Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

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Just another mix-up

Last night I put together six corruplast mail art cards with photos I've taken and mailed them off to friends and unmet postcardx friends. I stopped thinking so much about "how can I learn to do something cool" for a day or two, and focused instead on doing something I can do. I try not to make my hobbies about skill anymore, but only about fun.

This morning I went to the "Third Mondays" trade days in neighborhing McKinney. Here every Monday of the month is a "flea market Monday" in some north Texas town. "First Monday" is Canton, the largest flea market in the world. "Third Monday" is McKinney, a charming smaller affair not far from our home. Last night was the proverbial "big rain", so the crowd was very thin indeed. I didn't buy anything but roast peanuts (wish I had not foregone that roast turkey leg) and Halloween themed pencils and erasers, but it was fun to browse.

This afternoon, scottm came over to work with me to complete the mix of songs we recorded one day in July. My own efforts at mixing had been terribly error-prone, so he took the time to spend an afternoon doing all the technical work for the mix, so that I got to just kibitz about the music. Now it's done.
The album is still called something like "Gurdonark---Electric Fields" and I'm still enamoured of its odd mix of electric football fields, kazoos, slide whistles, children's rhythm instruments, Scott on bari ukelele, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass guitar and heavily flanged electric guitar, me on flanged and wah wahed electric autoharp, Scott on Fife and harmonica, and various home-made instruments, glockenspiels, and triangle. I originally set out with the idea of making a bit of "dark ambient" music based on the curious tonality of the melodious electric football fields, but the finished work is more in the "weird attempts at making traditional music" category than in the "this is ambient, dude--sweet!" category for which I originally strove. I guess I am just a prisoner of unchained melodies.

I spoke with asphalteden by AIM today, and realized that tonight is the Gathering concert in Philadelphia. I wish my wife and I could have gone, particularly as airfare is much more affordable nowadays with advance purchase. The Gathering featured several of my favorite artists, including the amazing Jeff Pearce and "dark ambient" guy mgriffin, playing in a church. I have never been the type to travel half a continent for a show, but I keep thinking that a weekend away with the Duchamps in the art museum by day and the ambient music by night, not to mention meeting the hypnos forum folks, would have been fun. I guess I'm glad I was making my own music, though. I was eager to get that recording session converted, as Scott would say, from Art to Artifact. Now I'm eager to get together for our next recording, but I am charged with the task of choosing genre--should we really try to make genuine ambient? Should we go for "found music", "musique concrete" and "musik naturlich?". I saw a cool website for that sounded really fun in this vein. Should we just make "what the heck is this?" music, as we did this time? I keep thinking this may be my one chance to let out my inner Arlo Guthrie or my inner Bryan Ferry, while I have an instrumentally adept musician at hand to do "session". Life is full of decisions, but I will save this one for another day.

I'm eager to send out more mail art cards to people known and unknown, and in addition, tomorrow I tackle heymaggie's call for butterfly mail art. I will figure out some way to do a butterfly. I love the way my Fort Worth Botanical Garden pix look attached to corruplast--I can't draw, but I sure can shoot throwaway camera pics, staple and glue. Meanwhile, all this plant talk lately has me germinating on how I need more succulent houseplants. My wife has been doing more of the watering lately, but it's time to step up and do my share of the watering, and to get us more cool thorny friends. I always find in life that thorny friends can require a bit more caution, but in the long run are the hardiest.

Tonight we had a wonderful steak dinner with my brother and his wife. They are such nice people, and all of us gave the "music" a first listen all the way through. It's fun to try to name the songs. The one with the Hendrix-derived psychemadness is going to be "We Just Said No", based on a suggestion of Scott's. My sister in law's suggestion that the "heavy metal football field" number sounded like a malfunctioning bit of laundry equipment will result in the title "Tennis Shoe Stuck in Dryer", while it's my own notion as to one particularly off kilter "song" is to call it "This is Your Brain on Music". We'll see! Time to make CDs!
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