Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 2012

25 December 2012

Every Day Is A New Year | MGxGRC Hat #2 | Ethereal Underground | Land Without Evil


"There is absolutely nothing to transcend...only all of Creation to unite with."
Jeffery Wolf Green

"All things are possible once enough human beings realize that everything is at stake."

Well, we all lived through the long-anticipated 2012 Winter Solstice and civilization's first encounter with the cosmic inflection point: on December 21st, our Sun aligned with black hole Sagittarius A* at the heart of our galaxy.  A lot of people thought something crazy was going to happen, myself included...but it seems increasingly clear that the ride is just getting started.

The embrace of this accelerating change is the subject of my latest painting, as well as new musical and theatrical projects that have swept me up into exciting creative collaborations.  Isn't that why we're here?  To trade surfing tricks and astonished eye contact as we try our new lives on for size...

And now, some of my finest work ever.  Thanks for reading and have a blessed holiday!

My New Collaboration With Grassroots California

The response to my first embroidered and silk-screened design collaboration with Grassroots California was overwhelming – I didn't make it to a single festival this year without seeing at least one person rocking that hat, and it was a huge honor and surprise to get so much positive feedback.

Like the first one, only 420 of these will be made.  Preorder through me and you not only get the satisfaction of supporting the artist directly (thank you!) but I'll be happy to sign or personalize it for you, too.  And every preorder comes with an exclusive live EP of electronic guitar music.

Preorder price is currently less than retail, but that's bound to change before I get the hats in early February.  Interested parties, hit me up soon!

Every Day Is A New Year

"Once we abandon this obsessive fanaticism of absolute complete knowledge, we can continue on with our process of discovery without the headache of a deadline.”

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

painted live at
• Rootwire Music & Arts Festival, 2012 08 18
Papadosio (electric), Dopapod, Ott, Akara, Papadosio (acoustic)
• The Parish, 2012 09 15
Kaminanda, The Human Experience, Brede
• Art Outside Festival, 2012 10 20/21
Mother Falcon, Russ Liquid, Andreilien, Stephan Jacobs, Brede, ONE4ALL, Pharo, Metranohm, Thriftworks, Henry & The Invisibles, Pyramid, Dimitri's Ascent, Pumpkin
• Texas Music Theater, 2012 11 11
Papadosio, Octopus Nebula, Holding Space
• Cirque Lunaire at La Zona Rosa, 2012 12 01
Bluetech, Phutureprimitive, Ex Stus
• Whompadelic Wednesdays at Club, 606 2012 12 12
KiloWatts, Crazy Fingers, inertG, SoundShaman

Click to view the process:


Ethereal Underground's New Studio Album
"You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path."

Acoustic and digital, real and imaginary, freestyle and remix, far out and close up, awake and dreaming...  Ethereal Underground is the visionary collaboration between me and beat wizard Tristan Gulliford, aka Dreamcode.  

Between the original sessions and more than a year of Dreamcode's patient sculpting, over 100 hours of studio detail work went into Strangely Familiar – resulting in an ultra juicy 33:33 of...something...not quite witch house, not quite space hop, totally luxuriously weird.  Check us out on FB.

Land Without Evil

I just finished an eight-show run doing live music for this amazing production by Agent Red & Sky Candy, and filmed by PBS for their series, Arts in Context.  A story of colliding cultures in an age of transformation, adapted from the novel by Matthew Pallamary...we got to perform at the historic Stateside at the Paramount Theater in Austin and yes, it totally raised the bar.  Getting to work with such talented dancers, aerialists, video mapping projectionists, actors, live musicians, lighting engineers, and costume designers is just...wow.  This is why I love Austin.

Check out show's teaser trailer:


Custom Painted Hats

I almost hesitate to advertise these, as I'm currently sitting on a huge stack of orders.  Thanks to everyone for your patience!  But if you're in the market for some special way to grace your crown, take a look at my whole gallery for ideas and drop me a line.




