a good, strong heart

just went on a bike ride through an old and established part of my childhood neighborhood into which i have never ventured before. the day is utterly amazingly beautiful - the sun makes every color look as vibrant as possible, and tinges every gently flickering leaf with a shimmering pale-yellow hue. everything looks to be moving, to be thriving, to be living.

two things came to mind as i rode past front, side and back yards that had become beautifully overgrown and overstuffed with both lush green foliage and dead golden leaves. i saw gardens and jungles of yards that were all dotted with things that could be considered rare eccentricities in my neighborhood, like archaic-looking chairs, trellises, topiaries and woven wood walkways that led one down charmingly dilapidated brick walkways. there were heart-shaped lawn sculptures and little, ornate white tables that seemed stages for little, ornate tea parties attended by fairies and dolls.

as i rode down those sunny streets i thought about what life really, truly was to me - how it can be that it just is, and all because of this very life i have yet lived.



life is a constant juggling of two truths. one of them is that to be alive means that there is the opportunity for an infinite amount of possibilities to occur. the other truth is that being alive means you will be faced with an infinite amount of reasons why the greater majority of those possibilities are physically impossible.

therefore, whatever is accomplished in your life will have been successful because you overcame the self-told reasons for why it would have been unsuccessful. you must talk yourself out of talking yourself out of acting, living, taking on challenge, pushing boundaries.

if only one could live solely in the world where there was nothing standing in the way of the infinity of our selves, our existence. is it possible?


the thing that i am really afraid of in life, above all else - the thing that causes me to close up, every time, in the face of the opening up of my self to the world - is that i can't bear to let the world see any truth about me that they could recognize through the physical functions of my body. to open up a view of my body to the world in the form of my voice, my body movements, and my facial expressions, is an act i seem to consistently avoid at all costs. it takes an enormous effort to sing in front of someone else without giggling and stopping halfway through, then trying to pretend like what they just saw wasn't really me and that they should just forget they saw it at all.

does anyone else do that? am i just shy, as i have always been told from birth?

i think i just am not confident in who i am, and i wish i knew how to fix it

Lilja 4-Ever

so chic, 'cause we're psychic

i have been listening to non-stop Oneohtrix Point Never's newest release:

Garden of Delete

i bite through it

i especially love to listen first to the song "Animals" and then finish  out the rest of the tracks chronologically. i like the second half more than the first, it seems. there is just something fascinating about the construction of these songs in particular, and how they maintain their structure even though there are so many other elements present whirling about and causing chaos elsewhere. the tracks are frequently pop-like, as many people have said, but the reason for this is because the fundamentals of OPN's sounds appeal to the basest of our desires. he exploits the strength of our emotions and non-emotions, and OPN makes these easily recognizable through sound.

these tracks are journeys from one's current position inward, as through a wormhole of ever-morphing sound structures. the image that i always end up conjuring while listening to OPN - GOD is a black background with pencil-thin lines, multitudinous in color, intersecting and intertwining in chaotic, unpredictable movements. this image of mine was inevitably inspired by the front cover. for some reason, this is also how i imagine a distant future to look.

the voices that emerge from his textures, however distorted, seem to reflect the lives and learned practices of modern humans. once-familiar sounds heard through a veil of sonic, almost alien distortion has always been something i found really interesting to listen to. i think the modern trend of using auto-tuned and electronically produced voices in tracks as legitimately as if they were created by singers in the studio is really awesome.

listen to "no good" off of this OPN album. it will blow your mind.


burial is another artist i love who does this, as in this track, a personal favorite of mine ;

"come down to us" / rival dealers, 2013


spring is here

bill evans has the piano skills of an absolute dream. i have never heard the piano played like he plays it. so dead-on accurate... so brave and so confident.

i think i never have or at least never have in detail explained to you my deepest most achingly unfulfilled desire in all the world.

are you ready?

to play... jazz... piano


bill evans, dave brubeck, thelonius monk

just some of my very most favorite pianists in my meager experience of listening to jazz. a common trend among the three, one might rightly argue... is that their music sounds to be classically-influenced, yet experimental and reaching. i think i would have to say the most admirable thing i have ever found in music is this very quality: reaching.

