Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: December 2013

26 December 2013

Rants 2010 - 2013 | Purging The Music Vaults | New Live Painting | SonArte | Nocturnal Sketches | BassAware

“It’s absolutely irrational to not be filled with the fire of consuming hope.”

“You need a balance of gloom and optimism.  Let one get out of control and take over and you are in trouble.”

I hope you guys don't mind that I don't have much to say in preface to the fullest, most abundant newsletter I've ever put out there.  My hands are sore from typing this week - the natural consequence of preparing pics of my latest live painting; a collection of my best concert banter from the last four years; not one but FOUR musical releases (mostly old material for super-fans only – to clear the brush from the trail of my mind, as it were, in preparation for a few truly excellent releases in 2014); previews of the collected sketchbooks I plan to publish in the next year; news on my recent partnership with audio-to-artwork startup SonArte; an article on the coolest new music technology I've seen in years; and the long-overdue page I created for Live Painting on Facebook.

I'm as open to your correspondence as ever.  Stay in touch, and have a beautiful last few days of 2013!

Rants: Concert Banter on Aliens, Love,
and Other Great Mysteries, 2010 - 2013

Culled from four years of live concert recordings, "Rants: 2010 - 2013" highlights the visionary diatribes, cornball goofery, and contagious enthusiasm that make my shows so distinct and personal. Every set is an opportunity to blow minds - and not just with music. 

Enjoy this journey into the mind of a modern performance philosopher coming of age on tangents both profound and profane. Thirty-six minutes of sheer...sheerness, somewhere between bardic wit, standup comedy, and raving lunacy.
 
"Amazingly well-spoken."
- Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics

"[Michael has] a wonderful ability to articulate the difficult and complex divinity of this world."
- Sarah Dawn Haynes, coordinator for Bioneers Colorado

"You goof-a-potamus."
- Nicole Taylor, Beautiful Music Violins

Purging The Music Vaults – Happy Holidays!
  

B Universe: Experiments & Outtakes

Here is a little journey through my developing sound over the past four years, as improvised guitar loopscapes became a bigger and bigger part of my singer-songwriter sets...and eventually took over, as I gathered new gear, new techniques, and new confidence in flying by the seat of my pants.

I think each of these performances has something to love, but the recordings are too raw to justify putting them out on a "big" release. So here they are, the black sheep and weirdos – which, maybe, say more about me than anything else.

(If you only download one of the four releases I threw at you this week, this is the one.)

A Global Odyssey of the Arts

Just over one year ago, Dixon's Violin, Texas State University experimental music professor Richard Hall, and myself got together for a show withARTheism and acclaimed hooper Brecken Rivara.

"A Global Odyssey of the Arts" was a night to remember. Here is a free recording of the instrumental magic that transpired...a superb soundtrack to peaceful winter ambiance. Enjoy!

  

Listening to these is kind of painful now, but also proud – to hear how far I've come.  Recommended for anyone interested to know my roots, here are two windows into the very early days of my experimental guitar work.  Scapegoat was the first of my annual winter holiday releases, back in the dinosaur-infested yonder-year of 2008; Live From Zero Point is mostly made of good songs performed by someone who hasn't grown into his pants, but features "Zipline," my first ever attempt at a danceable cyberacoustic groovescape.  

Both of them are beyond free...if you're dedicated enough to listen to these greenhorn releases, let me know who you are so I can declare you a super-fan and lavish you with appreciation.

~ New Live Painting ~
Feathered Tongues of Flame
20"x30" - paint markers on canvas
Painted during the music of:
The Parish, 2013-11-15 ... A.J. Vincent, Holiday Mountain, ishi
The Parish Austin, 2013-11-22 ... Holding Space, The Motet
Speakeasy, 2013-11-29 ... Immortal Guardian, Consider the Source

Part nudibranch, part fire elemental, kind of erotic, based on this sketch I did on the plane coming back from playing a New Year's concert in Costa Rica in 2011.  Click on the picture for a closer look – I'm really happy with all of the subtle detail that went into this one, the transparencies and jellylike rippling effects.  Evidence that the more things change, the more they stay the same...

Alien Queen & Black Pearl 
 

I don't doodle as much as I used to.  But I did just scan hundreds of pages of my sketchbooks in preparation for a formal release sometime in 2014.  Stay posted, and enjoy these two more recent white-paint-marker-on-black-construction-paper pieces in the meantime!

