An Ethereal Guitarist's Path

Friday, December 10, 2010

The stages of my life

So, up until this point of my life, I am finding there are a few definable stages I have been through which largely make me who I am. I want to take a look at these and examine where I have been, where I am, and where I am heading.

First stage: Martial arts. I started MA when I was very young and continued for a good 6-8 years. That is where I got the fighter in me to come out. This is where I learned discipline, hard work, and dedication.

Second stage: Music is born. The next stage I hit was listening to heavy music. This will be the biggest influence on my life I think, I always looked up to my brother and definitely copied whatever he listened to, haha, but I did truly like what I was listening to.

Third stage: Guitar. The music stage actually didn't lead me to learning the guitar. I saw my brother come home with a bass guitar and I thought it was soooo cool so I just decided to buy one myself.

fourth stage: Social anxiety starts to take its toll. I think I had social anxiety way prior to this, but by this time I was well into high school and it had a huge affect on me then. I didn''t really know it or wanted to admit it. I was always confused by my feelings. My social anxiety led me to alienate myself from others (thus exacerbating the effects of it), and always being alone in what I do. This also loed me to a lot of depression which in turn led to a lot of creativity

fifth stage: The positive stage. This is when I saw the website The fact that there was a website dedicated towards things being positive changed my whole outlook on life. I think that website is ultimately what made me able to, later on, subjugate my depression and anxiety.

sixth stage: Practice practice practice. At this point in my life, guitar was no longer just an instrument. It waas my way of speaking, not verbally like most (social anxiety). I spent hours and hours practicing and playing''', I miss those days

seventh stage: College stage. I am not sure how college really helped me develop. I was still socially anxious, and my limiting group of friends seemed to somewhat understand that. I guess what I learned from being in college was to meet as many people as I can, something I greatly missed out on and think ahead.

eigth stage. Extreme change. Bodybuilding and full gear towards creating an album. I started bodybuilding and that changed me completely. It gave me a new found confidence as well as strength other than physical. It was another outlet and another way to separate myself from people as well as connect with others. For most of the two years that I have been bodybuilding, I have put it before making music because I feel it was something I had to seriously work on.

ninth stage: Undermind and The Beckoning Lake. This stage is the story about all the tension and anxiey I have had over the years and learning, twisting, changing, from it and letting it go. Subconsciously, that is what The Beckoning Lake is about. However, it is also about so much more

tenth stage: The fighter returns. i then got into martial arts again, but in general I just started fighting. I constantly had battles with myself as well as other people. I would make everything a competition so that I can strive to be better and better. This REALLY showed in bodybuilding, and at the present time, well my results compared to others, speak for themselves.

eleventh stage: Exploration. This is my time to start learning so many new things and getting absorbed into everything that I missed out on, such as reading, dancing, new music, connecting with people, being friendly etc etc. I am now heavily into music, bodybuilding, connecting with others, dancing, reading, etc etc. I am finally learning who I am to become.

Where am I going from here?

reading, humor, and more

For a long time, a lot of my life I have not been reading. Only now am I realizing how bad that really is. I do enjoy reading, but I usually don't make the time for it, partly because it takes so long to do. Reading not only will make you more knowledgable, but it will help you connect with everyone else. I am not going to break down the benefits of reading because I feel they are fairly obvious. However, what I will do, is state that I really need to get my ass in gear and play catch up!

Another issue that has been coming up is my lack of humor. It's not that I am completely bland and unfunny, its just that I tend to laugh at things that not everyone else does. I need/want to change that. Humor is another great way of connecting with people, and just like everything else I believe you can develop and build a sense of humor. I laugh at a lot of sarcasm, and that is also my strength when it comes to humor. I feel that so many jokes are dumb and not thought out, but so many people seem to laugh at them and well, may be I should learn to do the same. I find that when I am rested and not so stressed, I can laugh a LOT more and joke way more than when I am. I tend to get too rigid with myself and I think I confused that with maturity. I will learn to always remain a mature kid. I think that is the best balance possible.

For the first time, I am feeling like I should keep my blog a little more private (its not like I have a huge audience anyway). For some reason, I don't know if I am feeling vulnerable or what, I feel like I shouldn't or don't need to be sharing all of this with other people...lots of thinking to be had

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Inspiration is a funny thing, yet it is very simple. Humans, by nature, tend to be very structured creatures of habits. Going by that, inspiration sounds hard to come by. Inspiration, creative inspiration, generally comes from doing things. The more you do, the more differently you do, the more inspiration that comes. This isn't the be all end all truth of inspiration, but I am finding it rings true within myself. Stagnation is no good! So what am I changing to be inspired? Well for once, I am making myself read! Reading has always been a weak point, and I tend to focus on my strengths more than my weakness, I guess that is pretty natural for many people. My comprehension skills are pretty behind, but it's never too late to improve. I am starting to read about my hobbies more. I want to expand my knowledge in depthly about them so I can have even deeper conversations or more well sophisticated and educated conversations. I also just read a start of a story that my friend wrote which has inspired me again to start writing....moving on

I am watching a Joe Haley interview (guitarist from Psycroptic, a technical death metal band). He is an amazing guitar player and song writer. Anyway, that isn't the point. One of the questions was what advice would he give to people wanting to learn guitar. I thought about the question too, and my answer is completely different, hehe. So I will try to answer that question now.

Want to learn to play the guitar? Here is my advice. Learn music, learn how to express yourself in many ways and practice practice practice. Do not look at the guitar as just a guitar, a 6 stringed instrument that plays musical notes. Do not limit yourself. Learn to be diverse and strong with what you play so you have an infinite range of possibilities in which you can express yourself. Practice slowly, analyze, and learn the guitar and music as if it were anything you love.

That is a very short answer and given the time I could make that into a long essay with much better organization and coherency. But my point is that everyone looks at the guitar as a "guitar" and they get caught up in typical cliches and expectations of it. I am guilty of that too. My advice to everyone is to break away from that.

Well, that's that for now. Bottom line is, if you want something, change something, dont stagnate. THE END

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Planning for the future

At this point in my life, it is time to develop a plan, stick to it, and start doing it. Someone I greatly look up to and admire, Layne Norton is not only a professional natural bodybuilder, he also has a PHD and a wife. And guess what? He is only 28 years old. That to me is amazing. I am not saying that I want to be like him or do the same things, but I need to get my ass in gear. I want to achieve a lot and be well off in terms of a career and money. First things first, let me examine what skills I actually do have.

1. Guitar/music 8 years+ exp. Not very mainstreamed styles
2. fitness/bodybuilding 2 years + exp.
3. Dancing 1 month + exp.
4. ???
5. ???

Those are the three things that come to mind. I can make money by teaching in these areas. Guitar lessons would be the easiest start, and personal training will soon follow, perhaps by next summer. I would like to eventually become a great dancer and dance teacher, but that will probably take a solid 3 years or so to do (with constant practice).

So where do I go from here? I want to add more to that list, the question is just a matter of figuring out what. This is what I have to work with at the moment and I will have to make the best of these. I am 20 years old, almost 21 now. I want to have a very comfortable life by the time I am 30. By that I mean I want to be well established in different areas to the point where I can make money off of anything if I so chose. My plan is that the 9 years up until that point will be gradually progressing and getting BETTER...NOT WORSE. I will not accept that. Just like there is a certain level of guitar playing and bodybuilding I refuse to never get down to again, I will not get to a worse situation money-wise, than I am in now. I have to stay on top.

So, now that that is out of the way I want to make a plan for the next 9 years. First things first I will start with a long term goal, however I still don't have the clearest idea of what I want that to be. I will plan for a midpoint, and then several milestones in the near future.