ravel, debussy, debussy, ravel

in ravel, there are always chords that seem to be plucked right out of the very strings of life, those very phenomenal and very infinite strings. so full of unpredictable life. in debussy, softnesses you didn't know existed lightly dust the corners of depths unknown like fine snow.

to be able to play the jazz piano would mean that i could actually give a voice to the discord inside of me. i want to find the chords i dream of, and to play the passages that seem to climb stairs to a place that exists in a different dimension, just out of sight, barely within reach. jazz and jazz theory literally encompass everything that fascinates me about music and music-making. so many chords... so many impossible combinations of notes that seem to be never-ending. on the piano there are 88 keys, but there are only 12 notes with which you can actually create the combinations. what i love the most is finding those combinations which sound unlike anything i have ever heard in my life.

anyway. where to now?


untitled lilac

i am reading back over my blog here and i keep finding myself so inspiring... what inspires me, perhaps, is not an other person but the very same me that i am, or at least, was.

this is great news!


listening: HTRK - psychic lilac

you know that i got mood swings that i got no control of

never-before-heard instrumental track and a rough, skeletal sketch of "chinatown style," one of my favorite HTRK songs of all time.

now that i remember that, i am going to listening to: HTRK - "chinatown style"

how is this track so great? everything doesn't fit, it seems like a randomly assembled assortment of sounds; intermittent bass pumps that seem to have no god. swirling harmonics with divine intent; jonnine's voice deep yet soft, and gentle... she comes in last, like the final blessing on this track. her voice from one becomes a chorus of echoes that mouth words in inconsistent waves. sound that undulates and unfolds, a painting being stroked and smudged into existence deliberately, and thoughtfully. it is casual, nonchalant, without added meaning. like a person walking down the street. he or she has purpose, but is also completely unable to escape the indulgent and tragic whims of the universe, of this thing we call life.

the most purpose a person can possibly have is completely self-made. one must create their own purpose, and their own beauty. their own-shaped path through time.

this is what music makes me feel. when i listen to music, the doors of wisdom seem opened up to me... a wisdom that explains in careful detail the usual mysteries of my every day life. i become aware of the existence of frameworks, the background rather than the fore, the space beyond just the sky.


yesterday evening i was on my way to mindlessly browse social media when i became informed of the happenings in paris, france. it was strange to hear that something so grandiose and vital was occurring right at that very moment; hundreds of peoples' lives had been turned upside down forever in a mere instant, all while i laid in my bed possessing, honestly, the absolute least amount of worries a person could possibly have. i would have never known what had happened had i not turned on my computer. so many people are experiencing excruciating pain that they have never felt before; a pain they had never anticipated and for which in all their life they had not prepared. out of all the things that regularly confound me, and out of all the daunting alleged truths about this universe and about ourselves, the mass murder of innocent people at the hands of an ordinary human seems to be the greatest mystery of all. it is the greatest, most horrific manifestation of what humans are, at their core. we are not happy and safe things. we are not fun-loving, gentle, or kind. we actually are the beasts of the wild, but only if those beasts were ten thousand times more cruel and heartless. our hearts are imaginary bags of dust; we thrive on violence and crave destruction. is it sadness? is it meaninglessness? is it the complete and utter absence of love?


the great divide

i was just shown this video -

it is one of the latest compositions by Swiss-born wandelweiser composer Jürg Frey, who is notable to me as a composer of works that employ the playing of the piano in a sparse manner, as is this one.

"Extended Circular Music." Circles and Landscapes.

the notes of this work are clustered, and occur only together and only as individual units. in this piece it is as if all of the "other" music, the music that has always been there filling the spaces and filling the void, has been erased. here, all that remains are the pillars that kept everything standing upright - the fundamental memories. all of the memories you have of music can be condensed into these moments of music, these moments of the instrument that are so often overlooked. take away the dancers, the flickering lights on the stage, take away the institutions and you are left with almost no visual image... nothing to distract yourself from the pure absorption of sound moments.

i think a lot about time while listening to this, and to some of Frey's other piano pieces. time as a nonentity. time as fluidity, moldable and malleable. sound and music can easily have the ability to transport one to those places where our bodies cannot.


