No time for philosophizing or polemicizing of late; I'm hard at work on a couple big musical projects. For some time I've been wanting to write music based on the landscape drawings of outsider artist Joseph E Yoakum. As a young man, Yoakum ran away to travel widely with the circus. Late in his life he began drawing to chronicle those travels, though it was increasingly questionable to what extent his memories were based on reality. I chose five drawings to work with, increasingly fanciful in their style and conception. I've sketched out all five, and for right now I'm polishing up just one of them to make an initial recording. It's the second piece, "Mt. Huron Range Near Marquette Michigan."
The music falls somewhere in the vicinity of Castle Rooms and Landscapes and the chamber pieces I wrote in Banff. John Fahey fingerpicking and freakout slide mandolin will coexist with mystic piano chords, harmonium, violin, viola.
Another Golconda record is also in the works. It's become a familiar pattern for me to head out west someplace, get away from the piano and my normal life-patterns, find myself writing boatloads of songs, and then get back to the Midwest and get distracted with other pursuits before I bother playing them for anyone. I wrote eight songs in New Mexico over the summer and plan to record them in December/January. Expect tarot references, desert thoughts, tuning forks, and an old Stella guitar.
Besides that it's all falling leaves and War and Peace these days. (Believe the hype. The book is long.) Slonimsky's Thesaurus and the WTC are both sitting on my piano right now. E Major Book 1, friends and neighbors. Sit down and play through that Prelude and check out those cadences.
Recordings when I've got 'em... for now, I'll sign off with this:
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• February: New Mexico and the Holes
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• Crossroad Blues