Monday, October 27, 2014

The Resurrection, Summit-Music Style!

Hello everyone.

I feel funny reporting that it's been almost 3 years since my last entry on this blog.  I guess... April Fool's!  It's a little early!  Gotcha'!  Yep I'm basically back at it.  And because I disappeared for so long, I offer my deepest apologies to--no one.  ;))  Nope, not sorry for once.  I guess I feel a tiny bit regretful for having faded away, but not significantly, and not nearly as much as I feel ready to do something about it again.  That's all I care about.

Face it though, I bet you thought I would fall into total apathy and permanently give up on this project the way I have so many other supposedly unfinished projects and promises I made, right? C'mon, you know you did.  ;))  And maybe I still will. Who can say?  Plenty more years and obstacles lay ahead for me, so we will see.  Never-the-less, I'm facing this one right now. Getting it done, one way or another.  Like all good things, give it time, plenty of time, and something, anything, will happen. If you show patience, I will too.  I will think before beating up on myself about anything again, and I will keep striving to finish, until I die.  Deal?  Deal!   ;))   Next!

Some things are inevitable, and me being at least intelligent enough to remember making solemn oaths to myself in front of everyone, breeds the inevitability that I will never stop trying while this responsibility falls on me alone.  Until someone beats me to the top of these mountains to make music like this, or I beat myself to the top (don't go there), I will never stop trying.

But I don't want to make myself sound like a noble' and badass satire for you just yet, considering that honesty and/or personal experience through trial-and-lots-of-error is a HUGE part of what makes great art and true accomplishment in my little world.  

I did actually continue performing at, and filming at, certain locations over the last 3 years, but they were too minor for me to be able to make the time to mention regularly.  So I didn't, and I'm getting to why.  The main and overall scenario is, I've been in a totally apathetic and PATHetically funkafied' stupor for the entire last 3 years.  During that time I got kind of soft and for a moment I even looked significantly older.  It's been scary. Amazing what just 3 years can do to your appearance when something like apathy get's in the mix.  But in all honesty that's still fine, because eventually I shook it off and started training again.  Once again, or maybe always, I'm as handsome and/or f-cking hot as ever--for my age.  lol  And/but sure, the main point is that I'm ready to get back out there (up there).  

FYI the following shot doesn't show you exactly what me and my hat look like now, because it's from a distance, but it's still close enough...

Performing live in Reno With George Sarah

My reasons for the 3-year hiatus, well, ha, okay, check it out then: 
during that time I was forced to move twice; my laptop got fried by water and it scrambled all of my software data; I got my first DUI ever (and went sober); and here's the punchline--I had 5 close friends and family members die on me, 3 of which were from cancer and the last friend was just a few weeks ago.  And all of this is not-to-mention (but I will anyway) the fact that at the end of my most potent year for this project, in 2010, my car was broken into and they stole MOST-if-not-all of my footage of that year.  After all of that, risking my life several times to get those moments on film, it was all completely gone. Knowing this, that I would have to go back and do all of it again, risking my life again in the process, was my welcoming into the 3 years that followed.  Yeah, I think I'm finally going to be easy on myself now about being inert for so long.  Hope that's okay with you, too.  Don't mind if I do!  I'm finally realizing that I got justifiably derailed 3 years ago, and I'm already a fairly depressed person, so I'm officially cutting myself slack for those following 3 years.  

Also, the benefits I got from that extremely eventful year, in 2010, were more than from any other trip I've taken, which is saying a lot, because I've taken many.  I will specify more about that when I start writing reflection entries on this blog soon.

The recent deaths: 
I always knew in the back of my mind that I would eventually have to pay a price like this.  Many years ago when I was a teenager, I realized that I liked having friends who were twice my age or more.  So I knew this day would come.  Now they are kind of dropping like flies, and it sucks, because they were truly amazing beings whom I was even emotionally dependent on.  And contrary to popular belief, no, not everyone is amazing.  

So this is what I get for having been a kid who wanted friends that ascended adolescent concerns, when I was adolescent.  This is what I get, aside from some other inexplicable treasures that of course can't be explained to youth-culture fanatics or close-minded jerks of any type. I mean sure, I still had friends who were my age back then as well, but they only understood things to a point, so it wasn't enough for me, even at that age.  I don't regret this.  My older friends were more than worth being close to. More than anything it makes me want to honor them right now.