An Inspirational Interview With Ideamensch

Last news but maybe the most interesting:  I recently sat down with Mario Schulke of Ideamensch, a website to inspire your entrepreneurial spirit.  He asked me some big questions, and I answered...  Here's a taste:

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Do what only you can do. There are a thousand people in line behind you except for what critical node in the working body of our species? This is a place where “your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner)  Go for that.

What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I remind myself that my resources are of many kinds, that luck is one of them, that help comes from strange places, and that I’m doing this for love, not money. (Money is just the blood that keeps the body working. I don’t need a basement full of blood.)


04 December 2012

My Talk From Rootwire, Best Hat Yet, & New Live Music Archive

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality
– and then there are those who turn one into the other."
– Douglas Everett

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
– Albert Einstein

Thank you all for supporting my efforts to make my life an inspiration and example to others, to help people find a way to bring their work and creativity together.  All of us can live a life of passionate and illuminated service.  Here's how I'm doing that, for now:

My Talk From Rootwire Festival

Just say yes to evolution!  The talk I gave at Rootwire Music & Arts Festival in between awesome offerings by Jamaica Stevens of Tribal Convergence and visionary artist Amanda Sage, and featuring a guest appearance by the awesome electronic producer Evan Skytree Snyder.  May it serve you in your continued growth and learning...

"I think there is a great deal of coming out right now, as we admit ourselves to ourselves.  As we step forward and identify as children of the planet to the parents who may still be identifying with nationalistic or industrial concerns, with specific ideologies or cultural affiliations.  These are things to be celebrated because we no longer rely on them.  They're an art form, now, not a technology of survival.  Terence McKenna said that culture is not your friend, but that's not entirely true; culture is an art project, now.  It can be our friend if we raise it to learn to be our friend, because the choice is ours."

Custom-Painted Hats

Orders for more detailed, time-intensive hats have been coming in, and I've been having a blast with it!  Check out my full gallery of 100+ painted hats if you'd like inspiration for your own custom design.





New Live Shows, All Free at Archive.org

I put out a lot of music.  A lot.  In order to separate studio-produced or deeply-curated live albums from less epic (but still worth-sharing) recordings, I've decided to launch a page at archive.org's etree Live Music Archive.  These are all partial shows – some more complete than others – free and fun and full of silly banter and strange sonic experiments.

If you like what I'm doing enough to buy some music, here & here are two great albums worth sharing. I'm about to record a long-overdue studio album and can definitely use your help to bring it into being!

Thanks, and enjoy...


Fifteen minutes of raw, molten basement jams with acoustic & electronic drums.


Twenty minutes of touchstyle guitar etudes & silly banter from my show in Boulder this summer.


On sacred land in the desert outside of Albuquerque this summer, I let it get as weird as possible....


A pretty solid sampling of both my acoustic singer-songwriter music and cyberacoustic improvisations.

21 November 2012

A Sneak Peek Of My Coolest Painting Yet

"Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life.  Give freely.  Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve.  Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation.  Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all.  Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride.  Then, you will achieve your destiny."
Krishna

Every Day Is A New Year (Unfinished)
Like/Share/Comment on FB
Preorder Prints of the Finished Painting

Click on the picture to get a better look at my anticipatory portrait of 2013, in all of its dragon-UFO-space-buddha glory.  (In an homage to Android Jones' 2011 Burning Man ticket art, yes that is a tiny buddha meditating on the brow of the great dragon.)  I started this piece at Rootwire Festival back in August and have taken it all over Central Texas since, including Art Outside Festival and shows with Papadosio, Octopus Nebula, The Human Experience, and Kaminanda.

I'm taking preorders now for 11"x17" prints of the completed painting (I want to have it finished in time for the Solstice, wink) – as well as accepting bids for the painting itself, which will be professionally scanned and made available on stretched canvas fine art giclée prints for anyone interested.