Present: November 2010
1. Guitar/music 8 years+ exp. Not very mainstreamed styles
2. fitness/bodybuilding 2 years + exp.
3. Dancing 1 month + exp.
income: approx. 12k/year
Living: New rochelle
School: none
=======gutiar lessons

January 2010
1. Guitar/music 8 years+ exp. Not very mainstreamed styles
2. fitness/bodybuilding 2 years + exp.
3. Dancing 3 month + exp.
income: approx 12k/yea
Living: elsewhere
school: none
===work towards personal training

++++++6 months+++++++
June 2011
1. Guitar/music 8.5 years+ exp. Not very mainstreamed styles
2. fitness/bodybuilding 2.5 years + exp.
3. Dancing 9 month + exp.
Personal training

income: approx 12k/yea
Living: elsewhere
school: none

By the time I am 26 years old, I want to have graduated college with a bachelors degree
That means I must enter School between 21- right before my birthday, and 22, right before my birthday.

to be continued...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Salsa dancing

Ok, time to have a reality check. I have been dancing salsa for one month. I have not been practicing very often either. I feel like I should be a salsa god by now. I want to be at the advanced level right now. One month. What have I learned in one month? How to lead a right and left turn, the basic step, an open break, cross body lead, cross body lead with a turn, and some shines. Well that's all good, but why am I still disappointed with the level I am at? Because I haven't been practicing!!! plain and simple. It is time to start practicing like it was guitar. Even if I don't practice salsa, I need to practice dancing. I need to just move my body and make it natural so I do not shy away with other people. I can't dance in front of people. It is one of those self conscious things that everyone seems to go through. I NEED TO BREAK THAT. My only concer is embarassment. WHy is being embarassed so unmotivating. Well, obviously embarassment is not a pleasant feeling. On the other hand it won't last forever and can in fact be a good motivator. Ok so what is the problem????

Things to start working on
-graceful movement (practice mostly slow)
-styling, moving my whole body to music
-feeling the music better (I had a problem counting the rhythm, but I have a grasp on it now)

random feelings...

things that I have missed out a result of having had social anxiety
being warm
meeting people
experiencing other cultures
leading my life

it seems that I am trying to rush what I am doing, or perhaps I am pushing and judging myself a bit too hard. Being a harsh judge is good for making progress, but it can also discourage you from doing what you want. Everything takes time, progressive overload, and gradual progress to develop. This is one thing I am starting to learn. In my case, I rush things (just not blindly). When I start something new I have a tendency to want to progress hard and immediately. I am noticing it is both good and bad. Good because I will make progress faster and bad because I can easily get burnt out or discouraged from it.

An even deeper question persists...will catching up with all that I have missed out solve my problem? Are these everything that I want in life?

I was feeling depressed earlier today. I think it is because that I do not know what it is that I want out of life. This has been my ultimate question I have been seeking an answer to (and that may be the problem). I thought I wanted to be a musician, then a bodybuilder, or may be I could be normal. May be I am just a fighter and need to realize that. May be it doesn't matter what I do as long as I am progressing in something. It is really hard to grasp that concept after having a solid foundation in music and being absorbed into it 100% for most of that time.

I can choose anything to give meaning to for my life, but it's a matter of finding out what it is that I WANT. It seems that i don't have a preferencej to many things which is good and bad.

**The last time I was depressed, I changed something. May be that is the key to life, to just keep changing what you do. May be I just need to do more things and in different ways. Even changing something slightly can make you view the world in a dramatically different way. The smallest detailes can make the biggest difference**

ex. Here is a very small example of how changing can work. I changed the size of my screen resolution on my computer so everything looked bigger. I started computer in a different way and looking at everything differently. I Saw more detail in a smaller but more concentrated area. This made me want to listen to other music, and do something different on the computer. This made me want to type on the computer instead of writing. Just a small change like this can go a long way. Once I got to writing I did not feel very depressed. May be that means I am finding out the answers that I need to.

I wonder how many people go through similar thoughts...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

some new words, from learning

When learning stripped the earth of its mantle of beauty, and the ground trembled beneath my feat. Honor and glory are those worth fighting for. Speak your mind to be a fool, as your crown will degrade to copper...

quiero matar

Vengeance shoots against the walls
mocking at the gods whom failed
healing the wounds not yet made
I summon the lesions to my flesh
the fleshing veils. the masking of human

You are the mezquino, but will I fight?

Dance and learning about myself***

As I said in the past, I wanted to explore dance. Not just for entertainment, but also for expression through body movements. Currently I a starting with salsa. I am ok at it for what I have learned, but I have not begun any real practice routines for it like I have with music or bodybuilding. I will implement this sooner rather than later. I find dancing to be a LOT of fun. Well, it took me a while to figure out why it was fun, but I did. It is another way to express myself. I feel as if expression is the reason I live. I have desire to express myself in many forms; through writing, music, fitness, activities (?), socializing, dance, language, learning, actings of kindness, helping others...? I feel like these forms of expression will or are much deeper than what I have written. .

I see something in people that disgusts/bothers me. They fulfill their perceived ego without giving back. I notice when people think someone is egotistical and full of themselves it is because they don't see that person giving back to others. If one is full of themselves as well as others and gives back to them, that makes them a real person. someone who knows how to love. I want to get to this point in my life. In order to do so, I must become an expert at everything I would like to do, which seems to be every way in which I wish to express myself. Anyway, salsa dancing is fun and the music is great. Originating from Cuban roots, it has some jazz thrown in there with some amazing rhythm. I am learning more and more what it means to move to a beat rather to react to it in a stripped down manner. I am learning to embrace music to form expression. I am learning to break through my shell. Soon, I will go through various salsa moves that I have learned and some philosophy of dance in general.

With all that I am doing, that i enjoy doing, I am creating. I think that is what I thrive on, creationism. I must also keep in mind that just because I can not sufficiently express myself in one medium does not means that I am bad at it, nor that I should not pursue it. Everything takes time and everything has its own journey.

It seems like every time I have drank in the passed 6 months or so, it has helped me. Whether it was socially or some other way, I have learned something new. Today, I am learning about (potentially) what I want out of my life which will bring me closer to a career path

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Establishing myself...1 year

I am giving myself one year to become established to a general audience as a writer, musician, bodybuilder and teacher. I finally have a decent foundation for all of these things, and now I have to create the products of each. I will also be designing a webpage for all of these things as well as free lesons and free personal training. For me, it seems difficult to do stuff like this in such a short time. I had the idea fora webpage a while ago, but I never did it. I don't think I was ready to and I don't think it would have been good to do it within a day or two.

This will finally be my time to show people that I am not all talk. This will be my journey for the next year, making these skills/ideas as strong as they can be within that timeframe. Afterwards, I will just continue along.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Akira Yamaoka - A letter from the lost days

A letter to my future self, am I still happy, I begin
Have I grown up pretty? Is daddy still a good man?
Am I still friends with Colleen? I'm sure that I'm still laughing
Aren't I, aren't I...?

Hey there to my future-self, if you forget how to smile
I have this to tell you, remember it once in a while
Ten years ago, your past-self prayed for your happiness
Please don't lose hope...

Oh, oh what a pair me and you, put here to feel joy not be blue
Sad times and bad times see them through
Soon we will know if it's for real
What we both feel

Though I can't know for sure, how things worked out for us
No matter how hard it gets, you have to realize
We weren't put on this earth to suffer and cry
We were made for being happy, so be happy
For me, for you, please...

Oh, oh what a pair me and you, put here to feel joy not be blue
Sad times and bad times see them through
Soon we will know if it's for real
What we both feel

We were put here on this earth, put here to feel joy
We were put here on this earth, put here to feel joy
We were put here on this earth, put here to feel joy

We were put here on this earth, put here to feel joy...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

