Sunday, 20 November 2016

dark world

he walked out into the gray light and stood
.
and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world
the cold relentless circling of the intestate earth
darkness implacable
.
the blind dogs of the sun in their running
the crushing black vacuum of the universe 
and somewhere two hunted animals trembling 
like ground-foxes in their cover

borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes 
with which to sorrow it

Cormac McCarthy, The Road




d a r k   w o r l d




 
Alpha delta charlie one - mayday.  I repeat mayday
Requesting emergency evac and extraction instruction
I'm lost ... over















night parachuting


Some call it hypnotism, I like/prefer - suggestion ... ok, you're flying over mountains - no idea where you areClose your eyes, you're feeling sleepy - you're seeing something far away and long ago - and yet, right in front of you right now.  Your destiny.

Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology trimetrically opposed - divided in chaotic algorithms nonsensical - mixed signals in a military exercise gone wrong only because what was on the other side was unexpected and deadly.  How was I supposed to know?
 
Years later, haunting dreams, always airborne, so cool - waking yet again - in a cold sweat ... lay of the land - gotta map this.  You will see something different every time you look at it - the whole idea ... multiple viewings are recommended.  Sorry, no contract provision or disclaimer that guarantees your safety, even freedom - just straight up good, clean fun ...













d a r k   w o r l d


 

dedicated to Glen James LaMarche 
(November 27, 1925 - September 12, 2002)













Saturday, 19 November 2016

white kites

this piece was inspired 
by my very first “zen experience” 
there have been a few since
rare - but yes real
all because
of this




w h i t e   k i t e s










 it was early spring 1984
unusually warm, but still that familiar
chill in the air


 my younger brother and i bought two kites 
and on a beautiful Saturday afternoon
 we trekked down to the Thames River near Woodstock - to fly them

Dave always had a way with these things 
as his kite went up effortlessly and in minutes
  he laid back on the grass 
lit up a smoke and watched it sail 
beautifully over the river

  i struggled with mine for at least an hour  
 it crashed several times in a plowed, muddy field
cursing, dirty - fucked - bullshit, oK ... 
here we go

 when i finally did manage to get it up
 (no pun intended)... it wasn’t positioned right
  it was over the field, not the river 
 i continued to struggle with it 
until i eventually lost my patience 
and tied the damned thing to a bush
 not caring if it crashed again






 

 
frustrated, i went for a walk 
along the rivers edge

when i turned to look 
a couple of minutes later 
i was shocked to see that my white kite was gliding beautifully

over the river




w h i t e   k i t e s




my life 
hasn’t been quite the same since




dedicated to my brother - David
and to my Uncle George Enz
Woodstock, Ontario















night parachuting

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of weightlessness.  As a child I remember looking up at the sky and watching birds in flight, the stars at night, kids flying kites - soaring beautifully then falling/plunging down - around and around and down and crashing.  I was drawn to it - riveted by it.  To this day, I dream regularly of falling off of something high up.  Gravity.  Wow.  What's so cool, is having these simple HD video editing tools now.  I can bring this music to the surface and actually show you what I was 'envisioning' when I created it 25 years ago.  It's all about getting closer, to what it feels like - to fall.


Night Parachuting is a contemporary instrumental album dedicated to the art of flying.  In 1992, Night Parachuting was released and it is my most successful album to date.  Various tracks from the album were (still are) featured nightly on CHUM-FM, CHFI-FM in Toronto and on major market stations all across Canada and is my only album available on iTunes.  

























Friday, 18 November 2016

ricepaper dancer

the times, they are a changin'
Bob Dylan





r i c e p a p e r   d a n c e r



 








Searching for the Sunrise

this changes - everything - so crisp, becoming clearer.   welcoming the bigger picture.



We all deserve a home - a place we can call our own - safe and abundant.  Some things ... are timeless.  Certain photographs.  
The one's we always return to - because looking at them -
makes us feel good.

I am astounded with what is going on right now.   There are so many angry people in the world - particularly in America where entitlement is rampant and where greed prevails.  That being said; there are those who know that it's time.  A shift in the direction of the wind, only because of the volume of our newfound disposition - tirelessly seeking peace - restitution - a balancing of the world's psycho-spiritual budget.  I pulled this track up recently, inspired by events transpiring and am compelled to contribute.   Quite simply put - there is a growing consciousness globally that is moving me in a big way - only in that this would appear to be a time when changes are gaining ground and it being obvious that it's just a matter of time - before we find our home again.