(Everyone who preorders it gets a free download of my album, Golden Hour: A Cyberacoustic Summer Daydream, which is indeed about as dreamy as I can make it.  Good for writing and yoga, I hear.  Enjoy!)

 Click for a closer view of the process:

Visionary Soundscapes:
A Conversation with Electronic Musician Mystical Sun

My latest article for badass culture blog Reality Sandwich is an in-depth conversation with studio electronic music sculptor Mystical Sun.  Here's a taste.  You can read the entire conversation and album review here...

"The relationship between 'music' and 'noise' is that they're from the same source and everything else is just subtle differences.  I don't distinguish between the two.  Typical music is about relationships, emotions, stories, opinions, politics, etc.  The vision I have for my music is closer to virtual reality:  I'm not writing songs about what's happened in my life; I'm attempting to create music that transports listeners out of the day-in/day-out world, like a good science fiction movie might...each second is unique and not repeated."
The Latest Custom Painted Hats

It continues to amaze me that sometime in the last year I acquired a reputation for "straight killin' it with the dope headwear"...as it were.  ;)  I'm honored and endlessly grateful that you all continue to show your support and offer me these opportunities to bless your heads.  If you'd like your own one-of-a-kind custom hat, or want me to make one for someone you love, just email me and we can talk budget and logistics.  You can check out the hats so far on my FB art page.

This one was for a friend to wear at his wedding:


This one was a birthday present for a Bassnectar fan, so I worked the logo all subtly into a few places:


Help Me Win 75 Hours of Studio Recording Time!

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far, I'm pulling a 100-vote lead in a competition by The Recording Conservatory of Austin to win 75 hours of studio recording time...this is the break that would finally enable me to record the pro studio album I've been wanting to make for over a decade.

Please take ten seconds to vote for me (you don't have to sign up for anything) and SHARE THIS LINK with your friends:  http://a.pgtb.me/cG4D  Voting ends December 4th. One vote per IP address and email address. Play fair, now!

And once you've voted, please help yourself to a complimentary copy of Deleted Scenes: Outtakes from Love Scenes & Field Recordings, my latest live EP.  Not to mention all of the other music I've made available as a gift to you...

Thank You

That's all for now.  Thank you so much for reading!  This newsletter is a constant reminder to be grateful for my opportunity to serve and inspire others.  Without you, I would never have learned how doing what I love can have a positive impact on people.  So let me just express my deep gratitude for you, on the other end of this connection.  I wish you a most wonderful day!

04 November 2012

More Fedoras, Music For Yoga, & MG Joins The Meme Game

"Art SHOULD be one of the tools we use to improve our society.  Art SHOULD be didactic."

Let The Memespiration Begin!

Pictures are more evocative than text, and I'm committed to reaching as many people I can with a message of hope through all of these crazy changes.  The most profound truths require the fewest words – so internet memes, it turns out, are one of the best ways to spread this hope.

I'll be sharing more of these as they come to me.  May they give you some perspective on a difficult situation and encourage you to be even more of a creative participant in the better world we're building together...

It seems to be working.  This is my most-shared post of all time:


Help Me Win 75 Hours of Studio Time!

(According to ReverbNation, anyway.  I live in the hometown of psychedelic rock, so this comes as a surprise to me...)

I'm a finalist in a competition by The Recording Conservatory of Austin to win 75 hours of studio recording time and $500 of music software!  Please take ten seconds to vote for me (you don't have to sign up for anything) and SHARE THIS LINK with your friends: http://a.pgtb.me/cG4D

I've recorded over a dozen live albums in the last five years but need to put a studio album together if I am to be taken seriously by the music industry. This could really help launch my career – so if you want to get social with it, I've made a Facebook event page to spread around.  Thanks in advance for helping me bring you a record worth sharing with your kids, someday...

Music For Yoga.  Finally!

This Week In Manifestation:  after so many of you told me my albums A Million Anniversaries and Golden Hour made for great yoga music, I had to find out whether it would actually work live during yoga classes.  And then I moved to Austin, where – lo and behold – the increasingly popular Wanderlust Festival just opened a permanent live music and yoga studio!

