A Mildly Personal Narrative Update

(Nutshell: New Video Sketchbook entries and plans to release small acoustic-ambient EP!)

Hey friends,

It's been a minute. I've been a bit out of touch with you all due to being absorbed in some kinda intense life transitions. It feels worthwhile to tell a little narrative of what I've been going through, so bear with me while this e-mail gets mildly personal for a bit.

A 5-year relationship ended, and so did me and my (former) partner's long-standing plans to move out west to Portland, OR--only a month or two before those plans were gonna take effect. On the day I had to move out of my apartment, I ended up leaving my home state, alone, with all of my belongings in my car and no idea where I'd end up. Here's a song sketch I recorded just before leaving on the morning I moved out:

I wandered a bit up the east coast of the U.S.; I visited (and made) a lot of good friends and spent a lot of time outside in natural places. My friends and experiences helped me heal from loss, process overwhelming changes, and rediscover my self and my relation to the world. I've landed in Bar Harbor, ME, where I somehow found the opportunity to spend the summer working on a farm and living in a cabin in the woods on that farm's property. It's a living situation better than anything I could imagine. Here's a sketch I recorded in my cabin, while reflecting on the feeling of being surrounded by so much peace and beauty:

I'm also getting to know some of the best humans ever, here in this magical place. This sketch was inspired by a poem about summer that one of my most special friends here wrote:

When I first arrived in Bar Harbor, I was staying in the overpopulated house of a gracious friend. There, I recorded several mostly improvised songs out on the porch, with lots of background noise. They're simple meditative acoustic moments, and my friend Moon Watcher might stir some extra ambience into the mix. I plan to release this as an EP of sorts, probably titled Porch Ephemeraand I think the cover art will be this:

So the bottom line of this paragraph is, new lil album on the way!

BTW, if you're interested in some music recommendations from me (other than the music I make) I've got a couple things for you. The first is a mix of songs that resonated with me during my transition; the upbeat funky ones are about the excitement of being on an adventure into the unknown, but there's a lot of reflective emotional ones for when my difficult feelings caught up with me. I've also been collecting my favorite albums to listen to while doing work in the farm's greenhouses, via the Twitter and/or Facebook hashtag #AlbumsForGreenhouses. Mostly meditative, ambient-ish, organic-ish stuff.

That's about all I have to share for now. Talk to you soon!

Until then,

♥ ∞ Alex

 

P.S. I'm also trying out a new approach to music, which is very minimalistic and emotional--just bass guitar, simple chord progressions and singing about feelings. I don't know if it will ever see the light of day, and if it does it will probably need to be under an identity separate from mandala eyes, but that might happen sometime. So I guess you and I can both wonder about it for now.

New "Video Sketchbook" Series

Hey friends,

I've started a new musical series, which I'm calling my "video sketchbook".

Basically, I'm treating this series as a public notebook for documenting my ideas. When I come up with an idea for a song or sound that I might want to revisit later, I film a simple video of myself performing it and include detailed notes about it in the video description. This way I can use the videos and notes as a reference if I decide to expand any of these ideas later on, but I can also share the video sketches with you in the meantime so you get to see some of my raw ideas and process.

There are two entries in the video sketchbook at time of writing, which you can check out in the embedded player above. I'll probably be adding a new entry once every week or two.

 

In other news, my recent EP There's Nowhere It Isn't is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, and other services, in addition to Bandcamp. I hope this helps those of you who prefer using a specific platform to listen to your music. :o)

The cassette copies from Eyetooth Collective should be arriving in the near future, and I'll make another update when they're available. Until then, that's all I got.

 

Thanks for being here,

♥ ∞ Alex

New EP Out Now!

Hey friends,

Here's my new EP! As I've said before, it's got tons of electric guitar layering and killer live drums courtesy of Jesus Aponte. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I think you'll enjoy it too; if you do, I'd love for you to show your support by buying the album on Bandcamp.

You can also pre-order a cassette copy of the album on the page linked above. Those are being manufactured by Eyetooth Collective and they'll have a beautiful swirly colorful look to them. They take a while to make so I won't be shipping them out until April.

Finally, if you did give a listen to the album, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it! So do feel free to send me a comment on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or even an e-mail.

Thanks for sticking around and listening. I've already seen a lot of support from you guys for this record and I'm deeply appreciative of that. Now I'm excited to get working on the next one! >:)

 

Thanks again,

♥ ∞ Alex

"There's Nowhere It Isn't" EP, Out On Feb 27

Time to announce some details about the EP I've been working on recently. It's now finished, and it's titled There's Nowhere It Isn't.

Here's the cover art:

The track names are:

  1. Still Your Presence
  2. Daytime Moon
  3. Nighttime Sun
  4. I-Don't-Know-What-to-Do-with-My-Life-but-at-Least-It's-Morning-Again Blues

The album will be available for download and streaming via Bandcamp on Feb 27. You'll find it on Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, etc. a little while after that initial release date.

Example of Eyetooth Collective's cassette handiwork.

I'm also working on setting up a short run of beautiful, swirly cassettes made by Eyetooth Collective. Hopefully those will be up for pre-order on the 27th, but in any case they take some time to make so they won't be ready to ship till a bit later.

If you'd be interested in a CD version in addition to the cassettes, let me know and I might put some CDs together.

Anyway, I'm really happy with the way this record turned out. From the very beginning of writing to the final masters it took less than two months, and I think you can hear the energy and excitement of that quick process in the result. So excited to share it with you!

Til the 27th,

♥ ∞ Alex

New EP in the works

Hey folks,

I'm working on a new EP-length recording. It's focused around a bunch of layered electric guitars, with my friend Jesus Aponte providing excellent live drums. The video above shows a few clips from our pre-recording practice sessions.

At the time of writing, we've actually just finished up tracking drums, which we did over at Wholehearted Productions' nicely-acoustically-treated recording space. The results sound awesome if I do say so myself.

Next, I'm going to re-record the guitars to sound more tightly-performed, sonically-polished and sync'd with the grooves of Jesus's drum performances.

Really excited to share the finished music with ya,

♥ ∞ Alex

 

 

P.S. If you're wondering about the other album I was working on (No Self), it's on the backburner now. I do intend to release it eventually, but currently I've done all I can and my collaborator on that project hasn't been able to finish his contributions yet, so it's a bit out of my hands and I don't want to string you all along. Hence moving on to new projects like this EP.

P.P.S. If you're curious about what you're hearing in the video clip above, here's the breakdown. Jesus's drums and my live guitar were picked up by the crappy camera mic. We were actually listening to/playing along with the other guitar layers (why we're wearing headphones). I added those pre-recorded guits to the clips and was able to sync them up with the camera mic's audio. So ultimately you're hearing a blend of pre-recorded guitar scratch tracks and live playing recorded by the camera mic. ;-)