My friend Dan Haab did a remix for the first song I posted on this blog. Unfortunately when I was trying to send him the individual tracks I did something really stupid in Ableton, and the upshot is he only really had the guitar tracks to work with. So he transformed the guitars into distant sonic glaciers, and reimagined everything else, adding some appealing Gas-like atmospherics. All of this is pretty fantastic. One of my favorite cards in the Oblique Strategies set suggests to remove whatever you feel is most important about the piece. Creative destruction creates room for richer growth.
César Aira’s novel An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter wrestles with the sort of questions facing an artist in an alien and unfamiliar environment: What is the best way to render this environment intelligible? What does one perspective eliminate from another perspective? How much detail can be sacrificed before there is a critical loss to the total picture? Can an artist do justice to his/her subject material, and simultaneously fulfill the demand of a fickle marketplace?
As the digital world accelerates social transformations everything is thrown into crisis (opportunity and danger); no looking back.
U.S. Route 2 runs along the north of the U.S. and is actually two different highways that are not connected, except by Canada. As far as I know I have never been on Route 2, although there is a possibility that I was on it during a return trip from Quebec. The northern sections of the U.S. are fascinating because for the most part we have little to no cultural cognition of them. We have a very coherent notion of the South, New York, Texas, the Midwest, Louisiana, Miami, the Rockies, Boston, the West Coast, etc. but our northern provinces are largely invisible, full of secrets that hide the fact that they are secrets.
Last night I was at an excellent show at Mighty that started out with some fresh cumbia jams from the always excellent Bersa Disco, and then The Very Best – a collaboration between Radioclit & Esau Mwamwaya. One thing worth pointing out was the video projector at the space was projecting images of safari animals.
(Man, that clip has such a corny Paul Simon vibe)
The juxtaposition of this signifier of Africa with their forward-thinking, very contemporary music makes an obvious enough statement, and you can understand an artist wanting to make this point in the U.S. where the idea of Africa is still very obscure to our minds.
All of which is to say it is great meeting different kinds of people. Allow me to introduce myself by way of sharing music:
As the title suggests, this song was inspired by California’s stunning coastal highway route. It really is as beautiful as everyone says it is. I remember California being described as a collision/amalgamation of islands, and that is why the landscape here is diverse and ecstatic. I think that is a very beautiful metaphor for something, but for what I cannot yet say exactly.