Category Archives: transient lines


[aired] Kites Riding Waves

[edit: Watch here. Playback disabled on external sites. Maybe that’s one reason the video only has 17 views a/o 23 June 2019… :^D]

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Lac du Der ‘station nautique’ France.

Natuur en recreatie, genoeg te beleven voor een weekendje weg.
Ondanks het koude weer toch nog een uurtje gevliegerd met de Freilein.

Nature and recreation, enough to experience for a weekend away.
Despite the cold weather, still flying an hour with the Freilein.

Music: Westy Reflector – ‘Riding Waves’

The Internet is at its best when shared passions become community. When the net first started to gain cultural traction, smack was talked, of course, but digital space wasn’t a tool of division, so much as a journey of discovery and connections. It was a weird (in the best way) and wonderful window into what other people were thinking and doing, made even better when the most obscure and arcane pursuit saw a light of day in ways no other communication system in human history allowed. Net 1.0 was a network of tangible dreams built by concrete dreamers. The physicality of the network itself was way more evident, too: the iconic modem handshake sound; the wires into your computer; the relentless arrival AOL discs in your mailbox…

“You’ve got mail,” indeed.

It was work to get online, but a few dreamers did the heavy lifting and posted sites, or created and managed email listservs. All of a sudden, within a few years, anyone who did anything could find a critical mass. For example, a kite enthusiast’s passion no longer had to exist in a vacuum or in a mythology, or stay beholden to local flying groups, random beach encounters, or obscure magazines.

This week, a Creative Commons use of my song Riding Waves [disquiet0066], off my 2013 album Transient Lines, took me into the world of kite flying. Holland-based YouTube channel Powerkiting took to a nature preserve in France, and soared a Freilein Vertigo Framed Quadline Yellow kite soundtracked with Riding Waves.

Freilein kites are among the more high-end, complicated, sophisticated flyers, sewn by master sailmakers, and retail for around $180. The dedicated kite flyer is no mere hobbyist, but a true outdoor sportsperson, in tune with wind, sun, climate, and terrain. The pursuit has its own language. A quick dive into the world brought surface knowledge of “handles,” and “lines,” and “knot settings;” What it means if a kite becomes “brake heavy.” Some flyers feel sensations with their eyes closed through their handles and know exactly what the kite is doing in the air.

Untitled

That the narration and intro of the video are in Dutch, and that I don’t understand a single word, is all the better. Sometimes listening to and/or watching someone demonstrate their passion in a foreign language brings you to the pure essence of their pursuit. The tone; the smiles, the laughter, the furrowing of brows at something serious, the dreaming faraway gazes, the connection to the greater. It’s all there, in a borderless communication.

One of the more famous kite flyers in history, Benjamin Franklin, had this to say about his Kite Experiment, wherein he proved the connection between lightning and electricity (in 18th Century English, which sometimes presents an air of impenetrability):

As soon as any of the Thunder Clouds come over the Kite, the pointed Wire will draw the Electric Fire from them, and the Kite, with all the Twine, will be electrified, and the loose Filaments of the Twine will stand out every Way, and be attracted by an approaching Finger. And when the Rain has wet the Kite and Twine, so that it can conduct the Electric Fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the Key on the Approach of your Knuckle.

This sounds like what happens when I play the guitar. Perhaps a kite is a single string instrument…

In any event, I treasure this video for all it reminds me. On one level, it serves as a reminder of why I release all my music as Creative Commons. It also layers on a reminder of all the good stuff the internet can still bring. The net doesn’t have to be ping-pong political noise. It can still be a place where you just share your love of the wind. Wind lovers united.

bridgehampton flyer, 2014

As a sidenote, Riding Waves was a “posthumous collaboration” with talented Indiana-based musician Jeffrey Melton, who recorded as nofi and passed away in 2013 at the age of 42. He was an early and prolific contributor to the Disquiet Junto, and one of my first friends on Soundcloud. For this track, Junto members all took a piece from a long live Nofi set, and played along live with it. Every time this track’s CC license use pops up in my alerts, it brings back memories of too-cursory electronic interactions I had with nofi, and the bittersweet elegiac joy I had recording the song.

Kites. Who knew?

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SOURCE TRACK


[review] insomnia radio: one city

Insomnia Radio’s Charles Stepczyk discovers my track One City and crafts an xclnt overview of my style. Always dig knowing what goes through someone’s head as they listen to my work.

“One City” comes from the 9 track LP, “Transient Lines” from New York City based indie-pop artist WESTY REFLECTOR. He wrote, performed and programmed all songs on this release from late 2013, described as “fragments and fractals of an enlightening, challenging year.”

