Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: 21st Century Romance: Digital Music for Analog Love | William Irwin Thompson x Burning Man | John Perry Barlow x Google Glass | New Videos, Merch, & Live Recordings

11 March 2014

21st Century Romance: Digital Music for Analog Love | William Irwin Thompson x Burning Man | John Perry Barlow x Google Glass | New Videos, Merch, & Live Recordings

"They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that's true.  What they don't tell you is when time starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up."

Ideamensch recently quoted my interview with them in their list of "35 Habits That Successful Entrepreneurs Use To Get Things Done."  My contribution is old and taken out of context, but it's a good list in general, if you're looking for ways to be more productive.

But I'm not sure that being productive is most important thing in life – try as they might to convince us all otherwise.  I often feel like it's a bad habit I have to unlearn, that I'm stuck on "show and tell" overdrive – but to what end?  I'm sure I could improve my strategies for saying more with less, inspiring by example with a fuller-yet-more-spacious life, and I'm always open to your insights.

In the meantime, here I am sharing work of which I am extremely proud.  I do this as an offering to others, but I really love this stuff.  I get lost in this music and these patterns for hours every day, and hope that you ultimately benefit from the loving dedication and enjoyment I invest into my work.

And I deeply appreciate all of the help you guys continue to provide to keep it flowing.  When you pick up prints or music, or commission a painting, or hire me for a private party, or whatever – it all goes to paying rent that just doubled; to starting a long-overdue life in Austin with my beloved; and to finishing the most ambitious projects I have ever undertaken.

Whenever you share my work with your friends, or invite me to enjoy your own creative efforts, our every interaction helps reinforce this path of joy and service.  Thank you.

May all of this blossom like red fireworks in your heart.

Michael


21st Century Romance:
Digital Music for Analog Love

21st Century Romance is a double-disc LP of highlights from my 2013 tour, improvised performances channeling the spirit of places like Rootwire Festival and Austin's Historic Scoot Inn into luminous, deep-chill heroic electro-ballads.

It is a consummate recording of my years honing a new kind of music – freestyle instrumentals that wed past and future, live and studio, the world's most familiar folk instrument with a dazzling array of electronic hardware.

The music is just one part of a multimedia release exploring the ever-more-intimate embrace human and machine through multiple channels, including original digital art, first-person time-lapse live painting videos taken through Google Glass, laser-engraved bamboo jewelry, inspirational performance philosophy, and more – a feast for the senses, articulating a healing transcendental vision for humankind as we stride forward into an age of epochal change.

But what it all comes down to is this:  an hour and a half of music I'm really proud of and can't believe I made live in concert without premeditation.

Two tracks – "Sweat Anthem" and "Green Ranger" – are entirely free downloads and the rest of the album, liner notes and all, is $7.  It's the only record of dozens on my site for which I'm asking anything at all – mostly just to see who still cares about all the time and love and work that goes into the craft of music.

Buying my friends' music is one of the most satisfying things I do and I hope you feel the same...because it sounds so much sweeter when you've made that commitment.  (Remember new CDs?)  If you want a physical souvenir, the album is a free download with this poster:

Ernst Haeckel Tribute Poster

Ernst Haeckel is one of my personal heroes – the 19th Century scientific illustrator who single-handedly named, described, and drew thousands of deep sea creatures discovered by the world's first trans-oceanic research expedition.  (If you want to be inspired, watch this documentary about his life.)

He saw evolution as the unfolding mind of God and recognized no boundary between art and science...and his lavish illustrations reflect his sensitivity to natural beauty and geometric perfection.  This signed 11" x 17" poster on glossy cardstock is an homage to his beautiful plates of diatoms, sea stars, and jellyfish – featuring the series of hand-drawn and digitally manipulated fractals I designed for the liner notes of 21st Century Romance as part of its exploration of the analog-digital embrace.


I Made These Videos & They're Super Cool



Cultural historian William Irwin Thompson had no idea when he gave this talk on the circus in 1975 that it would one day go so nicely over Burning Man footage taken thirty-eight years later...



My friend and colleague Topher Sipes threw down some epic visuals with me at the Scottish Rite Theatre in Austin a few weeks ago.  Here's a clip of that super trippy set – full video coming soon...



John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace, seems surprisingly at odds with Google Glass in this short interview...



I shred eight-finger polyphonic fretboard tapping in this vaguely latin lightning number on the overwhelmingness of modern life, recorded at my 30th birthday show in Austin...

Here's A New Painted Hat!

Yay!  I had a lot of fun with this "Biomechanical Slurk meets Easter Sunday" snapback – painted on a canvas Grassroots California lid, which offered a better surface and let me render more detail.  Let me know if you'd like one – or custom-painted anything.  (Murals!)

These Pins = Mmm

Two of the prettier things in which I've played a part, these matched "warm" and "cool" double-posted enamel pins are $20 each from my homies at Kolorspun.  This is a banger 2" pin – the kind that would shine like a train headlight on the front of a fedora or flash enough to signal a search plane if you ever got lost in the woods.  Just saying.

New Pay-Whatever Live Recordings

Recorded at my friend Aisha's Valentine's Day 50th Birthday Party in North Austin...we start off with a lengthy melodic psyambient guitar improvisation, then roll through a few of my fan favorite "standards" from the twelve-year MG catalogue. Suffused with dark chocolate and the seductive decor, these performances for a home full of Burners and other delightful weirdos are rife with shimmering, sultry haute technique.

Highights include a best-yet take on the ongoing quasi-improvisation, "Extinct" - building on but significantly different from prior iterations from The Manifestation Celebration 2011 and my birthday party at Whip In 2012.  Also, a pretty tight version of my percussive guitar anthem, "Offering Hands".


Improvised by strangers on the tail end of an all-night house party, while sampled and remixed on the fly by Michael Garfield. Featuring: Mitch Mignano on Microkorg, Acoustic Guitar, & iPad; Jared Buchsbaum on Melodica, Mellophone, & Clarinet; and Anthony Paul on Human Beatbox.

Recorded live at a private house party in Austin, Texas on New Year's Day, immediately following my solo sunrise set.  Be warned:  this is extremely weird.  Album artwork by the inimitable Kaliptus.