Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: New Conscious Alliance Poster, Live Recordings, & Articles

06 March 2009

New Conscious Alliance Poster, Live Recordings, & Articles

Whooo...have I ever got presents for you guys. I promise not to lay it on you like this again for a while...give you some time to chew...

First of all, after over a year of bugging them about it, Conscious Alliance finally asked me to do a poster for them! For those of you who don't know, Conscious Alliance commissions artists to do fine-art concert posters they then sell or trade for canned goods and it all goes to feeding the impoverished. (Their slogan is "Art That Feeds.") I can't think of a single institution more aligned with my own aesthetic-economic-ethic, so it was a huge honor and I had a blast coming up with something really special for them. Here's the painting, prints of which will be sold on Izabella's upcoming Colorado tour:

If you're interested in the original, I'm putting it up for $500 and donating half of the proceeds to Conscious Alliance's operating costs as a gesture of my appreciation for letting me join their veritable "Who's Who" list of badass poster artists. (Maybe some of you can figure out a way to make it a team purchase, then raffle it off for more than you spent, leveraging it for even further social good??)

Also, I did the cover/frontispiece illustration for Sean Hargens's & Michael Zimmerman's Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives On The Natural World - the seminal book on multi-methodological science. No kidding; I'm totally humbled to have played a small part in this. If you have a serious interest in humanity and our world should find yourself a copy. (And no, I'm not getting paid royalties to promote them. Dr. Hargens is my old grad school professor; he's one of the most brilliant people I've ever met, and the quick look I gave my advance copy confirms that this book is absolutely amazing.)

[The concept was "Four perspectives on a frog, based on Ken Wilber's AQAL Integral Theory." Clockwise from the upper left, those perspectives are individual-interior (thoughts, intentions - psychology and introspection); individual-exterior (physiology, behavior - empirical sciences); collective-exterior (networks, systems - social science and cybernetics); and collective interior (shared meaning and values - cultural and linguistic studies). Only you know, for a frog. :) Like I said, I studied this stuff in grad school so if any of you are eager to learn more, I'd be happy to talk about it.]

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_7e6REs6OWHs/SbB3edUAJbI/AAAAAAAAAFo/MjMdmYWiWtU/integral%20ecology%20cover%20%28final%29.jpg http://lh6.ggpht.com/_7e6REs6OWHs/SbB3dcBstuI/AAAAAAAAAFY/hkKg6H7_L3s/s576/integral%20ecology%20frontispiece.JPG

I am, however, selling signed and numbered (series of 50) 11x11" glossy prints of the original illustration for $20 each (that includes shipping):

Oh and by the way, I did my first custom t-shirt! The lines are now open if any of you want me to throw some bless on tees, hats, lingerie, or whatever. Of course I'm still liquidating my original paintings (in most cases I'm willing to match your hourly wage plus the cost of supplies and shipping), and I'm still selling 11x17" prints. But this is way more personal, and easier to flaunt. :)

> Music
I've been mixing down all of my solo acoustic concerts so I can stop asking people to accept on good faith these claims of being able to sing and play guitar. So here you go: not one, but two free live recordings that showcase a wide array of instrumental etudes, dynamic anthems and ballads, lots of pretty ambient loopscapes...and - at last! - my long-awaited first foray into acoustic techno (it's track #1 on Live At The Grizzly Room if you're in a hurry).

Like all of my music so far, these recordings are freer than Peter Pan. But if you feel like throwing a couple of gratitude bucks in the MG Carpal Tunnel Prevention Fund, there's a Paypal donate button on my myspace page. :) Enjoy!

> Writing

I just had one of the most inspiring conversations of my life with Laura Faeth, author of I Found All The Parts: Healing The Soul Through Rock 'N' Roll. We spent over an hour on the phone talking about everything from the law of attraction and vocal analysis, to archetypes and occult symbolism, to shamanism and sound healing, to deity yoga and the sacred responsibility of rock musicians. You can get ahold of it here:
Do so. It's worth your hour to hear what she has to say about the healing power of rock music. And if you're even a tiny bit web-savvy, I'm sure she'd be grateful if you would digg the interview so it'll get a bit more attention from other people.

And AAAGH! I'm so fricking excited! Reality Sandwich FINALLY published my epic essay on exploring mythology and sacred geography at Burning Man 2008 as a feature on their front page:

Thank you all so much for your time and attention...have a beautiful day, and don't ever hesitate to write!


"The future is already here; it's just unevenly distributed." - William Gibson


PS: For those of you not already swamped, here are some of my other recently-published articles:

Reality Sandwich: Indecent Proposal
Could a federally-funded endangered species derivatives market be the next step in conservation?

Visionary Music @ Colorado Music Board: Tanya Tagaq & Kronos Quartet's Brilliant Collaboration

Another reason to raise your voice and hands to the heavens and praise your chosen creator for the technological infrastructure of postmodernity: thanks to air travel and the internet, the world is now overflowing with amazing musical collaborations that were simply impossible even a few years ago.

Visionary Music @ Colorado Music Board: Visionary Instruments - Not Quite A Piano, Part 1

Sometimes, innovation produces an instrument so radically new that people are hard-pressed to even describe it in familiar language. Most of the time, though, new ways of making music are more or less variations on what already exists - the piano, for example, evolved from the harpsichord, which evolved from the organ. Since then, generations of geeks have made it their personal mission to reinvent the piano from the inside out, or apply pianistic techniques and concepts to different instruments entirely.

Fretbase: Boss RC-50 Loopstation: Flawed But Glorious
Guitar pedal companies are known for hyperbole, but Boss’s claim that their flagship live sampling pedal is “the best live looping tool ever built” is simply insane. Nonetheless, it’s the best I’ve ever been able to afford…certainly the best under $1000, and the best you can find without resorting to rack-mounted or software-based systems.

Fretbase: Squiggly Frets Deliver Superior Tone
For years, my violist girlfriend and I have been engaged in the “frets vs. fretless” argument - whether the relative ease of playing on a fretboard makes up for losing the ability to adequately control intonation. Now, it looks like we’re both wrong.

Fretbase: Controversy Continues Over Use Of Endangered Tonewoods
Blogger Brendan “Goofydawg” Delumpa, citing luthier Terry McInturff’s thread at TheGearPage.net, recently boycotted the use of endangered tonewoods (like Brazilian Rosewood) in new instruments. It amazes me that anyone could reasonably disagree with this, but some find these woods too beautiful to care.