It’s very humbling to see the amount of creativity that exists, flowing through a world that so often seems cold as a coin. I was fortunate enough to speak with Michael Gira recently for an article I’m writing for Alarm Magazine about the Swans’ new album, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, and in the course of an hour experienced a better understanding of the creative process than I could have previously conceived.
A week or two was spent in preparation for the conversation; I delved deeply into Michael’s previous recordings, tried to gain a sense for where he was coming from with his music and where he was going with his recent efforts. In the process I became overwhelmed by a sense of possibilities and a realization of the potential power behind something as simple as a sustained chord.
Beyond artistry, I saw a man who has mastered the freedom of our hyper-connected age. Running his own label has given him the chance to raise the act of simple home recording into an art form. In order to fund this new Swans album he created a limited edition album, I Am Not Insane, in hand printed packaging. Here is a veteran of the music industry getting his hands dirty and showing the rest of us how it’s done.
I Am Not Insane was recorded in his office! Imagine if every business owner had the passion to pick up an instrument on their lunch break, or even rip out an acapella tune, and start pressing their own CDs. The drawing at the top of this entry was made with soy sauce and india ink, so even if lunch time didn’t bring out a song there’s still no excuse for not getting busy with some creative endeavors. No need for expensive tools, they give you enough with your take out order to get started.
Zac Odinn’s recent spoken word experiments and his collaboration with Jeremy (mthing), along with my brief conversation with Michael Gira, got me excited enough to start fiddling around with sound myself. While at the grocery store last night I picked up an $8 computer mic, and when I got home threw together a quick little 2 track instrumental improv I’ve titled ‘Any Word?’ in honor of my long time friend, and creative partner, Terry Hahin‘s recent move to the Phillipines.
Hope you enjoy it, and more I hope you go out and grab the opportunities that are all around us to create and bring some light to our confused world…