Friday, January 6, 2012

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac Volume 12 - December

 Hopi Torvald Almanac Vol 12 - December by HopiTorvald

Well, here it is...the last installment of the 2011, it's been a long and bizarre year and this little project has taught me much about music, discipline, and myself...listening back to the songs in order and reading back over the past month's entries, it's interesting to see how things have developed...i'm surely planning on continuing this into the upcoming year!

So December was pretty chill...did lots of recording (with Purling and Black Lodge), did some hanging out here and there, and did the whole Christmas thing.  Christmas was uber chill.  More family time which was great and needed and i got lots of nifty stuff...books on Sound Therapy and Aromatherapy from the folks which i'll be delving into over the next few months and a juicer which i've already put to good use (pineapple, cucumber, and apple has been my fave so far)...and some  other odds and ends i'm pretty happy about.  mostly enjoyed the family time in the country away from the big highlight of the month was my annual Respite from the Cold event at the First Existentialist Congregation...really enjoyed the music of Villages, Magicicada, Quiet Evenings, and HTA, and i did my set on piano accompanied by Sadie Hawkins with her pretty fluffy fans!

So this song is a continuation of the vibes from Respite, a piano song....the first part was actually meant to be another collaboration piece for myself and an aerialist (as of this writing, unrealized, but maybe it'll come about in the future) and the second part is an improvised ditty noodling around a loose structure.  it's pretty sparse so i decided to play with the room ambience and use that as another instrument in the song to create a backdrop for the ensuing ivory tapestry...that's really about it.  it's another anomaly in the hopi torvald canon, but i'm hoping to include more piano in upcoming workings.

this month's randomly ordered top 10:

1. juicing
2. christmas with the family
3. matthew's dad's book about the sipsey wilderness
4. assertiveness, self-worth and not taking b.s.
5. respite from the cold and all of the musicians who played it!
6. these bands/artists: quiet evenings, justin timberlake, leviathan, a winged victory for the sullen, fennesz with ryuichi sakamoto, diva, bastard noise, etc etc etc...
7. upcoming 2011 almanac release (!)
8. this new iphone
9. hugo (yeah, it's worth seeing this thing in 3-d)
10. reflecting back over the roller coaster of 2011.

anyway, enjoy the tune, be good to yourself, have a happy new year and do be in touch.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac - Volume 11 - November

 Hopi Torvald Almanac Vol 11 - November by HopiTorvald

November was pretty great.  There were some little hurdles to make it over at the beginning of the month, but they ended up being for the best, as my mind has been a bit clearer, my anxieties more relaxed and my overall productivity boosted..."re-setting" has been the theme...the month ending with a more than satisfying visit to see the m and p for thanksgiving...

many little highlights here and shows, making music, recording, mucho spa time, time with friends well spent....oh, and i had to go to traffic court this month...4 hours of waiting, but i took the day off work and it ended up being one of the best days i've had in ages.

i will have to stop distinguishing songs as "anomalies in the hopi catalog" since each of these things is quite different.  i think an anomaly would be a noisy drone song at this this particular tune is about owls and feeling good.  it has a little dancey edge to it, i guess...somewhere beneath the swarm and clamor...synths, drum machine, live percussion, and yeah...buncha owls...

this month's randomly ordered top ten:

1. owls - they hoot up a mighty fine racket in my backyard almost nightly those things!
2. thanksgiving - i've become less and less of a holiday person, but going home this year was rejuvenating and to spend great time with my m and p,  my sisters and their critters...and bingo the one-eyed dog.
3. david thomas in todd's living room.  yeah, the once larger-than-life pere ubu frontman is doing a living room circuit!  he played accordion and sang depressing songs about regret and tainted love.  it was sad, weird and somehow beautiful.
4. new websites being put together for both hopi torvald and the holy amalgamation (thanks to sadie for all the help!)  will be sharing these with everyone once they are tuned up a bit more.
5. the hopi 2011 almanac release currently slated for around christmas time.  working out packaging details and such now!  this will contain all 12 almanac songs, some bonus songs, and some other non-musical goodies...details pending
6. hopi/nows split (mentioned in an earlier post) from the beginning of the month..working on more collaborations...
7. cymatics
8. gentleman broncos - don't be embarrassed to tell your friends how genius you think this movie is...
9. upcoming out-of-town shows and the upcoming annual respite from the cold event that robby and i are piecing together at eyedrum for december 17th! it's at the first existentialist church this time! details on the lineup will be rolled out soon...
10. talk talk, sudden infant, colin blunstone, jean-claude vannier, miles davis, dave brubeck, omar souleyman, rahsaan roland kirk, etc etc etc.

anyway, enjoy the song, enjoy yourself, and keep in touch.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac - Volume 10 - October

