(via Saamiblog Photos - Foto: Northern Swedish Sami Nomad group - Nord svensk samisk nomadegruppe)

We’ve been working a long time - nearly half a year on this thing, and now it is ready for the world, ready for you. Next week, next week this music video will stand up and show you what it is. For now, here are images from it - moments I’ve discovered in the frames.

Fall is coming - summer is almost over - always too short, and so this my Sunday night jam.

“If you were a cartographer in the pre-digital era,” Mr. Patterson says, “it was very hard to make very detailed shaded reliefs, because just getting information about elevation in different areas was a long, arduous process. Now, we have a ton of elevation data available, and you often find digital reliefs are extremely detailed, to the point of distraction. They look like noisy textures instead of mountain chains. In digital cartography, the problem is about getting rid of data to make things look natural. So that’s where these maps help. If something doesn’t look nice,” says Patterson, “if its unduly complex or technical, we have a tendency to not look at all. For a map, beauty is the hook, like a good lede in an article. It catches the map reader’s eye, and then hopefully they dive deeper and discover something new in the process.”


A German infantryman wearing body armor during the Battle of the Somme


A German infantryman wearing body armor during the Battle of the Somme

"The problem isn’t coming up with ideas, it is how to contain the invasion. My ideas are like uninvited guests. They don’t knock on the door; they climb in through the windows like burglars who show up in the middle of the night and make a racket in the kitchen as they raid the fridge. I don’t sit and ponder which one I should deal with first. The one to be wrestled to the floor before all others is the one coming at me with the most vehemence. I have, over the years, developed methods to deal with the invaders as quickly and efficiently as possible, though the burglars never stop coming. You invite a handful of friends for dinner, but the door bursts open and a hundred people are pushing in. You might manage to get rid of them, but from around the corner another fifty appear almost immediately… Finishing a film is like having a great weight lifted from my shoulders. It’s relief, not necessarily happiness. But you relish dealing with these “burglars.” I am glad to be rid of them after making a film or writing a book. The ideas are uninvited guests, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t welcome."

A recording of Christina and I last night in a cave

On Saturday, round 5pm Christina met me in Albany and we drove the 25 minutes towards Clarksville Caves. Underground we saw no one, but the smell of old pipe tobacco permeated the air. We walked for about half an hour through the slick stone passages along the river which flowed there 15 feet below the surface.

Eventually we reached the end point, a large round room with a small lake in the middle. We lit a single candle and sang folk songs in that resonant space with drips of water from the roots of trees adding percussive flourishes to our songs. We tramped back out the way we came, climbed up to the smell of pollen with the wild colors of the woods, and returned to my truck where the dogs were waiting.

"La Balsa" - 0:00
“Lo olvidarás” - 4:58
“Madre, escúchame” - 7:42
“El día llegará” - 31:11

"It’s a lot of harmonics, and distortions of speed—which is a distortion I’m really interested in, anyway—and then just doing impressions of that. But it depends on what it needed. A lot of the sound is a mixture of bad recording technique, on my part, and not-fine playing. Violas are so harmonic because they contain a lot of air. A viola is not solid, the sound it produces is like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of something, because you get an airiness, and creepiness, and there’s a struggle in that. The vibrato doesn’t ring out. It’s dead. A lot of the score uses microphones, and any sort of difference of expression there is created by the clashing of microphones. I find that I love that. Those are the things that ended up happening. I couldn’t come up with a plan. I wish I could’ve. But that’s what we ended up with."
— Mica Levi, composer