So on I wait my whole lifetime, for you

There has been tons of things influencing me the passed few months. I am not sure what to make of them or what they are trying to tell me. I have also learned that the only certainty is that nothing is certain. For the longest time I have been trying to figure out what I want to do with myself/my life and I have not been able to figure it out. I do have a better idea of it today, however. In this one area I have not progressed much at all and it is bothering me. Damn, there is so much to life how the hell can anyone decide what they want to do? Well I guess it comes down to finding that "one" thing you love. Well I think what I am finding is that there is not one thing I love. I love many things, I just have not realized this because of my social anxiety. I don't think it is a trick on my mind because I missed out on a lot. It's just like with listening to music. I can listen to new music and love it, like it, appreciate it, understand it despite the fact that all I listened to was death metal. Well the same goes for everything else in life. I can see things, do things, and like/love them, understand and appreciate them. I think what I am finding is that I like to see and experience everything. May be not everything but many many things. I am such an open and balanced person, that is the one concept I keep coming back to. While it is great to have many options, it makes things all the more difficult to choose or figure out. Ok, so I have learned that I am balanced and want many things in life. Now I have to narrow that down to what specific things do I want to explore. The problem with being open and wanting to do so many things, is that when there comes a time to put your focus into only a few aspects of it, you are lost and indecisive. Why do I have to put my focus into only a few aspects right now? Because I need a stable/good job. That is how I will live comfortably and still be able to explor and experience life. Ok I COULD do like many different things and have quite a few different jobs, but that just wouldn't work. May be I could work in different environments as life goes on, which is no problem at all, but I need one thing to focus on. This is my problem. Practically speaking, I do not know what field to go in to. This is where everything falls apart. SHould I just pick one at random that makes good money? Do I really have no preference? These are the specific questions that are bugging me now. Once I answer these, all that is next is to go to school, do it, then move out on my own and be completely free. Then I will live a happy life....Here is yeat another step towards unwravelling my mystery, still not there yet. Just like in bodybuilding, everything is a process....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Autumn Carcass

I am resurrecting A.C. I needed something to inspire me last night and I started looking through random tabs on my computer and came across the material Thiago and I wrote. I talked with him and we decided it'd the right time to bring it back. So what now? Well, I will be programming the drums on guitar pro, and then I will re-learn the songs and then record them. The songs are very simple, so learning them won't be a problem at all. Saying that relieves me! Instead of spending months and months practicing it'll more be like minutes and minutes. The music largely takes from doom metal, stylistically, however, added ambience will come through. I will be recording two guitars, may be bass, and perhaps a third guitar for harmonies or other weird experimentation.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i want to mix the world, by that i mean this
hear the melody within, and surround it variously
in this perilous war, we shout madness and fight silence
the clouds bring us justice, raining on our pathetic bodies
by then we absorb all the rain and spew all poison
we rape your justice and mock you in awe
we defile our selves and mock you more
a god of thunder, a god of rain, a god who knows not what his people believe

Thursday, August 5, 2010

where has it gotten me, where can it get me
"not thinking"

living simple vs complex/in depth
simple/in depth
two huge vistas of viewing life, where do I fall? balance?

what do i want out of life- most likely just happiness
so what brings happiness
why do i want to live one way vs the other, is there really a difference?

areas i want to excel at

chase those once i identify them, perhaps keep everything else simple

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The lyrics that changed my life

So, I have been slowly coming to this conclusion on my own, and it is amazing how dream theater captured this using the perfect words. The song/album related to being trapped within an octave, however I feel it has a lot to do with life as a whole and not just "music." This explains a lot of the conflict I have been going through and it's resolution.

[I. Someone Like Him]

[Lyrics: John Petrucci]

I never wanted to become someone like him so secure
Content to live each day just like the last
I was sure I knew that
This was not for me
And I wanted so much more
Far beyond what I could see
So I swore that I'd
Never be someone like him

So many years have passed
Since I proclaimed
My independence
My mission
My aim
And my vision
So secure
Content to live each day like it's my last
It's wonderful to know
That I could be
Something more than what I dreamed
Far beyond what I could see
Still I swear that I'm
Missing out this time

As far as I could tell
There's nothing more I need
But still I ask myself
Could this be everything
Then all I swore
That I would never be was now
So suddenly
The only thing
I wanted
To become
To be someone just like him

[II. Medicate (Awakening)]

[Lyrics: James LaBrie]

A Doctor sitting next to me
He asks me how I feel
Not sure I understand his questioning
He says I've been away a while
But thinks he has cured me
From a state of catatonic sleep

For 30 years
Where have I been
Eyes open
But not getting through to me

Medicate me
Infiltrate me
Side effects appear
As my conscience slips away

Medicate me
Science failing
Conscience fading fast
Can't you stop what's happening

A higher dosage he prescribes
But there's no guarantee
I feel it starting to take over me
I tell him not to be ashamed
There's no one who's to blame
A second shot
A brief awakening

I feel the relapse
Can't break free
Eyes open
But not getting through to me

[III. Full Circle]

[Lyrics: Mike Portnoy]

Sailing on the seven seize the day tripper diem's ready
Jack the ripper Owens Wilson Phillips and my supper's ready
Lucy in the sky with diamond Dave's not here I come to save the
Day for nightmare cinema show me the way to get back home again

Running forward
Falling back
Spinning round and round
Looking outward
Reaching in
Scream without a sound

Leaning over
Crawling up
Stumbling all around
Losing my place
Only to find I've come full circle

Flying off the handle be careful with
That axe Eugene gene the dance machine
Messiah light my fire gabba gabba
Hey hey my my generation's home again

Running forward
Falling back
Spinning round and round
Looking outward
Reaching in
Scream without a sound

Leaning over
Crawling up
Stumbling all around
Losing my place
Only to find I've come full circle

[IV. Intervals]

[Lyrics: Mike Portnoy]

Our deadly sins feel his mortal wrath
Remove all obstacles from our path

Asking questions
Search for clues
The answer's been right in front of you

Try to break through
Long to connect
Fall on deaf ears and failed muted breath

Loyalty, trust, faith and desire
Carries love through each darkest fire

Tortured Insanity
A smothering hell
Try to escape but no avail

The calls of admirers
Who claim they adore
Drain all your lifeblood while begging for more

Innocent victims of merciless crimes
Fall prey to some madmen's impulsive designs

Step after step
We try controlling our fate
When we finally start living it has become too late

Trapped inside this Octavarium
Trapped inside this Octavarium
Trapped inside this Octavarium
Trapped inside this Octavarium

[V. Razor's Edge]

[Lyrics: John Petrucci]

We move in circles
Balanced all the while
On a gleaming razor's edge

A perfect sphere
Colliding with our fate
This story ends where it began

Saturday, July 24, 2010


My friend Thiago just finished up the cover art for The Beckoning Lake. I will not post it up yet. It looks amazing and exactly what I wanted. The song has also greatly inspired him to do more with the music which is exactly what I want!! This song is the essence of my music and self and the best way to show connection. Everything is slowly coming together in a process and it is just inspiring. I have done my job and everyone else is doing their jobs!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Going back to basics

I have not been updating much due to lots of stress, but slowly I am getting better...

Going back to the roots, or the basics is always a good idea. That is how we develop because it builds us a solid foundation. I randomly got the urge to listen to Atheist today, and I am hearing so much heavy metal and thrash in their music, that it is making me want to learn their songs or just general heavy metal. And guess what I started learning when I bought a guitar. Heavy metal. Metallica and Iron Maiden. I want to start learning songs again just for the fun of it. It will also help from a practical sense, especially considering I have begun down-picking once again.

Down picking is a great technique, but one that doesn't go so far. Alternate picking is almost always superior. For a while I switched to only alternate picking and no down picking, but down picking helps for palm mutes, just look at Master of Puppets and a ton of other Metallica songs and you will see.

I will also be having a new student shortly. he is 16. This kid also draws *really* well, especially for his age. I will be adding him to The Beckoning Lake.

My newest project that I am working on will be me writing a sound track to a story. I recently have been writing more and more in the vain of short stories and it is something I thoroughly enjoy, so it's only natural to put the two together. I am not yet sure what the story will be about.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Motivation and important practice tips

"If you are looking for motivation, or inspiration, change something." It doesn't matter what.

Well, first and foremost, I was in a terrible rut recently, for weeks. I had no desire at all to play guitar and was somewhat depressed and what now, but it has come back and I am loving to practice yet again. I have also killed my facebook addiction which probably had a huge impact on my practicing habits.

A big part of practicing and learning is also not practicing and de-learning. When you are learning/practicing something, your subconscious mind absorbs EVERYTHING you are doing, whether or not it is correct or incorrect. As a result it is important to do things slowly and do the best of your ability so that you learn more correct than incorrect. Regardless of how well you practice, you will learn both good and bad. That is why it is good to stop practicing at times. You need to give your mind a chance to absorb what you have learned and sort through what is good and bad. Your mind will also lose the bad habits, aka de-learning, which will in effect make you much better at what you do. I have experienced this many times and continue to do. It is also a good way to break through plateaus.