Playing at Wanderlust Live is a dream come true.  It took a couple months to line up our schedules, but I just did two classes there with vinyasa mama Gioconda Parker and the energy was awesome.  People dug it.  I suspect that these sets are even better for your flow and movement exercises than my other stuff, and will be making a point to share it with you as soon as possible.

If you're in or near Austin, Texas, then stop on in and join us!  Your first class is free, so it's like going to a concert and getting world-class yoga instruction at the same time without having to pay.  (Although I'll bet you want to come back...)

And while we're on the subject of yoga music...

FREE EP – Outtakes From
Love Scenes & Field Recordings

The love has been pouring in for my latest album, Love Scenes & Field Recordings, the chronicle of this summer's four-month, seventeen-state tour.  But if you're the kind of person who can't scrounge up $11.11 and buy it, you can still taste the glory from my sets at Rootwire Festival, Desert Rocks Festival, and The Parish with The Nadis Warriors with this free EP.

I love these tracks, but there were minor glitches in the recordings – noisy cables and stuff like that – that disqualified them from the main release.  Here's twenty minutes of total fun.  Enjoy it!

You can pick up your copy on Bandcamp or ultra-cool underground site ListenerApproved.  And if you like that album art, you can thank my man Geoglyphiks, whose work constantly inspires me.

Custom-Painted Hats

Don't think of them as painted hats; think of them as paintings on hats.  Art you can carry with you wherever you go (you know, just like your human body).  I love doing these and do my best to keep this work affordable.  Hit me up if you'd like one of your own...





Anyone who's been reading this newsletter for a while knows how much time I volunteer to help out people in need of some support or encouragement – somewhere in the hundreds of hours a month.  If this blog has inspired you, please consider visiting my homepage and making a donation.

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day!

18 October 2012

A Heavy Bevy of New Beats & Treats

"Reason can know nothing of Beauty, Truth, and Love...but it can be put in their service."

Daily Previews of the New Album

I've been having a lot of fun previewing this album one track at a time, letting everyone soak in it before moving on.  Each solo guitar piece is paired with a painting by one of a dozen visionary artists I'm lucky enough to call my friends:  Adam Scott Miller, Randal Roberts, David Titterington, Rae Vena, Bonnie Goodson, Emily Kell, Bryce Widom, Dadara, Geoglyphiks, Kimberly Kite, Chaeli Cardenas, & Gregory Pettit.

Together, the music and art create an interference pattern, a transmedia journey into the heart of the visionary space...this is an album for listening while looking, so click on the preview below and gander for yourself:


The whole thing will be public on October 27th, when everyone who preordered it will immediately receive their download code for the album in hi-res audio, the triptastic 34-page liner notes, and other unannounced treats...


MG on Expanding Mind w/ Erik Davis

"Evolution, improvisation, and the living network of festival culture: a talk with musician-poet-thinker Michael Garfield."  My second appearance on this amazing radio program where culture critic and occultist Erik Davis spends an hour each week "exploring the cultures of consciousness" with magicians, authors, neuroscientists, and other questionable characters.  Myself included:


This time we discussed...a lot, including the dance between mind and geography, festival media ecosystems, and "cyberacoustic" music's place in human evolution.  It's a real treat to have such intelligent conversation and I definitely suggest you check out the show's archives!

(Here's my first appearance, from last year.  I also looove Rich Doyle's second appearance.  Seriously.)

Custom Hats

Many of you are just here for the art.  The big live paintings come more slowly, these days...my apologies for that, but you know it's worth the wait.  Meanwhile, you also know where to go for hats!  These are the latest I painted for my friends at The Headspace.  Hit me up if you'd like one of your own inspiration...