Ricepaper Dancer was originally recorded in 1985 and was featured on my second A&M/Univeral Music album - Searching for the Sunrise, then on my subsequent independent album - Night Parachuting.  It was the opening/closing theme for the nationally syndicated evening contemporary instrumental radio program, "Steps Ahead" from 1988-1991.  I am pleased to present you with a visual to the music, assembled here at home in a few hours today, September 27th, 2015.

This is my way of saying thank-you for listening.








 

flute by Jody Terio
alto sax by Jon Panchyshyn




Thursday, 17 November 2016

leave a LIGHT on


in the darkness
before the dawn
in the swelling
of this storm

I often wondered - when I was in my 20's
what music would sound like
in 30 years

what life will be like
now here









I'm a fleeting fox in a fragrant forest - ears up
sensing instability, sensing remorse
tripping the light. I'm on-line
 alone - sensing danger 

over there



I beg, borrow and steal, it's what I do - we do 

voices in the embers - tick tock, fading
haunting me and yet I listen still
because it's important
the reverberation
visitation

in my dreams
those I miss
most
 


sinister systems - twister tornados - in line
at Tim Hortons - orders misread
underpaid brown people - right

send it - them back

the Afghan mission was just
an expensive expression
 


millions are
lost from home
in the swelling
swelling on
running round and with a thunder
to bleed from thorns
leave a light, a light on







  


"wait a minute! 
I ordered fake cheese and mustard on this"  
faaaaak - bullshit

where's good service anymore?


sometimes I go away
for a long, long time
but I come home 
eventually
 


the takeaway - is positive change
a shift in consciousness 

we men need to change
hanging on to the horrific horror
in our duty-free damage control default detox
destiny disturbance drifter dreamer detainment

derailment disclaimer

a tragic trajectory written on tireless tombstones
some call it karma - I call it careless

in the darkness before the dawn
in the swelling
of this storm


need to concentrate
no interruptions 

go away

submersed in liquid learning
leaning forward into
soft keystrokes

lamenting










when I'm rolling with the thunder 
but bleed from thorns

sometimes I get swept away
by all this - and I write
on rusted mechanisms
in places I shouldn't
be - let's just say

it helps me
stay focused
sharp


great art is taking something different in
every time you let it in and yet
 remaining a tad chilly
in the aftermath

resistance is
futile

that unseen twist in the triangle
a terrible tragedy

ok, it's dark and it's late
there are strange sounds
out there - lost again 
radio's busted
flying solo 

crash and burn
falling again

"ouch" 

thank god I have 
night vision 

only it does me no good
right here, right now 










trapping fur
methodically
purifies

before the dawn
in the darkness
before the dawn
leave a light, a light on


early 1984 - settling back, electro-static headphones on
wondering what music will sound like
in 30 years, missing the magic

life is a tapestry
connecting the dots is something that comes with time

wisdom is acquired - trust is earned
ya - I'm old




l e a v e  a  L I G H T  o n


 
missing home
don't know where that is anymore 
pressing on



austerity aqualung acquisition acquiescing
illumination on dry land approaching - night parachuting
over water first and then arriving
careening then crashing
red rain 


into the trees
dangling

dripping


lost

 






Wednesday, 16 November 2016

requiem


 i'm not afraid of your suffering
i'm not afraid of your joy
i'm not afraid of your hunger ... your desire
i'm not afraid of your rage
i'm not afraid of your love
i'm not afraid of your lies ... or your truth
or of the prisons you choose to live inside


e  q  u  i  e  m


i see you
i feel you
i need you
i love you














nuclear winter
"doctor - just give me something"

I'm cold - need heat

it's a dream I keep having

magic mushrooms
in a bad trip
make it go
away
  

i am become death
the destroyer of worlds
 J. Robert Oppenheimer







temple redux

 

Feral/stray rescue dogs and cats make the best friends.  It's a "thank you" that transcends the spirit - lover arrive.  That look when you feed them - touch them.   If all you can see is what doesn't work, then you will live in a world where nothing works. 

It's all so simple really - you do what you want to do - what feels right, then whatever happens, just happens.  If people get itIt's just a bonus.  If not - then you let go and move on.  I just really need to create stuff like this, because it rings true, to me.   

First the music, then years later (and with new tools), the pictures.  I'd like to think that it's a unique perspective, that means something - (even if it's just to me).  We Canadians are so afraid.  I've seen it first-hand, reading hundreds of posts/threads on the CBC website over the past week.  I really like going there to look, because it's a psycho-social barometer that measures the spirit of us.  We are scared shitless after the ISIS bombings in Paris - questioning the Muslim faith.  Many Canadians are like those who slow down to gawk at the carnage but won't get out of our cars to actually help anyone.  Not something we want any part of.

