Song of the day: Highway Blues

“Sick on the I-5 with you on my mind…”

Seahaven's album Reverie LagoonArtist: Seahaven

A blend of acoustic instruments, white noise, and an echoing voice organic in tone makes “Highway Blues” the perfect song to put on Repeat. You’ll listen to this song when you’re on a roadtrip by yourself, when you’re just feeling lightly melancholy about life in general, or perhaps when you’re wanting to learn something new and simple on the guitar. And you’ll listen to this with the memories of someone else on your mind.

Do I speak from experience? These are the questions worth asking.

Great fields, they pass, made of greener grass.
My neck fights my will to not look back.
At everything that I never had and now will never have.

Just promise to let me know if you come around.
I won’t be too far from Torrance, California.
I’ll come to you at the moment I hear your call.
I’ll pick you up in your truck, this time no hesitation.

Pensive perfection. You can find this song on Seahaven’s album Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only.

New happenings are afoot! (with a bit of a personal update)

Indeed, new happenings are afoot! Well, maybe like one or two.

It all began with me deciding to revamp the look of my blog, which I think will be a positive change to help visually emphasize the creative writing personality this blog has been developing for some time now. I’m a fan of the new font style. Nice, large, bookish font. I’m sort of a bit nerdy on fonts.

However, in my theme-changing process, I noticed the forlorn category previously known as “Musically Minded,” now known as “Music Library.”

I haven’t written much on music, just for the sake of itself, in a long time. And that kind of makes me sad, because that was how I started learning to love writing (you write about things you love and in high school I would have died on train tracks for music, I loved it so much). But you know how college can take hold of your life and shake it like a dog with a new rope toy? Like, it’s really entertaining and exciting at first, but as “the fun” keeps going on, everything just gets kind of torn-up, grimy, worn-out, and sad?…yeah I’m still talking about college…learning Life at the speed of light does things to you…

Now that I’m OUT of college (perhaps “survived” is a better word?), I’m learning “how to Life Without School,” which is a lot of learning how to invest my time in THINGS I ACTUALLY HAVE TIME FOR. Sorry, I get kind of excited thinking about all the time I have now (you guys, I no longer feel like a plastic water bottle that’s 2/3 empty and twisted out of shape, it’s so COOL). And yes, I’m still working on the “full-time-job” thing, how did you figure?

But until my time starts to get used up by more and more responsibilities I’ll inevitably take on again, I’ve been investing my freedom in writing a lot–which has mostly been working on a poetic story project, (which I’ve been tagging under the working title “Summertime in the Orion Nebula,” for those of you who have been reading) which I’m excited and scared about it but mostly excited. However, I’ve also decided I need to write about music again, starting with re-introducing “Song of the Day” posts into my life. And I’m shooting for every Friday starting today. AKA, you’ll want to stay posted for later ;) .

By the way, thanks to all the new people that keep showing up to (apparently) read my stuff. It’s encouraging.

Stay hardcore, my lovers.

Poem: First October

Silence the room.
Leaving the door unlocked
to starlight trees
breathing in
mountain air breeze.

And so I say goodnight
to the explosive world,
for the
lull
of rest
over your ribcage.

Sinking down to pause
our verbs
and tears
Pulsing
seeps
through bone
and cotton

Drumbeats
r  e  v  e  r  b  e  r  a  t  i  n  g
Eardrum ward

Soft soundwaves
So calmly,
steady.
Echo of soul.

So. This is what keeps you sighing.
And…
So. This is what keeps you running.
This — serene storming — life blood —

Beat beating.
Beat beating.
Beat beating.

A force that would crush the mountains.
Kiss them tenderly.
Enfold the deep.

Rhythm of red
circulating

Veins,
Arteries
flow. Slow
dance. Wind shivering
through shadowed branches,
whisper singing.

The cadence enchanting.
A new sigh.
Eyes closed.
Wide awake soul.

Portable Landscape: Listening Tree

If you know what a “portable landscape” is, you’re probably very artsy. I guess I’m pretty artsy, but it still sounds weird when I try to explain it.

Basically it’s like a place that you’ve made…that you can pick up and move…so it’s not an installation. However, apparently “place” is a very broad term. My professor showed us a picture of a student’s portable landscape made out of a pair of pants with plants growing out of it. Cool story…anyways…I think I’m just gonna call it “three-dimensional art” like normal people do.  

The purpose of the piece was to create a place where I felt at peace or close to God–a place where I felt free. I fused two of such places together: nature and music. For now, I’ve titled it “Listening Tree.”

There may or may not have been music paraphernalia harmed in the making of this project….But I think they like their home a lot better now than when they were trapped inside my CD rack. I used strips of album cover artwork from music that has impacted me artistically, emotionally, and spiritually in both the past and present. Specifically featured appearances are made by Underoath: They’re Only Chasing Safety; ShowbreadNo Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical and Nervosa; Oh SleeperSon of the Morning; Secret & Whisper: Great White Whale; Burden of a Day: Blessed Be Our Ever After; Flyleaf: Flyleaf; Superchic[k]: Beauty From Pain; Chasing Victory: Fiends; As Cities Burn: Come Now Sleep; and The Devil Wears Prada: With Roots and Branches Below.

Other inspirations and influences include: Ansel Adams, Yosemite, Olafur Arnalds, Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, my solo hike in the woods, Family Force 5, the swing under the magnolia tree by my friends’ apartment, and my study abroad term in the mountains. And We Are Ansel…to anyone who is a fan of that band, yes I was thinking of the song “Look at the Tree!” the whole time.

Featured Artist: Ólafur Arnalds

Okay, I’m gonna come clean–I don’t like classical music that much. I know, I know, I should because I’ve played the violin since forever, but honestly…I have a hard time connecting emotionally a majority of classical music. Maybe it’s the harpsichord that bugs the heck out of me, or maybe it’s the piano accompaniments that really only serve to fill sonic space, or maybe I just haven’t worked hard enough to find out which classical artists I would like. 

I mean, I sure wasn’t looking for Ólafur Arnalds. And I love him. So maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough. That’d be fair.

I happened upon Ólafur Arnalds in philosophy class last semester.  Our professor had made split us into groups to choose something to define “Beauty,” and one group played his piece “3055” as their example.

Whether or not Ólafur Arnalds could possibly be the answer to Plato’s question of What is Beauty, I fell in love immediately with his music.

Think classical music with a contemporary twist–Arnalds brings in drums, nature sounds like wind and creaking wood, and the most delicate piano arrangements you may have ever heard. This is music to play while studying, sleeping, or showering at night, when you’re feeling sad, lonely, or peaceful, when its rainy outside or right after the sun comes out of the clouds on a spring day.

And the guy used to be in a metal band.
Recently, he scored the soundtrack for Another Happy Day. I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t know if I will, but the soundtrack is, in one superficial word, fabulous. In more words, I’d say that the simplistic yet elegant arrangements featuring piano and strings are sweet, somber, haunting, can-I-touch-the-depths-of-your-soul flat-out beautiful. In different words, I’d say it’s one of the prettiest film scores I’ve heard lately, and I believe it’s too amazing for you to pass up.