His unique and powerful voice sits somewhere in the realm of old favorites Terry Prine or even Colin Meloy, but definitely distinctly unique with some beautiful and imaginative tales to absorb.


[dispatch] Road To The Well Festival Win

September 05, 2016 at 08:48AM
via IFTTT

Last night (09.04.2016) the wonderful and dark indie film Road To The Well (dir. Jon Cvack), which used my Americana track Man Again, won Best In Festival at the 2016 Long Beach Film Festival.

source track:
Man Again (FMA bonus track on Transient Lines)


transient lines

15 november 2013

prologue: in recollection and amazement
grey sky undertow
riding waves
one city
night sky dead letter office
ursula
fire in the arcade (the reflectors)
soma
dreamy solace of rivers and bridges

bandcamp | free music archive


prologue: in recollection and amazement



improvised guitar drones, loops and melody lines over beats.

guitar / amp:
jolie (gibson es-335 dot reissue, peekamoose custom electronics)
vox ac4c1-bl tube combo

efx chain:
(ebow –>) earthquaker “warden” compressor –> ehx pog2 –> ehx freeze –> ibanez ts-808 tube screamer –> small sound/big sound mini overdrive –> tc electronic flashback delay+looper –> strymon blue-sky reverberator –> line6 pod xt phaser modeler

software / hardware:
sony acid, motu 828mk2, XP

title is reference to jack kerouac’s “list of essentials” in his belief & technique for modern prose:
17. write in recollection and amazement for yourself


grey sky undertow

2000 miles later,
just beyond the dream state transformed,
on a wave-smashed boardwalk, we sat in silence,
and waved goodbye to our grey sky undertow.

after all the love had come and gone,
you and I kept holding on
‘til there was no one left to blame.
and after all the love had come and gone,
there was no use holding on
to what we became

all those miles later.

2000 miles later
you and i found nothing but unknowns.
In a twilight aurora, underneath Orion’s sword,
we waved goodbye to our grey sky undertow.

after all the love had come and gone,
you and I kept holding on
‘til there was no one left to blame.
and after all the love had come and gone,
there was no use holding on
to what we became

all those miles later.


ursula

In February 2002, I met two of my long-time FM DJ heroes, Vin Scelsa and Pete Fornatale, though a producer with whom I was working, Bill Kollar. Pete hosted the radio program “Mixed Bag” and Vin hosted “Idiot’s Delight,” first on WNEW and then on WFUV in New York City. Vin told Pete that he wanted to put together a show where he would play a song about a woman’s name for every letter in the alphabet, but that he was “stuck on the U.” Pete told Bill, who suggested a) the name should be Ursula and b) that I should write the track.

I wrote a little tribute to Usrsula Andress from “Dr. No,” conjuring myself as a former-kid-with-a-crush discovering her action figure at auction. Bill loved the demo, but Vin’s show never materialized and I never recorded the track for real. As fate then turned, things got real quiet for me on all fronts right after that, friendships vaporized into the ether and the demo sat in a hard drive on a shelf in my studio for 11 years.

After Pete Fornatale passed away last year, I decided to lay this down once and for all. This is dedicated to him, and to Vin and Bill, who are still around doing what they do, all of us forever connected by these sound waves.

ursula, i can’t be in love with you
even though you’re famous now, even though I knew you once, just as

ursula, you were such a lucky girl
got paid to collect shells, you were never gonna fail

but you’re just a reflection
of everything
we used to be

you’re a figurine, a die-cast figurine
who made the men blue and all the women green
and now you’re up for bid as a figurine

ursula, you were not from my time
but you were more than a tight bikini, in the middle of a spy movie starring

ursula, i can’t love you anymore
even though you stole that scene, even though you’re a pin-up queen

[ch]
[solo]

ursula, i’ve grown away from you
that was another me, you’re not a woman to call my own

you’re just a reflection
of everything
we used to be

you’re a figurine, a die-cast figurine
you made the men blue and all the women green
and you’re covered in cinema sheen

you’re a figurine
‘cause all the men are blue
and cinema’s so sheen
so now you’re up for bid as a figurine
you’re up for bid


dreamy solace of rivers and bridges [disquiet0088-3d]

PROCESS
Headphones required.

The melody is 5 patterns repeated 3 times on a guitar, played live with a touch of boost, delay and reverb.

The rhythm is built from a royalty-free drum construction kit for ACID called “Black Paint Weathered Beat.” There’s a 1-measure intro and a 4-measure pattern, and both repeat 3 times. Track runs at 79.582 BPM, which yielded three 5-measure sections + a couple beats for a fade-out in exactly 1:30.

