It is official. My novel, The Infinite Tides, is out making the rounds of publishers. Super agent Eleanor Jackson has the reins now and I am trying to have the patience of a zen master. A dear mentor / famous writer friend wrote a nice blurb about how good the book is, which helps matters a great deal (and is quite the ego boost for yours truly).
Incidentally, if you’ve been paying any attention to the novel writing/editing as it has unfolded here, you might not recognize the new title. The working title had been Gravity but I’d never been that fond of that as a title. The clincher was reading that George Clooney and Sandra Bullock have a movie in development called Gravity (about astronauts too). And so, yes, The Infinite Tides, a title I like a great deal more anyway. I would have called it The Remains of the Day but Ishiguro took that one. Ishiguro has all the good titles.
In other news, perhaps related to the above, I’ve been pondering making a new record and have been demoing a few pieces in that direction. These are somewhere between the slow funk of War, the weird swamp grease of Dr. John’s Gris-Gris, and some kind of minimal folk experiment. It has a groove to it but is all slow and, I hope, spooky. Having said that the current song I’ve been working on uses Icelandic poetic eddas as its source material. Sometimes I wonder what’s going on inside my own mind. How can one not write a song that starts with the line, “Give rede now, Frigg, as to fare me listeth”? That’s as good an opening as I’ve ever heard. (From “The Lay of Vafthruthnir,” the Hollander translation of The Poetic Edda, in case you’re wondering.)
Meanwhile, something I played on a while back is out in the world and it’s worth seeking. Jefferson Pitcher’s fine minimal ambient acoustic project, Now the Deer, is out on tapedrift and is excellent. If you much enjoy Eno’s Music for Airports or the Mori/Frith/Hideki project Death Ambient I’d wager you’ll enjoy this one too. Click on to Tape Drift to order a copy. Each CD is packaged with a unique photo taken by Pitcher in N. Africa. Bad ass.
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.
I’ve spent the last week or so working on the Silver Darling album. It really turned out to be a great record. I’m at the Hangar now (the studio I use for such projects) and am working on the mixing. If you’ve not heard the band before, do check them out.
Meanwhile, as you likely already know, the Presidents project is doing it’s big roll out and around thing. Coolness there for all parties involved.
Apparently I’m having an inarticulate day. Best stop whilst ahead.