On the drive to work yesterday, I listened to an ambient CD I just got in the mail, Oophoi's "Signals from the Great Beyond". It's quite riveting stuff, with sounds fading in and fading out like half-forgotten memories of cool fog on evenings when one looks through the fog and sees through gauzy affection haze the coy night smile of someone for whom one cares. The cover of the CD states that it is a "limited edition of 100 copies", as ambient artists, like the makers of those curious stuffed toys a few years ago, have realized the aesthetic and material rewards of invented scarcity. Release a CD for general release and sell 110 copies? Create a modestly unsuccessful CD. Release a limited edition CD and sell 100 copies? Create a collectors' item that bidders will compete to buy on eBay.
The CD further advises that it is "inspired by crop circles". When I think of music that might be "inspired by crop circles", I think of those two farmers a few years ago who admitted to spending their late nights carving those elaborate mystical patterns in crops, to gain attention for their region. There's something a bit mystical about that--the arcana esoterica of P.T. Barnum. I make music lately inspired by the idea of the prairie as a kind of force--an eerie flatland of bugsong and swelling heat, grassland and meditative expanse.
My new yahoo message group, "Absurd Music Exchange", has five members now, in its second day of operation. As the group is based upon song sharing, I posted a prairie song "Bluestem Night" on the site. I hope that the site achieves the critical mass to do the ambitious things for which I have designed it. I see it as a potential way to put faith into action in terms of a truly independent music creation and propagation network. Now I must find additional places in which to promote it, to grow it to the fifty+ members that will be an essential core of the effort.
The news from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is riveting and distressing. There are so many facets, that each kernel of fact is like one more aspect of a really huge elephant which we lack the wide-angle vision to see. I'm of the current mind that this tragedy is going to turn out to be far worse than even the melodramatic talking head talk on cable news. I pray and hope for the best. I believe that the reverberations of this one will resonate for years to come.
I'm still intrigued that our local migratory bird, the scissortail flycatcher, appears to have left for South America before the storm hit down south. The leaving seems a bit early, so I wonder if they knew, somehow, about turbulent weather on the march. It's too much to guess--just an oddity to ponder. But who knows? Maybe I'll see tomorrow that they have not left. I keep seeing flocks of starlings gathering for a trip. August is ending.