Things You Already Know
01_Form = Emptiness 1:50
02_Lord Byron 5:43
03_Torso of a Bodhisattva 8:52
04_Things You Already Know 2:05
05_Water Mirror 4:43
06_Water Variations 9:01
07_Emptiness = Form 1:32
When I was creating the music that you hear here, I kept bumping up against the idea of absorption. That metaphysical equals sign (=) where there’s no separation between self and other, inner and outer, general and particular. I kept asking…
How does something become a part of your life?
How do you bring that integrated, non-dual state of mind into the messy reality we live in? How do you express that through the very specific lens of self?
There I go with abstract-speak. I guess this is why I mainly write wordless music. Let's try it a different way:
Things you already know. That’s what Aristotle thought learning was on some level. Discovery doesn’t introduce new information, it just triggers the memory of what was already inside us, ready to resonate. In any case, they must chime, these inner and outer worlds.
This music that I sat with for so long that it seemed to become my bones and marrow needed the right players to make it resonate. Finding the people to bring everything to life was as much a creative synthesis as the sounds themselves. Luckily, the Twin Cities is a smorgasbord of imaginative musicians and I teamed up with a few different musical camps. I brought together bands Zoo Animal and Aaron and the Sea with top players from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra alongside other friends. The recording process came to embody the bridging of certain distances between people, communication styles, and to an extent, musical styles.
Personal music demands personal musical tools: I brought in instruments like propane tank drums, contact mic’ed bowed psalteries, singing bowls and other unusual objects to work besides more familiar bowed instruments, drum kits, keyboards and guitars. Running all of this through amps and pedals further melded the sounds with each other and the people that made them. The music opened up its own space where we played together for a short while, enjoying the great company. I hope you, the listener feel that space, spend some time there and trust enough to let a little absorption happen.
With deep gratitude to everyone involved,
Bowed, Struck, and Plucked stringed instruments:
Steven Copes stevencopes.com
Erin Keefe erinkeefeviolin.com
Andrei Tchekmazov andreytchekmazov.com
Jessica Bodner parkerquartet.com
Ben Ullery laphil.com
Pitnarry Shin minnesotaorchestramusicians.org
Ruggero Allifranchini thespco.org
Nina Fan thespco.org
Chris Campbell composerchriscampbell.com
Holly Hansen zooanimal.bandcamp.com
Aaron Rice aaronandthesea.com
Guitars and Bass:
Recorded at Big Alcove and the Hideaway Studio (thehideawaympls.com) with Joe Johnson
Thanks to the innova team. Thanks to David Wolff (deergrovepress.com) Thanks to friends and family.
Cover art: Alec Soth. littlebrownmushroom.com