Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to keep track of my novel-writing progress over the past year. It’s been a lengthy and rewarding process. This is my fourth manuscript and the first one that I really felt like was beyond the “apprentice” phase.
In any case, I finished the beast earlier this month–515 manuscript pages in all–and it’s off to the agency. Let’s hope they choose to represent it. I really do think that it’s worth reading and in some ways its the most important art I’ve yet been able to make. I likely say that every time I finish something new, but then again that’s why I keep making art so hell yes I’d better feel that way.
Much of the time since reading. Some are asking when I’m making a new album. That question I can’t yet answer. I can tell you that Digitalis has one last album that I did with Tetuzi Akiyama and Tom Carter. It’s titled “The Darkened Mirror” and will be out whenever Digitalis does it (and it will be on vinyl only). I also have a cassette-only release with Digitalis under the band name “Generals & Such,” which is a project I did with friends Erik Werner (who directed the Washington Dreams of the Hippopotamus video) and Tim Rowan. It’s called “Quixote” and is marvelous. I’m the drummer. Sounds like a noisy freakout of Explosions In the Sky. Perhaps a bit more obtuse than that.
As for new songs, I have a bunch demoed from before the novel, but I don’t have much interest just now in delving into them. I likely have enough for an album, actually, but those who know my work will already know that I don’t really release song collections. Everything always has to have a central theme or idea or narrative. I don’t run sprints; only the distance. So either a theme will be revealed or I’ll keep silent until something comes along.
One thing to look for on the music front: Ptolemaic Terrascope asked me to contribute some material for a scrapbook project they’re working on and offered up 10 minutes of time on the accompanying CD. This I filled up with a single track: “Cartographers.” It’s a long rumination on mid-19th century explorers in the Western American mountain ranges. Heavy but luminous at times. I recorded it with help from Tim Metz, Scott Leftridge, and percussionist Bob Gemelin. These are good people, all. The finished track sounds (I hope) like Talk Talk’s best work: Spirit of Eden. A luminous album indeed.
I’ll get some chunks of the book up here in the near future, I promise. Meanwhile, thanks again for all the e-mails, twitter comments, texts, and facebook messages. You guys are all champions.