My latest review is of Tanya Holtland’s full-length poetry collection, Requisite, out by Platypus last year. This book is a follow-up to the chapbook Inner River, which I enjoyed immensely when it came out a few years ago. The review is featured at North of Oxford.
I have just finalized two incredibly strange audio tracks, accompanied/carried by two incredibly strange video tracks.
The first features footage recorded in Ellensburg, Washington–specifically the lovely Irene Rinehart Waterfront Park. I don’t really have an explanation for the audio (which is probably for the best, honestly). I will say that I did include the waterfall’s audio track last minute, which adds a certain bass/ambient effect to the otherwise crippling synths. You can watch the video on YouTube (or via the embed below) and you can listen to the audio on Bandcamp.
The second piece features footage from Ancient Lakes, an area I recently returned to after a couple of years when I camped there with some artist friends. The footage has been heavily manipulated but you may encounter some high desert water features and flora if you look carefully. I have also opted into using a visual noise effect, which ended up getting pixelated in the export (so I’m happy!). The audio was similarly created in Ableton, and features a previously-unused rain recording from the December trip to Friday Harbor Labs/San Juan Island. I decided to use some background panning for the first time in a track, which might become a new staple for me. You can watch the video on YouTube as well, and the audio is also available on Bandcamp.
In what has become a new 2021 tradition, I have completed my next video and music work, though I hesitate to call it a “music video.” Relying on Komplete Kontrol’s Mikro Prism, and a ton of effects, I have found a certain harmony with the noise I’m turning up. I suppose harmony in this regard concerns my own mental well-being, and the joy I get out of arrangement/composition and listening after the fact. It has always been my goal to create tracks that resonate with me after, that are akin to what I would want to listen to in the genre. I get closer.
The audio track can be found on my Bandcamp page here.
As for the video, it is hopefully the last video I have to create using Premiere. I have a HitFilm app installed and rearing to go for the next project. The footage is taken directly from Biscayne Bay, located in/adjacent to Miami, Florida. In perhaps the most non-Biscayne way possible, I have used certain mesmerizations to illuminate patterns and restlessness of this shallow waterscape.
The video can be found on YouTube here, and is also below.
A review of a fascinating Swedish feminist poet has just been published in Rain Taxi. Why not read my review of I walk around gathering up my garden for the night by Marie Lundquist today?
A new musical track and video have been published on YouTube and Bandcamp. Kachess Lake is a track based on an experience snowshoeing at said Cascadian lake in January 2021. The track is dynamically different in terms of tone and construction from other recent tracks. An experiment in layers, chords, dissonance, Massive, and reverb+EQ, I have attempted to slightly slow down my production sequence with this project.
As for the video, the footage was taken directly from Kachess Lake. The quirky, pixelated video effects were added in the default Windows 10 “Video Editor” app.
My continuation continues. It persists. The audio, the derangement, the seeking. In “Waves Track,” I continue the ongoing intensities I encountered in “Cloud Track,” but this time I have gone further, dived deeper, made my mania clearer.
“Waves Track” can be watched via the music video below, which features three clips overlaid in a subtle but entrancing intention. The three clips were all recorded from a recent trip to Rialto Beach, on the Olympic Peninsula.
As with “Cloud Track,” “Waves Track” is on Bandcamp. The description says it all (or nothing):
“Inspired by Merzbow, Sonic Youth, Oneohtrix Point Never, with a general nostalgia for noise and industrial.”
Watch the music video on YouTube, in a soothing 1080p, below.
Sometimes experimentation crosses boundaries. Historically I have divided much of my literary, audio, and visual/video work categorically to allow for sense-making and efficiencies in output. This has been machine-like and in some ways has kept me from going further into the “interdisciplinary” realms many artists work within. Last year’s videos Boulder River Aphorisms, Oceanic Triptych, and Thorough Water all combined some of the approaches listed above, but I have never looked at my experimental music/audio work connecting with video so fluidly. Bring in the “music video” concept, and some new hardware technology, and I’ve started to explore a little beyond my previous works.
Below is “Cloud Track,” which is a “song” created for a video. The music uses no field recordings, though that is something I hope to do with whatever I work on next; instead utilizing samples and instruments from digital libraries. The video footage is from some time-lapses I took recently on San Juan Island. Even the most abstract moments of the “Cloud Track” video are derivative from that footage, using some diffusion blending and my typical manipulation of brightness and contrast settings. It’s clearly an extension of my GIF work, as well (surprising? not surprising?).
As for the audio? I’ve added it to Bandcamp, and as stated there, it’s “[m]y first foray into leaving field recordings for digital libraries of samples and instruments. Inspired by a couple of time-lapse videos recording in the San Juan Islands, and the music of Gas and Einstürzende Neubauten.
