Monday, November 26, 2012


Hopefully, everyone reading this had the opportunity to spend some portion of the last five days surrounded by good friends, family, and positive energy (or, at least, one of those elements) I certainly did, and I consider myself to be truly thankful.

I got asked by Ann Law from the Barking Legs Theater to compose some music for an upcoming performance she’s doing. The piece deals with a large, looming storm that is bringing very destructive consequences with it.

With that in mind, I set to work. I’ve been interested in scoring for a number of years, so this was a wonderful opportunity to interpret a concept and build a soundtrack for it. I wanted the music to always be moving, to have a good sense of tension, and to just sound and feel BIG in scale.

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I had the chance to give Ann a listen yesterday, and she said it was perfect, which really pleased me. It’s VERY rare that it happens that way, and it’s a tremendous feeling to know that someone’s found what you’ve created to be on nose of what they had in mind.


I called the piece Three Faces of the Storm, and there’s a good chance that I’ll throw it online at some point. I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing Anna and the other dancers perform with it in the next few weeks. This will be a pleasant new experience for Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian. Mua ha ha!!!

Switching gears, Mainx24 will be taking place this Saturday. I’ll be bringing The Vacant Outlet business to Main St. I’ve got to start banging around again. It’s hard to believe that two weeks have passed since I’ve last cranked up my little friends and got busy.

In any case, as usual, I won’t be planning anything out for Saturday. I just want to get back in that space where I feel really comfortable and open to create. It’s going to be big fun, and I’m looking forward to the weekend. If you’ve never been to Mainx24 before, expect tremendous energy. Good times await, friends.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Be good, have fun, and I’ll be in touch soon.


Monday, November 19, 2012

What’s Going Down

It’s wild to think that November is almost over. This month has been a blink.

December is shaping up nicely on my end. I’ll be performing for the Wide Open Floor portion of Mainx24 (I have a few other performances that are up in the air on that day, too). The Vacant Outlet Tour will be touching down on Main St., big baby!

Also, I’ve recently confirmed a feature performance, so I’m returning to the wonderful world of poetry. One December 20th, Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian will be beating up on Augusta, GA. That is, if the world hasn’t ended yet. Dun, dun, dunnnn.

Switching gears, I FINALLY finished a poem this past weekend, and I’m closing in on another one. I’ve had most of the freshly finished one bouncing around in my head for a few months, and I actually found myself with some time to flesh it out. It feels good to have some new material, and I’m definitely looking forward to breaking the stuff in. Stay tuned!

Well, that’s all I’ve got this go round. Be good, don’t get trampled on Friday, listen to Shabazz Palaces, and check out my Summer Nights vid!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank You, Chattanooga!

I’m very proud to say that we had an amazing time at MANIFEST on Saturday night. We had a great crowd and the poets all did the do. I was a sweaty, sick, and happy man.

At the beginning of last week, I came down with a little something (just a little virus). It wasn’t anything major, but it definitely took my energy as well as my voice. I was really contemplating not doing any poetry as a result and just sticking to music instead. However, about an hour before I left to set up, I sounded enough like myself to do a few things.

Christian J. Collier - Confinement

I had a lot of options for my portion of the show, but nothing planned. The Vacant Outlet Tour’s really inspired me as far as letting things happen in the moment, so I chose that approach when I took the stage. I brought my pedals, a few poems just in case, and went for it.

I made this really ambient piece (I’m just glad that all the loops stacked up correctly) and decided on the fly to read a poem called Confinement. It’s one of my most personal and is in my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes. I’ve never really done anything like that before, so I definitely surprised myself, which I immensely enjoyed.

The energy was phenomenal. I’m so thankful for how things have developed creatively over the past few years as well as what I’ve been able to bring to Chattanooga’s artistic and cultural landscape. I truly feel blessed. Thanks, Chatt-Town!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vacant Outlet Business

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to bring The Vacant Outlet Tour to Cleveland, TN, and it was a beautiful experience. I made a post on my blog and on Facebook that if anyone was interested in donating their home for forty minutes to an hour, I’d love to play for them. Shortly after I put it out there, I received a good number of responses. I had some availability in my schedule on Saturday, so I reached out to some dear friends and hit the road.

They had such an ideal open space that I was really excited to see how everything was going to sound. Before long, I set up, plugged in, and got to work.

It kind of feels like a cliché to say, but I completely zone out while I’m playing. I am so immersed in pulling each note and sound out that all my focus get funneled into the process. Honestly, I can’t tell you what the material I played sounded like, but I know it sounded like a lot of things! All I really know is that I played two long, evolving pieces, and that my gracious hosts enjoyed them, which is ALWAYS a good thing.

After I was finished playing, we went to dinner. I was treated to great conversation and amazing company. I was truly spoiled, friends. I’m uber grateful.

If you’re interested in hearing what some of the stuff sounds like, you can give some live stuff a listen here. You can hear me stomping on pedals, twisting knobs, and getting’ BUSY! That’s all I’ve got this time around, folks. Be good, have fun, and I hope to see you at MANIFEST this Saturday night!

Vacant Outlet Live pt. 2

Vacant Outlet Live pt. 1

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Welcome to November! The year is rapidly approaching its end (and, depending on your beliefs, the world is also rapidly approaching its end, but I digress).

Halloween is one of my favorite occasions of each year. I love doling out candy, seeing the kids in their costumes, watching horror movies, etc. This year, I decided to do something a bit different. If you’ve been following the blog at all over the past month or so, you know about The Vacant Outlet Tour and the improvisational work that I’ve been doing. I’ve been really interested in documenting the works through video, but I stumbled upon a cassette recorder and wanted to put it through its paces. So, Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian plugged in, hit record, and got down to business.

What’s interesting is that the whole process of recording completely altered the nature of what I’ve been doing. It’s been so in the moment with the emphasis being on creation and the total experience. Knowing that this would be something (largely for giggled and grins) that I’d listen to more than once made me a lot more critical as I was playing.

After hearing the pieces back a few times (they’re each 19-20 minutes long), I really appreciated the works. Was I satisfied with the sound quality? No. However, I really dug how I executed everything. I truly worked for each sound, and it’s always a trip to know that I made these things completely on the fly.

Ladies and gents, you can check out my Halloween excursions on the links below. Feel free to let me know what you think.