Creative Music Guild Compilation 2013

Creative Music Guild presents a cassette compilation for 2013 :
CMG_tape1_GREY_crop_599Side A :
Elfin Elephant
Rich Halley
Marisa Anderson/Lori Goldston/John C. Savage

Side B :
John Gross Trio
Amenta Abioto
Catherine Lee

For sale here, digitally :
and here, physically :

Artwork and design by me.


New releases on Notice Recordings



My cassette label, Notice Recordings, has announced two new releases. They are by Brooklyn-based French horn player and composer Anne Guthrie, and Chicago-based sound constructors Coppice. I’ve been in awe of both of these artists for quite some time, so it’s an honour to release something by them.

The artwork and layout is by me, with the exception of a photograph insert taken by Anne (not pictured here). The inserts were letterpress printed by John Fitzgerald in New Orleans. The Coppice release features two red sections, which were hand rubber stamped.

For more information, please see this post. Copies are for sale from me (thecoloroflight [at] hotmail [dot] com) (why not buy some art while you’re at it), or through Notice Recordings (which ultimately goes to, you know, me).


John Cage performance at Stanford University

This early October, while passing through California, I stopped at Stanford University to attend two concerts as part of the world-wide celebration of John Cage’s centennial. This was the only “deadline” I had on my trip; besides this concert, I didn’t particularly have to be anywhere, at any time. This was something I definitely wanted to attend. Being in Vermont a bit and mostly New Orleans for most of 2012, as well as being on the road, I wasn’t able to partake in any Cage Centennial events.

I was happily surprised to see some of my favourite Cage pieces in the program: Six Melodies, Cheap Imitation and Ryoanji. There was also a panel discussion, comprising Christian Wolff, Laura Kuhn, Walter Zimmermann and Kathan Brown.

I asked a question that kind of threw them off a bit, and they never gave me a direct answer. I asked if, because the majority of Cage’s work was determined  by chance operations (almost all of it post- (approximately) 1950), Cage had any other avenues for self expression, as he made a conscious decision to separate his musical and visual work from his own personal intentions. Cage’s personal life, aside from his relationship with Merce Cunningham, isn’t discussed much, and I’ve always wondered what sort of relationship he had with himself.

Anyway, here are some drawings I made in reaction to some of the pieces played, which included pieces by John Cage, Walter Zimmerman, Christian Wolff  and Frederic Rzewski (the amazing Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, previously unheard by me).

Recent drawings

Here are some recent drawings of mine, selected from many others. I’ve been drawing a lot lately, both because I feel the need to produce more work to make more money while selling on the streets, but also because I feel a deep desire to create at the moment, and drawing is the best way, for me, while being in transit. I’ve been using the backs of old library cards. In this way the drawings reside on a nice, semi-heavy cardstock, cut well and each with some curious typewritten text on the reverse side. I’ve seen these often in libraries being used as scrap paper, and acquired about 100 cards from Stanford University when I was there for the John Cage symposium.

I also have a few drawn on blank newspaper stock (of which I have a lot, thanks to my father) and some on semi-textured Paper Source brand paper, left over from a few Notice Recordings releases. All were drawn in the past week, in San Francisco, except for the last two colour ones ;  those are were created in New Orleans, and I recently rediscovered them.

Once again, all photographs were taken with my cell phone, so the focus and metering is terrible. I tried to compensate for that by pushing some of the levels as much as reasonably possible.

Oh, and these are all for SALE. I am selling them on the street, but that doesn’t mean I can’t post one to someone. I could use money. They look better in real life. They come in archival, crystal clear protective sleeves. Shipped with care. Will probably include a free something-else. Contact me for prices. All smalls are under 10$, probably 4 or 5$. A couple are 2$. The big ones would be more. Everything is negotiable. Thanks.

Sound work: “The Apartment Piece” on ((Cave)) Recordings

After discovering a review on Animal Psi for my tape on ((Cave Recordings)), I realised I never mentioned the release of this tape here.

So, foremost, a sound work by me, “The Apartment Piece”, has been released on ((Cave)) Recordings as a split with Chapels. This piece was recorded in Chicago using a variety of techniques and methodologies. It’s exemplary of my ideas regarding sound activity and domestic presences: Wherever I may be at a given time, I tend to place a recorder in a location where multiple sounds from multiple directions can be heard and can coalesce to create a singular listening experience. John Cage actually referenced this idea in a late interview, about which Marcel Duchamp evidently wrote. According to Cage, Duchamp began thinking of sound as not a “time art, but a space art”. From this idea, Duchamp created a piece called “Sculpture Musicale”, in which sounds converge at a point (presumably the listener’s) to create something “… lasting ; producing a sculpture, which is sonorous, and which remains”. This is an idea I’ve often thought about long before I heard the Cage interview or heard of Duchamp’s ideas regarding this. For quite some time I’ve been fascinated with the idea of listening simultaneously to a variety of sounds. This is especially applicable in a city apartment (when one has the windows open, of course, which I almost always do), although it can be noticed anywhere. For instance, from one window children can be heard playing in the park, from another the activities of a neighbour, traffic sounds, birds calling, wind blowing, clouds of leaves rustling, crickets chirping, the train passing, so on and so forth. Many times I would emphasise the sound activity by playing softly the Chicago classical station, WFMT, in one room, a quiet record in another, and some tape containing textural sound in a final room. Or some arrangement of the aforementioned and/or things not mentioned.

