Fans of industrial music should check out my friend Chvad’s band “Things Outside The Skin.” They released a couple of albums on Invisible Records awhile back and are back to action with new material. He’s promised me stems, so hopefully there will be a novachild remix or two in the future :)
2011 marks 10 years of the Novachild project. To celebrate, I’ll be posting some rare/unreleased tracks from time to time. Some may even be remixes, but very likely I will allow time to be heard and avoid ‘fixing’ these old mixes as much as I can.
Here’s an ambient piece I wrote in 2001. Enjoy, share, comment!
This was one of the most compelling and memorable live experiences of my life. I’m glad I managed to catch the paper that week or I wouldn’t have even known they were in town. This piece is the grand finale of the 3-hour performance. Inspiring in many ways, especially the visual aspect. I’ve always wanted to get my hands on a half dozen or so 16mm school projectors and replicate this in a unique way.
Found this interview laying around in some abandoned files. Thought I’d share. It’s from October 2007 for TulsaMusicNews.com (now defunct). Q: What book do you casually put out on your coffee table to impress visitors?A: Typically I am the visitor, so I’m not accustomed to having guests. However, I’ve been known to leave Terry Pratchett novels sitting on the coffee table. Once, I remember quite deliberately placing the Tao on my coffee table, but nobody really noticed.
Q: What do you love about music?A: I love the different textures, the resonance, the dissonance, the way it makes my chest open up and my heart pound when a swelling chord reaches its peak. I love music that I can chew on for hours, music that is more like a painting than a quick doodle.
Q: Tell us the brief history of Novachild.A: Summer, 1998. I discovered a great piece of software coded by a fellow in Amsterdam named Bram Bos (now a good acquaintance of mine) called Tuareg. It was billed as a ‘Phrase Sampler’ but was much more. I made a hundred songs with it, and when he gave me a license for version 2.5, I made a hundred more. I became involved in a small but passionate community of other aspiring computer musicians and developed some intriguing relationships and collaborations. But it wasn’t until I discovered Ableton Live and VSTi’s (virtual instruments) that I considered live performance.I self released my first CD, “Micro Cosm,” in 2002. It was very amateurish but contained the seeds of something happening. I followed it up with the “Subliminal Skin” EP in 2003, which consisted of several tracks from a second album I shelved. “Traveller” arrived in 2004 and this began my foray into live performance. My latest release is the “Weary Demons EP,” released in the summer of 2006. I’m working on a full-length at the moment, which should be ready sometime early next year. Q: Which radio stations do you listen to?A: If I listen to the radio, I tend to gravitate to NPR, or college radio, and sometimes I get a wild streak and tune into Coast To Coast AM because I enjoy listening to the nutcases and their alien abduction stories at three in the morning. I also enjoy listening to police and emergency scanners, and I miss my Pro97. I even used it in performances, but when my wife and I split up I sold it, along with other priceless items, to raise money for a move to my apartment. I will buy another one eventually! Q: What specific themes do your songs cover?A: In generally, my process of writing is so abstract and internalized that I can’t begin to describe my work in terms of a ‘grand theme’ or some authoritative concept. There are exceptions. My 2004 album ‘Traveller is the soundtrack to my life at the time, the weakening of my ‘post-marital bliss’ and many other realizations. It was spawned by my deep-rooted need to experience the road again, to reach out and melt into the awesome sunsets that inspired me in the midst of relationship turmoil. Lately my material has been mostly inspired by watching human behavior. I often sit at coffeeshops with my laptop and headphones, sipping on my drink, enjoying a scone, and writing the energy that I see around me. Q: What made you decide to study music?A: My parents were the main perpetrators of my music bug. When I was very young, they bought me a drum kit and hired our church drummer to teach me how to play. I enjoyed it immensely, but being 7 years old I simply didn’t have the self-motivation to stick with the studies. In Junior High, my parents bought me a trumpet, a decent Yamaha student trumpet that I wish I still owned. I was quite good. However, our family moved to Tulsa, and my new band instructor refused to place me in a chair because I had enrolled late. So I rebelled and walked away from it, never to return. However, I had already caught the guitar bug, and since then I have studied bass, acoustic and electric guitar. I have also incorporated hand percussion, synthesis and computer music into my studies. Piano is hopefully my next adventure!
Q: What is your favorite food?A: Channa Masala with garlic naan, followed by a cup of chai and a bowl of gulab jaman. I adore Indian cuisine.
Q: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?A: Having invested in hardware over the years, I’ve found that traveling light is most inspirational. I also love being the opening act, because that means less gear I have to wrangle into the back of the car. My Novation X-Station has most everything I need to perform – modeling synth, midi controller, inputs and outputs. I can’t recommend it enough, though I am still working out some kinks.
