You can read the pretty in-depth interview on here: http://printmatic.net/blueprint-intervie
There's also a brand new track called Kakusei for y'all to check out at the very beginning of the interview. Enjoy!
Maw- - Homilies Of The Panda Tao Vol. 1
3. Astral Warp
4. Open Flower
5. Closed Flower
6. On Aptitude(Interlude)
7. Chimera / Mantra
9. Hilltop Ceremony
10. Temple Grounds
11. On Fortitude(Interlude)
12. Garr's Theme
13. Steel Beach
14. Outro #1
Listen & download for free HERE: http://mawone.bandcamp.com/album/homilie
Or just download directly from here: http://www.mediafire.com/?iqrq60ahw86dae
The cover art, as always, is of course by none other than my partner Espe: http://essu.deviantart.com/
Today's show is brought to you in two parts!
PART 1: Notes on the new record.
Today we are treated to a notation of Maw-'s random thoughts on the first half of his new record. Because of the fragmented nature of the album, and also because of the highly fragmented nature of the mind of the artist in question, the collective presentation is kind of all over the place. Bear with us.
Here we go.
- The original idea for this project was to make what I liked to refer to as a comfort record. Something that would be less suited for use as soundclash ammo, and more for moments where one would need guidance or a portal into some kind of a serenity from this very frustrating and anxiety-inducing existence we have to endure on this earth.
Unlucky for me, I seem to have hit some kind of a stride in my music where the whole process of producing an original full record is kind of second nature to me by now, and with that a lot of routine things end up finding their way into the project, even when their presence isn't exactly helping in trying to get the point of the record across(cue the soundclash). So this (part-unintentional)approach ended up morphing the album into a hybrid of it's original form, and a straight up instrumental showcase.
I'd say the whole nature of the album as it is now is the result of my brain wanting to make this airy, unhurried, contemplative record and my heart, not too excited about the amount of people sleeping on my projects, wanted to make it more noisy and proud so it would be heard.
- Some might say that the presentation in volumes has something to do with Madlib's Beat Konducta-series, but as much as I do indeed follow the footprints of 'Lib and try to learn from him as much as I can, the Homilies-presentation was actually inspired by the four-part release of the (now)quasi-obscure PS2 game .hack//(Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, Quarantine). This album, too, is a several part-release of a larger whole that builds up into the finishing volume, whereas Madlib's series expands outward from it's seed release(s).
- Games are always a definite source of inspiration for all of my musical endeavours and aesthetics. The track Kokoro builds it's instrumentation(sans drums) from a game I consider to be the #1 contender of Best Game Ever Made-status. If you're not the youngest of youngins and are heavily into gaming, you'll probably recognize it quite easily.
The album has a few more video game references here and there, and the subsequent volumes will surely have even more.
- The second part of the two-section song Chimera / Mantra is a tidied-up preliminary version I had saved an hour before my session crashed and I lost all of the changeups and extra samples/percussion I had programmed and made to augment the skeletal track you are all hearing now. I so wish I could present to y'all the version it was supposed to be, but alas, we have to make do with what I was able to salvage.
- The song Temple Grounds has the same sample source for the piano as the closing track on my 3rd LP(Let Me Know If You Ever Get There), You Know.
- There are going to be more than two volumes of the Homilies.
- Originally, the album was supposed to have a collection of hidden reverse messages buried into the mix at certain points, but I decided against it when it was time to finalize the album. It just felt kind of corny.
- The song Garr's Theme has a few parts where the bell lead melody goes slightly out of tune for some reason. No idea why. Interestingly, it took me, the artist himself, several weeks of listening to notice. Even though it's pretty glaring! Just goes to show that the relationship of the artist and his/her original work can be quite blind. Gotta work on that.
- This first volume of the project took about three months to produce, mix and release.
- A lot of the structure behind the spoken word segments and exclamations on this record(and pretty much all of my recent records) comes from the highly fragmented, spontaneous and unpredictable conversational performing of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He's the cat who pretty much narrates my previous full-lenght front to back.
- The song Steel Beach was originally made to be the on the B-side of the Leave The Flow album, but it didn't really fit so I guess it makes it the oldest, and therefore the first song I made for this album. However, the first song made with this album in mind was the Open Flower cut.