Making Sound Into Art w/ SonArte

Sample graphic for the kind of sonograph-to-painting commission work I'm now doing for a new Los Angeles-based company, SonArte. Cool concept, check it out:

"Behind every sound is a story told through a waveform. With each beat, note and tone comes a beautiful pattern which is the physical representation of sound. Now you can have that waveform created as a work of art. SonArte takes the unique waveform of any sound be it a song, a phrase, or a heartbeat and creates luxuriously handmade custom paintings and digital art. SonArte paintings and digital art are created by real artists, not computers. The parameters are specified by the customer so each piece of art sent out is unique and will never be duplicated. Using a waveform of sound of your choice, SonArte’s artists transfer your sound onto a canvas."

I'm one of six artists on the ground floor. If you want your favorite sounds transformed into visual poetry, go here.

~ New Article on SolPurpose ~
Introducing BassAware: A Revolution In Wearable Audio

I have been tracking audio technology developments since 2007, excited to imagine how our accelerating world might change the way we relate to our senses. But years of speculation takes its toll, resulting in a kind of “future fatigue” (“Where is my hoverboard?”) – and so it was with immense delight that, on a trip to New York this summer, I met inventor Michael White and experienced his new device bassAware, a wearable subwoofer that takes personal audio into an entirely new and sexy dimension.

This isn’t just a concept; it’s a reality, market-ready, and poised to change the way we relate to our favorite music forever. Michael was kind enough to indulge SolPurpose with an email interview on the history and social implications of bassAware...


Live Painting has a home on Facebook
FINALLY.

Blessings, everyone.  Thanks for your support!

17 December 2013

Great Coverage From LostInSound | New Painted Hats & Shoes | Looper's Night at Burning Man | Holiday Sale at Ravenectar

“It’s not what you fight against that matters as much as knowing what is worth fighting for. Wake up and dream.”

"If Art can't tell us about the world we live in, then I don't believe there's much point in having it."
Wow, life!  After years of hard work the world is finally starting to show me some love for all I've done to try and inspire people.  My talks on the visionary horizons of human experience from Center Camp and Fractal Planet at Burning Man 2013 were just featured in Jack Rabbit Speaks, the official Burning Man newsletter!  I am so honored...and even more honored to receive not one, but two gushingly positive reviews of my festival performances from the excellent webzine, LostInSound.

Life has been an incredible challenge for me this year – legally, romantically, financially.  But we all have to polish that pearl somehow.  Thank you for growing with me.  I hope that this newsletter offers you something meaningful to carry into the rest of your life.  Stay in touch if you have anything to say, or to ask...I'm always available to help you find your way, or cheer you on.

Art Outside & Gratifly Reviews by LostInSound
Photo & Article by Bridget Chaney

"Arguably Garfield’s greatest success lies in how seamlessly he flows from one role to another – a friendly teacher, a minstrel, and a visionary – all while setting and maintaining a thoughtful, kind, and introspective tone through all of his work...offering us a refreshing dose of relatable academia that is too often left out of the festival environment. It is largely because of him, and others like him, that these events are evolving from 'just another party' to a social movement capable of 'transforming' our society and bringing about the evolution of new ideas."

"His intricately developed soundscapes delve into the internal harmonies of what it means to be human: the percussion our pulse and the melody the flow of our spirit, like blood vessels serpentinely traversing through the labyrinthine veins of the body. If cellular mitosis had a trippy soundtrack, it might be Michael Garfield."


Photo by Yvonne Smith | Article by Matt Bovard

"Welcome to the future...Michael is a pioneer exploring the edge realms where the electric and old world meet. His improvised sets are the modern equivalent of Charlie Parker blowing out his soul into the smoky nights of the 1940’s...The soundscapes vibrate with eco-delic cowboy vibrato that takes the listener on a journey from which they cannot return the same as they left."
Looper's Night at Burning Man Center Camp 2013

One of the most magical things that ever happened to me at Burning Man: I barely made it onto stage at all, I was so sick. But I made it work, and the act after mine at Center Camp canceled, leaving me 45 minutes to do whatever I wanted...

With an audience full of amazing musicians, including Erothyme and Cualli, I had no choice but to break out a series of unprecedented and improvised live looping collaborations.  This is deep heavy chill, perfect for late-night listening.  Throat-singing, didjeridoo, and cybernetic sound mangling for journeying and dreamwork.

