"Music is so powerful, it needs to be used for some kind of redeeming work. To lift people's spirits, to lift their souls."
Summer is upon us! I know most of you are still in spring buds and blossoms, but my festival season started last week with the Sonic Bloom preparties in Denver and an amazing evening at the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science for The Manifestation Celebration...
This coming summer feels especially potent, rippling with both peaceful energy (long afternoons, buzzing cicadas, lazy rivers) and a burgeoning intensity (economic collapse, social network activism, ecological catastrophe, solar flares) that seems to presage a truly bizarre new world coming into being.
It's maybe even a little passe to say this now, but I get a strong sense that something beautiful is rising from the ashes as all of our familiar structures – religion, country, relationships, even the self – dissolve in the flow of these evolutionary rapids. Here is the soundtrack I offer for these changes:
Improvised on solo acoustic guitar and hardware pedal effects at various inspiring Austin events this March, Golden Hour is my finest instrumental acoustic electronica to date – spacious, evocative, and wise. Shimmering beat-sliced harmonics and filtered eBow basslines, sprawling slide riffs and soaring leads sing out on this hour of music created and offered as a score to your summer roadtrips, outdoor lovemaking, and days at the pool...a testament to the sacred beauty of this season:
"[Michael] is leading the charge in bringing a more human and soulful aspect back to electronic music."
– Jason White, aka Zympht
"Your sound is totally sunkissed Cali psych mysticism. That sound is classic and cannot be faked."
– Andy Rantzen of Pelican Daughters
Two of my personal favorites from this record, "Golden Hour" and "You're In My Self-Portrait," are free downloads – and you get three gorgeous cover art options courtesy of my man David Titterington when you buy the album. You can stream the whole record free whenever you like. Enjoy!
2012 04 12 The Parish (MiHKAL, Knowa Knowone, Soundshaman)
2012 04 13 Ruta Maya (ONE4ALL, Soundshaman, Matthew Ian Blagg, Miss Zap)
2012 04 16 Ruta Maya (Esoteric Mondays)
30" x 40" – paint markers on stretched canvas
11"x17" signed poster prints – $20 each or two for $30
Original painting available for sale – email me to inquire
This one was named inadvertently by my friend Chris Morphis, who came up to me at a show and captioned, "I thought we were dancin'; why we gotta be fightin'?" That pretty much sums up the emotional energy behind this piece – the dyad, the dance, the lovers, tangled, polar, divided but united, evoking each other even when apart, the boundaries tidal, orbital, co-imbricated.
One of the most important things I learned in school for evolutionary biology is that what we call competition is equally true as cooperation from a different angle. Predator and prey, host and parasite, victim and abuser, artist and audience – these are timeless pairings that require both partners as poles of a dynamic that transcends them. You and I co-arise as opposite ends of the same event. Even in our differences, we share the pearl of original awareness. I am You.
Or, from Erik Davis's fantastic book, TechGnosis (Synchronicity alert: I read this while taking a break from typing):
"Alchemy places a tremendous emphasis on polarity, on the dynamic, erotic, and highly combustible interaction – or conjuctio – of contrary elements and states of being. This propulsive ambiguity is also reflected in the question all alchemical scholars must confront as they investigate the history of the art: What were these fellows actually doing? Was the Great Work physical or spiritual, sexual or imaginal, grubby or contemplative?"
The complete answer is, as it frequently is, "both."
Click on these pictures for a closer look at the process and details of this piece:
I'll keep this email brief. But here are just a couple of the brightest stars in an ever-growing line-up of luscious summer events where I'll be playing music, painting, and giving talks. (My full calendar is here.)
I hope to see you there! Regardless, stay in touch and have a beautiful day...