Q: What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?A: Truthfully, there are a few things biting at my heels at the moment, the first of which has to do with my MacBook and discovering its limitations. I was sold on the Mac hype, but now I have this laptop, which is a wonderful piece of equipment, but it simply doesn’t have the power that was promised. My 4-year-old PC can handle more voices! And as far as Macs never crashing… I have proven that to be a great myth. Still, overall the good outweighs the bad, and occasionally limitations can be a benefit to inspiration.One other discouraging factor is the ‘home town’ syndrome. Tulsa is home to some amazing talent, but 95% of these talented people have to play cover songs in front of drunken masses to obtain recognition. Tulsa has seen better days in the indie music scene; there used to be much more solidity and stability - room for individuality - but my impression of Tulsa as it stands is that if you don’t play a guitar or scream or do covers, people tend take what you do less seriously. I really hope we can change this. Q: What do you think about downloading music online?A: In a world where every radio station plays maybe .05% of the music being produced, there is no better way to discover what other people are doing. The music industry is deliberately dishonest in its portrayal of modern music; like any other industry in America, they would rather squeeze out every last penny from the tired old horse than allow diversity to bloom and musical evolution to take flight. Meanwhile small collectives of musical innovators are not being heard. It’s a shame.Personally, I support downloading and file sharing, and I release my material under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. If everyone relied on current ‘legal’ methods for obtaining and discovering new music, the evolution of music would continue to be controlled and defined by the industry. It’s much more interesting to have this ‘explosion’ of different sounds than to have music filtered through the money machine before it reaches the listener. As far as the artists getting paid for their work… I don’t seriously believe that a true fan of music would settle for a 128k compressed mp3. That’s why I think LP’s are still relevant. And playing live is essential. Q: Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to.A: I’ll give you a couple. Tortoise is a fantastic instrumental band from Chicago. Their approach to music is nonlinear and methodical. Seeing it happen live is truly the only way to appreciate what they are doing, and I can’t recommend them enough. Especially (the album) TNT. Another great band I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately is Gravenhurst. They’re from Bristol, UK. Each song has a different flavor and yet somehow is pure honey.What strikes me as funny is how little ‘electronic music’ I have been listening to over the past couple of years. Aside from a few Warp and indie artists I’ve discovered, I haven’t found much electronica to fall in love with since the late ‘90s.
Q: What is the first record that you recall purchasing yourself?A: Back when you could still buy records at Wal-Mart, I remember begging my mother to buy me the double-vinyl adaptation of Disney's “The Black Hole.” I wish I still owned it. Last Question: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.A: I am opening for Tranny this Friday, September 21st. You should be there if you like good independent music, like to have a good time and have an open mind to different styles. Tranny is a straight-up ‘midwestern’ rock band, and they have incredible live energy. ‘Font’ is a producer here in Oklahoma that performs in a similar way as Novachild but has more of a jungle/drum and bass quality. Lastly, it’s my first official Novachild performance since last August, and I would love to see everyone there having a good time. My next scheduled performance is October 12; I am headlining the first night of the 2-day OK Electric Music Festival - downtown Tulsa @ the Blue Dome. It’s a wonderful event sponsored by Living Arts of Tulsa and maintained by my good friend Jake Thomason. This year will feature workshops, a special video presentation from the inventor of MIDI, and more high-profile regional electronic acts than you can shake a stick at. I cannot recommend OK Electric enough, and I hope that more music fans will come out and support it this year because it is indeed something different, special, and memorable.
I enjoyed my design for a client so much that I borrowed it, tweaked it (a bit), and updated the novachild site. I needed a fresh look; not only has it been awhile since my last revamp, but also I’ve been forced to revisit the code in order to correct some issues with it. Now I should be able to integrate some more advanced features, including enhanced picture and video galleries (coming soon).
UPDATE: I’ve turned off comments. Unfortunately, the code was breaking my page. No time to fix at present. Boo.
I spent some time last night working up a business card pattern for a client. I usually make an alternate, a variation/remix of the original. It’s fun to guess which design the client will prefer. I was correct this time round, but I love the alternate, so I just want to share it for fun and posterity.
One happy customer just hired me for business cards, vinyl car window art, and 6 months of site updates. Another sent a check for a new social branding site for his business. Things are looking up, though I could use more work. Let me know if you're in the market for a web site, 75+ shirt run, business card, etc. Or, if you send me a paying customer, I'll give you a credit towards future orders. Thanks!
“Life has a way of eating away at the things that make us "us" unless we find ways to preserve those bits of us. If you have music in your soul, you have to make music...not think about making music, but make it. And music is made to be shared, so share it.”
Last night, my wife, best friend and I attended the Torchwood: Miracle Day sneak preview at Cinemark theater in Tulsa, OK. In summary: Fan-fucking-tastic.
They gave out tons of schwag and prizes, but alas I maintain my record of never winning anything. But no worries. It was mostly Cox/Stars schwag, and the coveted prize of an ipod touch was not something I actually need, anyway.
I met some bigwig marketing person from Starz in the hallway, but I had no idea who I was talking to until she returned to the theater, poised behind a microphone. The people running the event seemed totally clueless about the fandom they were about to be subjected to. Mua ha ha.
“Are you a fan?” She asked. “Oh,” chuckling. “I’m beyond being a fan. I have every episode of Doctor Who and Torchwood, and I started the Tulsa Doctor Who Viewing Society in 1998.” “I didn’t realize there were so many fans here already.”
The reps seemed positively astounded by the existing love for the show, characters, which is a good sign in my opinion.
Lastly, it was nice to see some familiar faces in the crowd. I really don’t get out much these days, being a daddy and all, so I relish opportunities to meet up with old pals. All in all, fabulous night followed by a quick bowl of Bun Cha Giao @ Binh Le Vietnamese Restaurant, perhaps my favorite eatery in Tulsa.