Hi. I got an oscilloscope this weekend and as you can imagine, the Buchla looks great through it. As does old CCTV camera data... More on all of these things in the future. Till then... Watch the clip below...
Hi. I thought you all may appreciate seeing an image I was just finalizing this morning. I got to thinking about this moment of time in 2021 and how it changed my life or rather began a change, and I wrote some words about its significance to me. Writing more long-form things will forever be important to my work and while I don’t share many, this is one that I think is quite nice, albeit a bit personal.
This first photograph was taken while on my way to the iconic monolith of Delicate Arch, within Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. It was July 2021 and the clouds rolled and ebbed and flowed in like waves off beaches of my childhood in Northern Michigan in summertime moments that are left undisturbed in felt-like memory. Sand blew upward and small birds flicker and flurry into fits of running to flight amongst laughing and leaping children as grey skies make distant sounds. This new desert and my old lakes had more in common than expected. I had been on the road for two weeks.
A short window of cell service emerged, near Balanced Rock, a vertical jut of teardrop sandstone that looked ready to roll over onto the numbed throngs of tourists below. They wouldn't even know what hit them but despite that, hadn't. Balanced Rock has remained upright for around seventy millions years. The one hundred and twenty eight foot tall boulder of Entrada Sandstone is perched atop a precarious layer of soft and even older mudstone and despite all of the snapshot tourist's mental energy and millions of years of erosive forces to topple it, the oblong stone remains a static artifact of a long dead epoch. I turned left at the small lot in front of the inevitable and intractable future magic trick that is the sum of both long-form time and gravity. A narrow road and a few hundred yards of flat ground. I put the car in park.
I was quickly searching for the site of where Edward Abbey’s tin trailer once was and it was an important site for me to find but I had to act somewhat quickly as I had a lot of land to see. When I was in college, I was introduced to Abbey’s work in a writing class by a noted, minor scholar of Shakespeare who required us to call him Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim, or James, used to drink with my actual Uncle around bars in Marquette, when they were both between classes, semesters, and probably professorial trouble. A book that we read in James's class, amongst others by Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, and Barry Lopez was Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. The book filled my mind with smudges of red and ochres and deep gradated blue skies and black nights of distant overhead swirls of galaxies and celestial structures yet-not-named or even yet seen but just theorized. Desert Solitaire was the first book that fundamentally changed me and it taught me not only how to write but also taught me to keep my eyes open and focused on an eventual life out West and to one day visit the place where some of these words were actually written, in an old trailer now long departed.
Over the two decades since first reading Desert Solitaire, I have given out dozens of copies to people I know, some of which have actually read it. Some of those people have told me various things about how they did not like it or found him to be an irrepressibly odd and a somewhat abhorrent figure. I found him more wry and cynical than mean, much like the environment he lived to write about. He also tended to be overly brutal on everyone (except nature itself) and that lack of sensitivity towards fellow humanity grates people in our more coddled and comfortable world, a world that he probably would now quite loathe but I quite like. People are nicer and thoughtful now; less drunk, and less bursting with the zeal of forefathers moral fire and brimstone. Drunks and assholes still exist but less of them they are in these softer and warmer days. They could take a joke though. And they sure could write.
Upon pulling up to the blank spot of rusted dirt, I called on a long time friend to confirm where I was and if I was in the right place. This was a friend who was as close to a brother as I will ever know in my life and yet, one I no longer speak to, much like some real life brothers. So it goes. So it goes, into the twilight of long lives and miscommunications and comments both parties wish they could retrieve but for pride, remain. This friend was someone that I introduced Desert Solitaire to quickly after I read it with Uncle Jim and gave my dog eared copy to. Shortly after this trip to this place of arid catalyst, I would recite a passage from the book at his wedding and connect with my soon-to-be future wife, Elise, at the dinner. The profundity and sanctity of this place and time now holds incredible importance.
Later, as a wedding present, I printed four photographs from the visit to Arches and had them framed for them. The prints were large and were impactful, much like the place itself. I wonder if the photographs still hang on their walls or if they were taken down after our eruption and erosion. Monochromatic vistas that are haunted by lost old loves would be easily replaced by colorful framed photos of autumnal embraces and family dogs springing through meadows. Ghosts tend to be seen as black and white. Stark intruders of memory spurned into a spectral world of the living. For the sake of their emotions, I hope the frames have been removed and pushed to the depths beneath the stairs or new photos slid between the matte and the glass, obfuscating the sentiment. I had to remove all of their work in our home as it hurt to walk by. A panorama of ones own formative existence makes some of the bumps along the road of life seem required but I could have done without this mentally expensive divorce. So it goes though and onward. Silence from all parties. Lines cut in a world of many lines and throughways. Intense reflection has shown me to not always be the most easy person to exist amongst and I am certain to have been an irresolute companion at times, including to someone who was a living hero to me. He made me better in many ways and I probably let him down often.
I walked amongst the scrub and dirt for a moment and imagined the irate Abbey seeing the families in minivans at the pit toilets put next to his old haunt. He is long dead though, zipped in his old sleeping bag and secretly buried in the desert by his closest friends. I imagined going out or rather, in, like that and imagined who would be holding the shovels. In present time, the hands holding that shovel have changed and for the better. I left what I was certain was the location of the trailer but will never be certain. There wasn't even a sign. There was one for the toilet though. Abbey would have screamed.
