"Wonderful is the power of instrumental music, absolute music without words, that may convey impressions, deep and lasting, no words could give"--Annie Aubertine [Woodward] Moore
Last night I went to the local Salvation Army for the free legal clinic. The attendance at the clinic exceeded other clinics I did there in the past. I sometimes think that many of us fall into a "school year" scheduling of our lives, complete with a "back to school, get things on the agenda done" mentality which far exceeds any classroom connection.
I will not discuss what I discussed with people there, except to obliquely say that most of us have the same issues in life, which always makes the growing class distinctions in this country a bit odd to me. It's as if some people wish to fence out what is in effect the public psyche.
I was pleased to meet one of the people from the volunteer program I'd only spoken to by phone. "Meet" is perhaps a misnomer, as we didn't say much but "hi! Good to put a name to a face". Yet it's always interesting to have a mental impression that someone looks one way, and then to find they look completely different from one's imagined idea. In this case, the person in person proved younger and more attractive, which is, of course, not a bad thing,although, of course, basically an irrelevant thing.
I got my assignment in the CCMixter "Secret Mixter" contest for this month. "Secret Mixter" is a little like "Secret Santa". One is assigned another participant "in secret", with directions to go remix their work, and post the remix on October 1. I shall not describe the artist whom I was assigned by the cool assignment engine run by a hip musician named Porchcat, as it is a secret, but I will say that already I find the assignment very challenging given the exciting but not easy for me to morph musical style this artist adopts. I am best with material that can be stretched and mangled, but this time I must sample, slice, and pitch-alter in little pieces to make something new. I wish I had better microphone systems, as I'd rather like to sing this time out, but my recording of my own voice thus far has not been technically satisfactory.
I am driving up to Arkansas tonight to see my father and his wife, and my sister and her family. I spent the dawn-time downloading free music posted by artists pursuant to Creative Commons licenses for the public to download and enjoy.
My mp3 player tends to be full of great, free music these days. I still buy CDs that interest me, but I'm moving toward a more indie and Creative Commons orientation. The song that makes me happiest this week is No Sushi's "Morning Life",
here for your listening pleasure and may, along with dozens of other great music, be downloaded into your computer for free from this open source artist's website.
I've also been listening to net releases by:
psonikadia, an English fellow who does chill-out electronica with beats that is soothing and yet energetic and smart;
henri pettersen, whose work has an ethereal beauty amid the beats;
Observation Point, who creates gorgeous melodic ambience which might be comfortably labeled "old school"; and
Lazzich, some of whose electronica I love, and some of which I do not love so well.
Technological improvement in home recording technology is already ushering in a subculture of great music in which the listener is donated work by the artist or donates or buys through direct connection with the artist.
For the drive home to Arkansas, I have new CDs by M Griffin, who founded the Hypnos label and makes very minimal, quiet ambient music, which can be by turns gentle and elusive. His CD says "to be played at low volume", but he has not heard my car's ambience or he would have written something different. The other new album is by Oophoi and Paul Vnuk, two unlikely collaborators who have nonetheless created a new ambient work. I've listened to roughly half of the M Griffin, and find it interesting (though I perhaps preferred his prior Sounds are Hidden Within Objects). I'm eager to give it more spins, and to listen to the Oophoi/Vnuk album. The Hypnos ambient label is far from the only game in town, but it is certainly a dependable source of solid ambience. It and Darkwinter are my favorite ambient labels, though I am very impressed with the work by the newer Intelligent Machinery dot net.
My mp3 player, meanwhile, has a No Sushi album and another Henri Pettersen album freshly uploaded, so my time at home will be filled with new things to hear.
I'm eager to get a lot of work done today, and drive through the cool, wonderful September chill.