Another subject I would like to touch upon is standards. So many times I have been criticized that my standards are too high, and that goes for pretty much anything I do. First things first, if I did not have high standards, I would never be anything "special" and I would just fit another common mold like everyone else. The obvious benefits of high standards is for self improvement. The harder you judge yourself, the harder you will push yourself. Standards are the foundation to goals. Holding high standards is also how prized objects gain more significance. The higher your goal, the harder it is to obtain, the more you will have obtained by the time you reach it. It is the difference between reaching 100% and 50%. It will be quicker to reach 50%, but 50% really isn't a large value. It will take a very long time to reach 100% and that encompasses everything that you want. Which is more worth it? Well for some it might be the 50%, but not for me. Upwards towards 100% is where I lie, that is what I shoot for, that is what makes my self as well as the things I obtain unique.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have gone through and am still going through a long period where nothing is inspiring me. I am not sure what to do about it. I asked Ken the librarian and he suggested to change something. That sounds right, but what should I change? I need to get my ambitious self back. Metaphorically i see myself on this huge ocean or sea with stepping stones in front of me and I am slowly walking across the stones. It is very clouded and i can not see ahead of me. There is an impenetrable mist. I am starting to write a lot more. I have been foolin around with short stories. I seem to have something in my head that I want to get out in words, perhaps what my music is not explaining. Not imagery, but more concrete situations, themes, and descriptions. I have been leaning towards combining the two to make my work even more dimensional. I haven't practiced guitar in a long while, I have barely been playing and I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Perhaps I just needed a break from it. I really don't know how to account for these periods in which I don't want to play.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I tried to show you the way but you didn't step through the portal
Why? What was so wrong? My logic and theory are those of happiness

my deeds and practice are unknown
you were weak, you are weak,
idle deeds fills your void
but strength fills the fulfillment I crave
the scent that burned from your eyes
will never come back my way
the loneliness without you, lends itself to me
A warm heart was thought injured, but i was delusional
the loneliness without you, flows to my void

A garden of embers, glows my name
a garden of ash, crumbles yours
my self fulfilling journey
is the utopian ideal
the path that you chose
is the hell that will never heal

Album number two

The point of the album is to make/influence the listener to listen to/see the guitar in a different way. I think the reason I was stuck playing in the same spectrum was because I was listening to it the same old way. The idea is to listen between the notes, the sounds, the recording and to not identify specifically the melody, chord changes, rhythm, etc. So the music I am writing can be looked at as mundane, if you are identifying with those elements of music, or it can be treasurous (not a real word) if you listen in a different way. I want to really make this album visual like I did with my last one. Yes we all can hear music, but what about see it?

as far as the title goes, I think it will be the color of mirrors. The idea is that if you have mirrors facing each other, they are reflecting the space between them back and forth, much like music. The vibrations are sent between the air and react off other vibrations. The color will be that unique sound. The sound that is there that isn't a melody or chord change.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sometimes it is good to relax about certain things, even if they are problematic. In fact, when I am relaxed, I can be much more efficient. That is why I need to practice more. So that I can be that relaxed, on the spot, and be able to play much cleaner. I was very focused on where my next step in music would be, but I stopped thinking about it. As a result I was able to relax my mind. I came to an answer, THE answer. I just want to write. I am going to stop writing for "this project" or "that project" and just write. When I write for something, other than myself, it changes the limitations, variations, experiences, and many other things that will make the music what it is, for better or worse. At this moment it has been changing them for worse. I have now told myself that I just want to write. If that means bringing influence from other bands to the drawing table, then I will do that. Today I was insanely productive in such a short time for the above reason and also for another reason. I have broken out of laziness. It used to feel like a chore to plug in my interface and set up my recording program and record. Well, not anymore. I was inspired by a new Ulcerate interview. The guitarists were saying how they jam, record, improvise, and send it back and forth. Then it hit me, why don't I just record, improvise, and send it back and forth (to myself) and jam on some riffs. That is exactly what I did. I so far have about 4 minutes of a song written. The song, right now, is largely inspired by Ulcerate, but that is not just because I like the band. We have a common vision. I want to make a huge sound with the music I write and that is what they are focusing on right now as well, in a very broad sense. I also metaphorically compared myself to a tree. I like to have all these complex branches and odd leaves sticking out every which way, but I like to keep a big, strong, stable core. It's funny that my tattoo idea a long time ago was a tree, and that was supposed to be a representation of myself. Well yet again, I am coming back to being a tree. That is what I want to reflect in my music, but it is not just a huge sound I am looking for. I am looking for those complex branches and odd leaves and anything else that interacts with the tree. That will be my sound.

With that being said, today I started recording/writing. I did two straight improvisations and then i did real writing and recorded it right after. It was easy to do and very productive. It has made me want to start practicing again. I want to be able to play fast AND clean, effortlessly. This has motivated me to once again begin practicing regularly.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where do I go?

Ok, So now that The Beckoning Lake is recorded, I do not feel like recording the other songs that I have finished. I do not feel like they are up to par with TBL, which kind of makes sense. For one, TBL is mostly comprised of my previous songs. The songs had a magic when I had written them, but I feel that magic is gone. It is too familiar to me and not very challenging to listen to. Perhaps when others contribute to it, they will become a lot more interesting to listen to, but until then I am not sure I want to do them now. In terms of writing new music, I think I have got that covered. I am not one hudred percent sure what I will be writing. I might just go for writing "masterpieces" or regular "songs." I feel that if I make a piece that encompasses the other songs, I do not need to record the other songs to show everyone. May be I will, may be I won't, I am not sure.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


It seems that all the things I wanted to do as a kid and didn't I am doing now. I have just picked up a book on Tai Chi which I have already started going through. Of course I am working with the very basics. My goal is to apply tai chi to my martial arts, then I would like to learn a dance form, and then finally become a movement artist. I feel a great connection through movement and it is expressive of my "softer" and peaceful side. So far my music describes the depressing, tension-wielding side of me, powerlifting and bodybuilding express the physical and mental strength part of me. Now I feel body movement will express what is left. While that may sound limiting, how those express only certain parts of me, that is not 100% accurate. I think it would be more correct in saying that I express xyz qualities through xyz mediums. I have tried expressing happier tones through music and what not, but it proved futile. I ultimately do as I feel and that is my purpose.

new lyrics

Stuck in the same mold
awareness vanished
distancing others
A constricting uselessness

within your mind (echoes)
the gears turn aimlessly
within your mind
you dwell in darkness

The aura of ascendence
my autumn to live
the leaves turn gold
illuminating vast light

blazing fire surrounds me
embers glowing, spell my name
creatures of fire
engulf my new mind

within your mind (echoes)
the gears turn aimlessly
within your mind
you dwell in darkness

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I learned that it is very important to change how I practice. That is why practicing gets boring. I got stuck doing the same exercises and routines. What I am doing now is practice-playing. I am also working hard on the Anthro. songs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Technique & relaxation

relaxing is very much a mental thing, as much or more than it is physical. Playing while I am tired is also a great idea. It helps me relax. Usually when one is tired, they wll tense up more to play something, but they just need to tell themselves to relax.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Forgotten things, exploration of the unchartered

It has come to the point where I am forgetting how to play within genres. I tried playing heavy metal, stoner rock, sludge, and I couldn't really do it today. Sure, it could just be an off day, but I don't think it is. That is a good sign, that I have been focused on what I want to play, but it may be a bad sign that I am becoming aimless. I have been feeling unmotivated, I would like to do what i love with other people. I want to share myself with the ones who are like me. It seems that it's rather hard to do that or find those people. This is my struggle within.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Inspiration comes and goes

I think that is the lesson to learn and embrace. I was stuck musically. I think I just needed to focus on Anthromoprhic instead of UnderMind. I want to learn to interpret these feelings of seemingly uninspiration and realize that they are not always what they seem to be.

Humanity Falls last night at the Lit Lounge. Wow, they have improved substancially. I also really hate metal crowds. They are full of the stereotypes and it seems that 95% are the same, and so many people are afraid to talk and what not. If I was actually in a good mood I would have struck up some conversations, but pinching the nerve in my back really got me down. I wrote some lyrics right before HF went on and now Eston wants to use em for their last song, Iniquity by God. He said they reminded him of the lyrics to Unholy Cult (the album). Makes me feel pretty good. I haven't written lyrics in a while. Here is what I have so far...