i have not written for this blog as often as i should, or as often as i used to. i do apologize. it is most unlike me.

i think the reason why it has gone so long without a single new post is because this blog directly correlated with my experiencing of music as a separate entity from "the rest of the world," which i would usually just call "life as i have come to know it, life as i did not choose for it to be." music became more than just an obsession, more than a hobby, more than something to listen to, even more than something to make. music was an element of life that allowed me to actually experience happiness. to enjoy my time alive, to make every second as great as it possibly could.

using music, i found so many dark places and incredible places that i could never access in my normal, everyday life. music opened my mind up to imagination, to knowledge, to love, to passion, to history, to true reality. in it there was always such possibility, such a promise for what life could be, and what many different emotions or feeeeelings there were to experience.

without wanting to be too vague, let me try to be more specific about what kinds of music i am talking about. i was part of a music community called Last.fm where finding new music was the whole point of the community. it was all about grabbing as much unique music as you could possibly find the time for, and listening to it all either for status or for true interest. some people wanted both. it was and i'm sure it still is a complete lifestyle, an every-day-after-school/-work and all-night activity for many people, including myself. i spent so many more hours exploring the different sounds of music than i ever spent getting to know my classmates or spending time with others my age outside. i can't even remember all of the genres i explored... music from every era and from all over the world; modern and ancient, traditional and revolutionary, political and poetic and instrumental and atmospheric and influential and underrated and extremely rare.

when i say "i listened to this album every single day for years in high school; i listened to this piece repetitively when i was younger; i couldn't get enough of this band throughout all those years"; it comes from a place that has now faded into the recesses of the mind but is just as powerful a memory as the first time i felt love deep in my being. music is a close friend, and not only an escape but a destination. i dislike hearing people dismiss the idea of wanting to find an escape solely because they assume it is a desire born of weakness. an escape is the traveling from reality into a secret place, a mythological place, a place that everyone always told you didn't exist.

the reason i am expounding on this is that i just now realized that music was all of this and more for me for so many years, so much of my growing adolescent life. and now i am entering new stages of my life.

this passion and this lifestyle are fading slowly away from me. this blog, included. the friends i've made and lost, the love merely a flame that is now all but gone - all are like grains of sand slipping through my fingers and being blown away by the winds of time. i only feel sorry about it all, i only look back with sadness for a few moments, and i am usually only reminded of them when i discover unexpectedly a single grain of that sand still stuck to me somewhere. i do not feel unhappy about who i am now. i do not feel scared or sad or like i have lost anything. in fact, i am very happy, and very content. in a very different way.

funny how life works, huh? :D

here is the latest from my friends Joshua Adam Acosta & Joe Wheeler - Differential, released on the speculations editions label. it is very rich and full and terrifying. something about the sound manipulation and combination here is very physical, almost tangible.

"every idea, extended into infinity, becomes its own opposite"
which is to say, anything is nothing and everything is hilarious and grotesque




i am absolutely in love with this album. it is all i listen to. it is so fucking enjoyable to listen to i get excited when i have a free moment to bathe in its rich light.

enter through the exit and exit through the entrance
when you can


safe at last

i have listened to and liked cocteau twins for about 7 years. as with many, the appeal began with their ethereal classic album Treasure (1984), and then it moved to their bright and funky album Heaven or Las Vegas (1990), but apart from liking several other tracks from different albums i had never fully immersed myself in their glory.

as of the past month, that has changed dramatically. i listen to the twins morning, noon, and night. every day. i have not been this taken by a band and their entire output of work for as long as i can remember.

