Archive for May, 2014


May 6, 2014

Ylayali Liner

The work that I’ve been tentatively referring to as “paradox/edges” is finally complete– and brings with it a new title: “Ylayali”. For the really, really, long-time readers of STARTLING MONIKER, you’ll know that I’ve released stuff under a variety of names in the past. Although I think I’m more DaveX now than anything, I’ve never been super-thrilled with releasing anything major under the name– and I just couldn’t sell myself on going the academic route, with middle initials blazing, etc., ha! One initial is fine, thank you. But the picking of a band/artist name is high voodoo. Lots to consider, especially for obsessive-minded, music junkie, record-hoarding crate-sniffers like myself. It’s the sort of thing you want to do right, one of the little rituals that add up to the overall fun of making music and being involved in music culture.

I took a little walk yesterday, just to get some distance on the problem of what to title the audio piece. Although a lot of direction ultimately ended up coming from Knut Hamsun’s 1890 novel HUNGER, it didn’t seem at all appropriate to appropriate the title– the work is not, after all, a reworking of the material. Rather, it encounters HUNGER, and comes away shaped by the experience. So I needed something different. I’ll let this selection from a note to my professor explain somewhat:

“…the unnamed protagonist sees (and becomes somewhat obsessed with) a young woman with whom he has a chance encounter. Although she is a stranger, the protagonist’s fragile and suggestible state cause him to provide her with a fanciful name he repeats to himself—“Ylayali”. As he says it for the first time, he hears his own heartbeat. Although the characters’ relationship is too complex to relate in this paper, a final point is worth mentioning— upon hearing of her moniker, she remarks unconvincingly that “it isn’t ugly.”
                As with Hamsun’s unnamed character, I have been similarly influenced by chance events, having decided early on in the process of creating this set of audio pieces to allow for and honor mistakes, outside influence, and what I think of as “the intent of the Universe” to play their part. To begin this process, I invited my daughter to read from randomly-selected portions of various texts. These included the TAO TE CHING, Sinclair Lewis’ novel BABBIT, and Hamsun’s HUNGER. My direction was that she randomly open the texts, and read from any single paragraph. During this process, the text of HUNGER revealed itself as a clear frontrunner, so the other texts were discarded. Portions of “Ylayali” are taken directly from these first, single-take readings, and form a skeletal theme that informs the work.”

In the novel, the protagonist encounters Ylayali, but does not retain her in any sense but, perhaps, a spiritual one. I like this idea. It seems more adaptable to what I’m interested in doing now– not so much making a statement or creating a message, as much as creating work that yields a significant encounter, like heat or gravity.

Although the project only called for a single physical copy to satisfy course requirements, I have made a numbered, limited-edition run of 10. At present, there are seven remaining– for $10 (well-concealed cash), I will mail your copy anywhere in the world. Contact me via e-mail for details. Some additional photos of “Ylayali” are below the fold, if you’re interested to see more. (more…)

Paradox/edges, update pt.4

May 2, 2014

The mixing and editing process for the piece has been going well, aside from some hiccups with a USB controller and University gear being pock-marked and haphazard. I listened to a rough cut last night in my car, and was totally impressed with about 75% of the overall work. The rest… looks like I’ll be going back to the editor.

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2014

Happy May Day! As the rest of the world is aware, today is International Workers’ Day, or May Day– for me, a time to remember the sacrifices made by others to improve our world, and to consider the sacrifices and hard work that will be necessary to continue making progress towards the dream of a truly free society. Despite the efforts to wipe the holiday out with Law Day and the National Day of Prayer (seriously, shove it) I’m continually proud to see friends and would-be friends keep the day alive with meaning, earnest struggle, and love. I spoke with a similarly-minded individual the other day about the strength necessary to carry on fighting– in any capacity– against such overwhelming odds. I will admit, I have not always found it. He told me that he purposefully sets aside time for good news, dipping into it each week to rejuvinate his spirit. It seems to be working for him, and it’s certainly a good way to keep up.

I’ve collected some stories from the front lines of good folks doing stuff in case you want to give it a shot, too.

Alabama prisoner strike, backed by IWW

12-year old protests Sea World, gets arrested

Building homes on the cheap with 3-D printing