All Tomorrow’s Warnings
In June 2002 I was living on the South Side Slopes in Pittsburgh. Charles Pistella helped book us a show at The Quiet Storm, a new coffee shop on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh. I was editing down sound loops and performances using free software to my Tascam 4-Track and mixing those back live, projecting video samples with Arkaos software. I’d submitted samples of my folk songs to the Around the Coyote Arts Festival the year before and in September of 2001 took a train to Chicago to play my first live gig singing and to do performance in the hallway of the Flat Iron Building with my Tascam. On Friday I got invited to a loft party in Wicker Park – someone who saw me playing. He organized music for O’Hare and was interested in booking me for some music there. Oh this is big, I thought – just like Brian Eno. I saw Aaron Wagner that weekend, he was at that loft party too and we spent a fair amount of time together. I took the train home Monday night and when I entered the station in the morning the first Twin Tower was hit on TV and then the second. Suffice it to say – the gigs at the airport stopped when Tom lost his funding. Last year I went through my minidisc recordings and digitized everything that could be released, but I didn’t find what I made for The Quiet Storm. Then last Tuesday my dad took the dog for a day and when I was in my basement cleaning I opened up the case for my cassettes, and there it was. The 4-track master. I would describe this music as proto-songs. Some of these loops and ideas made it into other recordings, like Down in Wicker Park and Final Answer. These are asynchronous sound loops with polyrhythms bonding and unbonding as I mix. But more specifically, it’s as dark and foreboding, and soulful, as a poor, depressed artist can be after 9/11. It was even better than I remembered it.