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January 3rd, 2007

New EP: Tallgrass Canticle

Today we released my new Creative Commons weirdbient EP, "Tallgrass Prairie", on the netlabel
verian and I run, called Negative Sound Institute (NSI).

It's available for free download at:

this NSI link.

You can also hear it at the page without downloading, because verian embedded one of those webjay-like things in the page.

In customary Gurdonark fashion, a long soliloquy about the inner meaning of the drones serve as liner notes to the pieces. It turns out that this EP is about prairie (tallgrass) and hymns (canticle). But of course not literal grasslands, nor actual hymns, but something else--something a bit more elusive, something experienced within--unforgettable and yet sometimes almost forgotten.

My earlier NSI release, which just crossed download number 250, featured a single 23 minute ambient piece. This time I wanted to do something with shorter pieces, as I start from the basic premise that if two minutes was enough for the Ramones, it should be enough for me.Also, I notice what others have noticed before me--in my mp3 player, I want shorter pieces and I am less concerned with albums than with short bursts of song.

I've enjoyed putting this together, and I hope people enjoy hearing it.

Tooth Tale



Today I visited my dentist's office, where much fun was had by all. The kind woman cleaning my molars spoke (very) many encouraging words about how if only I did everything not only thus but also so, then this (with the form of emphasis that only someone with a sharp object near one's gums can achieve) would not be inflamed and that would be terribly better. She quizzed me on my various failings with a calm quiet that suggested to me that her alter ego in Alternate Universe XZ-42 is a seminarian seeking ordination from some church in which penitence is preached. She told me she has four children, which suggested to me that she is a dab hand at extracting confessions even in this universe.

I rather like the view upwards when I sit in a dentist's chair. It's got a science fiction splendor--almost as if the Star Trek universe exists, tribble-free, in little pockets of our current mundane existence. I once got my dentist an ambient album by the amazing Jeff Pearce, to try to augment the parlous state of his elevator music. Sadly, the fix did not take, but my dentist, a high school acquiantance, is still a good guy. One of his staff came in and complimented me on my weight loss, and asked me how to accomplish it. The woman assisting me meanwhile was proving that with gums, as with people, seeking to save one's life requires, in the main, losing it. She told me that she wished to go on the weight watchers program, which seemed to me a bit odd, as she obviously was in better shape than I was by a country mile.

I like that the people at my dentist's office are all actually nurturing and down-to-earth people, although the way the office always transforms into a kind of Chatauqua lecture circuit about "Gurdonark's Teeth--and how to reform them" leads me beside still waters I'd rather not sail and somehow falls just short of restoring my soul.

Still, I got out with only one "we need to see about that" moment (thank you, once again, to the Curies for the miracle of x-rays which require me to get more dental work done), and I felt good about it all. My dentist even said he saw improvement. I live my life for such moments--the day will one day come when the dentist says "wow, you're a flossing machine!". But not today.