When I began writing this the feeling was that of defeat. No matter how much I plan or prepare something will get in the way to let me know that the universe is impersonal, hostile and ultimately doesn’t care about the goals of a speck of dust. There are 1000 things I want to do and 1001 things I need to do. Sometimes its like I’m spinning so fast I’m about to shatter into a thousand pieces.
It’s been a rough few months, needless to say, no matter how well I thought I was prepared or how detailed the map laid out before me. This is life, thus is flux. Plans falling apart or postponed until further notice. Mechanical things failing. Roads disappearing and canyons appearing instead. Car dealers dealing. Missing friends. Mandatory overtime for months on end at the job that pays the bills. This sort of onslaught wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park, nor was it anything new, but as it turns out I am very good at hiding the struggle and trudging through.
I have always had trouble asking for help but never-the-less I am always grateful for the help offered by family, friends and neighbors. I am grateful to my loving wife for making me feel like a rockstar. Grateful to my family, parents and in-laws for their calming words of wisdom and support. I am grateful for every acknowledgement, kind word, and laugh shared by strangers, coworkers and the like.
I know that things could always be worse and that compared to most things going on in the world I have it made in the shade with lemonade and I’m able to promenade. So then I get bummed that I feel bad about my situations while so many others have it far worse. Depression is a tough gremlin to shake sometimes once it has latched on and everything seems to be stacked against. Just gotta persevere onward and adjust to new variables. The map is not the territory and the territory is in a constant state of flux.
So now, as I finish writing this, months later, for my partially neglected website, the variables have indeed changed again. Bought a fresher ride, with some hiccups. The driveway is now traversable, but not perfect. Overtime is ending and I am highly recommended for a promotion at work, just gotta update and apply my resume. The once postponed Wasted Local Talent podcast interview happens in just a couple days but I’m still nervous. And there are a couple opportunities opening up for things I’ve never done but want to do. One is to bring Neuron Dreamtime live in a collaborative freeform manner and the other is for me to address my love for comedy during an open mic night.
Hope to have more positive stuff to write about in another month or two but until then, flux this and carry on.
Here’s an ambient improvisation from a couple weeks ago.
As is tradition, the beats of life rhythmically provide waves of disorder and wrench throwing. As much as one may try to stave off any unwanted obstacles, ultimately it seems it’s up to the infinite myriad of interconnected points of reality and the cosmos to kick sand into plans. In the occurrence of such an inevitable consequence of life the traveler of time must endure and adapt. Perseverance in the face of doubt fetches experience useful for simplifying the data into manageable chunks. Problems are all around us but so are the solutions.
As we calibrate centers to the ever changing tomorrow-now celebrate the steps of yester-now alongside artists entombed by their work. Reality bends to the will. Absurdity walks hand-in-hand with life.
Two months later I find myself struggling to promote the new album any further. The roadmap laid out up to the release served it’s purpose and I was able to execute it to the T with a punctuality never before seen from myself. But I was so focused on just getting it done, making the steps to the final destination, that I thought very little of what I’d do when I got there, other than a reminder FB post a few weeks or so later. This has always been the case with Dreamtime’s post-release promotion. But I feel, now more than before, that this project I’ve spent so much time on is worthy of the follow up support I’ve neglected to provide. Neglected for reasons as simple as focus shifts to painting, reading, making a paycheck, and generally living life.
It’s an ocean of media, entertainment, music and film out there and I’m trying to build a floating island of my own. A place in the clouds that people may stumble upon and maybe find something they like, that enhances their lives in the way that art does. Or if it’s not their cup of tea then maybe, at least, they recognize the DIY ethic and be inspired to follow their own visions and dreams as well.
So what is next? Promotion of course, starting with this very blog then leading into paid promotion on social media and local promotion via podcasts and correspondence with others, regardless of genre.
There is always something creatively cooking up in my head and sometimes it’s hard to make it out of my head with the idea(s) in tow but when it is achieved and the physicality begins to take shape I pour my heart into it. It can be exhausting but it’s always worth it. This bout of post-release promotion will be no different.
Here it is. Finally. Like a weight off the shoulders. Press play and turn it up!
