A classic blue sky day here in Dunedin, New Zealand. Filmed on Tuesday the 25th of June 2019 in the middle of what has been a surprisingly lovely winter. We thought we would see if there was any surfers brave enough to catch a wave or two? We found one hearty soul! Conditions looked blustery out there.
Most of the shots in the video are filmed at St Clair Beach and the esplanade. As the sun started to set the views toward the end of the video are from St Kilda beach.
Music from Free Music Archive : Westy Reflector, “the other side of the end”
Callum McDonald, New Zealand videographer based in Dunedin, soundtracks a “classic blue sky day” in his home city with my track the other side of the end off my 2017 record cipher /e dreams [Bandcamp | Spotify].
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is the fourth track I’ve recorded in honor of Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a pioneering and beloved Syrian open-source programmer who gave his life to ensuring an open web, teaching others about technology, and contributing his experience freely to help the world. Syrian military police arrested him in 2012 for unstated crimes, and held him without trial. In August of 2017, the world learned he had been executed in October 2015. To this date, his body has not been given to his family for proper mourning and burial, and the manner in which he was put to death remains a mystery.
In the end, pessimism breaks people quicker, and with more permanence, than fear. The greatest weapon used against free-thought warriors such as Bassel is not to make them scared – it’s to make them feel alone in their fight, discouraged and ashamed.
Apologize for nothing, Bassel.
All sounds either Bassel or guitar.
Underlying bed is reversed “Amazing Grace” mixed with three tracks of Bassel’s phrase ~13x stretched: One track is him harmonized and pitched down to F#; One is him disambiguated as noise; One is him just straight up sloooowed doowwwn.
My studio suffered an irreparable crash last week while attempting the first of these two most recent #freebassel projects. Kind creative forces graced me, however, with a few workarounds and a long-overdue seat kick into a more current-era workflow. I hold onto the thought that all my tech disruption (forced unwinding and time-zero reconfiguration of twenty+ years of habits) would make Bassel, well, just laugh. I hope that laughing’s all he’s doing now.
Over the course of Bassel’s incarceration, the Disquiet Junto dedicated a number of its weekly projects to the #FreeBassel movement in the hopes of keeping his story – and possibly Bassel himself – alive. I produced a couple tracks that made it into their respective Junto weeks:
One other project I attempted stalled in the concept phase, but instead of letting it languish, I fleshed it out on my latest record into a Dylan-esque acerbic romp through a world refusing to change:
This week’s track, though, was the first of these for Bassel I recorded knowing he will never hear it. Killed the urgency and upped the poignancy, I guess. Wish I was less numb about all this.
Published on Jan 23, 2016
We – Greg Stone and Jessica Ferndriger – are international aid workers and motorcycle travelers. We met in South Sudan, moved to Liberia, embarked on an eight month motorcycle trip from Canada to Chile, and we ride our BMW GS motorbikes daily for commuting and travel. Visit us at www.roughontheroad.com.
This was the third Disquiet Junto project that revolved around Bassel Khartabil Safadi, a coder, artist and free-expression pioneer wrongfully jailed by Syria, his home country, for “harming state security.” In October, he was transferred to a secret location, and his whereabouts as of this writing are unknown. This past week (2015.11.14), disturbing rumors surfaced of a possible death sentence. The background and all current updates on Bassel’s case can be found here: http://freebassel.org.
I chose hellekin’s epilogue, The Cost Of Future Tense, a beautiful piece of writing that became more transcendent with each successive reading. I didn’t want to get in the way, so went about crafting a minimal, improvised ambient duet for acoustic guitar and AniMoog to allow the words to float and breathe.
My track There Goes The Sky (freemusicarchive | bandcamp | soundcloud) goes on a Creative Commons adventure with a group of instagrammers and pro photographers in New South Wales, Australia, testing the Panasonic Lumix GX8. Beautiful people, dream-state locations, fog-shrouded wild horses and frenzied pelicans make this vid quadruple-xclnt.
Spin Dizzy Fall is 24yr old Sydney blogger, Emma Lucey. “Step into my world,” she entreats in her description. “Stay young, stay free.”
Lucey’s YouTube Liner Notes:
Published on Oct 20, 2015
A bunch of Instagrammers & professional photographers hit the road to test run the new Lumix GX8. Thanks for the fun trip Panasonic!