Crafting genuine horror
unhooking the chains
lashing out viciously
my soul, my drive
the will to bring rains of fire
the fire to freeze your skin
the skin that burns from frost

freeze to ash and burn to ice

my wrath in formidable form
shadows of madness
swarm in legions
choking the iniquity
I fight against god

this is my pledge
this is my will
this is by myself

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Change can be scary. Of course I like to embrace the change, but when you do that, it is hard to keep your goals in mind, because they may change too. I do not know what I want out of music anymore. I found a place in weight lifting and martial arts, I had a strong place in music. Now I do not know where I am. May be I am just stuck between the two and it will just be a new balance. I feel like I always need to be doing something and I find it hard to focus on solely one thing. It's not that I can't, but my mind wants to wander and focus on many different things. I don't know what to make of this. This is why I have trouble practicing. Sometimes I practice with noise in the background or music on because that helps me concentrate a bit more. I guess this explains why I write very complex music on guitar. I have gotten to a point where I am not concerned with getting THAT much better at guitar. I don't know if I really need to, to still write the music I want to write. I think I have my techniques down pat, and just need to maintain them. May be I am closer to reaching my musical goal than I thought I would be. I have been playing guitar for a very long time, and I am not the best in every area, but do I really want to be? Many musicians excel at other areas that I don't and vice versa.

It is also getting hard to listen to music. May be it is because I am so familiar with it. When I put music on, I just want to wander and feel like doing something else in addition to it, but if I do that, then I won't be focusing on the music enough, or may be I am. I am really confused with this new revelation I am having and I do not know what to make of it. I think the best thing to do is to work with it, not ignore it, and not fight it. May be I am finding that music isn't my whole life. May be my two music projects are enough and are exactly what I need out of music, and not much more?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My ear is getting better, that is a plus. When I listen to music, I can catch the notes better (mainly talking about tech death, because it's so fasssssst). This might have something to do with recording and listening to my own music. I am beginning to dislike practicing. I am not sure if dislike is the word. I am bored with my practicing routine, that's for sure. I find myself wanting to create more than "practice." Developing great technique comes from constant usage of those techniques. None of my techniques at this point are particularly weak, so I don't think I have a strong need to rigidly practice them anymore. I incorporate many techniques in my music and may be that is enough to keep be on my toes. I made up a little song today. So far it is only two parts. I think my next album will be much more simplistic than what I have been writing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I am sitting here, listening to Thiago's music in pitch black, well besides the computer light. I absolutely love his music. I connect with it on a very deep level, but at the same time, I feel that he is ahead of me or on a different level. I am at peace with myself, He iss at peace with himself. I feel like he conveys it better or more easily than I do. All of my music has a lot of tension building and releasing, but none of it is purely relaxed like Within the Zone of Transcendence. This music is very powerful and I feel it would be futile if I were to try and describe what exactly I am feeling. It is evoking some serious emotion from me, however. That is why I can connect with it so well, it brings me elsewhere, just like UnderMind does. That is the point in our music.

On another note. I had my first recording session today. I recorded in Dom's room. Small room, 2 amps, and a bunch of other shit. We got in there, set the 2 mics up really quick, and then recorded. One take for the track. First time I have ever played it. He was the perfect match for the song as well. There is room to add in other parts and what not, but I dont know if there is really a need to. I might just save that for live performances. When we started the piece, I was afraid of fucking up. There was this one part I was shaky at, but I kept repeating to myself "everything is water," and "in music there are no mistakes." These two quotes got me through the piece rather well. The piece was so visual and perfect. It was exactly how I imagined it was going to be. At this point, I have A Rare Moment of Silence and The Color of Mirrors to record. After that, I want to also write Of Emeralds and Rings, but I might have to take a bit more time on that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I forgot to add this. I practiced outside for the first time today. It was so awesome, fun, and free. I felt a lot more open and not so closed in, in a certain space. I often would look up at the sky and the trees/branches, and I felt that that truly is the essence of UnderMind. To visualize yourself, to hear yourself, and to be taken somewhere. I will be practicing and jamming outside a lot more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Patterns. I have always been good with identifying patterns in a given subject. I feel this is largely how I view the guitar, well more specifically, the fretboard. Perhaps this is why I have had a lot of trouble learning theory. I do not identify with the patterns so easily. One way I tend to improvise is by keeping a certain key as the center and then adding patterns with my fingers/frets/strings/picking hand to it. Sometimes I go out of key, sometimes I don't. This is also how I tend to form chords. I start with a base finger and then figure out patterns to go along with it. Or I already know a pre-determined chord. I don't usually see chords on the guitar in intervals, but patterns, how the location of one finger relates to another. I have also realized this is how I like to draw, in patterns. I noticed this whenever I scribbled stuff onto my notebooks and what have you. Shapes and patterns. I like to draw that way, I like to see things in that way. I am not sure where to go from here or what more to say. May be I will try to explain why I see things in patterns so much, but that will take lots of brainstorming.

On a side note, I recently bought a sketchbook and am studying the human figure right now. It is pretty hard but it's something I can definitely catch on to. Drawing has a lot to do with observation and noticing relationships between two points, as well as angles and shapes etc. So far I have done two figure forms and I did an abstract improvised piece today while listening to Esoteric....the end product was...rather esoteric.


Where does inspiration come from? From within myself, I guess. Also from many outside th ings. It could just be the energy that is flowing around me at any given time, whether I look to it as an influence or now. I barely played guitar at all last week, and this week I am making up for it. It is nice because it is almost like I am starting fresh, musically, not technically. I have taking a bit of a liking to the F# minor scale. It is the next scale that comes somewhat naturally to me. With my guitar tuned to Eb it's actually Fminor. I am trying to work with some newer chords and learning to arpegiate chords more than I am used to. Especially minor chords. Eventually, I will make the picking patterns that are most foreign to me natural. I want to get better at arpegiating chords and it seems whenever someone does arpegiate them, they do it in the exact same pattern constantly. Not like that's a bad thing, it just isn't for me and it isn't challenging. I will also be composing music for a female vocalist to accompany. There is something so enchanting about the female voice, and I really wish to work with it.

I have some huge visions for This Beckoning Lake, which I will be writing about in the near future. I will also be demo-ing that and all my songs. Not for me, but for production reasons. It will help to get a good idea of what should sound like what, and what you can add to what. what?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Demo? Ok I am stuck. I was going to record on friday, but that isnt happening now. I don't know when I will be able to record with Dom. I wanted to start recording before I started writing new songs. I feel like, my songs will need GREAT production to really get the point across. At least for most of the songs. Now, I want to really record. I am anxious to. I am thinking of doing demos of everything. I tend to only want to show people final products. I am trying to figure out why I am like that. Also I need to figure out why there should be demos of songs. I usually am very set with how my songs sound and wont really change them, even if I review them.

So there is the question...
Why should I demo?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ok, I barely practiced all week. It is now time to make practicing the priority. On the plus side, my body is growing!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Well, it has gotten to the point where I don't have such a high perspective on what I do. I train hard, eat well and often, sleep 8 hours EVERY night, I practice guitar a lot, I write, do art, read, etc. These are my hobbies, my passions, and now just a way of life. I just do these things. It's no big deal. I don't have anything to prove besides the fact that these are what make me happy. These are what I have fun doing, despite the minor inconveniences the may provide sometimes. These among some other things are why I live and the qualities they reflect are what I look for in people.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I am on overload right now. I need to finish composing 2 more albums soon. Won't be hard. After that, I will be recording like a fucking demon. Once that is done I will resume writing again. I also have some friends who want to and will contribute to my UnderMind material. I think after I finish recording, I will start doing some group compositions. I have also been inspired to write. I met a new friend, Heather. We will be writing a story together soon, and before that I want to work on my writing again. Besides that, I have been putting off my stories for a bit and they need to come alive. I want may to hurry up and get here. I want to get all this done. This is the kind of inspiration I wanted like a year, 2 years, and 3 years ago. I have met a few more friends who are artists in a similar vain as I. Lots of writing, album planning, recording, going on. MORE MORE MORE
and i will be getting back to drawing!!!! and then some future jamming and group compositions, and then finally promoting undermind

Monday, March 22, 2010

Haven't really had much to say. So let me say something. Hmm, what exactly is going on with Steve in his world of music? Well, I am slowly getting my hours of practice in again. I am specifically trying to work on endurance, because it went down pretty bad. I have been doing a lot of improvising lately. I have been working on trying to figure out how to play a few songs. Queen of the Borrowed Light and Vastness and Sorrow from Wolves. It's very hard to figure these out note for note. For one the production isn't the clearest, also both guitars play multiple voices at once with very similar distortion, but I am getting the basic idea for the songs.