PART 2: Announcement
Coming soon: Guest Bloggers!
To help make this collection of writings a little more interesting, and expand further beyond just me blabbering about my latest release, we're going to add two members of our little collective on here to jabber about music, gaming, and other interesting and comforting things. One of 'em might be familiar to you as he was featured on an album cover a little while ago - the other one hasn't shown his face to the general public of the internet yet. But I'm sure y'all are going to be entertained and intrigued by my friends and their antics.
'Til next time.
Peace and love.
Maw- - Leave The Flow
The album has been out for a while now so I figured I'd speak on the music real quick. To all of the people who consistently take the
time to listen and to spread the word about this music - thank you! I appreciate all of that, for real. To those not yet familiar with my
work, I have conveniently placed all of the links to my music here:
Get the album for free here: http://mawone.bandcamp.com/
Go check out my soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/maw1/
And follow me on twitter @mawpanda
The cover art is by Espe: http://essu.deviantart.com/
So something very special happened today:
As usual, I was preparing a piece about my newest record to drop on this journal. A whole bunch of paragraphs with a detailed
explanation about how I made this one happen, what inspired it, and so on. I was about to make my final little edits to the text and post the thing but just then I heard the doorbell ring and went to answer. It was this old eastern-looking lady, dressed in some parcel service uniform with the friendliest smile I've seen in a while. I didn't know who she was but she seemed to immediattely recognize me. She bowed graciously and proceeded to hand me a package. As friendly as she seemed, I was kind of weirded out by all of this and unsure as to what's going on, and tried to get her to explain what this was all about. Turns out she didn't speak finnish and even her english was highly fractured, yet we managed to communicate well enough to sort out the details of me receiving this package. She didn't seem like she was in a hurry but before I could gather myself to ask any questions, she had already drifted off to exit the apartment building. I closed the door all flummoxed. I knew I hadn't ordered anything and I don't have any international contacts who would have my address at hand. I noticed that the package had some chinese writing on a sticker, and after I'd inspected the thing more closely, I could notice that it had my name on it in a very tiny print.
So I unclasped the carboard flaps of the box and I was almost frightened to find out what's inside. I carefully lifted the lid and once I got to lay my eyes on the contents of what I now consider a gift from somewhere far, far away, I was overcome with joy. It was my 11th album Leave The Flow, on vinyl!
As I started to inspect the sleeve, the wax and the gatefold, I found out that this is one of only three copies that were pressed. It has 1/3 printed on the bottom left corner on the back, and a small post-it note that seems to be addressed directly to me. To paraphrase, it basically states that an ultra-small private pressing of three pieces of Leave The Flow wax were manufactured in an island workshop in some unspecified location. I believe this hints strongly towards the idea that the cover art of the beach shack the the koala is in does not show all of the gadgets(let alone the workspace) that he might have in there. I immediattely became quite adamant that he was behind all of this in some way. The last thing on the note is an explanation of the location and ownership of the other two records. It reads as follows:
1/3 - the writing is all smudged but I'll be damned if it doesn't say 'Niko', which is my name, followed by 'The Artist'
2/3 - again, the writing is smudged but I can make out 'The Traveler'
3/3 - the writing is not legible but it seems to have some kind of subtitle that says 'The Island Merchant'
So all this was truly incredible to encounter. I'm still kind of in shock about something as sudden and amazing as this. Though I'm only getting to the best part of this whole thing now:
As I investigated the contents of the record sleeve, I came across something truly amazing. A letter, composed on a tattered piece of paper that looks homemade, the text laid on it with ink. It appears to be addressed to the panda character who has been featured on my album covers for a while now, who for some reason seems to willingly act as my global world-traveling spokesperson, mascot, representative and avatar. We've never met or corresponded in any way, but he seems to have a very close relationship with my music.
The sender/author of the letter looks to be the koala character featured on the cover.
Now the content of the letter itself is almost exclusively about my new album. Since the panda seems to take a role of 'Maw-'s publicist' at this juncture, I find it natural to assume that he took a trip to wherever the koala lives and made him familiar with my music(and this album, in particular), and what followed was this private press of three records for all of the parties to have. As he's now responding to his overseas musical contact via this letter, it's incredible how many little details and thematic nuances he absolutely nailed and got right just from listening to the music. It explains the album way better than my original deconstruction ever could have done, and I feel it's only right to share this piece with all of y'all.