It's been mourning after mourning 'til the dawn sunrise.  First was my my friend and established ambient-musician Barry Craig (aka A Produce) in 2011 (got the news while I was attempting Mt. St, Helens); then was my girlfriend's father, Ray in 2012; then was my Aunt Henny a few months later; then was my hit-songwriter friend Alan O'Day in 2013; and finally my dear friend and ex-music-mentor/big-brother Mac Doughrety passed away a few weeks ago.  I'm just kind of rubbing my eyes and doing a double take while I gather my things together and prepare to head for the top of another peak--I think? Yes, I think.  Indeed I may as well do this, aka give it another try. 

Each year passing, over the last 3 years, has been a plan to get back on the road and finish what I started all at once in one trip. Each year I was going to move through the west in the Spring, making my way to the Pacific Northwest in the Summer to climb the Cascades.  The aforementioned events and stupors are what followed instead, each year.  That's how inert I've been.  After having to skip the road in Spring of this year, the remaining plan was to just do a few Cascade volcanos during this past Summer.  That plan obviously failed it's obstacle course too, so now the following attempt is all that I'm left with this year before it gets too cold in a week.

The plan now is to make it to the top of Mt. Whitney, while it's still not too freezing, and not only make music at the top, but I'm going to broadcast my performance live on the Internet.  I will play some live electronic ambient music and then I will perform some of my live a-cambient music, which for those who don't have the CD, is a-cappella ambient music made with accompanying human-beatboxed rhythms by way of looping in Ableton Live.  Perfect for the top of a fourteen-thousand-foot peak.  :)

If I can make it to the top, the broadcast will hopefully be this Thursday afternoon sometime.  It will be broadcasted through  If you stay posted to my facebook walls, I will keep you all updated on when and if it is going to happen.  I will have internet the whole way up, so I will post updates on those pages.

Facebook pages:

And here is the link to the Livestream page where you will hopefully be able to see and hear the broadcast, granted no technical difficulties or weather complications get in the way:

It took a lot for me to get the equipment together for this, and the technical plan, but all I ever do is juggle stuff like that, so now I've managed to get it all ready.  Let's see if I can pull this off.  Stay posted to my walls and find out.

Mt. Whitney is unfortunately a part of a ridge, so there is no panoramic view at the top like you would get with big volcanos.  Maybe now you can see why I want to do this project in the Cascade mountains above all else, lot's of big glacial volcanos.  However, obviously Mt. Whitney is still a very cool mountain, being the highest point in the Lower 48, and being in the Sierras.  The Sierras are a dry and stark-looking yet massive and majestic range, and they are very personal to me.  They were the first high mountains I ever explored, which was by my lonesome as a 22-year-old.  Also, I first summited Mt. Whitney in 2005 by myself, after 3 other failed attempts because of the company I was with.  Solos have just always worked better for me.  ;))

Mt. Whitney

All this to say, a broadcast from the top of Whitney will obviously have it's timeless scenic charm, so be sure to join me there.  If I get there, it will be an interesting little celebration of human possibility.

Just as importantly, once this last summit of the year is done, I plan on keeping the Travels Rendered (traveling portion) of this project alive over the coming months.  I'm resurrecting all of it, as planed before it ever died.  I plan on doing the big trip in the Spring of next year, and before that I will do a few smaller locations/trips.  

I will also be writing on this blog about my past adventures with this project, from 2010 all the way to now, which I never had a chance to write about before.  Some of my experiences in 2010 were pretty friggin' unreal, and yet were stolen.  I think it only fair to those very experiences that I write about them as an answer for how they were taken from us in a visual form.  They should be honored and documented while I still remember them, so that's a priority.  Yes, look for those entries before long.

Meantime I'll see you at the top of Whitney,

P.S. a good one for the occasion...

"all which isn't singing is mere talking

and all talking's talking to oneself
(whether that oneself be sought or seeking
master or disciple sheep or wolf)

gush to it as diety or devil
-toss in sobs and reasons threats and smiles
name it cruel fair or blessed evil-
it is you (ne i) nobody else

drive dumb mankind dizzy with haranguing
-you are deafened every mother's son-
all is merely talk which isn't singing
and all talking's to oneself alone

but the very song of (as mountains
feel and lovers) singing is silence"

-E. E. Cummings