18 December, 2022

QTN Wintry Whirling Wonder-Wanderings


Photo by Sally Bogardus

 Greets of the Season of the Long Night!

This latest musing finally got typed. Complicated thoughts for a complicated year. There are 3 newsy parts here, but first – announcing a Eugene, Oregon gig I haven’t played in person since The Pause. 

It’s the return of 


A live river of guitar music, 
candlelight, community, space and focus 
to embrace the longest night
with no holiday hoopla.
Bring a friend, a candle and your ears.

A. 2022 extrapolations in review
B. Newly released recordings
C. Continuumusing – again!

A.  Another spin around the wheel, another year draws to a close. Another opportunity to leave old ways behind and to welcome the new with open receiving arms. The new chops and experiences, new ways of dealing with old patterns and situations appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. Once a pattern is recognized, the option to participate – or not – is clear. Once volitional consciousness discerns what is significant, choices are weighed and made.

And so the inward and the outward (as well as the toward) collide with one another, change each the other and, as it is outside, so it becomes inside. A look around the metaphorsphorescence and careening impossible of the worldsphere reveals the too much of it all, so stepping into silence is a river and a pulsing sinewave. A quieting of the chaotic rampage of elephant monkey donkey trickster mind patterns while listening and being still is a rrrrrr-evolutionary act; not indolence but a useful tool.

What kind of newsletter is this and what the hell am I going on about here? It’s another part of the music that surgemerges through and this has been a year the likes of which we’ve never seen the like of (just like every year has been previously for a bunch of em in this century). Living with uncertainty is a certain solace, and watching traditional forms dissolve around us and becoming new forms is revealing and a deeper kind of green yes we’ve barely had time to explore and celebrate, like dwellers on the threshold beckoning and becoming. It is what we are here to do the best however we can.

B.  Much of the last few years of pause I’ve had the opportunity to do the best I can by bringing songs I make and play and others' songs and sounds together into tangible form. The Pause time without live presentations has felt impossible at different times for many and the challenges of living and the constant river of change (along with cherished others leaving life) can make present time difficult. Still I am thankful that some projects I've long wanted to bring to completion (after years of only being home maybe three weeks at a time) have finally been made 3D. 

These days, Bandcamp is the closest thing I have to a website (my other site was last updated about 2012). You can stream whole albums, download them or send for physical CDs. I’ve posted many odd downloadable sonic relics there too that will never be made into CDs. Music is a thoughtful giving to share and CDs still make great gifts. Click on the blue links in this letter to listen in and take a ride in the earbuds. 

Al Grierson, The Petals – In 2020, I made a CD of Al Grierson’s uncollected songs, a project Anne Feeney and I talked of doing for years. Al died 20 years ago, swept into Texas floodwaters after a gig, but he made two fine albums while he was alive. Now there is a third and I think he would like it too. Listen to The Petals here and if you only listen to one song, play the title track. You’ll likely listen to the rest after that. Download or order the album there. All the $ goes directly to his daughters and there are still a few physical copies available too. 

Richard Crandell, Lost Legacy – This summer, as my musician friend Richard Crandell was in his last days on Earth, his dream album of piano originals, Lost Legacy, was delivered to the hospital. A master musician, Richard made his first guitar record in 1980. He played jazz and salsa piano in many combos too. After six guitar albums, his hands could no longer play due to his Essential Tremor. He then became an international-recognized innovator on the Zimbabwean mbira played in his own most untraditional style. He made five mbira albums (two with koto master, Masumi Timson) and he and I worked on Lost Legacy for the last year and a half. This one is only a physical CD and isn’t online yet but if you’d like more info, just hit reply. His other recordings are streamable via all the usual places.

Brian QTN, OsculEARiosophy – This year I released a new recording of my own, OsculEARiosophy, a naked voice and guitar record with ten songs, new and not so new. The Bayard guitar I play is the whole band and it all was recorded in one session. It has gotten a lot of radio and online airplay this year and has stimulated many great emails and letters. Take it for a spin. 

C.  It is a changing time and music you enjoy is a great tool to have in your box. It slows time, changes the channel, and fills your head with ideas and stories. It fills your heart with melodies and rhythm. It can be habit-forming and yet, it is way better than teevee. Or obsession, alcohol, drama or confusion. I agree with George Harrison who said it was the best part of himself he had to give.

With so much in constant flux all around us, it is good to remember that we are people all in this together with much more in common than our differences. Sometimes what needs to change is our ideas about each other and as much as systems and politricks, corporations and global dysfunction would like to separate us and make us dislike, hate or fear each other, we are all riding on this same little pebble in a vast swift evre-expanding river that curls back on itself like Ouroboros eating its own tail. Mind yer entropies and cues and let’s be kind to one another and embrace the changes we all are facing. As the song goes: let us know, let us know, let us know...

Oh, and Richard Crandell made acronyms too. My favourite of his is: ACRONYM - Another Creative Round of New Youthful Music! 

The Wordless Solstice is dedicated to Richard this year.

May you find heartpeace in your days. Onward into 2023!

Your corn forest pundit,

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