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December 20th, 2006

Miniatures

I love this holiday season. I celebrate Christmas, and yet revere every other winter holiday with which I am familiar. I am an intensely nostalgic person, who loves in particular the sense of quiet and connection which this season can bring. I love things that help me remember the ghosts of Christmas past, the exuberance of Christmas presence, and a surprisingly skeleton-less sense of Christmas yet to be.

My point in all of this is not the "bless us, everyone" flagon of Christmas (although I personally can use all the grace in my graceless state of being that I can receive). My point is instead what I call those "moments in between" of the holiday season--quiet moments when bursts of childhood joy come up, like a winter storm, and snow delightfully in my consciousness. I am constantly building snowmen from the silent delights of remembered past childhood holiday joys.

My friend Verian Thomas just created the perfect way to access those remembered parts of childhood, without the saccharine displays of Santahood. He did it in the way such things were done, using a Telecaster that had been, like all of us at adulthood, bandaged several more times than optimum play allows.
He recorded an album called "Miniatures", which features shimmering quiet melodies from that single guitar, recalling those miniature moments from childhood which come to one in flashes, and then disappear.

If you're hunting for holiday fare for your listening pleasure, I suggest you download his album, which Negative Sound Institute released today
under a Creative Commons license, and see if it won't give your holiday that sense of quiet joy it deserves. It's a holiday without creed, expectation, or even lyrics. Verian provides instead merely a simple guitar, playing incredible melodies. Each piece is a miniature--just when the haunting melody enraptures you, it fades away. That is how my memory works, too.

To download "Miniatures", simply click this link.