Category: still echoes

66/55 for 07/04

66/55 at the free music archive

66/55 at bandcamp

Among my thirty tracks at the Free Music Archive as of this post, 66/55 is the most downloaded. The track was written in a backseat down Interstate 55 from Chicago to Peoria, Illinois, on a 1995 trip to say goodbye to my wife’s grandmother. The song looks back and around at 20th century America. Shirley and Normal are towns along the way, and “Normal: Next Exit” is just a perfect highway sign.…

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the 12th step

The music was co-written in 2001 with Bill Kollar, a brilliant New York-area engineer and producer, who coaxed out the glorious rhythm guitar verse progression and overall tempo.

I hear noises outside my door.
They’re the kinds of noises you can’t always ignore.
Drunken lovers stumblin’ to their floor.
Ain’t it funny when the everyday becomes such a chore…

The stairwell speaks of their arrival,
creaking slowly up they spiral,
held up by one another’s lurch.



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like these chords

this one’s for lovers forced to live apart b/c of distance and/or time. not sad, tho. it’s in that moment when one knows the other’s coming home.

we’re stronger than this day – that’s all I know all along
and your distant night flight voice – is just the prettiest song

you left this life for the myth – you’ve been gone a while
fall into a trance with me – travel the stars

we’re like chords that ache to play
and open doors on sunny days
we’re like these chords

we’re the keepers of the truth – we never tired of the world
and now you’re coming back to me – with everything that you’ve learned

got the sun on your back – heading east racing clouds
fall into a trance with me – under night flight stars

we’re like chords that ache to play
and open doors on sunny days
they’re all I got, when you’re far away
we’re like these chords

we’re like chords when you’re far away
and open doors on sunny days
they’re all I got and they ache to play
but we’re like these chords
we’re like these chords

i must have love

This track materialized one night after a friend of mine off-handed challenged, “Westy, I bet you can’t write something unabashedly happy.”

:^D

(downtune guitar 1/2 step, play in open C form. B=C, F#=G, E=F)

B Bsus4 B Bsus4
Walk down the street, it’s easy to see
B Bsus4 F# E
All those lonely people looking at me
B E
With envy in their eyes. I’ve ruined their day,
G#m C#7sus2 F# (walkdown)
But I think I know why they stare and feel this way.



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crystal never hurts

a rock/pop song sneaks out from behind an ambient intro. what you never know never hurts.
– :^D

crystal, I was truly blessed by that
necklace prism rainbow
splashed across your breast.

now look at the sky we made
and all the stars we named
they’re just goodbye songs.

what you never know never hurts
if we never meet again, rest assured.
don’t waste time between the lines
of everything you learned.
what you never know never hurts.



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66/55

wrote this in 1996 on a chicago to peoria drive.

shirley got electricity back in 1939
kept the milk from spoiling and rotting right there on the vine
just so happened when i drove through
shirley said she didn’t but i knew that she knew
all that power wasn’t flowing through the lines

normal had its heyday back in 1945
almost ½ the town had made it back ½ alive
and there was a house or two for every boy and girl
they had all just beaten back the enemy of that world
and all that government money made it easy to survive

the straightest shot became a straighter line
when 66 became 55
you can see it every time you go for a drive
66 became 55

mclean didn’t care for kennedy back in 1959
still, they circled chicago with a highway and called it the dan ryan
shirley & normal thought they’d never need another road
‘cause they said that 6 lane highway could carry any load
and shirley and normal forgot what it meant to stop at a light

66 became 55

they put a cyclone in the center of town
they fought for all those parking spots from miles around
seventy-five feet high and a mile and a quarter around
all that light, all that color, all that sound

now shirley went all l.a.…

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the rime of the ancient pacific garbage patch [disquiet0026-compos(t)ing]

The theme of this week’s disquiet junto project was creative reuse — call it recycling, or unconsumption, or upcycling, or compos(t)ing. Four objects from garbage pails at work or home were developed into an original musical track that would be used as background music for a PSA about recycling.

We were allowed to transform the sounds of these elements, but only lightly, so as to respect their inherent sonic properties. In my track, all objects are represented in their native state, either alone or interacting with each other, as loops or one-shots with minimal processing.…

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tweed square [disquiet0020-nodebeat]

The 20th disquiet.com junto project in May 2012 explored the inherent creative limits of a mobile app. All participants employed the same app to complete the project.

Everyone working on this project used two instruments. One of those instruments was NodeBeat, an app available for iOS (iPhone, Touch, iPad), for Android, for Blackberry, and as a cross-platform (Flash) implementation. The other was an instrument of our choice; this second instrument was to fall into the broadly defined category of “traditional” — i.e.,…

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sliver of sky [disquiet0019-rojiura]

sliver of sky
where planes streak
birds fly
guide me to my dreams
hvac hum
rainfall drum
basement guitar practice strum
white noise cardboard pillow

face flashes in windows,
light strobes and mortar shadows
in an updown walldance
as homework ends,
as bills are paid,
as security makes rounds,
as embraces lead to encounters.

orion’s belt appears in winter
three hours into the night
his rodeo champion buckle
scrapes across the fire escapes
clanks against the risers
says farewell disappearing
behind the southern cornice.



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manhattan bridge train [disquiet0011-motoring]

The 11th disquiet.com Junto project in March 2012 required me to make an original field recording, and to then make something of it. It focused on rhythm. I captured audio of an N train (from inside the train) going over the Manhattan Bridge as well as sounds from the Canal Street and Atlantic/Pacific Street stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively.

video

The assignment allowed that “to [your recording] you can add whatever sounds you like, but the rhythm should be central and prominent in the finished track.”…

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Dowsabel: One Dream To Another (remix of Flying Time)

Dowsabel (chris wells, Columbus, US) loves obsolete words, and he took his musical name from the Latin for sweet and beautiful. His music lives up to the promise in his name, and his remix of my remix of a collision of bird sounds and acoustic guitars provides exponential entertainment and purpose to my track (which is below his track notes).

DOWSABEL’S NOTES:

This is a remix of the beautiful “flying time” posted by Westy Reflector for Disquiet0009-avian.



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flying time [disquiet0009-avian]

a thrush and an acoustic guitar. like a supercalafragalistic cartoon on your shoulder.

The source material for the 9th disquiet.com Junto project from March 2012 was provided from these two samples:

guitar:
“Chord progression on mic’d acoustic guitar. A Major, c# minor, b minor, E Major.”

avian:
“Song thrush on a spring evening, 17th of march 2007 in a forest north of Cologne, Germany.”

More details on the Disquiet Junto

she still echoes (like a summer)

my wife often leaves for months to work on film projects, and her absence always gets me wistful. this track’s more about this feeling than anyone in particular.

summer songs endless skies
a lifetime in each other’s eyes,
but that wave crashed on a midnight drive.

time never meditates
rivers never hesitate,
every choice tempts the fates
and opens up a door.

she still echoes thru my world
but she’s an echo of that girl
who still echoes thru my world

faded paper photographs
washed up on the beach we laughed
as we ripped them all in half,
and traded them for days.



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