No.  We don't want to live like that - die like them.  So keep them AFAP (as far as possible).   HOW are we supposed to do this - and what if they kill us after we let them in?  I mean WTF, "do I look like a tampon to you"?





 




change

In late 1988, I went to see a film, “The Last Temptation of Christ”, knowing little about it other than it was Scorsese - and that’s all I needed to know.   When the film began, I was immediately struck by the soundtrack/music which hypnotized me until the end of it and saw the music composer credit … Peter Gabriel (right of course).  I was fascinated by the cross-pollination of ambient tones blended with tribal rhythms, exotic reeds/winds/voices all leaving me spellbound/transfixed and riveted for weeks/months, even years to follow.  I was already a big Gabriel fan … this was over the top amazing!   I had been listening to vinyl discs up until then and none of the 'Passion' pressings translated so I ended up buying my first CD player in 1989 and I was blown away, listening to this album that he released (film soundtrack), over and over again through my STAX electrostatic headphones. 

I'm thinking that this mix of sounds was going to take off and I loved it so here we go - gathering ethnic samples and laying down tragic rhythms, very new - a bigger picture.  Then there was Gabriel's WOMAD (1984-1988).  It was an ethnic music fusion festival touring world-wide that fizzled (not enough white sugar - guessing).  World music was just more interesting. 

I started experimenting with this "new world" music genre at home in my studio electronically with samples (early 90’s) - mixing in real instruments (musicians I met who were into same), eventually receiving for a grant from Toronto Arts Council to record and FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record) for overdubbing and mixing between 1994 and 1996 when the first draft of the album was released on CD.   One condition on receiving the $12K FACTOR loan was that I needed to deliver 50 CD’s to their office within 90 days of issuing the funds or they would recall the loan.   So now there’s a deadline and that killed it.  I delivered the box of CD’s to their office but the album was nowhere near being finished.   The project (in it’s unfinished state) received a luke-warm response and I shelved it for 6 years, having run out of funding/inspiration and no way to continue.  


Granted, Temple was/is a very strange, dark creature.  People generally had no idea what to make of it and it was/is impossible to categorize anymore.  As brilliant as Gabriel's "Passion" was, it was delegated to the 'film soundtrack' bin/back of the music store and it was his least successful work as a composer/performer.  I still had to release the album, IN the timeline I was given. 










It was my last plunge - I did it and it hurt lots - but it's finished ...

My requiem for a dream ...

When Pro-Tools LE was released (desktop digital audio workstation) in 2002, I pulled Temple out, dusted it off, loaded it all into my Mac computer and spent 4 years dissecting/editing and polishing it at home.  In 2011, I remastered it using WAVE plug-ins and was proud to say in April 2012 that Temple was finally DONE (now Temple Redux), after finishing the artwork myself.  The prose, "I'm not afraid ...", (top) was performed/spoken (gargoyles) by Toronto vocalist Alla Kadysh in Russian-Jewish/Hebrew.  Voices in Requiem by Jim Lamarche and Pedro Aznar who went on to perform with Pat Metheny.  Winds and electronic reeds by Ron Allen.  Fretless bass and Chapman Stick by the brilliant Toronto musician/composer, the late Alun Davies who took his own life in 2008.

Requiem is dedicated to my friend Alun.  His talent/gift always astounded me ...
http://www.jazzworkscanada.com/the-tune-up-blog-archive/new-jazzworks-scholarship-honours-alun-davies 

So, can an album of music actually take 18 years to make?  This one did.  The clip was recently created to commemorate the project featuring Requiem and Gargoyles, the first two tracks on the album.




Tuesday, 15 November 2016

nocturne

take this kiss upon the brow
and in parting from you now
thus much let me avow …
you are not wrong who deem
that my days have been a dream



n o c t u r n e









yet if hope has flown away
in a night or in a day
in a vision or in none
is it therefore the less gone?

all that we see or seem
is but a dream within a dream

i stand amid the roar
of a surf-tormented shore
and I hold within my hand
grains of the golden sand …
how few! yet how they creep
through my fingers to the deep
while I weep … while I weep
oh God! can I not save
one from the pitiless wave?

is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream


edgar allan poe





and so it began

 









spearmint lake

it's what I saw - when I looked up and out, and for once in my life, it felt like I was in the loop.



In May 1992, I received an Ontario Arts Council grant to fly into a remote lake in northern Ontario to record an ambient album.  


