Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Seize In Caesium" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 11/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I had planned on be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track.  I got a little off schedule due to a series of crazy life changes and distracting obstacles, but I'm back to finishing up this series! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

As a short aside before we get into the details, I'm proud to announce that "I've Been Thinking..." is now available on Itunes, CDBABY, Amazon.com !


Earliest recorded song on the album/history of the song:
Seize In Caesium was one of the first recorded tracks for the album, my buddy Tommy Beets (check out a bit of his production collection on his soundcloud here), who I met at a show at a Hauppauge, Long Island venue called Barringtons because he is the talented drummer of the now-defunct progressive band "And The Day Is Mine" (of which Austin Sandick, the producer of the first track on the album, "Cardiac Compass [path to preservation]" was a frontman/guitarist).  We befriended one another and eventually in fall of 2013 he sent his instrumentals my way and generously offered to let me work with whatever instrumentals I wanted.
Myself and a Gnome rapping September 2013
at Barringtons, where I fatefully met Tommy Beets
and the rest of the ATDIM geniuses!

The instrumental that I chose for the song was originally called "eternity" (listen to that by clicking here) and that set me thinking about time, and the vibe of the music and the seeming effect of gradually increasing tempo had my mind on that topic as well.  I started writing over the beat and within a day or so the song was basically written save for a few edits here and there.  (note this is the only song on the album that was written entirely from scratch to a beat).  Progress with artistic endeavors rarely ever happen in a predictable or linear fashion and it may be strange for non-creatives to hear that an early recording of "Seize In Caesium" from Tommy's bedroom was finished in early 2014  that I had performed in set lists for quite a while until I found a home for it in on this record and re-recorded it with my former roommate Paul (who also helped me record "Roamer" and "Dystopiates").  I've included a video that Tommy took of one of the early performances of the song below!  Other fun facts: Because I was so used to performing this song out, this was the quickest track to record by a long shot!



What's with the weird title?
The title comes from a play on words and a discovery I made for myself about atomic clocks.  Carpe Diem being latin for "Seize the day". Now, Atomic clocks keep highly-accurate time by observing electromagnetic transitions in the atom Caesium-133, due to associating its decay rate with our understanding of "a second", (being off by only one second in 20 million years) and is recognized as being the most accurate realization of a measurement that mankind has achieved. That little factoid being shared, I though that it was interesting that the atom we closely associate time with "Caesium" phonetically contained "Seize" in it, as in the reminder to "Seize The Day".  This association is also written into the lyric "See that "seize" is in "Caesium atoms' " phonetics, arranged". If you are more interested in the science behind this, here is an interesting link.

Quite obviously (I hope), this song is the penultimate discussion on the album regarding my aforementioned obsession with time and constant harsh worry about the fear of having wasted it.  I also point out, as a fair transition from "Unbelievable", that I'm not as scared of being "damned to hell" or concerned with "aiming for acceptance in the heavens" as I am with just feeling like I made a decent mark here when I made a mark here.  With a mentality like this, you could almost say that in my ideal lifestyle I inhabit or legacy I hope to leave; frequent sharing goodwill and good work is my "religion".

What is that odd sample in the beginning?
The sample included in the beginning of the song is one of my favorite Disney segments from one of my favorite Disney movies, Pinocchio.  There is a beautifully imagined scene in Gepetto's workshop of all of his various humorous and astoundingly crafted clocks as he falls asleep they all tick maddeningly (for J. Cricket) and perform their odd theatrical machinations.  After all of that ticking and after all of those clocks everywhere, Gepetto still "wonders what time it is".  I've included the clip (from which i borrow the audio) here for you to most assuredly enjoy:

I hope you've enjoy this write-up...I've tried not to make it too painstakingly long because frankly, you and I both have "things to do".   Its never really just "things" is it? At least I hope not.  And its never just "doing" its so much more than that! Creating, living, experiencing, becoming enveloped in memories and moments!  One of my new favorite sayings/lyrics that sums up the simplicity of life and my personal aspirations is "Make. Do. & Make Due!".  As a song  ("Intertwining Storytime"off my first album, "Coal Aberrations" (Which just experienced a 6 year anniversary, speaking on time!) reminds me/us constantly "When we have the time of our lives, we rarely have the time at all!"

To get lost in a moment is also to be found in one.

Stay tuned for the final entry about the closing song "Youthtopia"
Now "get lost" will you?
With love, time and time again.
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Bonus Blurb:  "Between The Lines" (Links to the references)
I often weave  many references to books I read, people I've learned about or films I've watched into my lyrics.  In addition to this showing the influences of mine and being a fun way to cleverly carve new meanings into the titles and authors and performers whose work I've enjoyed, it is mostly an attempt to expose those who listen to my music to media that I've been inspired by in hopes that you may pursue them and will get something out the art that I've taken in. Here are links to a few people/things I reference in this song.  Enjoy!!