The drones are pads from a dug-out-of-a-drawer BOSS DR-5 played through an octave generator, delay and reverb. The drone has 6 parts, each recorded separately then assembled in ACID into a pattern that repeats 3 times. The 3D section in the end splits the drones into 2 tracks – one with the I and V, the other with the II, III, VI and majVII parts. It’s meant to swirl like a river.

Mixed/Mastered in ACID. “3D” achieved via manipulation of volume, pan and VST reverb parameters. To try to simulate distance, the on-board reverb’s Dry, Wet, Early Out and High Attenuation Frequency were given separate envelopes across respective tracks. There wasn’t much plan to it – I set automation levels until something in each section felt like motion. Since I was never going to achieve any kind of 5.1 or surround thing with my rig, I just tried to keep it simple.

And pretty.

KEY / TUNINGS
D
Standard tuning, 1/2 step down (my usual M.O.), capo 3 (“C” chord form for D key).

TITLE
Part of a line from the poem “Away One Year” by Gregory Corso (1960).

IMAGE
Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO, 06 August 2013

RIG:
Jolie (Gibson ES-335, cherry red), BOSS DR-5 Dr. Rhythm, Electro-Harmonix POG2 octave generator, Strymon BlueSky reverberator, SmallSound/BigSound Mini Fuck Overdrive, Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808, TC Electronic FlashBack delay/looper, Vox AC-15, Sennheiser MD421-II Mic, MOTU 828MK-2 firewire interface, Sony Acid DAW

PROJECT:
Part 1: Three simultaneous segments: a drone, a beat, and a melodic fragment.

Part 2: Each of those three segments will repeat consistently for the length of the finished track.

Part 3: Manipulate them to simulate three-dimensional motion for someone listening to the track on headphones. You can do this by using stereo effects, volume shifts, filters, or any other technological means.

Part 4: The track will last one minute and thirty seconds. For the first 30 seconds, the drone and the beat will remain consistent, but the melodic fragment will move around in 3D. For the second 30 seconds, only the beat will move around, and for the final 30 seconds, only the drone will move around.

More on this 88th Disquiet Junto project, which explores 3D sound, at:
disquiet.com/2013/09/05/disquiet0088-3d/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/


fire in the arcade (the reflectors)

I recorded and released records as The Reflectors from 2000 to 2010 (most of the band’s catalog is on Spotify, iTunes, CDbaby, Bandcamp, etc…). Arcade Fire co-opted my homonym this year and has been touring as “The Reflektors.” So I’ve resurrected my Reflectors to return the favor. Big HT to Lee Rosevere at @happypuppyrecords for the idea.

There’s a fire in the arcade
It’s never going out
A cold war never ending
A whole world cast in doubt

Just remember I’ll be easily found
‘Cos you lit the place on fire, but never burned it down

You blacked out Coney Island
And shorted out the games
You left the Cyclone to the ocean
And chained me to your name

Now I’m the lone Defender
A dream that never fades
And today became forever
Inside these arcade flames

Now you’re dancing on my ashes
I’m dispersed into a cloud
You got everything you wanted
Locked me in from without

Just remember I’ll be easily found
‘Cos you lit the place on fire, but never burned it down


soma

“Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology.”
– Brave New World (Aldous Huxley, 1932)

i blow my mind
almost every night
with my early girl
and a couple transient lines

it’s not that i
have too much time
it’s just that i
make time to fry

i am slipping in and out of time
watching as my neighbors fly
out their windows way up high
every time i close my eyes

but this mass hallucination
is just a restless indication
that we can’t deal with
how really real all of this
really is

you can take a holiday
from reality
whenever you like

i go offline
anytime i have time
with my early girl
and a couple other close friends of mine

you say you want to feel real
why do you want to feel real?
there’s no need to feel real.
you shouldn’t have to feel real.

you can take a holiday
from reality
whenever you like


one city

she walks into union square
sends the pigeons flying
didn’t think i’d find her there
didn’t think of trying

she sits on a bench above the subway
as the trains rumble by
i see her shake

inside the hiss of a subway’s brakes
it means everything and nothing just the same

a city
to strangers
one city
two strangers
one city
too strange

dreams between drags on a cigarette
while i watch
under the lights of an august city
that will never stop

red street, the light of a taxi’s brakes
it means everything and nothing just the same

a city
to strangers
one city
two strangers
one city
too strange


riding waves [disquiet0066-nonofi]

PROCESS:
@nofi was one of my first followers on SoundCloud from the Junto (I started with #0004). Over the last year, I admired and absorbed a lot of his work and we shared laughs a few times on Twitter. I feel lucky to have had even the most cursory electronic interaction with him.