I will be releasing 5-6 albums worth of material in may. I am doing all the planning now and all through April. So far, here is my album listing

1. A Rare Moment of Silence
2. The Color of Mirrors
3. UnderMind presents: A Visual Production of "The Self"
4. An Evening with UnderMind: The Empty Space
5. Bassic Meditations
6. Of Emeralds and Rings

Within these albums there will be covers from Final Fantasy as well as Sonic. They each have a different concept and I will explain them when they are all released. My great friend Thigao will be releasing these through his label Lunatic Pandora Records along with descriptions of each and interviews. The cds will include writing and hopefully a lot of artwork.

OH yea, another thing. Thiago and I will be doing two splits, one of final fantasy covers, and one of Sonic covers.

*In essence, what I am doing is presenting a physical form of the expression of my life and soul. That is what UnderMind is. It is also something to produce meditative vibes and calming auras, as well as some dark and disturbing sounds. This will be the illustration of my own life and path, as well as the people who will be contributing to the individual songs.

Next up will be an Anthromorphic demo. We will record a total of 5-6 songs, and unfortuneately with a drum machine. This time we will do it correctly, everything will be mapped out, and nothing rushed. We will also add in the bass parts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Inspired by that one shitty saturday afternoon

Drown within my sorrorws
as they fall from the high skies
upon the low grounds
as if an ocean lay beneath the surface

Where shall I go? Wanderer of human sorrow
exploring the no-land, to create a false security
I shun myself from the world
I look outside, through the glass walls around me
But the floods rise high!
as pressure buids, anxiety overwhelms this prison
negative energy flows through me, embracing my self
against all odds and beliefs
I begin to drown
Drown within my sorrows

Return to the place I don't belong...

I cam so far, but had to stop. Back-tracking through time
to this static-noise scenery
The picture that is never painted

I told of today, the rains of fire
the rains of acid and sensation
psychroalgia (burning sensation of cold), ice-blue blades
slashing, intersecting, through my skin

I descend
as blood turns blue, I lack what I need
as skin turns green, I fail my eneavor
Have I failed?

I built the bridge
now I reside back and forth
with one world and the next
all doors are open, yet I am the only intruder
millions of faces walk by
on the streets and see me too
if you only saw what I saw
may be you could have a glimpse into my globe
my darkness and passion
what you fail to try and understand
may be next time you will try...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Salome, Wolves in the Throne Room, Shrinebuilder, March 11, 2010, Show Review!

Wolves in the Dorm Room

What a show. Let me start off with saying thank you to the genius lady who put this show together. The three bands couldn't be more perfect, and I almost never say that. Second, the venue. What the hell, WOlves is playing at NYU??? a college??? YES! and it was a perfect idea. The auditorium they played in was large and had amazing acoustics. The sound echoed and reverberated everywhere.

Salome, the trio all the way from Virginia. I had never heard of this band, but they were amazing, loud, and fucking TIGHT. They didn't have a bassist which was interesting, but they didn't need one. One guitarist, drummer, and singer. The singer was very amazing. She could reach the very low guttural inhuman sounding range as well as this higher scream which sounds so torturous yet you need to keep on listening. It was not disturbing to the ears, it was the opposite. As for the drums and guitar, well they communicated very well. At times they would be purely crushing and sludgey, and other times they would get into these broken drum beats and guitar riffs which are so exciting and extreme. There were also other times when the music got so meditative it put me in a trance, as did the other two bands that played. This band reminds me of Om and Disembowelment, AKA something you need to check out. This band seriously has one of the best vocalists I've ever heard!!!

Wolves in the Throne Room. Easily the best band of the night and the only black metal band at the show. Black metal? No, they are not black metal. They are one of the bands that are genre-transcending. Fuck black metal and fuck all the labels you wish to put on Wolves, they do not deserve such limiting categories. They are an essence, not a replication of some over-populated genre. Anyway, not that that's out of the way. They had three banners up each of a wolf, owl, and moon which were entangled in tree branches. I really dug their artwork and find it very fitting for them. Also, the dim blue lights are a perfect enhancement to the Wolves experience. I hate to say things like this one night changed my life, but here is one of those nights. Wolves was astounding. Their sound perfect, huge, encompassing, entrancing, loud, perfect, the same sounds you hear on their albums. THey also played the two songs that I wanted to hear them play last time. They opened with Queen of the Borrowed Light. Holy shit!!! This was so huge. I couldn't contain myself from head banging, I literally felt like I was going insane. Think of this. Think of the complexity and intensity of Diadem of 12 stars, add that to the simplicity of the stage and the simplicity of their artwork, and you have created a heaven-like environment for people. Ok, they then moved on to Dea Artio and Vastness and Sorrow, which I am convinced is one song and they just separated it on the album. Every time I listen to Dea Artio I am stumped. I am confused at what I am listening to. This is where WOlves sounds like walls and layers of sound. There are many things going on at once. Hearing this live, I was able to understand the guitars much better and hear the chords and progressions. I was captured during this section...then, on came the blasts. They drove right through Vastness and Sorrow. It was so intense, again, I could not contain myself from head banging. Having listened to this song plenty of times, and on the way to NYC, I was prepared and synched up with it perfectly. Then came that riff in the middle of the song, the single tremolo picked riff that Nathan does, I fucking lost it. That is arguably one of the best riffs in music. I could write a fucking paper on that riff alone. It also repeats at the end, which is the best way to end the song. After that, the euphoria poured over me immensely. The last song they played, (I am pretty certain) was Crystal Ammunition. This was the most meditative song of the night. This is where I lost myself. I closed my eyes, casually head banged, and felt like my "self' was going somewhere. This is how a live performance should be. Wolves literally grabbed me and I couldn't resist. To add to this extreme pleasure, the middle of the song where the guitars go to a cleaner sound amplified what I was feeling. The best moment of the song by far. I was impressed by how powerful it was. Finally, they ended. I was lost and dazed, but only for a short time, for Shrinebuilder was up next.

Shrinebuilder...the "super group," containing members of The Melvins, Sleep/Om, St. Vitus, and Neurosis. This band was a trip as well. I was not familiar with them in the least. This band truly felt I was high off some really good chronic. Hence where they get stoner metal from, I suppose. I had the least energy for this band, but that was no set back. I chilled to their long meditative, repetitive, buildups and assaults, and it was perfect. I am at a loss of words for what to say about this band. They combined some really interesting lead sounds in their music which also gave it a whole new dimension. I feel like I saw such a great act that I can't quite comprehend it at this point. They know how to fucking play some music though, I will say that much.

So where does this leave me? Well I have new insight on music and am learning more of what I want to incorporate into my music. This is one of the best shows I have ever been to and I think Wolves in the Throne Room is probably the best band I have ever seen live. That's about it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I haven't been very motivated. I feel like I really needed a break, so I took one.

It seems people mimic the way you treat them. It is kind of annoying, be yourself people. Unless you are mocking them for a reason.

