147. I Told You To Take It Easy


Many different tries and several empty files later: Four tracks of tenor uke sped up though I might some day be able to play like this in real time.  I am oddly soothed by this one.  Gives me the same feeling I experience when watching a wood working or cooking show…or a scalp massage.  Hey: I said oddly soothing…

Sounds a bit better with headphones… good thing it’s only 1:06 (yes, I changed it) because I think it might drive my mother crazy.

I Told You To Take It Easy

146. Dead Man in a Hotel (Email)


This is an email my mother sent me recently.  Yeah.  I’m singin’ an email.  She will update me on various happenings in my hometown and such.  She used to work for the mayor but has since retired and is now a librarian: a dream she’s had a for a long time, and I think she is very happy.  She has a really funny way of writing her messages to me, and I love getting them.  (I’m now wondering if this is the last email I’ll get since I’m using it for a song… yikes…).

Russ has a manager for the hotel and he noticed that the dead man stopped collecting his mail, so the manager stuck it under the door.  Days went by and the dead guy didn’t get his mail from under the door so Russ and the manager unlocked the apartment door and found it was chained on the inside.  They were very afraid of what was inside so Russ called the police.  What they found inside was the dead guy in a little room among all his hoarded junk.  Russ says he was a packrat.  Anyway, they think he was dead at least seven days.  Russ said the smell wasn’t bad but the mess he is cleaning up is.  They could find no relatives or friends, so the state took over and buried his body. That’s sad.  Russ said he was a “cipher.”  But he loved to collect frogs – all types of frogs– big little stuffed ceramic.  And then he finally croaked…

The guitar part I have STOLEN from a FREAKING awesome song off of Lady Lamb The Beekeeper’s seven-inch record (and slowed by my record player) called Sunday Shoes.  I recorded the intro, cut and looped it to create the base for this song.  Slowing Lady Lambs voice on this recording is awesome, by the way: she sounds like some sweet old gospel singer.

(And someone told me once that, quote: “Fade outs are for people who can’t write endings.”  I will let you ponder on that.)

This is an important experience for me lyrically. Lots of words.  And a story.  Unusual for me.

This American Life has done a story about this very topic… it’s so sad to leave this world and have no family or friends to take care of your final business… the state has to clean you up and bury you.  The people who show up at the graveside are a few city workers.  I’ve tried to find a link to the episode but can’t remember what it’s called.

May you have a beautiful Memorial Day remembering those you’ve loved and lost…

Dead Man in the Hotel

144. Untitled No. 2 (or I Saw Her. She Looked; Then Turned Away.)


Whatever unfriendly stars and comets do, whatever stormy heavens are unfurled, my spirit be like fire in this, too, that all the straws and rubbish of the world only feed its flame.

-Charles Reznikoff

Cello trio, untreated and treated.

VI     V     II     I   |   ii     ii6     V     VII6/4     iii

Untitled No. 2 (or I Saw Her. She Looked; Then Turned Away.)

143. Sketch (of New York)


I’ve been giving myself a little trouble for “being behind”… but what I’ve realized is that “behind” depends on how you look at it.  My general rule is to write a post the day before so it goes up and is available to listen to throughout the day… but I’ve now fallen so that writing is just all the time (it has become thus) but posting has been moving from the day before, to the day of, to the day after (i.e. today).  I realize it’s all a matter of how you think about it (day before, day of, day after), but have stopped worrying about the mechanics of how things have been working as it’s causing me to lose sleep and security.

This is a simple sketch of sound involving a happy accident of a spinning ring on a desktop and treated cello pizzicato.  It’s repetitive, but it’s a sketch.  I’m thinking it might put you into a state of hypnosis…?  My initial idea was to use this for something else, but in creating it, and knowing I have other things to work on (today’s song), I left it as a sketch…

What’s up in your day today?  Manhattan is gloriously cloudy and cool today as opposed to yesterday’s heat and suffocation.

Sketch (Of New York)

142. I Called My Mom And This Is What She Said


Recording outside: NY. Picture inside: Panguitch, Utah

One track of a recording of sounds outside the window of my bedroom

One track of pizzicato cello

One track of arco cello

One track of percussion on cello

All but the percussion track is unaffected.  I’m playing with a new mic, so this is the sound of things without any affect on them.  I called my mom and she said, “There will be good things that happen as you go.  They won’t last that long, but there will always be another good thing on its way.”

I Called My Mom And This Is What She Said

141. Stranger in An Armored Car


"The Medium Eva C. With a Materialization on Her Head and a Luminous Apparition Between Her Hands," 1912, by Albert von Schrenck-Notzing (German, 1862-1929).

I love the title of this picture.

I don’t like delay much.  It just has this effect on me that makes me feel like it’s saying, “I’m a lot of sound, and I’m in your face right now.”  Delay just seems very made up to me, but here it is today in the 365 for the first time.  I like what it means, just not always what it actually ends up doing.

This was recorded in my hallway using:

railroad ties

2 metal pot lids

rubber mallet

2 voice tracks


metal water bottle with water in it

empty metal water bottle

ambient apartment building noises (elevator, talking, etc.)

This is practice.  I’m working on coming up with sounds that might describe a scene without being too obvious about it.  If I was only going to say one critiquing thing to myself it would be the want of space in this exercise.  Space, as discussed before, is very important, and I often leave it out.

Stranger in an Armored Car

P.S. I was sent this song by a reader and listener of the 365…in response to Day 129. Brad Pitt Sits in The Van (The Dream)…I love it…

Their words about the piece: So after our conversation the other night about your friend whose Brad Pitt dream you made come true – I ended up having a dream about writing a song – about you writing a song …so of course I have to make my dream come true.  Emily

(Thank you secret 365 friend! Awesome!)

140. The Armory Improvisation #2- Quiet Song (Guy Capecelatro)


I struggled with whether or not to post this one.  This a live performance song from Boston with Guy Capecelatro at the Armory show, but next to the recorder that was recording the song was a cell phone… so interference occurred through the entire song.  I realized that if I panned everything to the left you couldn’t hear the interference… which in and of itself is kind of dumb.  Post a song that only plays from the left!?

Well, good luck!  Both Guy and I were improvising our parts melodically and harmonically.  Guy had these lyrics in his book and wrote them out for me to sing in a quiet voice.  The funny thing was (or sad actually) that the Armory in Boston is having trouble with neighbors constantly telling them they are too loud (which is unfortunate because the venue is so awesome), so we decided to do a very quiet improvised song on my set.

I am falling asleep after driving all day back to New York from New England on tour with Pearl and the Beard… looking forward to getting some rest and getting some good work done on some projects (many of them for the 365).

One thing I totally forgot to mention is that a few days ago a blog called All Our Noise mentioned The 365 Project and has made 3 songs from the project available for download… which ones are they?  Well… read the blog and go see for yourself!  Yay!

Quiet Song