Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Biz


Since last I wrote, I celebrated my second birthday. In the long-long ago when weed was grass, I performed my first poem in public, and that experience really helped to define my life. I remember that I invited this chick from high school that I had a years-long crush on out to hear it with the hopes that I would woo her through the word. However, she didn’t show up. I didn’t get the girl, but I got the artistic life, so Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian cannot complain.

In other news, I provided another musical score for a dance piece in April. I was commissioned to sample some things, which I really haven’t done in ages, so it was interesting to come to the table with some fresh ideas on how to flip some chants and a familiar song for you fine folks. I also made some original pieces, too. The process was REALLY fast, so I wasn’t sure of how everything flowed, but having had the opportunity to watch the video below, I’m pretty proud of what I cooked up. Plus, seeing what Elizabeth Longphre, who choreographed the dance, and co. were able to do with it really made me appreciate it in a different light.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now, brothers and sisters. Second mixes for my record Between Beauty & Bedlam are coming soon, which means that I’ll FINALLY have something to debut from the EP in the near future! Dun, dun, dunnnn.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life is Good

Ladies and Gentlemen, I've been listening to the first mixes of my record. I’m glad that there are no big things to change, and I’m really hoping to have everything knocked out and ready to go by next month. We shall see if the universe cooperates with me.

That aside, I’ve been collaborating with a lovely and very skilled dancer for months now. I’ve been using my Vacant Outlet Tour setup to provide music while she moves. The whole thing is improvised, which has been a great challenge and tremendous fun.

We’re going to OFFICIALLY be debuting this thing on June 7th at Wide Open Floor. Usually, our intergalactic jams are pretty epic in scope and length, but it’s been interesting to work within a timeframe of eight minutes. We’ve linked up a few times to try it out, and we’ve actually been able to translate everything without a problem. If you bring yourselves to next month’s Wide Open Floor, I promise that we’ll give you something to see and hear. You’ve got Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian’s guarantee!

Switching gears, this past Friday night, I had an unbelievable experience. I met with someone to talk about the layout for my EP, then made my way to The Hunter to hear Mr. Whitfield Lovell speak. He has a new installation at the museum that is PHENOMENAL, and he touched on it, the history of his work, etc. It gave me a good number of things to roll over.

From there, I left for Nightfall, where Cody ChesnuTT was going to be playing. Cody’s The Headphone Masterpiece absolutely helped me get through college (yeah, I said it). When I was in my first year of school in Tampa, I was the only person of color in the writing program (I think I was for all four years, actually). In my second semester, I ended up getting accused of plagiarism by a professor, and Finding Forrester kind of became my life for a little bit.

As fate would have it, Cody made this beautifully human record where he talked about being the only Black guy in a rock band, overcoming adversity, having confidence, flair, etc. and it really resonated with me. That album helped me develop tougher skin and not feel so alone.

So, as the rain was falling downtown, I stood at the front of the stage as Cody and his band came out and kicked out the jams. I sang along to each joint from the new record, and immediately after the show, Cody’s manager came up to me and thanked me for singing along. She said that she was going to hook me up with a copy of the record, have him sign it for me, and that she wanted the two of us to talk for a little bit. Huzzah! I was in another galaxy, brothers and sisters. Could. Not. Believe it.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you lovely peeps today. I shall be in touch soon. In the meantime, stay cool, and if you’re in or around Chattanooga, make sure to pop by The Hunter to check out the Whitfield exhibit. You can thank me later.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Arrival

Welcome to the month of May! We’re officially five months into 2013, and I must say that I’m pleased with how this year’s shaken out so far.

I recently submitted a video for a competition about “speaking up” regarding social issues. There’s a nice financial prize for the winner, but I’m really elated for the opportunity to see what other artists from across the map are doing and to share and connect. I LOVE the creative exchange, so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.


For the past few weeks, I’ve received so much insight, wisdom, and affirmation from a number of people. There have been several Come to Jesus meetings, and I, honestly, feel the calmest, clearest, and most open that I’ve felt in several years. It feels great, and I’ve actually experienced a good bit of contentment… which is a strange bird for someone like myself who’s been so accustomed to grinding and working towards something. Who would’ve thought?

It’s really interesting to have arrived at this place, especially when I’ve been working on bringing my debut EP to fruition. When I started actively putting it together, I spent A LOT of time thinking about who and where I’ve been, what I’ve overcome, etc. I won’t say that this kind of meditative process began then, but I really became aware of where I wanted to go in my life, with my art, etc. and I feel that I’ve made some good headway on the journey. Plus, I sincerely feel that my record reflects the trek pretty aptly, and in a funky, funky way (j/k).

That’s all I’ve got for now gang. Stay up!