The album came about as they all do over the course of a few years. I would return to this place of wonderment and exploration called the creative process. With ND it can be anywhere from brief moments of a single phrase to long excruciating scenarios where there is a constant struggle of possibilities and loss of sleep. The process is different and so is the product.
A couple songs had debuts in independent film and internet radio compilations. Others were created for this release with correspondence and collaboration with Matt happening when his schedule would allow. The idea behind the tunes was really all the same; to bring the style into unfamiliar territory, as with my first film soundtrack attempt and the final product, while trying to solidify a concept of some sort around what will be. It coalesced beautifully as the full picture came into view. The Map and The Territory.
The idea for the special variants came as one of those epiphany moments. I love and collect colored vinyl of movie soundtracks and would have loved to get this pressed on vinyl but I couldn’t afford to so the idea to create different tangible, artsy packages came to be as something I could accomplish myself with all I had available. I think they came out beautifully, much like the music.
Now for some of the pseudo-intellectual philosophy behind the name…
The Map is a symbol and The Territory is what is and it’s what The Map stands for. But they are not equal. One is flawed. One is absolute. Our human experience, to anyone that has stopped to ponder, is more than what we can see, taste, feel, smell, and hear. Our perceived reality leaves out a majority of what is actually there. Our brains can’t comprehend what’s actually there, what we’re wading through. If the doors of perception were cleansed we would see everything as it is, infinite. Which means our reality would melt and there would be no point of reference, our minds lost but maybe not forgotten.
So we wander through this symbol pretending we have it figured out. That we have the complexities of what is simplified to its simplest terms and documented in triplicate to the tenth power. According to the map we’ve only gone about five inches in the last second of the last hour. We should re-calibrate.
Shown above is the CDBaby store copy of the album with the art that will accompany all digital copies. The image is from an old drum head I painted years ago (seen in background) as it was hanging in the studio window, back-lit, making for nice textures while bringing out all the layers of color.
The variant packages were painted using the same method on 22×28 inch poster board that was then cut, folded and glued, by hand, to form one 10×10 inch gate-fold style case while the remaining “scrap” pieces made covers for a keep case and a jewel case. These packages are limited as follows:
• 4 variants of jewel-case categorized as “Tourist”
• 4 variants of keep-case categorized as “Explorer”
• 4 variants of gate-fold categorized “Cartographer”
Each of the 12 variant packages will only be available as merch through our Bandcamp on March 2nd.
It brings me great pleasure to finally announce the release date for “The Map is Not the Territory”. March 2nd, 2018 will see the sixth album digitally and physically distributed by CDBaby and their many streaming affiliates. It is to be accompanied by a severely limited physical CD release with unique packaging options available only through our Bandcamp. More details to come as the date draws near, so stay aware.
Since December, DJ Mac’s Post-Alternative Visions: Volume 4 has been available featuring many returning contributors. It’s the current home of ND’s debut “Make Lemonade”, a somewhat optimistic punk-rock tune dedicated to the young entrepreneurs who keep getting shafted by The Man.
Lastly, as one can see the site has been streamlined and updated. The playlist is now always up top and will continue to play while the site is being navigated. The menu itself has also been simplified and dead links removed.
After a series of DIY vehicle tune-ups, Halloween celebrations, multiple overtime weeks at work, an art exhibition, and just recently a cabin getaway with the love of my life, the energies now feel right to roll up my sleeves and finalize the album. I had envisioned a late September release but as mentioned above, life is a roller coaster and sometimes you have to relinquish control and throw your hands up to just ride the ride, embracing the twists and turns as they arrive.
With calmer happenings focus can be forged while being careful not to inspire poor posture or aggravate the carpel tunnel by clickity-clicking everything into place as the music is now 100% complete. But considering the clusterfuck holidays known as Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner I am now thinking of a New Years debut as highly probable. I am, however, still undecided on the Kickstarter project to back the album, if it seems I can squeeze the crafting of backer packages into the schedule then that’ll be great.
Alongside new ND material there is new Robot 7 material coalescing as collaborative talks and temporal sketches emerge. Coincidentally, DJ Mac’s Post-Alternative Visions compilation #4 is just around the corner with returning contributors and new. The ND track chosen for our submission is unique to our catalogue as an unreleased post-punk-rock inspired tune I hope will find a home among others. The compilation is due for a mid-December release.
Till next time here, into the shadows I crawl back again.