A halo of perched rainclouds moved in with a frightful abandon to wash over the gawkers and comers and goers and children in valleys of a landscape few breathing things could genuinely thrive in. The short summer shower soaked into the porosity surrounding. Nameless hoodoos and pinnacles of diatoms and sand swelled imperceptibly but I could hear the sucking sound of the sponging water into the earth. Subtle erosion as gaps emerge between molecules of grit and compacted dust. I was now sitting at a cliff of oblivion, in front of the Delicate Arch. This place should be temple quiet, not chaos, as it was. I channeled Edward Abbey, Uncle Jim, and my old lost friend when I snapped broken, terse commands at insane children and influencers playing too close to the cliffs edge and maybe more importantly, they were out to walk into my photos.
Stop. Ayúdeme. Get out of there. Alto. Alto. No, not that way. Find your parents. Donde esta padres. Be safe. Esta Segura.
A ring of tourists stood silent and an Eastern European man behind a tripod clapped twice, gave me a thumbs up, and exclaimed a monosyllabic sound. The rain let up to a mist and the steam rose from the baked curved rock and smears of rubber soles stained the eroded. A quiet returned. I packed up and began walking back to the car and a low slung sun over Abbey Country hid below the hoodoos as I left the park, hungry and tired. I sprung for an actual motel room that night.
We are at best temporary visitors to any and all lands but some more than others. This remarkable expanse of Jurassic sandstone and triple digit degree days are the punctuation marks in a life of mediocrity and traffic and arguments. The world can be at its most primal and violent in the desert and I for one will always appreciate the gallows humor of the desiccation that it creates and maybe even holds dear. Life feels too short to be so quiet and too long to hold true grudges. We are not also made of stone.
I hope all are doing well.
Hello, I hope all are doing well. A few recent updates of note. First, we recently had a great 60-70% eclipse here in Bellingham. It was cloudy and rainy up until the moment it began. Clouds literally parted for it and then enveloped the world once again the moment it ended. Photos below of the fun morning in a dog park with my family. In other news, I have been uploading some short videos to Youtube. You can view the one of Elise below. In other news, through strange ways of searching, I discovered that one of the tracks from “Avocationals”, my 2019 record with Tom, was featured in a nice short film about surfing in Iceland. Link below to watch. The music throughout is great and the cinematography throughout is fantastic, as to be expected by Chis Burkhard. Well, thats about it in terms of an update. s.
Hi! I hope all are well. Embarking on quite a few neat experiments as of late. I have also released a track that I recorded in Banff, AB back in 2018. It used my modular on the side of a mountain in a place a modular has probably never been... I mean, there was snowpack just 100yd away. Pretty spectaular setting for such wild ideas...
And here is the Buchla looking all ready for its CCTV closeup. I wonder what for???
Hello. Here are a few short videos I have been making using the resources of our studios.
And here is a photo of part of the setup... Just part of it. :)
Hope all are well.
Hello! I thought everyone would enjoy a small glimpse of what I have been working on here at OLS.
Video experiments, old monitors and cctv cameras and filtering old sci-fi films through hyper digital nonsense!
I hope all are doing well. s.
The Webshop is now closed and most of the line sold out very quickly indeed.
Thank you to all those who bought pieces and supported the plan.
Up next... Do Buchla’s play well with handmade piezo pads? Next at 11.
09/13/23The inaugural Birthday Edition Sale went incredibly. 1/3 of the selection sold out in a few hours. Not a ton of tiem left before the shop closes.
Check out whats left here: seancurtispatrick.bigcartel.com
I am very proud of the work and the album. I have been told that it is good for autumnal forest walks... While it isnt streaming anywhere (and wont be unless it leaks) you can eithe rbuy a pot to get a download code /and or read the liner notes via the bc embed below...
A few photos from the sale below. So crisp!
Ribbons of Light - My new album. Out on 09/10/2023.
Available exclusively with the Pottery ‘Edition Sale’ on the same day.
It wont be streaming and it wont be sold alone via bandcamp, until someone torrents it. Link here to purchase one of 39... seancurtispatrick.bigcartel.com
Check out some of the presentation boxes that the pottery comes in below. See you on sunday.
Just a quick update.
Be on the lookout for a webshop update on 09/10/23.
Until then... Be well.
I hope all are well. Things are good in our life. I thought you all would like a small update on our studio space.
Clean shelves, clean minds... Things, as always, are brewing.
Hello all that read this page. I refuse to apply Google Analytics to my site as I think we all have a bit-too-much Google in our lives at this point and that I would rather be paddling down the stream of my own ignorance than know this page is reaching zero people or over-doing it because thousands read it weekly… I literally have no idea so that makes updating this easier and kind of mysterious.
So, a few exciting things have happened in that last month.
First, my parents moved to town from the other side of the country and it has been fun to live near them again. They have even been playing around in the studio and have been making a few pots. The student has become the teacher. Only when you get old are you allowed to say that... (I am now actually old)
Second, Elise and I have been on some great hikes and I brought the “good camera” for the occasions.
Third, the ceramics studio is really humming now. I finished glazing fifty new pieces over the weekend. I know that isn’t a truly herculean amount, and I have done more in a single sitting prior to that, but it is in our own space and we have a lot of control that I previously didn’t. We are entering that “oooh, that didn’t work out well” phase in the glazing, where some come back pretty patchy and awful but this upcoming firing will be a real cracker…
I can feel it.
Fourth, Our new garden has been growing very well. Little harvests of bits and pieces have already begun.
Fifth & final, I am in the planning stages for a nice art sale around my birthday, on the tenth of September. I haven’t totally put my finger on what it will entail just yet, but it will be pretty special and I am hoping will be a reoccurring sale into the far future. Each year will be an edition of my current age, thusly, this year will be an edition of 39. Next year, 40. And so on till I’m dust.
That’s a pretty good update here.
I hope all are doing very well and having a wonderful summer.