audio renditions of more poems from the collection, recorded back in 2016 at the ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus, go to my “Other Media” page and scroll down a bit; you’ll find it.
This blog is approaching its 500th post and, of course, I have something special planned to mark the occasion.
Watch this space.
Five hundred posts, eleven years of maintaining Beautiful Desolation…that’s a lot of time (and words and music and rants).
Couldn’t do it without you, folks, your support, your public responses and private messages.
Enjoy this snippet—there’s much, much more to come:
My personal sales copies of The Algebra of Inequality have arrived and I’ve been signing like a madman, getting my orders out, packaging up review copies, etc. Folks are buying multiple copies, gifts for friends and family, perhaps encouraged that this selection of poetry isn’t as dark and brooding as previous efforts.
Wanted to post the flier Sherron designed to send out to booksellers and libraries. If this doesn’t draw some interest, I dunno what will:
And one last reminder that the Free Flow Dance Company will be performing a number of new works, based on some music I sent them earlier this year. Director Jackie Latendresse promises an evening of sublime entertainment, set to some of the oddest, er, “melodies” you’re likely to hear.
The show is in Saskatoon on Saturday night (June 16th) and doors open at 7:30. Ticket info, etc. can be found in a previous post, just scroll down and you’ll find it…
Coming up later this month, the Free Flow Dance Company in Saskatoon will be workshopping new pieces, employing some music I recorded earlier this year.
If you’re available on June 16th (Bloom’s Day), come see some innovative, exciting performances and, simultaneously, support talented Canadian artists at the top of their game.
Every year I try to come up with something special to post on this blog during the holiday season.
It’s my way of saying “thank you” to the freaks and geeks and shoe-gazers who pop in between trips to their shrink and long, meandering walks going nowhere.
At last count, this blog had something like eight hundred (800) followers and tons of other folks who drop by when the mood strikes them. To hear my latest rant on some personal or professional pet peeve.
National Novel Writing Month…
Don’t get me started.
This year I’ve decided to post a batch of new music on BandCamp, stuff you can, needless to say, listen to and download for absolutely nuttin’. We’re talking about forty minutes of my ambient work, short snippets I’ve assembled into an album I’ve dubbed Pensées.
You can find the album in its entirety here.
Here’s the first cut, just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about: