My friend Jesse (Giant Frame member #1, extraordinary human, and extra-terrestrial drummer) challenged me recently to make an entire album in one week. I had been slow-cooking this idea to score some pieces of one of the live-streamed ISS spacewalks, and there happened to be not one but THREE in October, so I decided to take on his challenge and disappeared into a week of nothing but this: there is some space below that. A million thanks to my good friend Lucy, whose voice will send chills down your spine when you hear it on a few of these pieces, and also to my partner-in-actualization, who cheered me on even when she was sleeping (badly) and I was playing the trumpet (badly).
Giant Frame is another word for Me, when I'm feeling rectangular.
Today I'm releasing the second installment of my popular series of video games based entirely on the popular series of YA novels by the same name. The hundred headless woman will even smile in her sleep in order that Loplop will smile at the phantoms. Play it here!
When I released Desert Gestalt, I also published a collection of colors and lines and poems that you might have seen if you downloaded the album. Ever since then, I've wished there was a way to bundle those other things up with the music in one tightly-wrapped, super-convenient, don't-have-to-download-anything place. Ergo, The Desert Gestalt Web Experience 2.0!
Well, almost new. A month ago, I had a physical-copies-only release of Fair Mariner, my funk-, soul-, arctic-, and electro-inspired historical fiction project. We had a mallemaroking, a collective gyration. Shantys were sung, bootys were shaken. But it's time now to let go of the ropes entirely. You can purchase or listen to it here.
I'm debuting another album of my own music today, a smaller, stranger experiment. In 2012, I was given an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the University of Utah's Rio Mesa Center field station for a sound art project that I had proposed, and this is the result. It's called Desert Gestalt, a name I quite like for the way it tumbles around in my mouth, and also for its multiplicity of meaning (dryness, sparseness, biological specialization, and occasional landscape-rending change as minimalist formal aesthetic; a harsh, delicate, desolate, matryoshka-doll wholeness; a kind of psychotherapy offered by an old woman in a cave on the grounds of the Rio Mesa Center in the 1970s). All of the sounds were recorded at the field station. All of the pieces were composed on the computer, back at home. It's collage music, snuggling on the floor under borrowed sheets at a birthday sleep-over with found-sound, folk and electronic music.* I encourage you to download it if you're interested in listening, as the download comes with a little PDF of related non-maps and stacked poems. It's free, or pay-what-you-like, here.
I feel glad, and a bit disoriented, to be releasing these projects simulutaneously. They represent two very different traveling companions with whom I've been sloshing down divergent paths through the Cacophonous Bog of Pitch. It's hard to see one expedition from the other, but I get glimpses, on fuliginous nights of a certain opacity, that keep me from sleeping.