Rain Poems CD Update

Turn off the alarm on March 1st, the CD won’t be going on sale on that day. :-)

Here is what’s been happening. Found the Verbatim CD upon my return last night. Burned a copy this morning. It played in two out of three of my players. I know that this third player is thirty years old and has always been finicky, but still. I will go over to every friend and acquaintance and will ask them to put the CD into their player to test it… If it plays in everything, great. If not, I will have to rethink. Not many people still have CD players, I have noticed. 

I remember always writing with a sharpie directly on a CD-R in the studio but those CDs were used to check the recording or a mix and were not meant to last. The ink probably leaches into the plastic over time. So I’ll probably have to buy blank CD labels that I can attach to the top of each CD for me to write on. I know, I know, I could have these CD made for much less money than what this is going to cost, and having them made will be a last resort, but I would prefer to have the CD look homemade, with a handwritten label. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

I have been giving a lot of thought to containers, especially as they pertain to music. There is the LP and the cardboard cover. Substantial, legible, large images. Then there are the music cassette and the compact disc, both invented by Philips and Sony. Not much visually, rather small, but nice containers. Part of the joy of these objects lies in opening and closing the container. This action turns listening into a ritual. A ritual must have a beginning and an end. An opening and then the closure. That’s very different from playing something from a streaming service. 

What could a digital music container look like? It could be a virtual container or an actual container… perhaps something that has a flash drive attached. Whether the container is real or virtual, it would need a way to open and close it. I am going to work on a flash drive (with regular USB plus USB-C connectors) that comes in a book. Perhaps the drive could be skinny and made to look like a bookmark. Or maybe the drive could be connected to a large paper clip that allows it to be attached to a page of the book. Or there can be a number of pages in the back of the book that have the paper cut away to allow the drive to rest in the book. Maybe I should design the book pages to leave a hole in the center for the drive. Lots to play with, for sure.

What would a virtual container look like? It should open and close. It should contain a virtual booklet. It should be able to play all of the music contained in the proper sequence…

Rain Poems CD

Picked up a proof at the printer. It works. Very minimal CD packaging. Might be better if I attached the foam button and CD to a piece of cardboard instead of the insert. It is very much a journey and this is just the beginning of it. Reimagining music packaging for the new era. CD and insert will be signed and numbered. I’ll probably only make an edition of 100. 

Two CD design ideas.

Package #1 consists of a cardboard sleeve which is in fact a LP Record Cardboard Jacket. It would have the cover image printed on one side and perhaps a few other images on the other side… or just credits and info. Looks like those jackets are actually 12 1/4” square which means the insert could be 12×12”. The cardboard insert would have a foam button in the center, which will hold the CD in place. The package can hide in a collector’s vinyl collection or can lean against the wall. In the drawing I called the Jacket a Sleeve. It’s a jacket.IMG 0292

Package #2 is super minimal and uses the least amount of material. It’s a CD mailer with a foam button in the center. The mailer becomes the package. A regular sheet of 8.5 x 11” paper would be folded. It can be added to the CD like that, in which case one side would show the cover image and the other side would display credits and other info. Or the two short sides of the folded paper could be cut and the center seam could be hand stitched together to create a simple booklet with 8 pages. This package can fit with a CD collection. It will be slightly larger than a regular CD case but not by much. 

IMG 0291


Posted another track from Rain Poems to Backstage. It’s track number 5: Amaryū (for Ryuichi Sakamoto)

Also posted this little note about my new freedom to spell…  :-)

Perhaps you wondered why some of the titles for the new album contain only lower-case letters, like dreamy afternoon for example. Well, Apple Music, and all the other streaming companies, want the look of their presentation to look uniform. They insist that all titles are capitalized. They will also change titles according to their style sheet. Thus my album Waiting n Swan was turned into Waiting ’n’ Swan. First they take away the freedom to lower case, then they make us conform to their spelling rules… what’s next?  :-)

I don’t have to deal with them anymore and now I can write things any way I like. And that’s why the titles for music on Rain Poems are capitalized according to my whims. 

End of the Week

I am reading The Books of Jacob, by Olga Tokarczuk. Not loving it but it’s a big book and perhaps I need to persevere a little longer. Also reading Time of the Magicians, by Wolfram Eilenberger, with the subtitle The Decade that Reinvented Philosophy.

Last night I watched Lakota Nation vs United States. Amazing people and amazing documentary film. Highly recommended. 

Uploaded a new hybrid mix to Backstage. I call it a hybrid mix because only a few of the tracks were encoded binaurally and the majority of the tracks were in stereo. I like the sound of it and will do more such hybrid mixes. 

Uploaded the last entry I wrote during my cave retreat. I’m already contemplating my next visit.  :-)

Reasons to be Cheerful posted about the Miyawaki Method. Brilliant!

Founded in 2017, Boomforest is taking an approach to reforestation known as the Miyawaki method. Developed by the Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki in the 1970s, the concept is to plant tree species that are native to the area in a very dense and layered manner — three per square meter — in order to recreate the richly fertile conditions of the natural primitive forests that once covered the planet. It is in contrast to the slower, more orderly and homogeneous processes of traditional reforestation.

Dense Micro-Forests Are Thriving in France

Ted Gioia wrote about a new study of music and well being:

So I was intrigued by a new study from the British Academy of Sound Therapy—which looked at how people use music to improve their mood and physical well being.

They studied 7,581 people and learned that:

  • 89% of people believe music supports health and well-being.
  • Music creates an optimal state of relaxation in about 13 minutes.
  • The best music for relaxation has a “slow tempo, simple melody and no lyrics.”
  • Music can alleviate sadness, and 13 minutes is an optimum time for achieving this.

All these results converged on a time frame of 9-13 minutes before music demonstrates desired levels of efficacy.

Half of Waking Hours Are Now Devoted to Entertainment

Maybe I should make some extended versions of slow pieces. Which ones should I work on? 

Rain Poems

Burned a CD of the album and am listening on an old and familiar system to check the relative volume of the tracks. Plus it’s a habit that is decades old. An album is done (or kinda done) when I have a CD of it. I remember listening to albums on DAT (digital audio tape), a prehistoric recording format, at home. In my car I would listen to Mini-Discs (a rather brilliant idea that was terribly executed by Sony) until we got a CD burner in my studio in the late 90’s.

The other day I thought it would be cool to have a 12×12 inch cardboard, which is the size of vinyl LPs, with the cover image on the front. On the back there would be credits and titles and a little foam button that holds a CD. Mailing this might be a pain but there should be LP mailers available that it could be shipped in.