I’ve been working on this little project by myself for about a month now called dreamdistrict. I currently have five songs done and felt like talking a little about it. What? You don’t want to? Okay, well cover your ears…err, eyes.
So for some time now I’ve had this ridiculous idea about making some (mostly)instrumental music completely with guitar and looper pedal. Not only just with guitar, but limit myself to 4 tracks of a Tascam 414 Portastudio. I wanted this stuff to sound sorta lo fi, but not early GBV and Daniel Johnston lo fi. Just kinda in that grey zone of fidelity. The idea began in December after listening to Kim Gordon’s Body/Head album way too much. I loved the simplicity of voice/guitar/noise/improvisation. There are some truly stunning moments on that album. Also, Boards of Canada, Steve Reich, and Kevin Shields played a big part on molding what I wanted to do with this project. I began my explorations with sound on the first Cambodia Highball album. Shane and I were exploring sonic structures within an improvisational space, but still very much creating “songs” as opposed to mood pieces. I wanted dreamdistrict to be mood. I wanted it to color ones thoughts and ideas while sitting and reflecting with a cup of coffee, glass of wine, or preferred poison. Most of all, I wanted these pieces to be in-the-moment reflections of emotion. If I was feeling cantankerous then I wanted the music to reflect that. If I was feeling lost in thought or reflecting on something, I wanted the music to reflect that. If my head was as blank space, I wanted the music to reflect that. With each recording session I felt they were coming easier and the structures were forming quicker. I could see the beginning, which led me to middles and ends. The shortest piece(“To Love”) is just under 5 minutes, while the first piece I recorded(“Damage/Stars In Ecstasy”) is over 20 minutes. I’m not going into these songs thinking I want them to be a certain length. I’m letting them tell me how long they need to be. Okay, the songs aren’t voices in my head telling me things, but they are leading me along the analog path. I’ve been doing this long enough that I have a sense of when a song is nearing the end. I feel each of these are short stories I’m writing. If you end the story too soon there’s no resolution. If you go on too long the ears lose interest. Knowing when you’ve reached the end is an art form, and one not easily figured out.
Yeah this is a self-serving post about my art, but this blog is named after me. I can occasionally do this sort of thing. I plan on continuing the recording project with dreamdistrict for another month or two then I’ll compile and put an album together. My ultimate goal with this project would be for some young(or old) filmmaker to hear these songs and would want to use some of them for a film score. If he or she was short on cash I’d even let ’em use the songs for free(maybe a couple free movie passes when it hits the cinema.) That is why I’m doing this. These are mood pieces for a film not yet made. Or maybe it’s being made as I type this. Or as you’re playing with your kids. Driving your car down the coast for holiday. Or mourning the loss of a loved one. Or rejoicing in the birth of a child.
Come to think of it, these songs are the soundtrack to your life. Enjoy.