Thursday, April 6, 2017
This is one of my plausible banners once my travels and then my actual film is complete.
It's been many month since my last blog entry here, and I no longer feel the need to apologize for these delays. Either this is the calm after the storm, when one walks around in shock surveying the damage, or I have a new wisdom regarding just how long these endeavors take.
However, I will at least explain these delays a little, and my current position on this project, considering that I still owe you a promised blog entry revealing the conclusion of my last Mt. Shasta attempt in Summer 2016.
Indeed I juggle a lot with this travel project, causing great wafts of inactive inertia at times. However, I've actually been busier with my art more recently than I have during the entire last seven years of my inert period. I finally released my first album in eight years last Fall, entitled Salvaging The Present, on Spotted Peccary Records under my real name (Dean De Benedictis). A couple of months ago, I also released my first Stratos Ensemble album (a band I run) for the first time in ten years. These were all matters of unfinished business that I felt finally needed tending to, and the end product, and the rather spiritual elation that comes with finishing them, was well worth the obstacles they cause regarding my travels.
Cover by Claire Raymond (Lisa), for our new Stratos album, released last February
Part of the reason it has taken me so long to accomplish even those album releases is because of the somewhat impending depression that this travel project has caused in my life, aside from the joy and discovery it bring as well, whenever it is successful. Hey, listen, I know recording live electronic music in the middle of remote nature sounds easy, and in some cases it indeed is easy, but I assure you that doing it right isn't. These musical travels have proven so difficult that it's almost as though the fates got drunk one night years ago, causing a lot of damage to my travel project, and decided to skip repairing it the next day because of their Godly hangover. Man, c'mon! Fix my project, deadbeats! But no one answers.
However, I don't quit endeavors that I find worthy, and even though that constitution may sound romantic, I have payed a price for it. Over the last 7 years these travels have often defaulted to a depressed stupor at home, after having accomplished nothing. But don't let my bad luck and misfortunes fool you. They are only frustrations with plenty of light at the end of the preverbal tunnel. These are, after all, white-people problems.
I have attempted to summit the cascade peaks every Summer that has passed since 2010, but because my moral and confidence has been a tad eroded over the last 7 years, somehow each peak escaped me. Lisa even joined me last Summer for an attempt on Mt. Shasta (which is where I left you last), but we didn't make it because somehow we set out too late from base camp. This was actually ridiculous, because it was the earliest by far that I had ever set out, and was supposedly the requested time by local mountain guides, but somehow the fates had to mess with me yet again. The sun wasn't going down late in the day enough to have made the summit time work. We were at the beginning of Fall, too late in the season I guess. This compounded my depression and inertia even more.
So, I hope you can understand the gravity of this when I tell you that I'm going to be heading back out there again now, in general, and giving it another try. I will definitely be attempting these peaks again this Summer, but even more ambitious than that, I'm actually going to head back out to the Southwest first. I haven't attempted the Southwest since the first time I attempted to make electronic music there in 2010, so that's how long it's been and how meaningful this is to me.
I had planned on doing the Southwest each year, but skipped it each time because I was late getting over there every time. This time--I am STILL late getting out there, but enough is enough. Even though the trip may not be perfect, I can't let another year go back of holding my life back. As of tonight, I will be heading out to the Southwest to attempt all of the places I meant to get to, as well as some of the places that I've done already before it's footage got ripped off in my 2010 car theft. It's time to try and make things right again.
I'll be cutting through east on the 10 from LA, strait to White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns and Big Bend National Park first. I have never seen that part of New Mexico before and I've actually never been to Texas, so this will be quite meaningful. After that I head back to Phoenix and Tucson, before zig zagging my way up north through canyon country. This was already the itinerary before, and I see no point in changing that now.
I invite you to please stay posted to both my Facebook wall (here: https://www.facebook.com/dean.debenedictis.3) and my Youtube account that features this project (here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6up2ZGfhJvoqeS19DmsxwA). I will actually attempt to broadcast live on FB from some of these areas so you can see what I'm doing out there--as I do it. Should be fun. Please come and join me.
If I don't write another entry here for a while, it will be because I'm saying everything I have to say through video on those channels and walls.