For “The Apartment Piece”, I started by playing an unidentified Dense Reduction tape (my sound duo with Travis Bird) and a primarily drone-based tape by Benjamin Galens (soon to be released on Notice Recordings). I recorded this with a microcassette recorder. I then recorded that to a 2-track cassette tape. I then played the microcassette back as well as the 2-track tape, in separate rooms, and recorded it once more with the microcassette recorder. Furthermore, I went about my daily domestic activities such as cleaning and doing the dishes. With this final tape, I began the composition. The tape was Channel 1 in my mixer. Channels 2 and 3 were connected to various outputs of the mixer, and thus functioned as no-input channels. Channels 4 and 5 were contact microphones, connected to various objects such as bricks, a metal box, and an old porcelain insulator connected to a brick via an iron spindle. The contact microphones were often used as interference with the microcassette speaker and microphone and the monitor speakers. There was also an open-air microphone introduced at one point or another. This was all recorded to 2-track cassette tape.

The result was, not surprisingly, very insular and self-contained. Elements of atmosphere and “space” remained,  albeit harnessed by unexpected sonic configurations independent from the initial set-up. This was good. This articulates, in a kind of ambiguous way, the mental (internal) and physical (external) atmospheres of the time.

This tape is available from both me and ((Cave)) Recordings.
A completely different piece dealing with similar ideas can be downloaded and read about on the Compost and Height site, here.


While in Vermont for a couple weeks, I decided to go through some old folders and files which I created a while back to organise the massive amount of drawings, found paper items, event flyers, things people have given me, lists upon lists I for some reason want to keep, and so on. Among these I came across my tiny, makeshift notepads (scraps of blank paper stapled together) which primarily contained drawings, ideas and dreams. Some of the content within each notepad is worth sharing, so I will post some here. For now, here’s a few small drawings.

The Tea Merchant and His Atmospheres

Adrian Dziewanski over at Scrapyard Forecast has posted a very nice and insightful review of my tape, The Tea Merchant and His Atmospheres. Some of the things he wrote perfectly coincide with how I feel about this collection of sound works, and how they came to fruition. Needless to say, there are many things left unsaid. Of course, they will never be said, and can only be found hidden in the sounds, or in the trails left behind …

– See the review here (with two others about tapes by Ben Owen and Tiny Music)
– Buy the tape here or contact me directly for purchase or other ways to acquire this release

This evening and tonight

29 December 2011, 23:45

We went outside and stacked wood for a couple hours. Very cold and invigorating. The sun was setting, and the sky had that perfect grey-purple sheen, like the large dusted end of a glass vase sitting on an old table in the late-summer early-evening ending daylight of the last beautiful place in Florida. Then we went for a walk. A new place through the forest, with Sarah. She turned back to the house after stopping by a frozen pond and sliding across its rippled, dark glassy surface, and my dad and I continued into the woods. It was a quiet kind of cold, with a small wind. Every sound in the forest could be heard and brought forth, nearly magnified with importance. Each one so refined and self-contained; whittled down to a perfect sound-event occurring in time with no reference to anything else that ever existed. The moon rose as we went across a field, going home. It was a half moon, on its side, surrounded by stars. Later that night, we were standing on the porch, as Shirley said she heard coyotes in the distance. We did hear them as well, and my dad quickly ran in to the house to fetch a penny whistle. “Sometimes they answer to the penny whistle”, he told me. So he played, on the porch, in the dark and cold, to the coyotes. No response. He laughed. He played again. No response. He laughed again. Played once more. No response. He laughed again and said, “I guess they’re not into the music tonight.” We both laughed, “Yeah…” Despite that, we both knew they were into the music tonight.

A Poem : From Vermont / Listening to Michael Nyman – Bell Set #1, by Gary Lindorff

From Vermont / Listening to Michael Nyman – Bell Set #1
By Gary Lindorff

What will we do when the gates go up?

Here is the dream:  Consumers with money. A virtual middle class.
Cash and stuff. Jobs and cash. Benefits!  Security.

Is there any way out?

Is it too late?
The lights go out. Nobody can find the switch.
Something as simple as a light switch and everything shifts.

Dreams are amazing.
Everyone has the same dream. Think of that.

By linear time we have already reached the end.

What kind of history are we weaving?

If you ask the weather man,
After you have plied him with a few more drinks,
He will say,
We are making it easy for him . . .

Something about creation and prediction converging
In an open-ended season of 500-year storms.

The rivers, amnesiac,
Recovering from Irene,
Have conveniently forgotten
How they consumed their beds,
Swept gentle farms away,
Pushed huge trees to the brink
Of hydroelectric dams.

In the waterfalls I sometimes hear
The caterwauling and moaning and pining of the wild beasts.

When the gates went up
In malls across Turtle Island,
Consumers flooded through,
Tore into sales racks and displays . . .
But they weren’t buying.
They were just mad.

Were you mad, Grandpa?
(Muted gong, tinkling chimes . . . )
Ting, knnng, knnng, Ting . . . Mbronnggg!

Posted at