Vulcan Summer

Mammon Spake Live 080808

Ganglion Express

Yellowstone

Kidney Shaped Pool

Bendis Procession

Vulcan Summer
All tracks copyright 2008 David Wayne Higgins

“Vulcan Summer” was in the summer of 2008.  I turned 50 that June, and as a present to myself, I decided to learn how to, and purchase, and begin to ride a motorcycle.  They had always scared the absolute shit out of me.  Gasoline was getting really expensive, and my wife had suggested that she was going to get a scooter and start riding to work.  45 miles each way.  On a two lane road.  My son and I emphatically forbided it, knowing that she would not survive such an ordeal.  Not to be anti-feminist or male dominant, but she has carpletunnel and hernieated discs in her neck.  It would not be a good situation.  I had this dream of myself riding a scooter and thought “I could do that.”  Then I started looking at different bikes and thought that a scooter was too small, that I needed a real motorcycle.  It was a 40 mile ride to work for me, mainly four lane roads, not much traffic.   In Florida, one of the smartest things the state ever did was impose a manditory class to be taken before anyone can get a license to ride a motorcycle.  I took the class without ever being on one, and much to my suprise, I passed!  The instructor was excellent, previously a Florida State Highway patrolman himself.  I decided on a Kawasaki Vulcan 500.  Not the biggest of bikes, but the shop I bought it from, Thomasville Kawasaki, was run by a small number of really great guys who loved motorcycles themselves.  And opposed to most other motorcycle shops, they were open on Monday and didn’t add any hidden costs to the final price.  Hence the title “‘Vulcan’ Summer”.

“Mammon Spake Live 080808″ was not a live performance before an audience, it was a one take reheersal performance in my home studio.  I did perform the piece at a cafe later on, and the piece does take on slight variations when performed.  I added it to this disc as an example of how my music is actually done.  It is something that I do in the privacy of my own home, played out, edited and placed together in whatever way necessary to make it sound tollerable, but the pieces are not totally forgotten.  Some pieces, such as this one have been scored, and can be performed by yours truly.  For more information about the piece itself, see the notes on “Why Would Heaven Have A Gate?”

“Yellowstone” is a multi-layered piece, which I consider a picture book of soundscapes describing the park.  I think I did a good job, because a few people who have visited the park as well as heard the piece, believe it to be a good description of the park.

“Kidney Shaped Pool”  Oh, yes.  i constantly remerge to the darkest of feelings.  Whereas “Left for Dead On The Subway Tracks” was about being mugged in a subway station and having your body throw out on the tracks, being left to die a horrible death in the underworld of a planet where no has ever really given a shit about you, “Kindey Shaped Pool” is about drowning in a swimming pool with no one there to save you.  Death in cold, chlorinated water, only to have your body to be found the next morning floating on top.  (As you may sumise, I really loved the movie “Gods and Monsters”.)

“Bendis Procession”  Now this one, I planned out quite a bit.  A lot, actually.  I was reading Plato’s “Republic” and the part in which Plato describes his trip to a nearby town to witness the procession for the goddess Bendis really got my Southern-Baptist-raised mind going.  “What would that really be like?!?!?!?”  I was totally taken with the idea, the trip, the procession, the discussion, and above all, the knowledge Plato, or anyone at the time, possessed to make a judgement as to how well the did in pulling off this procession.  I did a bit of studying on the whole “Procession” thing, and came up with a musical description as to what it might sound like.  I do have to admit inspirational ideas from The Residents “Souzapart”.

“Vulcan Summer”  I recut this thing a dozen times.  One idea was to have it in parts throughout the disc.  One was to make it shorter.  One to cut it in half and bookend the disc.  Then I decided on the two hour plus ride.  I can’t describe the music technically beyond the idea of a great loop with very subtle variations.  I can say that it is about riding a bike for the first time, getting over your fears, experiencing something totally new for the very first time.  Something wonderful as well as personal.  I do thank Sam Shabain for the inspiration for going ahead and keeping the full track as one long piece.  I really think it worked out that way.