I’m proud to say it’s available in 1440p, too–something I intend to do with all my upcoming short videos. Enjoy!
My second full-length, printed book has appeared.
I am excited to announce the release of my next poetry publication Green Axes! Thanks to Red at Alien Buddha Press for agreeing to work with me on the poems and the overall structure of the book. As the title of this post suggests, these poems are derived from shadow and expanse. They are horrific and they are pastoral, sourced from a handful of local meditations and remote travel episodes.
You can read some of the poems from Green Axes in this Alien Buddha showcase.
The book is available to order via Amazon.
This has been a long time coming. I first wrote these poems while living in the Greenhouse, the same apartment I wrote the poems in my six-part Construction series. Pondering the intersections of stasis and outward movement (pre-pandemic, no less!), I came up with several sequences of works that captured both confessional sentiment and a more tempered, objective experience. I intentionally approached these poems through a lens of horror and a tongue of cynicism, though I think neither captures the full range of the inevitable language.
An amassing of poems, a pseudo-collection. I released the predecessor, Green Axis, which is available for free (via open license), and immediately felt the need to gut this scope, this range, and carve it into something more precise, an embodiment of the zone I was seeking to know. The editing process became the next landscape and captured what I originally felt in the poems. Green Axes represents those hacked and chopped actions and processes and is the true collection, the core.
I have never really felt confident about a home for this collection. I set the poems aside but held them as a weight or lure in the digital archive–this feels long ago. Alien Buddha appeared with aligned aesthetics, more so than previously. And now here we are.
On another note, these poems were written before the poems in Of Spray and Mist, so seeing their release also comes with a healthy dose of bafflement regarding texture and the inward identity contained in any writing. Time is that moment of the horrific, that strange reflection, I suppose! In tandem and in conjunction, I feel the books rest well with one another: they both represent a couple (but not all) key facets of my writing and reveal values, interests, and (on a simpler note) different styles that I have practiced as an active writer.
I’m overjoyed to see this new collection come to fruition.
In anticipation of some inbound sonic hardware, I’ve started fooling around, once again, with Ableton and some of my “field recordings.” In this case, the field in question was a kitchen, and the recording is of a coffee pot. Classic, no? My ongoing observations and curiosities of EQ and other audio properties/manipulation, by way of video tutorials galore, has allowed me to expand my capacity to create very strange sounds indeed. Ideally these will go somewhere, when the hardware mentioned above arrives, and the scale of the sounds will also grow.
The following are two sets of self portraits I took while on San Juan Island last month. This was the first time I created a low-budget photography studio, and the first time I ritualized photography concerning the physical human body as the main theme/subject. As explored below in Memory forms, movement accompanied each of the forms (or poses) that I created and worked through. The forms themselves remain secret, a language that was used to inform the project but not define the output to the external viewers.
In the second sequence, Further Forms, I have created various forms of amalgamations of the Memory Forms, using some fairly basic blending techniques. The resulting abstract forms were the result of an inquiry on the forms within photography’s editing process.
Consumption and immersion. The pandemic upped the ante on the screen experiences. Add on a new VR kit and there were many new worlds in my life this year. Here are the best. I’ve included the 8s, 9s, and 10s in both category (movies and games), and it does seem like my interests continue to both expand and refine each year.
I listened to 1,098 albums this year. I know this because I obsessively track all the music I listen to, and I mostly focus on listening to full albums. This is something I’ve been doing for years now, and it’s clear the music train just isn’t going to quit. What I find profound in one year I intentionally listen to a second time the following year. “Profound” is pretty arbitrary, much like a five star scale, and so I’ve limited my analyses of any given album to a binary approach: an album is either profound and exciting or, well, not. Here’s a list, for the curious, of all the albums I identified as profound for this year (out of that 1,098, there’s a total of 322, which includes the unlisted 2004’s Madvillainy in honor of the late MF Doom). The list is in alphabetical order by the artist’s name.
I read a lot this year. 130 books to be exact. Many of them were amazing. Most were informative and educational. They’ve set me off on many new paths as a reader–arguably more new paths than any other time in my adult life. Could the pandemic be to thank for this surge? Perhaps. I also think there’s been some major shifts in my life recently that have inspired me to go further and understand more about the many perspectives that surround us. And audio books. The Libby app has never been so approachable and wide-reaching. Being able to read while commuting and hiking has been a marvelous gift.
In any case, here is the list. The top section are my “five star” books (as per Goodreads) and after that are the rest.
I have a review in the latest Rain Taxi print edition. This one is for Mike Soto’s A Grave is Given Supper. Order a copy of Rain Taxi here.