As long as I can remember, I always wanted to make an album. But what is the motivation to create something that takes that much effort? With music and poetry I’ve never really worried about putting myself out there as a performer. If the goal is to increase aesthetic enjoyment of life, then I was physically present for 100% of my own art’s creation, regardless of how many tweets it gets or hashtags people add to it later. (Most of the really good stuff just vanished into the air right then and there.) No one else gets the front seat for the freestyles and boom-bap of my life quite like I do. My plan was to make an album that I found enjoyable, hoping everything else would fall into place. Hoping that by making good music I will find my place in the world, continuing to grow and create.
This is my first effort at producing and the first time I’ve felt remotely comfortable singing on my own original music. (I’d made a couple EPs of poetry/rhyming/sample based music before this.) I would really like to learn more about recording and editing vocals, as well as get comfortable in the recording booth with a variety of vocal styles. If this album piques your interest and you want to be part of whatever happens when this style levels up, and you are genuinely good people, please be in touch.
The goal was to make an album good enough that I would enjoy listening to it on repeat. A daunting goal for someone with no technical background in music. In 2018 I quit my job(s), sold my house and traveled to five different continents teaching technology, eating amazing food and recording samples of the people I met along the way. Some of the people were street artists, others I met through AirBNB, I found a ton of wonderful people at a music festival by the Nile, poets like Madam Betty and singers like Nobby Precious just keep showing up at technology workshops, many were strangers in a variety of holy places and others were friends or people just passing through my life. (And I just passing through theirs.) I saved these samples and put together a bunch of instrumentals and lyrics in 2019. I had never been happy with my production skills in regards to vocals (beatboxing is easy, singing and rhyming not so much), so I signed up for a class in audio production online whilst the shit and bile maelstrom of 2020 whirled about us all.
Beyond inclusion of music from as many cultures and religions as possible, creativity and a range of expression where my main goals. Hence the name of the album being arranged in a circle, allowing for many different interpretations of the actual title.
So What’s Next?
In 2021 and beyond I hope to make short EPs that include remixes and new songs with all of the artists that have stayed in touch. My first stop on that journey will take me to Kenya and Uganda teaching audio and technology with Jumadi in Nairobi, Kampala, Gulu and at the Nyaka Orphanage. Then I’ll go back to Greece— I doubt I’ll find the Acropolis Gypsies again, but I will be giving my thanks to the churches where I recorded on my previous trip. We’ll see how the rest of the artists want to do their remixes, I visit them, they visit me, or we do the on-line file ping pong thing thing. However it happens, the production quality will only get better with time. My one hope is to work with good people who are more knowledgeable about audio and the entertainment industry than I, while satisfying the artistic part of my brain.
It is not possible to express enough gratitude, here is a very short list:
k4-57, Mr. Savory, MoaM, B. Hogan, FreeSound.org, Uganda, Nobby Precious, Madam Betty, Seoul, Morae, those two awesome Korean guys, Geneva, Nyege Nyege, DJ Chris & the International Costa Rican Crew, Jumadi, the Anti-Instrumentalists, Aimee Herman, Gritz, Sam Cook, Seth Elalouf, GDH, Weebs, Benny from the ‘Burbs, the Acropolis Gypsies, Hashim Strange, K, Solid Theory, Dan Powers, H, anyone else with whom I’ve ever rhymed, beatboxed or written poetry, the temples, churches, mosques, “spaces” and other holy or technical places where I have recorded sound or created music, and of course, all my friends and family who support each other, support what’s good, support the arts.