 Hopi Torvald Almanac Vol 10 - October by HopiTorvald

October was a crazy little month for me...kinda flew by.  played a show with tree creature at joe's coffee in EAV which was a ton of fun (mos def wanna bring hopi torvald to that venue)...did some stargazing, spent a lovely day at the hambridge center for creative arts...beautiful day with all kinds of good food/music/entertainment)...had a string of late nights which left me tired and spent...and in need of spa time, and the whole thing ended with a lovely and low-key halloween (the way i dig it) which consisted of dan deacon's comedy tour at eyedrum and a wild night at the gold room (imagine shoulder to shoulder ballers, celebrity rappers in the house, and someone trotting in on a real live horse as part of their costume..ha)...anyway, it flew by...all for the best as it proved cathartic and transmogrifying...

so this song, hot on the heels of last month's 17 minute epic, is a short little ditty...just over two minutes...all about hopefulness, finding joy and peace, and living life...cause nothing gets easier, friends....just different...a subtle loping field recording loop sets the pace for whistling and layers of buzzy synths...that's about it.  a few cymbals and slightly cheesy vocals smooshed in there...

this month's randomly ordered top 10:

1. outdoor  shows
2. meteors!
3. autumn (changing leaves, cooler weather, the holy amalgamation not being so sweltering anymore...)
4. pumpkin stuff
5. secret chiefs, michael white, ornette coleman, gospel hymns, drones on all fronts, talking heads, stereolab, dumb top 40 dance songs, rhys chatham, noise, scrapes, and field recordings of owls, wolves, loons, and simians!
6. sauna time
7. harmonic frequencies and sound therapy
8. putting out a cassette in the upcoming months
9. halloween
10. recording and mastering for friends

anyway, hope your october was smashing (pumpkins), enjoy the tune, and keep in touch.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hopi Torvald/ Nows Split

a collaboration between hopi torvald and atlanta's nows!  song one was created when nows sent me a droney audio track and i chewed it up and spat it out as a rollickin' waltz song...a little lovelorn ditty...track two...well, i don't remember what i gave nows to work with because it came out so blisteringly's sort of a monster.  i really like what nows does with racket and i hope we all get to hear more from him rather soon.
nuff said...dig it!

 Hopi Torvald/ Nows Split 01 by HopiTorvald

 Hopi Torvald/ Nows Split 02 by HopiTorvald

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac - Volume 9 - September

 Hopi Torvald Almanac Vol 9 - September by HopiTorvald

September had bunches of ups and downs...sometimes they were mixed together....although getting an MRI was stressful, it was nice to have good clean results and over 500 pictures of my brain!  i entered in and out of calmness, was able to play a show at 529 with heroes Bryan Lewis Saunders, Sudden Infant, and Mr. Natural and had a blast....that room sounds so good.....and ended the month with a two week bout of the nastiest, most crippling flu.  Mingle all of this with some fun hanging out times, a foot massage, getting to see the Swans (!!!), Secret Chiefs AND three nights of the epic Blast Off Burlesque show at 7 Stages,  and playing bunches of music, and you got yerself a pretty interesting month.

This song was originally created as my live set for the show at 529.  i decided to create a studio version of seems to pretty much serve as a fractalized representation of my time as of late, my headspace, my goals, my's a hefty chunk at a whopping 17 minutes or so...comprised of synths, MRI samples, live and sampled drums and percussion and some vocals...dig on it and play it LOUD.

this month's randomly ordered top 10:

1. playing live and with people who i really dig
2. foot massages
3. the microphones, arnold dreyblatt, bill fay, stars of the lid, terry callier, sun ra (again), john zorn (that blasted morricone album can't be beat), creedence clearwater revival,  etc etc etc...
4. cool(er) weather
5. pho
6. new recording projects and live show opportunities
7. AND   go peruse the wonderful...
8. new shoes
9. surf music at ethiopian restaurants (and the shenanigans therein)
10. buford highway farmers market

anyway, enjoy the tune and stay in touch.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac - Volume 8 - August

i hope the tip end of august is finding you well. this month has been flat and uninspired, mostly. it's funny how ups and downs happen within such short spans.

this song is a reflection on the mundane and sedentary past four i'm not going to complain too horribly much, lest my year-end reflection be one of regret and stimulated woe at a pretty bad time all around. all i will say to this end is that prescription sedatives are helpful but kinda icky...and that i get to have my brain scanned on friday (this is a positive thing, in that i may be able to procure a snapshot of my inner grey slop)!

the good is that i've been privy to a lot of neat, music, friends, family, new homies...hearing is back to a large degree, but not quite there. keep to my left ear and you should be fine...i worry that i ask folks to repeat things too often or don't hear things that i'm supposed to be hearing, but again, the plus is that i have an excuse and if anyone gets snarky, i can just pretend i didnt hear it.

