Reviewers/critics/mean anonymous commenter might never ever compare my music to a mans because I am not a man. There is a sort of unnecessary aggression when you compare two musicians who are women (at least in my observations).
I remember when Chelsea Wolfe and Zola Jesus were in similar places…
It took me a long time to understand what these songs were about.
At first I had an image in my mind of an empty room. A room left to its own devices. Maybe just for a moment, maybe for decades, maybe several lifetimes. The still air slowly drifting motes of dust from one corner to another. Sunlight and the moonlight sliding across the walls and the floor. Objects settling, sighing as they slowly dissolve. Rooms full of automation that still ran, its purpose lost.
When asked what he had learned in all that time alone, he replied “Get enough sleep.” Then:
“’What I miss most,’ he eventually continued, ‘is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness…I’d stretch out in the water, float on my back, and look at the stars.’”
And there it was. That’s what these recordings were. The stillness. Whether it’s thirty years of it or just the world pausing for a breath for a couple minutes, that’s what I was looking to capture.
It happens to me often, if not often enough. A still moment. Where I live, when it gets very cold (much colder than the winters our hermit friend managed to endure), this is easy to experience. Sometimes, after the temperature nears more-or-less absolute zero for the twelfth day in a row and you step out into that cold, you can imagine atoms sluggishly clinking together. But there are also summer nights when frog-talk is the only sound, or the wind turns the tall trees into a white noise generator. One can try to hold on to these moments of stillness, but they always pass.
These songs are meant to be…not background music exactly. But something to change the environment around the listener. A sort of sideways transportation to artificially slow time, just as those moments of stillness are ultimately artificial. These songs are not meant to capture those moments, but to instead provide a space for those moments to be captured.
The full “album” is 12 hours long and will be available soon at zacbentz.bandcamp.com
This is an ambient / haunted music podcast curated by Warren Ellis. It’s me little hobby, innit.
@warrenellis / firstname.lastname@example.org
Please tell other people about this podcast for sleepy people if you like it. Since I turned warrenellis.com into a static site, I suspect a large amount of the previous listenership lost track of the podcast. You are the hallowed few.
We are #SPEKTRMODULE on the Twitters and the Tumbles. Know us by our hashtag and our grim cobwebbiness.
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson (via wilwheaton)
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine, creeping into homes, and surviving on what he could steal. He became a legend. Then one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest. His name was Christopher Knight
This story is fascinating to me on so many levels.
1. From 1986-2013, he had almost zero human contact. In that time span, he spoke a single word to a human being. Astounding. I speak for a living. I can’t imagine just letting that part of my brain atrophy. I take human interaction for granted. Turns out, when it’s not a part of your life for many many years, you forget how to do it.
2. The survivalist instincts, especially in the winter are baffling. I grew up in Wisconsin, and the cold is something with which you don’t fool around. He lived in it every winter for almost 30 years. I could see maybe a night or two of it. Not a lifetime.
3. This man has not experienced the internet in any form. He’s like an unfrozen 80’s man. Large portions of human history have passed him by. I wonder if he knew about the Clinton administration, or 9/11 or ANYTHING at all. Sure, he was stealing reading materials, but I wonder if you really care about current events when your two main foci are concealment and survival.
4. No one ever found his lair. I guess not many people were looking for him, but still- how does someone live for so long in the same place without someone stumbling upon his camp? His careful plotting and planning were flawless for so very long.
"This new discovery could be one of the oldest evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact, and it certainly brings to mind the famous colony of ”Vinland” mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas. This mythical colony would have been established by Leif Ericson around the same period as the settlement at l’Anse aux Meadows, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most famous site of a Norse or Viking settlement in North America outside Greenland."
I did things in my 30s that were ignored by the world, that could have been quickly labeled a failure. Here’s a classic example; in 1974 I did a movie called Phantom of the Paradise. Phantom of the Paradise, which was a huge flop in this country. There were only two cities in the world where it had any real success: Winnipeg, in Canada, and Paris, France. So, okay, let’s write it off as a failure. Maybe you could do that.
But all of the sudden, I’m in Mexico, and a 16-year-old boy comes up to me at a concert with an album - a Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack- and asks me to sign it. I sign it. Evidently I was nice to him and we had a nice little conversation. I don’t remember the moment, I remember signing the album (I don’t know if I think I remember or if I actually remember). But this little 14 or 16, whatever old this guy was… Well I know who the guy is now because I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth; it’s Guillermo del Toro.
The work that I’ve done with Daft Punk it’s totally related to them seeing Phantom of the Paradise 20 times and deciding they’re going to reach out to this 70-year-old songwriter to get involved in an album called Random Access Memories.
So, what is the lesson in that? The lesson for me is being very careful about what you label a failure in your life. Be careful about throwing something in the round file as garbage because you may find that it’s the headwaters of a relationship that you can’t even imagine it’s coming in your future.
To pay undivided attention to the Japanese experimental band would make it hard to keep up with the rest of modern music. Since 1996, the group has released 20 studio albums — as well as 11 collaborations with high-profile artists like psychedelic guitar phantoms Keiji Haino (Fushitsusha, Nazoranai) and Michio Kurihara (Ghost), noise lord Merzbow, and seismic drone outfit — and enough live recordings, demos, EPs and other collectibles to fill a laundry basket.
To Boris' credit, all that work covers a vast swath of music: lead-lined doom, stoner rock, heavy sludge, drone, shoegaze, loud pop, avant-garde experiments and shades of alternative rock. It's hard to know what to expect from the band once its latest record is finished; each successive release presents another shade of Boris, while moving farther away from a personality that can be pinned down. It's always one more effects pedal, one more custom amp, one more smash of drummer Atsuo's rear-mounted gong.