Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Happy New Year! It's An Art Explosion: John Speaker Collab // Free Ableton Live Pack // Future Fossils Episode 13 // Synchronicity & The Inner Eye

05 January 2017

Happy New Year! It's An Art Explosion: John Speaker Collab // Free Ableton Live Pack // Future Fossils Episode 13 // Synchronicity & The Inner Eye

“We try to be conscious and respectful of our neighbors…and yet, we MUST prevail.”
– Alex Grey


Greetings, friends, and Happy New Year!  According to the Chinese Calendar, 2017 will be the Year of the Fire Rooster.  Given my love for sacred flames and bird-related things, I'm already gearing up for a year that feels like home:  wild independence, visionary ventures, channeled positive aggression, yang creative push to new horizons, yes let's do this!

Making room for new beginnings also means the end of some things I've held dear.  Tonight is the last Loopers' Night (the music monthly residency that I've hosted here for years).  I'm painting much less live work now, and more at home (where I can join you guys for webcast art jams, like next Friday's).

Fewer public appearances in general means more time to work on my book, album, and podcast – all part of an ecosystem of ideas and art I'm making this year to help people navigate our increasingly psychedelic century.  If you'd like privileged access to my new work and the satisfaction of supporting independent art, please check this out:


And now here are the new things.  Enjoy, and Happy New Year...!

New Collaboration with John Speaker
18"x24" // acrylic // canvas // sold

A collaboration with John Speaker, to whom I mailed this painting halfway through.  He took a piece that led to a dead end for me, and lifted it to new heights. (We've never met in person.)  Check out our as-yet-unclaimed other collaboration by mail here.

Free Ableton Live Pack

I've been making music with the amazing digital audio workstation Ableton Live since I got my first Macbook in 2004...but I've mostly kept it to myself. As I embark on the adventure of recording and publishing my first studio album in nearly a decade, I'd like to share with you some of the tools and toys I'm making for this project. So here is my way overdue first Live Pack, containing two drum racks I'm using for sample-based electronic percussion on the new album.

Both of these drum racks are based on a single-take sample recorded through a Beyerdynamic M88-TG microphone, a hypercardioid condenser mic renowned for its excellent flat EQ response and full-spectrum sound. Both slice one sample into sixteen short clips to be triggered as percussion hits (in my case with a Keith McMillen QuNeo MIDI controller – but you could use just about anything that will send pressure-sensitive commands).

Plenty more sample-based synthesizers and drum kits to come. My hope is that you have fun with these – and that you share whatever music they inspire!

(If you would like to learn the basics of music production and performance with Ableton Live, I'm happy to get you started with lessons over video chat. I'm eager to share more technical knowledge in the years to come, and share the joy of making music/paintings/writing/podcasts/anything I do...)

New Episode of Future Fossils with Rupert "Dr. Chill" Till

“I keep saying to people, this is work. I’m not here on holiday…I’m here disseminating the results from a 3.5 Million Pound European research project.”
– Dr. Chill

Our thirteenth episode features Dr. Rupert Till, aka Dr. Chill, the world’s first PhD in Electronic Chillout Music. Dr. Chill has a habit of reconstructing ancient acoustic spaces from caves and temples, then writing electronic chill out music with 3D printed replicas of the world’s oldest instruments. In other words, he’s a badass at the intersection of academic archeology and international dance festival culture. A pretty great place to be!

We had an amazing conversation about his research, rites of passage, and the perennial trance dance that defines us as human beings at Boom Festival.

Subscribe to, Rate, and Review Future Fossils Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.

(Or download the episode and read show notes here.)

Guest on Synchronicity Podcast

I had a wonderful time on the Synchronicity Podcast, discussing "the usual": psychedelics, shadow work, nonduality...dinosaurs...we really went for it with this one.

Give it a listen here.

Guest on The Inner Eye Podcast

The Inner Eye podcast is a collection of spontaneous and casual conversations with visionary artist Jake Kobrin exploring the subjects of art and creativity as well as things of relevance to navigating our existence such as religion and spirituality and psychedelics.  

Listen to our episode here.

Upcoming Awesomeness


The FINAL Loopers' Night is this Thursday.  For the last two years, my cohost cellist Jen Mulhern and I have led groups of daring instrumentalists through alternately groovy and hypnotic electronic live improvisations.  Every month we welcomed new musicians into the adventure.  This month Jen and I move on to dedicate ourselves to other projects, but we're going out in style...

RSVP and learn about participating acts here.