this song is a drone...a singular note copied 9 times overlain with 3 tracks of ambience accumulated from my screened in porch while sitting out in my skivvies. it is all about the flatness and numbness...towards the end, a 4-note chord note at a time..signaling a hesitant hopefulness and a return to a clean empowerment of body and mind...exactly what i am looking to achieve/regain over the next few weeks.

this month's randomly ordered top 10:

1. contact staff - i finally lit my staff up (thanks, sadie) and twirled it around a bit. nothing like wooshing fire sounds...
2. first aerial performance with likeminded peers at the goat farm as a supplement to the fascinating david dove/miss yet trombone/bellydance duo from texas
3. medieval times (nuff said)
4. catsitting
5. purling
6. upcoming shows with tree creature and as hopi torvald (playing with sudden infant and bryan lewis saunders at 529 in sept. raaad)
7. seeing the swans in a couple of weeks!
8. these bands/artists: arvo part, brian eno, eddie south, elisabeth waldo, gary newman, the grateful dead, xenakis, mahmoud ahmed etc. etc. etc.
9. MRI on friday! i've been researching how it works and what it entails. i'm hoping they let me listen to music and that they will let me have a pic
10. bears

enjoy the tune and stay in touch.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hopi Torvald 2011 Almanac - Volume 7 - July

Ah, July....the summer heat has been just fine to me. i've not been running the air conditioning except when company comes, i've been going bike riding, getting some sun...yes, summer suits me ok....this month started out swimmingly. this was month two of an extensive dietary cleanse/detox which was supplemented by new types of exercise and a general clarity of mind. the fourth of july was a spectacular time. despite overcast skies, i spent it on the rooftop of a downtown hotel, swimming and sunning up when we could alongside tons of fun-having strangers and it ended up being the chill downtempo holiday that it was meant to be...even temporarily broke the diet for a hot dog... i also got to see visiting peers richard and brynna from auburn awesome to catch up....everything else has been pretty smooth. not so much to report on the hopi torvald front...but working on several new projects which include mastering for several folks and recording some songs with, a week ago i started experiencing hearing loss in my right ear. my ears being precious to me and put to daily productive use, i went to the doctor the day after feeling a bit of muffledness....a good cleaning and antibiotics did no good, however, and the hearing worsened over the weekend until all i had was a deaf ear with a good mess of ringing going on...a week of this has had me extremely discouraged..especially since precious music sounds muddy and distorted and it's hard to communicate with folks...the specialist today told me that the cause is still unknown...possible nerve damage? so now, on steroids and antibiotics, i face a mysterious musical future. i have hope that my hearing will return and that this is a minor setback. today i decided to cope by documenting the experience in a song.

about a week ago, i learned that i couldn't even play piano well without muffled tones and distorted frequencies just ruining it for me. i found that i DID, however, enjoy putting my "good ear" against the wood of the piano and playing notes...the resonation comforting/soothing to my tired ol' with this song, i started the whole thing off with strong plucked piano tones...adding distant melodies and some synthy washes in tribute to a month well passed...a bit in, however, the melodic aspect disbands in place of the piano note's resonance...the trail of the notes that linger and vibrate slowly...i used these sounds, looping and stretching, as a palate to explore the hearing loss. it's hard to tell what the song actually sounds like...if it's mixed or mastered well...if the volume level is correct...if parts are even in KEY...but i suppose that's the point. this almanac IS, after all, a document of my year. i think it's a bit of a departure from recent sonic sundries i've posted for just this reason.

SO...enjoy if you will and if not, know at least where it's coming from.

this month's randomly ordered top ten:

1. fire! getting a new fire staff..hopefully this weekend!
2. that new bike...i ride over to stone mountain about twice a week now and it's such a lovely trail and great exercise!
3. upcoming eyedrum shows that i booked this week including wooden wand (now on young gods!) and the renderers (previously on none other than one of my faves...flying nun! from new zealand) really happy to be working with labels that i love and these great bands.
4. planning a tour. ear issues or not, i'm going ahead and planning an east coast tour in early october. i want to do chapel hill, balitimore, nyc, philly, and johnson city tennessee so if you're in the area, give me a shout and let's do musics together!
5. the's officially over but it's become a lifestyle change now. mind and body....eating right has never felt so good on my system.
6. rap music....not much else...nwa, easy-e, big boi, mos def, tribe called quest, ultramagnetic mc's, jay-z, nas, eric b and rakim...something just clicked and it feels great revisiting some old hip hop friends and listening to some stuff i never really gave a chance...
7. soundtracks to underwater documentaries.
8. peanuts - charlie brown and those guys
9. almonds and cashews - they are better than peanuts
10. good friends.

i sincerely hope that july was good to you and that you are doing very well. thanks for listening and i hope to see you soon.

love, nathan