Know Who You Are At Every Age

when i get high, which isn't THAT often, i love to listen to music. and when i listen to music, i almost always choose something i am not that familiar with but am interested in getting to know. i chose Cocteau Twins - Four-Calendar Café (1993), an album i had never listened to in its entirety, despite absolutely loving the final track "Pur."

well, being in that state of mind causes me to travel deeper into the music than i ever would normally. i usually lay in bed frozen in place, with absolutely nothing in my head except for these heavenly sounds. i am transported not only out of my daily life but into the very fabric of their music. and with the twins being such a multifaceted and unendingly intricate band, their music allows for endless journeys into the layers and layers of beauty with which they construct their songs. if this sounds a little wild, it IS!

so let me try to explain.

cocteau twins were so incredibly ahead of their time it is not even funny. their first album, Garlands (1982), is possibly their most dissonant and murky with mechanical drums and guitar timbres and harmonies that are harsh, shrill, sometimes even ugly. the melodies are very different than what i am used to in their other music, often going to very unexpected places...

liz fraser, a woman whose voice cannot be defined by words alone, sounds more raw and unpolished than she does in their later albums, contributing to a very rough-around-the-edges atmosphere. think industrial, dark, or any number of other adjectives similar to these. knowing this, i once would avoid listening to this album because i was more attracted to the lush and exotic sounds of their later work, but seeing as i just went through a HUGE joy division phase i decided that this music is actually incredibly valuable and wonderful to listen to. i now love how dark it is, it shows a completely different side of their musical personality.

so here is my favorite track from the album, "The Hollow Men," which i feel sums up the overall sound of Garlands perfectly.

HEAD OVER HEELS (1983). this is an album without parallel. i can honestly say it is one of the most powerful fucking things i have ever heard. from the very first kick of the drums, you can hear echoes all around as if you were inside an extremely high-ceilinged cathedral with these musical gods. the atmosphere they create with the exaggerated reverb on both the drums and her voice, which is often doubled and tripled upon itself to add even more thickness of sound, is utterly stunning.

one thing i keep saying to myself as i listen to them is that they seemed to have understood pure musical beauty on a level i have never heard manifested anywhere else or by anyone else. it's like every note just builds and builds on the beauty of the one previous, every song, every album even... that is why i am so overjoyed that they have so MANY albums and each with completely different aesthetics (although still adhering to their one unique and inimitable sound), it's like i could spend a lifetime exploring. a worthwhile endeavor? i think so.

to give you a preview of this album, here is the monumental closing track "Musette and Drums." the GUITARS are SO FUCKING FULL AND AMAZING. it's like the music is alive and breathing with me.

i think i must show you the song "Five Ten Fiftyfold" as well. there is just something about this song that give me extreme chills, but in the amazing way. the ceilings of the cathedral are super high in this one, because to me the echo factor is much greater than in the other tracks, lending it such a breadth of space and atmosphere that it is really astounding to listen to. there is even a highly reverberated saxophone, which makes the track sound almost darkjazz-esque, or spacejazz, like it came straight out of the soundtrack to the movie Blade Runner.

TREASURE (1984). this album is nothing less than a treasure to behold. every single song is gorgeous, and liz fraser's voice is constantly spiraling in and out of itself, building, exploring, going beyond all bounds. the sound of the tracks is cold and icy, but beautiful, like you are entering a world of sound never heard before. it is not an easy task to describe, but here is (one of) my favorite track(s) on the album, "Persephone."

Victorialand (1986). it begins with the electric swoosh of a shooting star, and reveals an album soft to the touch, as soft as a kitten. there are a lot of major seventh chords, an essential element of Cocteau Twins' music that is used in nearly every song but somehow it never seems like they overdo it.

here is my favorite track, "How To Bring a Blush to the Snow." a lot of the time the lyrics are comprised of random sounds or unintelligible nonsense words.

Blue-Bell Knoll (1988). this album is one of my favorites! it is so happy, bright, and cheery. a great album to listen to in spring time, as the world opens up to sunlight and full blooming flowers and plants. her vocals in "Athel-Brose" have made me feel that tinge of pressure in the back of my throat/nose/eyes, as if i was about to cry... she just sounds so full of joy, bliss, nirvana.

HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS (1990). this is definitely their most cohesive album. when i recommend a single album to anyone for the first time it is either this or Treasure. i can't even explain how beautiful this album is. the song titles always seemed to me very perfect descriptions of the sounds they created in that particular song, like this one: "Cherry-Coloured Funk." it just sounds like the color of a cherry, somehow. this is usually the favorite album, but i can't speak for everyone.