Monday, June 20, 2016

"Unbelievable" ("I've Been Thinking..." THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES 10/12)

“I've Been Thinking...” behind the songs “THOUGHT PROCESS SERIES”
My latest full length album, “I've Been Thinking...” released on the Savannah based label Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes May 3rd is a collection of concepts and narratives that I've written over the last few years featuring instrumental contributions from coast to coast and outside of the country as well. Looking over the collection I'd opine that it is some of my finest work to date (one would hope). What have you been thinking? Over 12 days I had planned on be releasing a behind-the-music sort of blurb for each track.  I got a little off schedule due to a series of crazy life changes and distracting obstacles, but I'm back to finishing up this series! If there are any questions or comments regarding the songs please submit them and I'll do my best to answer and fulfill them! I hope this series is of interest and that the music does something for you!

     The 10th track and arguably the most controversial, "Unbelievable" is the longest track on the album as well.   It is produced by my talented friend Hi-Q of KILL THE INVENTORS (whom I recently collaborated with for a song "DYSTOPIATES" on their excellent beat-tape "Symptoms" summer of 2015).  The song also went through several name changes, including "Believe (in yourself)" and "Accepticism".I recently cited this song as an example of what I would have called "a rhyming essay".  Obviously I had a lot to say here and when writing this, I saw it as a series of points I really wanted to make and focused more on delivering my them clearly and applying the discussion/conversation to a rhyming/rapping cadence and presentation.  The references and the wordplay are either very subtle and out of the way or absent.  I wanted to toe the line of personal and more generally (ironically) "preachy" while sharing ideas and arguments that meant a lot to me and needed venting/discussing and I wanted those to come up as immediately and frankly clearly and conversationally as possible.
    I admittedly struggled a lot with the decision of putting this song out there.  It felt outwardly offensive.  On one hand I realized that it's not necessarily true, or if these secular or agnostic/skeptical ideas (albeit a bit bitterly presented at times) offended people, that listener's offense was either born of a misguided sense of connection of identity to their belief's ideologies (a common problem I've found fault in myself as well as others, we connect the very essence of who we are to these temporal ideas and theories that we attach to, on a scale as diverse to span the profoundness of religion or moral questions to something as mundane as musical tastes or food preference.  Perhaps this is because we forget that these concerns or opinions are malleable and this is the true trouble and why we have all the struggle and argumentative (or worse, malevolent fundamentalist wars) throughout social/political interactions, when we encounter opinions not even attacking us, but just presenting something different.  It also felt invalid to fear offending others because...well, frankly, such is the job of art isn't it?  To rattle cages?  Cages indeed, while we are on the topic...cages indeed.
     This song and my feelings expressed on it are born of both a staunchly roman catholic upbringing (that I resisted from the very beginning, whether or not it was any sort of conscious effort) and a my current state of agnosticism.  I share my love for nature in the funny (and true) event of choosing my confirmation (a word which rhymes appropriately with "indoctrination") name as that of Saint Peregrine, based on my favorite falcon (surely prompted by the animal protagonist "Frightful" from the excellent children's book "My Side Of The Mountain" by Jean Craighead George which was paramount in my youth.).  Even more fittingly, when I later looked up the definition/history of the word Peregrine and found it to be aptly descriptive of me or at least my meandering oddball mentality (1. Foreign; Alien; coming from abroad 2. wandering; traveling or migrating)!
     One of the big motivations for creating this song was also the fact that while the god-fearing gather regularly in their places of worship and talk openly of their thoughts and even attempt to convince others to join their cause, for people to openly discuss skeptical thoughts regarding these things comes off as inherently a negative and bad thing, regardless of whether or not the secular conversationalists are even being maliciously acerbic.  These thoughts needed discussing, I don't want to tell anyone how to live their life, whatever makes you comfortable, but that should go for everyone.  For me, it's common sense to just live ones' life in a fulfilling manner determined by the passions you find and the people you share them with and learn them from.  Do good because it feels good, gather together with people because we are social animals and help where you can.  I don't see why people need all of the hokey hocus pocus and seemingly pagan theology just to do right by others and themselves.  I feel that if you're doing good only because you have this religiously minded ulterior motive to appease a fabricated deity, does it invalidate your goodness because on some level it is insincerely conjured?  Not that mutual benefit eliminates altruism, but it seems strange to me that you needed a bunch of wild trendy mythology to tell you how and why to live your life and how to execute it.
    The chorus' final lines, which I'm proud to say I found a concise way to sum up my entire life's ideology in (and again, the focus on our mortality and the hope to race to significance before our rapidly withering time wears away to naught but the dusty lid of an hour glass tattooed with a headstone-shaped-"expired" stamp), came about from secular people who I've seen switch to adopting some "organized religion" ways of "guiding their children" because it is simply easier than to try to give them equal opportunity to explore all worldviews from an unbiased point of view, or because it is a mainstream acceptable way for kids to be seen by their peers or the choice is made to appease the wishes of THEIR faith-abiding parents.  If/when I have children, I will simply teach them to be good to people, to be purposeful and helpful, and to embrace and enjoy life for all of it's experiences. No spectral theistic scare tactics to motivate, just a spur to live and love until time is up!
IN A SHOW OF FAITH, CLICK HERE AND LISTEN TO "UNBELIEVABLE"
Regardless of what you believe, be sure to believe in yourself and encourage the same (or different) in others!
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo
Stick around tomorrow for the time-paranoid/chrono-concerned track "Seize In Caesium"!