Monday, February 22, 2010

It is getting close to recording time. My goal is to have an Anthro. demo out by the summer. It will be 3 or 4 songs. We should have a total of 5-7 songs recorded. I am not sure how I will get it recorded, I am still trying to figure that out. I am thinking perhaps I would like to go and pursue some sound engineering myself. At first I wanted to go to school for it, then I didn't, now I have an interest in it again. If I had a studio space or like a basement, I would do a lot of experimenting on my own, but I don't. For now, I want to record scratch tracks for the songs that are complete. I will start with Augmented. I will just export the midi drums from guitar pro and use those for now. Then I will record both guitar parts with my interface. I will try to record with a line out from my Sunn preamp into the interface, and then take the amp model off and only use a cab model. I will see what kind of sounds I can get from that. If that sounds good may be I can just use that. Otherwise I will try using just straight modeling software. I will also start doing scratch tracks for Undermind. I got two albums I need to get done, which won't be hard at all.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stupid and weak minded people are now my inspiration. Interesting. They are what I don't want to end up like. I am writing many new lyrics. Also, Musicians and hearing others play and their ideas is so motivating and inspiring. Right now Thiago, Eston, Steve, Mike, and Dom are all inspiring me, when I hear them play something and improve, it reminds me what is beautiful about music, progress, and practice. Not a whole lot to say....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Something went wrong last night. To start things off, I was depressed before playing. It was slight depression, as in I was only feeling indifference. When it was time for my set, I played perhaps my most depressive piece, in a very concentrated and short format. I combined Nothing is discreet with My Favorite Things. I don't know what happened. The chemistry was amazing, but it amplified what I was feeling ten times. Something is very powerful within My Favorite Things. It projected my song in a new way. Once the open mic shit was over, I was feeling a lot shittier. Note to self: When depressed, don't play depressive pieces. The car ride home I was a wreck, having suicidal thoughts and what not. I don't know what did it to me. I think I unlocked something within me as I was playing. I tried listening to the recording of it, and that was really hard to do. It was one of the coldest and loneliest pieces I have ever heard. I am not scared of this feeling, but it is extreme and makes me think twice. I will however, continue onward.
I don't want to do my performance tonight either. I feel that I will feel just as shitty afterwards, but I will do it because I owe it for my friend, and it is a dick move to pull out this last minute. I will try to have fun, but I do not know what the future holds for me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I like to be different from everyone else. I am not different just to be different, but I find I get more satisfaction and the right kind of satisfaction differently than everyone else.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My latest song that I am working on for Anthro. is called Becoming. Right now it sounds fucking amazing, intense, chaotic, yet at the same time produces a meditative vibe. I am sure many are going to disagree. I can almost play all of it, but I still have a bit of work to do. I can probably play half the song and there are still a few sections which need to be added or re-worked. This song is sounding exactly how I had planned it too. When the second guitar part gets written it will just complete it. Next will be the vocals. I think I want the vocals to be less chaotic than everything else. I want the vocals to be mostly deep the whole time, perhaps some long drawn out growls and stuff. I feel like it will complement the feeling of the song well.

As for Undermind, I will be doing a bunch of recording soon. I played nothing is discreet a little today, and it sounds amazing and I know what I want t do with it. I want to make the song even more entrancing and make it really capture the listener. I have developed a way of playing so that i take my time on everything and really develop each part that is meant to be. The songs will sound nothing like the originals ones I recorded besides the fact that they are the same song. Once I get this initial recording of NID and the other songs for A Rare Moment Of Silence, i will start changing and improvising them like crazy

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I simply am. A John Coltrane experience

February 13. It's been a day since I listened to this masterpiece. John Coltrane has a whole new meaning to me. I hate to sound cheesey in this waybecause I rarely believe in these sort of things, but last night has changed me. First, however, let me recall this dark enchanting night, then I will get back on track.

I was hanging with Dom for Miles Davis- death metal night. We were going to play 1 disc from the Cellar Door Sessions and one death metal album until it was complete. Well, we got through disc 1 and From Wisdom to Hate and by then he had downloaded Coltrane's Live in Japan. On this was a 57 minute version of My Favorite Things, which for those that don;'t know, is th eone theme that never seems to leave my head. I feel it is a part of me.It has been many months since I first heard it, and since then I have had it stuck in my head regularly. I do in fact obsess over it. It is powerful. Anyway, We took a 10 minute break and began the journey. It started out with a bass solo to introduce the song. Great Segway. Then Coltrane said hello and worked the theme. Then came the solos. This is when everyone spoke their minds. They communicated and reacted. it was there, everything! Unison, formation, transcendation. I became one with this experience. By this time the lights were turned off. I was happy, I felt like a part of me was being expressed as well. I closed my eyes from time to time. Each closing created a link between us all. Me, Dom, and Coltrane's band, the audience. I was there, inside the "music." I was one with the experience. The experience that was captured on a cd through the self proclaimed group. Once I was linked to this experience, they created, the visions started to flow. I have talked about these visions with friends. I visualize in my mind when interacting with music. these were by far the most vivid visuals I had ever seen. As if it was LSD induced, but it was totally natural. My mind was on a path, looking through the glass (time frame) that separated me from the group. Things were being unlocked in such a basic form. This is expression. This is what I mean when i call myself an artist. This is what I try to project. The music I heard was live in nearly every way. I heard, felt, saw, tasted, and smelled the intricate communicative expression from My Favorite Things. This spawned something new inside of me which will be discussed later.

It is said that Coltrane started to make the sax multiphnoic later on in his life. I could never believe such a thing, not until last night. I truly heard it. The sax was not a sax, it was the essence of being, of Coltrane's being.Coltrane broke through the sax. He projected himself through it causing it to erupt with all matter of his mind. i saw this. In a way, he beat the sax. It's as if all his life is was an enemy, it restricted his mind, but he overcame that and he restricted the saxophone. It was his essence of being. i won't even begin to describe his soloing any further for I fear my words are not grande enough, though this experience has changed me deeply...

I have an aim in life, not a purpose, but an aim. I was slowly coming to this conclusion, but this experience opened the portal within me to see that view. I can see myself. I can know that I want to go to a new level with what I do. That level is knowing myself. I have taken my first step in knowing myself. It has taken me 20 years. I see myself. That is my first stepping stone that has been uncovered. So, how has this changed me? Well, firstly, I have a greater understanding of myself. I also want to reach outside of my body. I want to project myself through my projects. I want to be felt and encapturing when performing. I want to shed my skin for it is just a layer covering what could be a soul (prior to this I never would have mentioned anything about a soul). I want to come alive with no restriction and only be limited by want, unwant, known and unknown. I am becoming one with myself and am realizing what it means to be (illustrated in various forms). From last night, I found out the true meaning of being and that it can be done. it has been done. That is the highest place of being. The ascension and expression. With this newly found knowledge, I am starting to become less and less responsive to the world outside of the relationship of my self knowing. I want to explore myself and my persona. I want to be and experience and absorbed by my self.
Death is a passage....perhaps thats where Coltrane decided to go

I want to fly to the outer edge of the gigantic cliff
and plummet downward.
Once I find what's there I will fly elsewhere and anywhere
my mind desires.

Pick me up to fly
one the backs of birds.
I desire to be.

I will one day learn to carry myself up as those before me did
I will transcend in snake form, slithering through
and manipulating my
every move to react, become one with and experience
the energy that cycles through my mind, body and the perception of space.
Space is a perception, symbolizing energy in vast forms
incomprehensible by the brain.
I will wail through the journey, traveling where no road can ever be thought of to go.
I will do more than transcend and realized and learn and express and do.
I will be.
At one within the timeless, concept-less cycle of energy/being, mind and body.
Disrupting no other, uniting with all others.
Like a bird on its way to the sun.
Or a snake on its way to the moon. I am beyond will and experience.
I simply am.

The Color of Mirrors. That is going to be the name to my second Album. Going back to what I said before about how I can see myself, I feel that's the perfect transition to starting this album. That is what I saw. I saw the color of my mirror. It was a blend of all that I described plus more! This will all be translated very soon as I already have 5 songs for the album

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's friends seem to not know me as well as I had hoped or thought they did. No one seems to realize my true work ethic and my constant, strong drive. They do not see the hours of hard work, whether that is training, or practicing, or thinking, or anything else that i put in. I do not believe in giving up. I do not believe in moderation. I believe in extreme conditions. I believe in pushing boundaries within myself as well as others. I bleive in the discipline that will allow me to subjugate my goals and visions. People do not see what goes on behind my "closed doors," they only notice where I am at. They can't look at my journey as much as i would like them too. They only know that i am doing it, but not to what extent. This basically reinforces my next point. For the passed years 1 through 20, what have i done with my life? Simply put, I created a base. Now that that base has been developed, its time to expand and take off. Everything from this point on will be in the direction towards what I vision. Nothing is going to stop me, and people will soon see this. This is the year, the age, that I will start yielding results. I will show others where my journeying has brought me. Don't get me wrong, I am not doing this to prove anything, I do this for myself, because it is what I love to do. I will break through.

