Over the Horizon … Pondering a Milestone Project

Over the Horizon

It’s become a fairly amusing year-end ritual: I undertake – in all sincerity – a recap of the year just ended, along with plans for the New Year. Case in point: my 2012 review. The amusement stems from my well-earned awareness that “best-laid plans” are always subject to change, without notice or reason.

So, at the midpoint of the year, how have my plans for 2013 changed, and what do I <chuckle> anticipate for the balance (or possible absence thereof)?

I had thought to play a few live shows this year, but fewer than the six undertaken in 2012, which consumed most of my studio time. That has changed to maybe one – if art painters Royce Deans & Tali Farchi bring their Colorboration Project back to Chicago. Otherwise, it’s going to be a studio year. The priority is finishing several albums in progress.

I had hoped to come out of hibernation in the spring and play a concert of new pieces worked up from last September’s shows, but they’re still in progress, so that’s on hold. There are enough pieces in progress from last year’s shows for two albums, possibly more. I hope to get working on those next year.

Here’s an updated photo of The Keep as it stands today (the Guitar Corner is unchanged). The percussion section, having acquired some homemade trinkets, has outgrown the one shelf on my keyboard stand, hence the – ahem – Custom Hanging Multi-Pocket Repository. I should have kept the 3-level stand that I had… and that MIDI cable, running from the keyboard controller to the interface, hanging in the air behind the chair – I definitely must get a longer one.

The Keep, July/13

What’s next for The Keep? A significant computer upgrade, a second Roland Loop Station, and a mixer. Someday.

I’m also on the lookout for a designer and builder, as I would like to have a custom multi-guitar stand made, along with an intern to help me with marketing and promotion. Anyone who’s interested, please contact me [music at eyescastdown dot com].

Milestone Project

I probably have it worse than most people: the tendency to be dreaming up (and getting caught up in) more and more new projects while current ones languish, awaiting completion. Oh well, it seems one must keep many fires burning… The allure of future directions can be pretty distracting. The challenge is to balance looking ahead with staying in the present – and just getting stuff done.

So which future possibilities are calling me?

I’ve been nurturing a wish to write in other modes, especially for choir and for orchestra, as well as in Just Intonation, and these are all being subsumed into my ambient ethos. Hence the new “ambient orchestra concerto” project, which is still primarily an ambient conception, but with more orchestral textures. This is already anticipated to be a CD-length piece, but it could easily expand beyond that, especially if there are many participants. There are two other “crossover” projects, also at the “great idea” stage, with the details… mostly pending.

Tremor, Spore, Legacy by vidnaObmana

Tremor, Spore, Legacy by vidnaObmana

So, all these developments have my radar up for subjects or ideas that could inspire a Seriously Large Project (i.e., a set of 3 or more CDs). Recently revisiting two of the greatest in my collection (vidnaObmana’s brutally visceral Dante Trilogy and Steve Roach’s sublimely deep Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces) has strongly fueled that.

Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces by Steve Roach

Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces by Steve Roach

So where does one begin? What are some possible inspiration points?

These, of course, are legion, coming from different aspects of nature, and the various arts and sciences. There is already a literature-inspired project in the queue (if I’m lucky, work on that will begin next year), which I don’t expect to outgrow the one CD that’s contemplated for it.

I could make jokes about tinkering with stuff like the Fibonacci Sequence, the Golden Ratio, Moebius loops, etc., but that would probably be in bad taste.

For sheer immensity of inspiration, one can’t do better than to have a go at the Vedic scriptures, as Yes attempted on Tales From Topographic Oceans – with, for me, frustratingly mixed results.

Part of the attraction – and part of the problem – is that the Vedas are beyond vast – covering every branch of science and knowledge. So one needs to find a touchstone that’s circumscribed enough to get a handle on…

… and I think I have one! So let it brew – for a few years. While I try to get some stuff done…

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