And please note that the italic text is the original writing, whilst anything in brackets and in bold is a personal notation of mine. It's mainly for parts that are either illegible(as some are) or just if they didn't make sense to me.
Here's the letter in it's entirety
Ni hao young master (illegible but I think it's the name of the panda)
Before I get into what I want to talk about in this letter, I must say that it was truly a pleasure and great fun getting to see you once
again, my friend! It makes me very pleased to know that you young'ins still feel inclined to seek us older folks out if you want to understand something that culls more from our world, than it does from yours. An old islander's ear is appreciated ???(part of it is too smudged to read)
It's been so long since I've had the pleasure of trading tapes with anyone, but it's been even longer since I've had anyone bring me
actual original master tapes to work with! And what treasures you have brought me! What great fortune!
Though you told me that you have never met this young master Maw, (he appears to call anyone younger than himself 'young master') it is a very kind thing to do to take on a mission to proliferate and to bring honor to his work. A very noble boon to undertake indeed.
So as I'm writing this letter, the final record is being cut in my workshop and my personal tape copy is playing for probably the tenth time today. I don't think I need to tell you that the music you have brought with you has given me great pleasure, both for giving me a chance to apply my talents to cut the records, and ?s??(an indecipherable portion) the music itself.
I feel that the record is an exhilarating composition from start to finish. While it's definitely got some of that raw western energy to it, I still get the feeling that young master Maw was going for the same soothing ambiance and tranquility I find in the vicinity of my lodging on this island and it's surroundings. I feel as though the music speaks about love, warm weather, vitality in mind, body and soul, and about a detachment. An escape. Something that I myself had to do years ago when I lived in a metropolis, before deciding to abandon the pace of the western industrial world and settling out here on this island. It warms my heart to have someone documenting their own fantasy, or maybe even determination to experience the same ?oft(I think he means 'sort') of liberation that I found absolutely necessary for survival.
Of course, the thematic components of this could be interpreted in any number of ways, but I felt like what I arrived on might've been the closest ?????(quite badly smudged, no idea what the end of this sentence is)
As for the structure and the composition of the music itself - I delved quite deep into it as I was cutting the final mixes, and I feel a
tranquil connection to the way it's thought out. As it starts with a call for love and understanding that tries hard to stifle it's urgency, it gets cut off and reveals other sides of itself... only to return back to it's original message and playing it out fully. But the pieces in between aren't shoved in to replace that heartfelt sentimet, they merely try their best to follow the direction that has been set. It really feels like a record filled with dedication and lots of small details that all try to speak a very warm language to whoever takes the time to listen. It has a ^?nvrs??(I think I can make out 'conversational', but most of this sentence is undecipherable) to it.
As for the outward appearance of the album - I must note that one of the most interesting things about it are the track titles. For a while I was confused as to what they were referring to, but I quickly remembered - they all link to a collection of locations and characters from that marvelous fantasy game I got from you in our previous trade!(I had go to check if my copy of Breath Of Fire 3 was missing. It wasn't. But looks like the panda is a fan as well.) I must say that, while titles to some are quite arbitrary(and I do understand why that might be), if a listener who is familiar with this game calls forth in their mind the exact places, things and milieus young master Maw is referencing to...I think it adds some further flavors to the sound. I also feel that it's exciting to have a record that wears such a direct influence on it's sleeve, even though I'm sure it might alienate some people if the music ever became noticeably popular.
(this next and final part struggles to fit onto the remaining space on the letter)
So now as I'm simultaneously out of paper, ink, and time as the record cut needs observing and input, I'll bring my talk to a close. I truly hope that the album generates at least some of the same feelings of warmth and happiness to others as it did to me, and I wish you the best in whatever travels you find yourself embarking on in both the near and the far future. Thank you for delivering the music, and for the compensation of my workshop use. An old islander like me surely has much more vigor when landing on projects like this to keep 'im occupied.
I wish for ?s?t????(really badly smudged) as you traverse the seas, skies and the roads
??(again, I'm sure this is supposed to be the name of the koala but the letters are all nonsensical swirls.)