The Bellais family from France (DAvid, CAmille, LUcile et Félix) is traveling around the world in a converted old fire truck for two years. They’ve used a few of my tracks in their video journal, and riding along, hearing my songs pop up every so often, is an absolute kick. Follow them here:
Fantastic remix by multi-instrumentalist and sound artist Steve Burnett (Raleigh, US) of Zedkah‘s “Swells [disquiet 0189: tone layer]” with my C Swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer]. In Burnett’s hands, the combined tracks become synesthetic as his cosmologic expansion/contraction process fires all the senses at once. The forces at work here are extreme – too large and yet, also too small to comprehend, yet they resolve (evolve?) as human. Tres cool.
Burnett’s Liner Notes From Soundcloud:
I used Westy Reflector’s “c swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer]” and Zedkah’s “Swells [disquiet 0189:tone layer]” as they sounded best of the 0189 tone layer tracks when combined and compressed as I planned. Imported both into Audacity, copied both one-minute files out until I had a track exceeding 36 hours in length. I then used Audacity to change the tempo by one hundred thousand percent, as shown in the screenshot – creating a track just over two minutes long compressed from over 36 hours.
(Both of the original source material sound great when played at normal speeds, and I commend them both to listeners’ attention.)
Conjecture Of A Time is a wonderful, mysterious sound artist who has contributed to the Disquiet Junto since back in year two. This week, [he? she? them?] remixed small loops of my C-swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer] along with Olaf Wisselink’s Cascade [disquiet0189-tonelayer], adding in “whoosh” sounds to mask the loop endings. The result is a joyful noise. File under: Summer road trip asteroid rest stop on the Andromeda-M83 Intergalactic Highway, drinking a Terra Novacaine Fizz, leaving Earth in the rear-view for a while…
I used gradually louder Whoosh sounds to distract the listener attention from the ending of each loop, and then just had to end with a final Whoosh at bar 60 where the loops stop to remain around 2 minutes.
Sevenism∞ (nee Jamie Lickfold) hails from Nottingham, UK and describes his sound work as “12-string bluesy acoustic ambient psych-folk noise drone pop // random electronic ambient slowdowns.” He’s made good on that promise once again in a remix of my “C Swells [disquiet0189-tonelayer]” for his contribution to this weeks Junto challenge, a call to remix any two of last week’s submissions and layer a third track to “glue” them together.
In his hands, my track helixes with Ben DeMole’s “Swallowed [disquiet0189-tonelayer],” resulting in an exponential lushness. De Mole used his voice to create harmonic terrain and it mixes with my guitar in an angelic upward spiral. The mixed track was then used as the bed for Sevenism∞’s addition, a raw recording through an mp3 player’s mic of his playing an electric piano. As a fan of all things meta, I approve.
Sevenism∞’s liner notes to the track:
In a nice synchronicity i’d already halfway completed the project before it was announced: i’d done an extended version of TheReflectors – C-swells where i’d looped the track a few times (and added a bit of echo n blur in the middle) so that i could listen to it a bit longer
had it playing while i went through last week’s tracks and it mixed well with Benn-Demole – Swallowed-disquiet0189-tonelayer i liked the added bass and incidental sounds, so took a loop at the end of that and had that faded in and out throughout
for the glue i had the mix playing in the next room while i played along on my old technics electric piano and recorded through the mic on my mp3 player.. the idea was that some syncopation would blur the phasing a bit. unfortunately the recorder picked up the sound of me hitting the keys really loudly, and i didnt feel like redoing it so just had it lower in the mix but the clatter kind of helps a bit
Sur le bord de mer avec les pingouins et dans les vagues … avec les requins ! Vive l'Afrique du Sud !
Musique: Turnaround, Annie par Westy Reflector
On the shore with penguins and in the waves with … sharks ! That's South Africa !
Music: Turnaround, Annie by Westy Reflector
The Bellais family from France (DAvid, CAmille, LUcile et Félix) is traveling around the world in a converted old fire truck for two years. They’ve used a few of my tracks in their video episodes, and it’s an absolute kick to ride along and hear my songs pop up every so often. Follow them here:
My latest guitar is named Fabien, after the pilot in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Night Flight.” It has quickly become my fav instrument. I read him the passage below from the book last night and woke up to this track in my DAW. Seems Fabien dreamed me reading to him in French.
