I’m calling the soundscape “Opticentric” in keeping with the theme. It and the drawing were finished at about the same time.
Here’s a two minute time lapse of a 2.75 hour drawing paired with a two minute guitar tune. The tune comes from a loop I recorded, then did three takes for the lead part and ended up leaving all three takes. Added some swells and percussive elements in post.
This is an experiment in sampling with what I could find in my immediate surroundings. Sound hunting has long been a favorite past time. Last year we were married, and a friend gifted us a bamboo encased chime with metal tongs inside which are struck by a glass bead. I muted the resonance to produce one of the main themes for this tune. Also featured are a deck of cards, a glass of water, a Telecaster, a dice tossed on hardwood flooring, and some pens in a cup, both of which sort of stand in for a snare. Written and recorded in my living room in Olympia, Washington.
Many years ago I had this idea for a song that would be constructed around the premise of a moth waking up on the sensitized body of an acoustic guitar, its wings fluttering on the wood and the strings. This tune is not on an acoustic guitar and is not what I imagined the waking moth tune would sound like, but when I was arranging this, I remembered that old idea and, for whatever reason, loved it. Somehow that image gave extra meaning to the sounds to the guitar lines. It wasn’t so much the image-concept of my right hand playing in a moth-like way (whatever that would be, it will have to wait for another song); it was the strange and elusive attraction of moths to light, their obsessiveness about light…I was definitely thinking of the moth dancing with fate around a candle near the end of the song, when the guitar almost loses structure and coherence. In the drawing, do you see the hidden flame and candle wick?
After being educated in the geology of the Badlands, the traveler is tasked with something peculiar: to make what one sees match what one knows. The various sedimentary layers are color coded for when they were formed. White indicates about 30 million years ago; red indicates about 32 million years ago; grey and yellow about 35; black about 72.
If reconciling such time in a single glance weren’t hard enough, then you find out that we’ve found fossils from alligators and three-toed horses in these fossilized soils. The horse didn’t have a hoof then because three toes did a better job in its environment, which was lush and muddy, i.e., a subtropical rainforest!