Shows This Fall

This weekend I'm playing Main Stage at one of my favorite festivals, Austin's Art Outside – details here:


I'm hunkering down in Texas this fall, where I have the honor of joining some great lineups with my homies Papadosio, Octopus Nebula, Holding Space, & The Floozies:


MG + SuperSeed Magazine

These guys give out festival guides all year round – a great way to get informed about what's going on in the open-air jams universe.  Their latest issue has my art on the cover and a special offer inside for readers:


Thank You!

Being employed in the service of an infinite and ineffable evolutionary force means I find all the support I need...but it takes a lot, to stay independent and keep inspiring people for a living.  So thank you, everyone who has picked up some of my art or music, and all of you reading this...have a magnificent day!

03 October 2012

Love Scenes & Field Recordings

"The sound of love opens doors."

With last week's Harvest Moon, we're now full-speed into autumn and the wildest, most transformative summer of my life is now officially on the books.  Between festivals, house concerts, indoor raves, yoga studio gigs, and other bizarre diversions, I ended up with not only some of my finest paintings yet, but also over 24 hours of recordings from concerts I played all over the country.

The resulting collection, Love Scenes & Field Recordings, gathers my favorite performances on "cyberacoustic" solo guitar & effects into one two-hour, twenty-eight song journey through the mystical realms of music at once ancient and futuristic, familiar and totally new.  

In partnership with Re:Evolution MediaSolpurpose.com, I've been releasing one track per day since the most-awesome holiday of Michaelmas on September 29th.  You can hear everything available so far by clicking through the time portal:


I'm really proud of this album; but Love Scenes & Field Recordings is not just about the music – for this release I was lucky enough to collaborate with a dozen amazing visionary artists on a gorgeous 34-page liner booklet with art by Geoglyphiks, Rae Vena, Adam Scott Miller, Dadara, Emily Kell, Chaeli Cardenas, Gregory Pettit, Bonnie Goodson, David Titterington, Kimberly Kite, Bryce Widom, Randal Roberts, & Kathi Stutler Schmeider.

The hi-res pdf liner notes are part of each album download.  Here is just a taste (click to enlarge):


Preorder it at Bandcamp before October 27th and you'll also be on the list for some exclusive treats...in the meantime, you can stay tuned via my FB or Twitter pages to hear each new track as it's released.

New Futurology Talk Online

This is the wildest, weirdest, most free-range mashup of a talk I've ever given – pretty much every topic I've ever discussed made it in there somehow, and the result is one hell of a rant.  I offer it to you here as a gift for your enjoyment and inspiration.  Excerpts below the link:


"The Singularity really only means this horizon of incomprehensibility. It means this point beyond which we cannot imagine. And that point is constantly moving! And in fact, it's not one point; it's different for everyone, because we all exist of a different biochemical and electromagnetic constitution. None of us are exactly the same pattern, and so therefore the horizon of our sensibility varies slightly, from model to model."

"The Grey alien I find uniquely compelling, because it represents this isomorphic projection into the future of what we currently understand as the trend in [our] evolution leading up to this moment – which is that we become sexually mature adults at earlier and earlier phases of development."  

"If we are going to talk about things in terms of information, then the entity that we describe as the internet has to be regarded as a much more complex, intricate, and dynamic informational entity than any human being, or community of human beings, and is therefore in some sense transcendent to us."

Custom Painted Hats

A few of my recent projects.  I'm always accepting new commissions, so if you'd like one of your own don't hesitate to hit me up!



These four are my first productions for the increasingly-impressive collection of unique artist collection hats at The Headspace – they also have great work by my buds Omar Chow, Tourmaline Todd, Elisa Rose Mountain, and Andy Reed, among others...






Upcoming Shows

Some great gigs coming up for my friends in Colorado, Kansas, and Texas!  I'm especially excited for return gigs at Art Outside Festival and shows with the always-excellent Papadosio & Octopus Nebula in November.  The amazing Topher Sipes of ARTheism will be joining me for live digital animation for my sets in Boulder and San Marcos, and possibly a few more.

Click the schedule for more info on my homepage:


Thanks for reading and have a magical day!