After jamming with the third group, all total strangers, (my favorite jam, unfortunately not recorded), everyone left the stage in different directions and I called after them to stay in touch. A guy in a couch in the front row slapped his forehead and exclaimed, "YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER??"  Not bad for being propped up by DayQuil and playa love.  ;)

New Painted Hats & Shoes

After a short hiatus, I'm back in the game!  Email me if you'd like a custom lid, or shoes, or anything that will hold a coat of paint.  (The Bassnectar flatbill you see below is my very last, though.  I would rather make you something more uniquely you.)  You can click on each picture to get a better look:






Holiday Discount on MG Ravenectar Tees!

Thanks to Montreal-based sublimation printing company Ravenectar, I now have my art on some very cool shirts.  If you want one of these – in men's OR women's sizes – you can use the coupon code "MGHOLIDAY" to take 15% off any order, including gift card purchases, until the first of next year.  And if I see you around wearing one of these, you're getting a huge hug.  Check out their store.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful week!

01 December 2013

New Painting | New Ravenectar Tees | My Talk From Fractal Planet | Year-End Art Sale!

“The gift turns toward the empty place.”

"The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool."

Hello, everyone!  As my search for a booking agent continues (as well as my work on not one but two books, and a studio album of my percussive guitar songs), I'm still somehow managing to crank out an entirely unwholesome amount of art, music, and writing that I hope will inspire you this holiday season.  Here it is, followed by a note about my year-end sale on original art.

Thank you for your support and have a wonderful week!

Optimus De Los Muertos


Paint markers on stretched canvas – 20"x30" – Original painting sold.

Painted live at the following concerts:

• 2013 11 01 The Parish •Random Rab, Happy Happy James
• 2013 11 09 Fun Fun Fun Fest •Miami Improv Machine, Jenny Slate, Doug Benson, Tenacious D, Quasi, Sparks• 2013 11 10 Fun Fun Fun Fest •Sarah Silverman, Wild Child, Daniel Johnston, The Dismemberment Plan, Washed Out, MGMT

Working during comedians at an uncomfortably-small festival venue packed with sweaty hipsters was a new experience for me.  But I liked it, for the most part!  Thanks to FYounK Clothing for having me and the Third Coast Visions Collective out to paint at Fun Fun Fun Fest.  

I filmed some of each layer through my Google Glass (the painting was a perk for my crowdfunding campaign) and will post the video soon...stay tuned!

Click below for a detailed view of the process:

New Ravenectar Tees!


My friends Ravenectar in Montreal, Quebec have the coolest t-shirt company in the world and I'm delighted to have two new shirts in their winter line!  And in a world full of exploited artists, I'm happy to say that they're not just putting out the best shirts I can find; they're also giving us designers a great percentage on the sales.  Go pick up "his" or "hers" editions on their website and know that you're supporting the same people who brought you this awesome social network.

Cosmic Perspectives From A Fractal Planet

Recorded on 29 August 2013 as part of Burning Man's Fractal Planet Village Speaker Series. This hour of ecodelic philosophy explores the shifting boundaries between human and machine, past and future, self and society...one of Michael's noteworthy performances, energized by an excellent venue and audience. Appearances by Jonathan Zap and Mitch Mignano round out the discussion.

Topics include:

• The evolutionary imperative of taking a "cosmic" perspective;
• Why you don't need to fear a killer robot uprising;
• How an internet for dolphins will help with humanity's coming of age;
• The importance of absurdity and play in 21st Century society;
• And other "required" listening for post-millenial existence.

In related news, you can find links to free downloads of my entire archive of Burning Man recordings – both music and talks – right here.  The archive starts in 2009 with my first public speech at a festival, and continues through this year's inspiring music/dance collaboration with the Center Camp Aerial Fabric Showcase.  Enjoy!

Follow Me On Instagram

Because as great as these newsletters are, you and I would like to also be in constant superficial contact.  Follow me on Instagram and you'll see a bunch of cool stuff that won't make it into this newsletter, including shots of work in progress and pics from stage at festivals...also, wildlife adventure!  Yes.

Here are a few recent highlights – clickable links:


The Year-End Painting Sale Continues!

I know this is no way to talk about fine art – art that I labored over for hours and hours, carried with me across the country, shared in some of the best festival galleries in the world...but seriously, folks:

Get this art out of my apartment.  I'm happy to negotiate with you if 30% off still isn't enough.

Thank you.  That is all.  :)