Another idea I had, via brainstorming, is about building blocks. The music I have written thus far has not satisfied my visions yet. That is because, back then my technicalities and mind were not strong enough to cultivate what I wanted them too. As people, we evolve, or stagnate or deplete. I am evolving. There is no such thing as instant gratification, if something is so instantly pleasureful, is it truly satisfying? Perhaps, but that is not the case with art, well my art at least. The songs I have written thus far, have been necessary. To get from point A to Z, you need steps B-Y. That's what these songs serve as.

I have been visualizing in my head all sorts of ideas and creative improvisational workings. I have "improvised" in my head, songs of mine that I have written. One way I envision Anthromorphic songs to be played, is by the whole band playing the music, and then one person, (in this case, me) reacts to it. By reacting I mean improvising, as there are one in the same. There will be a lot more that can be done as well which I will talk about at a later time.

Another idea, that isn't mine, but I did like it a lot (props to Dom), is to change production throughout songs. Some sections of songs may sound better with massive reverb, or low fi recording or any other characteristic of production, so why should a whole song always sound the same throughout.

right now here are some of my musical influences
Coltrane, Mingus, Ulcerate, Spawn of possessions, Gorguts, Krallice, Wolves in the Throneroom, and many others.

On to my last idea for this update. I have thought of a very interesting album cover. It is a picture/painting of this huge dinosaur. Something similar to a teradactyl (sp). It will be a winged beast and perched on top of a mountain. It will look huge in comparison, the dinosaur will over shadow the mountain. The mountain will be made of waves, as in oceanic waves. "Below," or in front of the mountain will be a clear path down the middle of the piece and it will be surrounded by trees. The trees will also not be vertical completely, they will be bent to the sides. The last part of the piece, so far is to have these 2 huge butterflies on either side of the trees flying. The butterflies will look grand and have a vast array of colors and many mixtures of colors. I am still working out the ideas behind this piece....

that is all for now

Friday, February 5, 2010

One juicy update!

Well, on a random note, I will be doing my best to write with the best grammar and spelling that I can. I went to spell "aren't" and I put the apostrophe in the wrong place. That's rather sad in my opinion, and I blame it on not caring about spelling and grammar when typing.

Anyway, back to business.
I chilled with Ricky yesterday. I showed him what I was able to play of the newest Anthro song. He loved it. Its really amazing thus far. It has a wide variety of influences and it is pushing boundaries. Now, I will explain how it pushes boundaries and why that is important to me. First things first, the introduction to the song is slow and somewhat long. Why does that matter? Well, it really doesn't. Anyone can write something slow. In a lot of death metal, however, there is a lot more emphasis on fast speed. The introduction is very developed, and that is why it is long. A lot of bands will write like an 8 measure introduction and leave it at that. I don't want to do it like that. I love the feel this slow passage has to it. It is very haunting and disturbed/warped. That being said, it is somehow influenced by Akira Yamaoka and Ulcerate- Everything is Fire. So talk about disturbed and warped. One of my goals with the music that I write is to give everything the needed space it needs, and let the music unfold as it should. This introduction is a very important and necessary part of the song. Next, we have the structure of the song. It does not follow the typical, traditional riff - chorus formula. Formulas can provide structure and stability rather easily, but so can having a more chaotic structure. Right now the song has five different sections. Sections, not riffs. After the introduction comes Riff 1a-1f. Its a section with about 6 different variations of a riff. Much like theme and variation in classical music. That is how this song is breaking boundaries SO FAR. There will be more to come and more to change the pace of it all.

Now, this song is apparently going to be pushing boundaries, let me explain what I want to do with "death metal." First, I'll have to define what death metal means to me. Death metal, as in the music I am playing (not the genre), is just another means to express myself. Much like Undermind. In fact, death metal is the same exact thing as Undermind, it is just presented differently. Undermind was more focused on calming, lonliness, depressive moods, whereas Anthro. will be the extreme side of that. That being said, just as I try to push myself to the limits in whatever i do, I will be pushing limits in death metal. I look up to the jazz innovators the most. Guys like Coltrane, Mingus, Parker, etc. They were inventors and really made music so much different. Their music came alive. It was very real and imaginative. Thats what I would like to do with death metal. I want to take it to other worlds and places, take it to areas it has never been. I will not be doing that in just one quick jump though. It will be an evolutionary process, but I finally know what I want to do. Death metal is like a balloon. You have so many bands that expanded the genre, but no one as popped it yet. No one has travelled outside of the balloon. That is what I plan to do. I will lead, and take off with it in many directions.

That being said, I have a great goal and direction for my guitar playing. I want to get to the skill level so that I can improvise death metal, within the context of my songs. This will be the ultimate step in my journey I believe. If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish anything. I love the improvisation aspect of jazz, and I suppose that is what influences me to do this. Another thing is that, the music I write reflects my life. While I have structure in my life, everything is always different. In the words of Ulcerate, Everything is Fire. Everything is constantly undergoing a state of change. That is why improvisation is the best means of expression at a given moment. Recordings are great, but they are static. It is always the same. It will be amazing to play the same song 50 times live and have it sound different each time, because it reflects the way I was feeling each time.

Improvisation is great for technical practice. I have always loves improvising and always made that separate for when I practiced. Now I will be joining the two. Improvisation will greatly improve reflexes and force me to think on my feet rather than having everything planned all the time. As much as I love everything planed to a T, I am enjoying being sporadic and improvisational. I will now be incorporating improvisation as a practicing technique.

One more topic to hit, well may be two. Artwork. I want artwork for each individual song. I like to refer to myself as an artist, not just a musician or a "guitar player." Both those terms are very limiting. I am an artist. I create in different mediums. I write text, music, draw, will be starting painting, and most importantly I express myself through my creations. Also, I envision a great deal of material. That is where my true artistry shines. I have many visions of art in my head, much deeper than a painting or a song. The visions I see, transcend dimensions, literally. It is passed 2d and 3d, it goes into time, change, manipulation, and free will. That is what i envision. If I say to someone I am seeing colors, chances are its waaaay deeper than anything I could every exlplain in words. That is why, Only through a combination of mediums will I truely be able to express myself. Even so, it wouldn't be the same as if you actually saw what I was imagining. Regardless, that is why I am drawing, writing, and playing music. I am expressing myself in different ways. I am expressing one idea through different mediums to obtain a final product. I want my music to come alive, I want it to be more than just a song, and it is. It is so much more. This is why I consider myself an artist.

*sigh* Ok on to my next blog!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

so im not really that tired anymore. I think its because i fixed up my lifting routine and im taking anti oxidants. This is having a huge effect on my efficiency of practicing sessions

more to come when i get more to talk about

Monday, February 1, 2010

back to practicing, finally!

well, im very happy now. Im finally back in the swing of practicing. For a while i just focused on writing for undermind, and i really didnt want to practice much. Also, my lifting routine was very exhausting, i changed that as well. Now the next goal is keeping my room clean everyday so i dont feel so crowded and what not. Once that piece of the puzzle is in place ill be practicing like its nothing.

The new death metal material im writing is very inspired by ulcerate. One of my favorite bands. I have a lot to say about them but not in this post. I will be breaking boundaries and writing how i wrote with Undermind, i.e. being myself 100%. Then i will just translate the riffs and msic into a death metal context. Death metal is a part of me and one way i love to express myself.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lets see, whats new. Ive focused so much on writing music that i havent practiced for a good 4-6 months by now. Thats ok though, i have been very productive. I am teaching my friend Richard how to play the guitar, and he is coming along very fast. I am just getting back into the habbit of practicing, i am finding it very fun again. I really just needed a break from praticing. I notice that i always play in some form of eminor or Gmajor. I am really trying to change that. I am working on practicing different keys and scales. My guitar is tuned to Ebstandard with the 2 Es E1/2 b. Its really cool. Subtle difference, but it changes everything. I have a lot of music/art goals right now and i will update about those later on. I will also start writing guitar articles to help people, especially when they are taking lessons