Spearmint Lake is about 40km northeast of Chapleau Ontario, high up on a ridge surrounded by towering cliffs of centuries old limestone and an open sky - no roads to this place and no one around.  I rented a generator and a van - some gear and packed up my studio - some synths, my Apple Macintosh “MacPlus” computer/Performer MIDI sequencer, some expensive microphones and headed north that August having absolutely no idea what I was doing.  The $9000, I received from the grant allowed me a short window to go up there for 7 days to explore the possibilities that summer.  My brother David and I had visited the lake the previous August fishing (monster pike) - we were totally alone in a humble tent camp with a 14 foot aluminum boat and a 10hp motor - it was amazing/breathtaking!  Spooky, especially after dark.  A quiet fire crackling on the only tiny sand beach near the tent - looking up into that sky - beyond words.  We had front row seats to the universe, knowing I had to return.  I wondered how amazing it would be, to have a recording studio up here - on the water!   Right - one of my many musical fantasies at the time.

When we landed on the calm lake (about 2km across) in our beaver aircraft a year later, our familiar camp had been torn up by a bear and I was a tad freaked out, spending the first day repairing the tent and setting up.  The idea was to build a raft that could hold my gear - powered by the generator which was buried back in the woods and a super long (heavy duty) power cable on styrofoam floatations so I could set up my synths and send drones out in the lake (to record the amazing circular echoes coming back) with PA speakers and 1000 watt amps, and capturing it all with an ambisonic mic (surround) into a portable DAT recorder (drifting 100 meters away on a canoe), so I could bring it all back to Toronto and properly mix it in a real recording studio.










I remember the first time there, standing in the boat and loudly projecting a long musical note and listening to the echos going around the lake both directions for about 30-40 seconds.  It sent shivers up our spines - so quiet, so dark - so haunting - almost unreal.  Ok, Spearmint Lake (the album) was ambitious,  I'll give it that but it didn’t quite work as expected.  The lake-drone stuff was useless BUT WOW - what happened in that tent over the time I was there?  Incredible and unforgettable.  Candles burning at 2am - always an ear out for what might be a returning bear that could tear through that tent like a hot knife through butter.  Best part - going back to the generator at 4am (alone) to put gas in the it with a flashlight - creepy/riveting!  I didn’t sleep the whole time I was there - didn’t need to.  I had been fortunate in taking in the Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois ambient masterpiece “Apollo” a few short years earlier, recorded at Grant Avenue Studio, Hamilton, having actually been at the studio producing a pop album for the Halifax band Screaming Trees and got to be around the making of Apollo in it’s later (mix) stages and it inspired me only I wanted mine to be different - a project that took a few years to realize and was a real stretch.  I wasn’t sure exactly … only knowing it had to be outdoors - same mood, different smell. Accessing the dream-state with the intent of documenting it aurally/visually.  

The lake had a sound all it's own.  A single family of loons on the lake and their calls were really out of this world ... chilling.  Being there even just with microphones/recorders was a real treat.  Problem was - the weather was disagreeable, raining most of the time so I didn’t get to do the lake stuff.  I did get set up twice out on the lake but it was overwhelming technically - didn't foresee that.    I set up the main studio in the tent (my contingency plan), hoping the bear wouldn’t return; (right - wishful thinking - yes it did on day 5 and I stayed out on the raft overnight from then on).  No sleep (ok little).  First 4 days were the best.

On the first night I was there after a long day of set-up - I sat on the lakes edge as the sun went down and got to see the most spectacular light-show I’d ever seen as it got darker - up in the sky.  Later that evening very late, I stepped inside my tent and started recording synth drones in the temporary tent studio I had set up and mixing in the SFX I’d captured earlier in the day in samples loaded into my Roland S550 sampler.  I recorded Aurora Borealis in about an hour.  That’s what I did the whole time I was there essentially - recording nature out in the woods - getting wet but worth it, then making music in the tent studio.  Magic.  All very crude but it worked.  Over the following week, I was all inspired by this amazing place.  Two years later, I finished Spearmint Lake in my home studio on Westminster Ave, Parkdale Toronto and remastered it in 2013.  These two tracks are the opening pieces on the album.

Some of these pictures in the clip were taken by me and others gathered from the internet just recently - August 2015 (23 years later).  It takes me back to a time when I was on top of my game.  Shaking/shivering out in the middle of nowhere and shaking at what was totally unknown - ok not knowing if this project would ever become a reality (or if I’d be around to tell this story). 


So yeah, the whole idea is to listen to the clip whilst reading.





 
It was a fascinating time of my life.  I was 36 years old and I felt like a kid - a child - in love with life doing what I loved doing.  Sleeping for days after getting back - mixing for months/years afterwards. 

Bringing this back - brings ME back.  The universe is sending me a message and I'm passing it along.  Tripping the light ...


This is a snapshot of a place where no-one lives - anymore




click to enlarge maps







.