A Dick Dale-esque fast-picked drone over a sample of “the world’s largest wind tunnel” simulates propellers and everything’s capped off with some more samples of 1980s weather satellite telemetry. All samples are from a Bainbridge sound effects disc circa 1989. The beats are garage band.
“Night Flight” tells the story of a mail pilot lost over Patagonia and the ways tragedy and the relentless drone of modern life intersect and collide on the ground. In this track, one of my favorite novels meets my favorite guitar.
Fabien is a Peekamoose Custom M2 (http://peekamoose.com). He’s pictured being held by his luthier, Paul Schwartz, in the shop where he was forged.
“Fabien, quel est votre position?”
Fabien, what’s your location?
Sans avoir à lutter, il serrait les mains sur les commandes. Quelque chose se préparait qu’il ne comprenait pas. Il bandait ses muscles, telle une bête qui va sauter, mais il ne voyait rien qui ne fût calme. Oui, calme, mais chargé d’un étrange pouvoir. Puis tout s’est aiguisé. Ces arêtes, ces pics, tout devenait aigu : on les sentait pénétrer, comme des étraves, le vent dur. Et puis il lui sembla qu’elles viraient et dérivaient autour de lui, à la façon de navires géants qui s’installent pour le combat. Et puis il y eut, mêlée à l’air, une poussière : elle montait, flottant doucement, comme un voile, le long des neiges. Alors, pour chercher une issue en cas de retraite nécessaire, il se retourna et trembla : toute la Cordillère, en arrière, semblait fermenter.
“Je suis perdu.”
Instinctively he tightened his grasp on the controls. Something he did not understand was on its way and he tautened his muscles, like a beast about to spring. Yet, as far as the eye could see, all was at peace. Peaceful, yes, but tense with dark potency. Suddenly all grew sharp; peaks and ridges seemed keen-edged prows cutting athwart heavy head wind. Veering around him, they deployed like dreadnoughts taking their positions in a battle-line. Dusk began to mingle with the air, rising and hovering, a veil above the snow. Looking back to see if retreat might still be feasible, he shuddered; all the Cordillera behind him was in seething ferment.
A loose adventure in nested loops. There are a few drones (each 1 note) underneath respective two, three, four, five and six note loops. the main section consists of the two note and six note loop played together with some variation, looped six times. Everything else fades in and out.
I own a matryoshka as a result of a trip to Russia I took in 1985. In the course of that journey, I acted as a teenage cold war secret agent, carrying cultural and religious documents and artifacts behind the then-iron curtain. This track has nothing and everything to do with looking back on that adventure. As a bonus read, here’s how my trip as a “Spring Break Spy” began: http://westyreflector.net/2013/01/customs-playboy/
So xclnt to be contributing to the junto again.
Fabien (a Peekamoose Custom M2 by http://peekamoose.com), EHX SuperEgo, Diamond Tremolo, EQD Grand Orbiter, EQD Afterneath, Strymon blueSky, Pigtronix Infinity Looper, Fender Blackface emulator (Line6 POD-XT), Sony Acid Pro 7, Windows 8
Jonas Dahlbom and Pia Nilsson make up the Swedish chef duo of @fortheloveandfood. Dahlbom is a Swedish “Top Chef” and self-styled music enthusiast who plays Ace Frehely in a KISS tribute band called “Wicked Kisser” (as a rule, btw, Swedish heavy metal cover bands RULE).
Dahlbom was Chef of the Year 1996 at the Swedish Championships in professional cooking and repped Sweden in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or 2005 World Championships in professional cooking, where he earned fourth place overall and won “Best fish dish.” He returned to the Bocuse D’Or this year as coach for Tommy Myllymäki, Sweden’s 2015 representative. He lives in Åre, Sweden, where he runs the restaurant “Dahlbom På Torget.” Soon, however, he is moving to Stockholm with his two kids and girlfriend “for new adventures.”
Dahlbom’s girlfriend, Pia Nilsson calls herself a “gypsy soul.” A former music student, she was born and raised in the small town of Linköping, Sweden. A 10-year veteran of the hospitality industry, she’s traveled the world as a part time model and bartender. In 2008, she found herself in Åre where she had spent many winters. In winter 2013/2014, she met Jonas and as she says, “fell head over heels in love with him. We share the same interest in the best things in life which [are] rock’n’roll, a tasty meal and being alive.”