Four-Calendar Café (1993). okay, so this is my favorite album of theirs at the moment. i am so in love with it, i can't even explain in mere words. i keep saying that, but I CAN'T! my favorite tracks are "Know Who You Are At Every Age," "My Truth," "Summerhead," and "Pur."

i'm just going to show you "Summerhead" because i think that would have to be my all-time favorite twins song at this exact moment in time.

i have only listed their solo full-length albums (excluding Milk & Kisses/1996 which i still have not gotten around to), but they have quite a lot of extraneous releases such as EPs and compliations and collaborations that are all also full of wonderful music. the best place to find all of these and the information on them is here.

a couple other songs that i very much love ~

"It's All But an Ark Lark" from Lullabies EP (1982)
just listen to this at the highest volume possible, my god.

"Pink Orange Red" from Tiny Dynamine EP (1985)
this is the first CT song i showed to my sister and it converted her. :3
another time when the track title seems to perfectly describe the aural world of the song.

"Love's Easy Tears" from Love's Easy Tears EP (1986)
this is such a joyful thing. it sounds like liz is rejoicing with her voice, but in what, i am not sure. she sounds so playful and fun! it was such a pleasure to hear this song, with its manipulations of her voice that sound the most lovely form of ghostly.

i think i have gone to the fullest capacity possible right now in trying to convey my love for them, but i promise you, it is a love that is here to stay. i hope you have enjoyed this post, learned some things about one of the greatest bands of all time, and maybe even heard some music that has spoken to you or moved you in some way...

i think i love them so much because they continuously experimented with sound. i am a huge fan of manipulating harmonies to their greatest potential, which is something you often hear in jazz or in 19th-century expressionist/romantic music, but i am also a huge fan of powerful independent music-making that is selfish and searches for sound and art at any cost. i can hear that in liz fraser's voice and in the musical production by robin guthrie (guitarist). they stop at nothing to achieve what they do, the go to the furthest places in music and grasp at what there is to be held. they are full of imagination, too, child-like and human. it is very inspiring to hear her sing, and i'm sure you can agree there is nothing like it in the whole world.


heart pleasure

i just went through a huge electroacoustic improv, musique concrète, modern classical and field recording phase. it lasted about 6 months.

listening, studying, recording.

i came up with one field recording that combines several different days of walking around the campus. i used audacity, which is great but definitely not the best thing ever. the sine tones i used are notes i heard humming in the air one day while playing outside with my brother. it was a major third, middle C and the E four half steps above it. i am actually in love with this interval. i then modified it a little bit, adding and subtracting. i need a windguard to completely eliminate unwanted sounds, but i find them a little charming in their own way.

i was definitely influenced by Toshiya Tsunoda, whose 2014 work Detour (with Manfred Werder) was completely fascinating and perfect. one of the greatest things i have ever heard. my favorite experience listening to that was in bed with the windows open and the curtains rustling. it lasts for about an hour... and near the end some seemingly inorganic sounds come into play, which are actually the internal vibrations of the insects and other lifeforms of the forest floor. anyway, this is how it turned out. looking back i should have extended each section so that it lasted even longer, broadening the entire track. it is far too short as it is. i am too lazy to go back. i have a Tascam handheld recorder that i now use to record with all the time, but i have not actually compiled a completed track ever since. i do not seem to have the discipline. it has become merely something that gives me immense pleasure.

all i listened to was Michael Pisaro (Continuum Unbound), Toshiya Tsunoda (Detour with Manfred Werder), Morton Feldman (Two Pianos), and members of the collective Wandelweiser. read works of John Cage (Silence). the most important thing i have read in recent times is this: Time's Underground. became inspired then closed my eyes.

a very good friend of mine who has always been interested in field recordings and other things, Joshua Adam Acosta, is now on a private label that is releasing his and other talented artists' works in this style. the label is called speculations editions. one of my favorite releases of theirs so far is Joshua Adam Acosta & Matt Earnshaw - Exposed to Time (#002). it is up for free download at the link above.

one stereophony by two persons
the chords used in pisaro's monumental Continuum Unbound

right now, at this very moment, i am listening to Jesu. Heart Ache. a song from an allie from long ago.


