Archive for the music Category

Silence and Prayer

Posted in Art, literature, music, Photography with tags , on February 24, 2014 by briancarnold


So I finally started reading Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids.


Early in the book, she writes about her life with her family in New Jersey and Philadelphia.  She recounts her mother teaching her prayers, her daily prayers before bed.


Most interesting here, however, is that as she grows older she learns to understand prayer a bit differently.  She says she never understood prayer until she understood and accepted silence.


A lovely idea, that anything sublime about life is beyond words, and is felt but not known.


I remember reading something else Patti Smith wrote or said, something to the effect that the irreverent often know more about religion and spirituality; in challenging the boundaries, you know more about what the hold and what to value.

The Ins and Outs

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags , on February 21, 2014 by briancarnold


Same days I feel the same, like nothing about me changes.  The same self just flowing through different circumstances.


Some days I feel like I am becoming something new, like my self is still being realized.

The Nicest Moments

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags , on January 29, 2014 by briancarnold

Wouldn’t it be nice if our best moments


never had to end?


But still, some moments last longer than time.

A Night in Tunisia

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags , on November 21, 2012 by briancarnold

Before photography, I fancied myself a writer and musician.  My two closest friends were musicians, so it seemed I should be too.

I started with bass guitar, and tried to learn to play jazz along with my friend Brian.

I joined a community orchestra doing big band arrangements.  There were two of us playing bass, splitting the songs in half so that each of played equal parts of the repertoire.

We rehearsed for months, and the night of our annual concert, both of us set our equipment up on the stage.  When we actually performed, however, I wasn’t allowed to play at all; all the songs I had rehearsed were given to the second bass player.  I sat on my amp, holding my bass and feeling like a complete loser.  During intermission, I backed up my gear and left, even though they said I could still play one tune after the break.  I was too embarrassed to go on.

The Day I Bought Maggot Brain

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags , , , on January 4, 2012 by briancarnold

Matt and I smoked a bowl, and then got in the car and drove 30 minutes north of Denver to Thornton.  We were headed to a used record store, Don’s Discs.

I spent my last two years of high school stoned, reading counter cultural literature (mostly sci-fi), and collecting records.  Matt and I, we did it all together.

Don’s Discs wasn’t our favorite, but they had a huge inventory and good prices.  But you had to be willing to look, put in the time.  It was worth an occasional trip.

Somethings we bought as collectors, really just for the obscurity or small editions, but mostly we loved listening to lots of music.

And because Don’s was so cheap, we could take chances on things we’d never heard before.  Or because we liked the cover art.

The day I bought Maggot Brain, well we had never heard it before, we hadn’t even heard of Funkadelic.

Well, we were convinced and became fans.  I like to think of it as part of my legacy, turning my friends and family on to Funkadelic.

Junkyard Madness

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags , , on December 21, 2011 by briancarnold

My sophomore year in college I lived in a single, an all male dorm on the west side of campus.  It was one of the wonderful old buildings of The Colorado College.

I was really into music, and was growing as an artist out of my roots found in the industrial-primitive scene I discovered in Denver (courtesy of  Tom Headbanger, and ReSearch).  At the time, I read pretty voraciously, lots of works by Robert Anton Wilson, Philip Dick, and a whole range of anti-establishment thinkers.

That fall, I was reading The Dada Painters and Poets by Robert Motherwell; rode my bike down the train tracks meeting the homeless, the drunks, and the otherwise disaffected; and collected objects from junkyards and other industrial sites to use as percussion instruments.

I took a class from the composer Stephen Scott (a very interesting composer I’m glad has been part of my education and performance career) on experimental musical performance, application, construction and design.  For the class, we were to experiment with the most fundamental forms, and we were not allowed to use any traditional instruments (or at least we weren’t allowed to play them traditionally – changes an instruments construction and perception were fair-game).  We all composed one piece during the month.

For the final performances/projects other students played glass bottles with sticks and by blowing into the mouths of the bottles, performed on a racket ball court for maximum reverb; performed with whirly tubes purchased from the dollar store; played modified trumpets and pianos to change how the instruments were played, as well as the tonality; and a slew of other things.

Practicing on my found object percussion set, I ultimately staged an improvised performance in a junkyard on the south side of Colorado Springs.  By the end of the improve, all of the students plus Stephen joined in.  The men that worked the yard looked on with a great curiosity.

I wrote a score for the piece.  It was a narrative description of the planned improvisation written out on music staff with a drawing by Jullian Tate, a tattoo artist I group up with in Denver who was also influenced by the modern primitives in Denver.  There were also two quotes at the bottom of the page:

Introduce symmetries and rhythms instead of principals, contradict the existing world order.          Hugo Ball

You who pass, pray for dada.      Tristin Tzara

Leap of Faith

Posted in Art, music, Photography with tags on June 23, 2011 by briancarnold

It is always a leap of faith to jump into the unknown, to see something entirely new for the first time.

Then again, it’s all unknown, it’s just that certain corners seem more familiar.


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