All sound waves propagate forever, so when you play or perform the music of someone who’s passed, you help them ride their own waves into the great beyond. I love this week’s project for doing this.

This section of Jeffery’s performance flashed me back to “Mercy Street,” and I had thought to create some kind-of looking-glass instrumental version of that track out of his, but I only got through one line. Still, the title here is a reference to the last line of that song.

As I vamped, Jeffrey’s piece ended up pulling me into some quiet changes and arriving me at an inside-out minor-key’d quotation of “Over The Rainbow” (even swtiching out my plectrum for an eBow between phrases). In the end, for better or worse, in a track where @nofi eventually quotes Michael Jackson, I answered with Peter Gabriel and Harold Arlen. Nothing/Everything/Something made sense.

wave of sadness
wave of sound
wave of joy
wave good bye

RIG:
Jolie (Peekamoose-customized cherry-red Gibson ES-335 Dot reissue), Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808, tc electronic flashback delay/looper, eBow, Line6 POD-XT (Marshall JCM 800 amp emulator with vintage plate reverb, Fender ’65 Twin Reverb tremolo and ping-pong delay), MOTU 828mk2, Sony Acid

PROJECT:
This week’s project is a tribute to the late Jeffrey Melton, the talented musician, best known on SoundCloud (@nofi) and Twitter as @nofi. Melton passed away a few days ago, on March 30, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he lived with his wife and seven-year-old son. He was 42. Melton had been involved with the Disquiet Junto since the very first Junto project, back in January 2012, and he early on volunteered to create a Twitter list of the handles of participating Junto members.

The theme of this project, the 66th in the weekly Disquiet Junto series, is “posthumous collaboration”: communing through music.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Download the following live session of Jeffrey Melton performing. It was recorded in June of last year. (Warning: it’s fairly sizable, at over 350 MBs):
nofi.org/media/2012-06-15-Unwind-live-session.mp3

Step 2: Select a segment of between 2 and 5 minutes.

Step 3: Set the opening of your track to fade in.

Step 4: Set the ending of your track to cut out suddenly.

Step 5: Listen to it several times, to get to know it.

Step 6: Record yourself performing live along with the segment you have selected. Any instrumentation is fine. Just no voice. Be sure to play alone for approximately 10 seconds after Melton’s perfor—

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More on this 66th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2013/04/04/disquiet0066-nonofi

More of Melton/Nofi’s music at:
www.nofi.org/

Read Melton’s obituary here:
www.legacy.com/obituaries/fortwa…amp;pid=163988588

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/


02:50 night sky dead letter office [disquiet0065-pianoverlay]

PROCESS:
Start point: 02:50
Duration: 02:40
Added drums and guitar as the two new elements.
All the talk of space in the original track inspired me to break out the ebow for the 1st time in a while.
To get more interstellar, I applied plate reverb, reverse delay and phaser to guitars at different points.

RIG:
Jolie (Peekamoose customized Gibson ES-335 dot reissue), Vox AC-15, Ibanez Screamer TS808, TC-Electronic Flashback delay looper, Ebow, Line-6 Pod-XT effect/amp modeller, Motu 828 mk2, Sony Acid 7.0

PROJECT:
This week’s project’s theme is asynchronous collaboration — in other words, making things together separately. We will make new compositions based on short, discrete, randomly assigned segments of a single, 60-minute piano composition. Collectively these will form a longer, collaborative suite.

Step 1: You will be making a piece of music by adding new sounds to a pre-existing track. You can download that pre-existing track, an original piano composition by Jared Brickman, here:

One_hello_world – Every-day-were-dying-and-outer

Step 2: When you go to the following URL, at kenzak.com, you will be assigned, immediately, a specific section of the longer Brickman piece. This kenzak.com URL will randomly pull up two pieces of information. The first piece of information is the start point of your segment. The second is the length of your segment (which will be between 1 and 4 minutes):

kenzak.com/disquiet/disquiet0065-pianoverlay.html

Step 3: Extract your assigned segment from the pre-existing track.

Step 4: Compose a new piece of music by adding elements to the pre-existing track. You can add anything you choose, with the exception of voice. Limit yourself to two additional elements. The original track should be audible throughout your new composition.

More on this 65th Disquiet Junto project at:
disquiet.com/2013/03/28/disquiet0065-pianoverlay/

More on the source composition by Jared Brickman at:
One_hello_world – Every-day-were-dying-and-outer

The browser-based tool that segmented the Brickman track for this project was coded by Disquiet Junto member Ken Mistove, more from whom at:
kenzak.com/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info