think back to every moment of your entire life that you remember. those nights driving home from the beach with your family, tired and covered in dried sand, skin tight from the salt water and sun exposure, cramped from sitting in unusual positions. the look on your mom's face when you gave her flowers for mother's day. the snow angels you made with your little sister at age 6. walking down the aisle as a flower girl. hugging your grandparents. eating at a fancy chinese buffet. first days of school, last days of school.

it's so fucking insane to think those little moments are all a part of this very same life i am living as we speak. for the past couple months that i have been thinking more and more deeply on this issue i am coming to some sort of final observation about things. up until about age 15, which now is almost 7 years ago, i was completely asleep. dreaming. a constant stream of images was flashing in front of my eyes, with momentary breaks allowing me to rest in the darkness of sleep, and i was subjected to this for 15 years. i woke up one day, as if literally spiraled into being from a vast nothingness, and became aware of my being. of the fact that i am a person, a thinking feeling independent being in this great mess of a world in which i once was just meandered completely clueless.

now i am losing that awareness. with each year that passes i am losing that initial thrill of becoming anything, of experiencing failure and unknown pleasures, of discovering myself and feeling triumphant when things felt as they should. i looked around at this world for the first time with eyes that weren't glazed over, but were intelligent, sentient, absorbent. i was always absorbing as a child but this information was being stored in a folder deep in my brain and wasn't being put to use. i could have answered any history or science question you asked but i was merely pulling out files from information i had gathered at school or through another. once i began the stages of maturing, molting even, i was then able to use all of that information to form beliefs, values, identity, purpose, to think critically and then be completely confused about it all.

so now that i am neither a child basking in glorious nothingness or an adolescent learning about the actual shittiness of reality, i am fast becoming an adult who must now act on this large amount of gathered information and experiences. this, i am coming to find out, is the hard part.


a smile that behind it exists no sense of longing, nor a sense of dread

i do not miss you, i do not miss me

i do not miss any part of the world that is not here now

it is gone forever and i am happy

what else is there to say?


i am seeing Swans tomorrow. it is pretty surreal to think about. a band whose name and music have been rattling around in my head for years and years is now going to become a tangible thing. i am going to look into their eyes and be quite sure that they are real. all of their words and convictions were not meaningless... and i am going with my sister, my favorite person in the universe. so i am excited to be able to do such a thing.

i need to be practicing piano and doing online exams but i don't waaaannnnaaa ...

i don't really listen to any of the same music i used to. almost zero of it to be honest. i am bored of it all.

it is spring but i know that this initial beauty is not going to last. white and pale pink buds frosting branches of trees all around the city. birds are extra loud in the mornings at dawn, but even though they wake me i somehow am not annoyed by them, and can usually fall back asleep. i played tennis at this beautiful court in the woods and my friend saw a deer. we stared into its eyes as more and more came into focus. the one we had seen was a fawn, a baby with clumsy stick-like legs. the mother or guardian was motioning with her head for it to follow her back into the woods, but it kept curiously sniffing around and investigating. seeing it was like seeing a rift in space and time; something i could only have ever seen if i had made all of the right decisions in my entire life. every choice anyone in history ever made led up to that moment, somehow, following some grand framework.

the deer from my dreams eventually crawled back into the increasing twilight. there were no insect sounds, only birds. i have a desire to take my recorder out there, set it on a pillow, and lie down next to it. drifting off into the space that contains some of the most lovely, spontaneous sounds. i almost can't stand listening to music through earbuds or radio frequencies or through any external sources. it pales in comparison to music made by the pure energy of life itself. i love this picture of Toshiya Tsunoda and some other musicians from the making of Manfred Werder's album 2006¹. instruments among nature. that is where i belong, mind body and soul.

a place,natural light, where the performers like to be
a time

nothing is accomplished by writing a piece of music
nothing is accomplished by hearing a piece of music
nothing is accomplished by playing a piece of music
our ears are now in excellent condition

(the reason this quote is so utterly amazing and lifechanging is because it takes away any manmade predetermined meaning from music as i have known it for my whole life. it takes away rigidity, structure, it makes me feel free and as if music can be anything and everything instead of only a handful of things)


the world is always ready to deliver its beauty to you, it's just a matter of watching