Things I’m Putting Back Inside My Head (Autumn, part 1)

©2022 Michael Raven

As mentioned yesterday, I’m prone to thinking hard about my beliefs. For some 35 years now, I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around just what elements of various systems of belief “work” for me, and those that don’t. There is a lot of Eastern thinking that has an outsized role in how I think, from Tao/Dao to Chan to Zen. I hold some of that thinking in the realm of the philosophical branch of my belief systems and they act as a compass for my beliefs, which are separate and apart from my philosophical values. And those philosophical values are just mostly informed by the Eastern thought (I’m going to reduce it to “Tao” or “Zen” moving forward, and interchangeably so; we can argue about my reasons sometime at a later time, if it really bugs you), as I have been known to find value in some Western thinking as well (existentialism has a role, as far as I am concerned, as does absurdism, amongst others). And, while I think I have a decent grasp on those philosophies as they pertain to me, I’ve never seriously sat down and codified my actual belief system.

Over intermittent posts moving forward, I think I might try to rationalize my beliefs “in the open” to see if I can make something cohesive about it. Or, perhaps, it will always be a chaotic mess that only I can grasp.

Continue reading “Things I’m Putting Back Inside My Head (Autumn, part 1)”

rebirth red

©2022 Michael Raven

heather my head
stone wrought gairm
let no lies be shared
swordpierced hollow
withdrawn
under water thrashing
my head
nightcry, wolfkin
nightcry, owl
cast me in western hues
for the feast
in three with me

cauldron kept
we rebirth, beating
the sides red 

Clouds under the sea

©2022 Michael Raven

I wish I had words. I suspect I do not have words because there are no words that work with what I want to convey. I also strongly suspect that we might have to create a whole new language and, with it, a whole new culture and way of life for me to convey the what of my mind’s meanderings.

Seems like an overwhelming ask, just so you can hear what I am trying to say.

It helps not at all that my vision is obscured by dark spider silk laced over my eyes, something that allows sight, but only a sight that manifests darkly. I can apprehend the edges of things, if only moment to moment, things that seem invisible to everyone else. Here: take this shallow, dark blue bowl of water and gaze into it… What do you see?

I know: water. And under that: that deep sea of blue porcelain, chipped in places as to mask the dream.

Maybe it is only my dream.

Mama went to the doctor and the doctor said…

And you see, that is my personal gnosis (reach out and touch faith) which cannot be confirmed because the words do not exist and my vision is blurred by shadows and dark filigree falling like spun lace from ancient looms. Gunmetal grey.

no more monkeys jumping on the bed.

Look to the clouds. Tell me what you see.

Ahh, there… we touch on it together.

Now…

Now look to the clouds under the sea.

Burning gods

©2022 Michael Raven

The Drifter added another god to the roadside bonefire blazing under the dying desert sun. He even feigned reverence until the sky grew red laced with seared violet because that is the kind of thing one does during such events.

It was necessary, however bittersweet.

As gloaming seized the sky in earnest, he turned on a well-worn boot heel and stepped up into the lonesome road of broken asphalt, walking to a rhythm without a source, but one always with him.

He nodded in welcome to the rising pregnant moon casting pale shadows across the growing night. He was not alone, as a lone coyote offered her own welcome to the pale goddess of the night skies.

The Point: Ep 5 (finale)

©2022 Michael Raven

Oh my garsh. This is it. Golly. We’ve reached the stage where we are at the end of a long journey.

The final episode of The Point, as written and performed by Cherie Lynae Cabrera Suski (who also had a hand in putting the multimedia part together using some kind of magic). Art was by O’Wisp. I added some sound and stuff.

Warning: if you are the type who requires there to be trigger warnings before you consume content, you probably shouldn’t watch the following video. We accept no responsibility for any trauma you might experience by ignoring this warning and choosing to watch or listen. This is a work of mature fiction and is not intended for minors.

A couple of short notes about the parts I added. I promise — short.

I’m actually pretty proud of the music on this one, as minimalist as it sounds, it is also more complex in a number of ways. Without delving deep into the details, it is in an atypical key for me (B minor) and uses a time signature that I don’t typically use (6/8). I’ll admit, I trend towards 4/4 in 99% of the music I write, although I’ve tried to explore really atypical time signatures like 5/4 and 7/4; I did a bit of 3/4 during my Irish folk music phase, but mostly I stick to ye ol’ 4/4.

And while those things make me happy to have gotten a chance to explore and (I think) make work for me, I think I hit the background music elements best on this episode (although recorded and composed 4th in the series). I start off very minimalist and build up towards the end with subtlety (again, personal opinion, you may disagree). I ended up layering 3 pianos along with the keys, bass, guitar, and a choir voice on a synth, avoided drums almost entirely, while playing some of silence to my advantage.

Influences on this were pulled from late Joy Division, along with listening to several soundtracks from era movies, typically from the end where things are unsatisfactory resolved (instead of the Disney “everyone ends up happy” tunes).

See? Short.

I hope you enjoyed this series of collaborations. I’m probably needing a break with respect to multi-episodic multimedia BGM for a spell but, if you like what you heard, I am always interested in exploring collaborations with other writers and other types of artists. Hit me up at my about/contact page if you have an idea you’d like to explore.

Fall-outs

©2022 Michael Raven

He felt the telltale electric charge ionize the air of an incoming walk-in before he heard or saw anyone. Or fall-out, he supposed, because they always fell some distance, higher or lower when they came and out, well because they were leaving what they knew instead of coming home.

The hairs on his arms danced in place, twitching to the beat of arrector pili reaching out for the other side, or the charge in the air. He ignored it, the feeling had become more frustration than excitement in his time in this place as surrender settled in. The others were coming, not going and there was no leaving, no homecoming, for the likes of him as far as he could tell. So he set to drifting on, like he always did in this twilight place.

Continue reading “Fall-outs”

A little reminder: The Point

©2022 Michael Raven

art by o’wisp

In about 29 hours from now, episodes three and four of The Point go live. The Point is a five-episode collaboration with storytelling by Cherie Suski (story and telling), O’Wisp (art things), and myself (general racket and sound production).

Here is an early mix of the music “teaser” from the track (w/o voiceover). This “demo” is what I sent to the others to get feedback for Ep 3., so the final version is quite a bit longer and has a different mix:

Listen to Episodes 1 & 2 here if you haven’t already.

Stop by again after 6pm CST tomorrow to hear the next two episodes. And a week after that to hear the final episode. Honestly, that last episode is my favorite in terms of overall sound production and I really can’t wait to get that one into everyone’s ears.