Good art, great art.

Good art makes you forget you’re going to die. Great art makes you feel like you’re going to live forever. - jB

Illusory Renown

I think that many artists (and non-artists as well, for that matter) are caught up in what I think is best called “Illusory Renown” these days. The Internet and the platforms that it provides and encourages continue to set up scenarios where feedback loops and “room full of mirrors syndrome” are the norm for artists. When viewed from outside of these tight circles, we can see the created and illusory nature of the renown that an artist has deemed themselves to have - but from within, the illusions and the real are one and the same. Positive feedback and encouragement are important parts of the creative process, no doubt, and to have encouragement and support from peers and public is a valuable thing - but the danger comes in when making decisions in the creative process, especially at the initial stages of creation, that serve to support and extend a renown that doesn’t, in reality, exist at the cost of making the art that the artist truly wants to be creating. - jB

STATES 01 - 05. Music made to hold the space.

It's out today.  It's based on a system of sound manipulation.  It's designed to help shut out the distractions and shut in the focus.  It's designed to hold the space. - jB

Great art...

Great art doesn't wait for permission to exist - it grants that permission to others. - jB

Time is choice.

In the small and privileged world or art making, having or not having enough time for a creative endeavour is, at its core, a matter of choice.  - jB

Mary Oliver

Take a read of this, and then read more Mary Oliver :

She's an inspiring human being, to say the least. - jB

Different things...

Unfinished and never started are two very different things.  - jB

@BLIMPROCKLIVE Releases "SOAP OPERA" - The First Album Released In A Bar Of Soap

Last week, Blimp Rock released their latest album "Soap Opera".  It's an album that I had the pleasure of working on with Peter and the team over the last year or so, and it's wonderful to see it out in the world!  Not only does it cover topics such as the important debate of facts vs. feelings, the way that our cats help keep us sane, the merits of basketball over hockey and has a couple of takes on Toronto as a city, it also serves to keep us clean - it's the first album (as far as anyone can tell) that has been released as a bar of soap.  Yep - a real, usable bar of soap.  With a download code in the middle of it.  Fantastic.  And here's the album art : 


You can listen to and buy the album on Blimp Rock's Bandcamp page, and you can watch a lyric video for one of the tracks from the album, "Dear Science" below.  Enjoy!  And stay clean - it's what Blimp Rock would want.
- jB


I recently had the privilege of working with Vivek Shraya on her collaboration with Queer Songbook Orchestra for the upcoming album "Part Time Woman".  The result is a powerful, potent and beautiful collection of songs, arrangements and performances.  The first video from that album is out, and it's for the track "Sweetie".  The song is a timely and important song - the video is a wonderful look back at some of the studio sessions spent with Vivek, all of the QSO team, Tika, Sal Zori, Chris Sandes at Sandcastle Studio, Choir! Choir! Choir! at Union Sound Company with Alex Gamble at the helm, and all of the work put into this project by everyone involved.  Quite the time.  To pre-order the album, FOLLOW THIS LINK.  The video is below.  Enjoy! - jB


It's important not to confuse reinvention and evolution - the need for one is not the need for the other. - jB

@NMC_canada National Music Centre Residency November 2016

From November 21st to 30th, 2016, Joshua Van Tassel and I had the immense pleasure of having an artists' residency at The National Music Centre in Calgary, AB.  If you don't know anything about the National Music Centre, I high recommend that you check it out HERE.  It's an incredible place - it holds a massive 2000+ instrument collection spanning over 450 years (and you can actually use a whole lot of them!).  It has top notch facilities, is in both a beautiful new architectural marvel of a building as well as the historical King Edward Hotel, and houses some of the warmest, supportive and knowledgable humans that there could be.

Josh and I were there to create "Impossible Instruments" - taking existing instruments in the collection and combining them to create new sounds that couldn't exist anywhere or any time other than there and now.  Combining a harpsichord with a Maestro Ring Modulator, or a Novatron with a pump organ and a Korg MS20 were all normal activities during our time in residency.  We then recorded those new sounds as samples, and built 38 new instruments to be played and composed with in the future.  A very exciting time, it was!

If you're a musician living in or passing through Calgary, or if you have an interest to any degree in the historical and contemporary happenings of music in Canada, it's worth checking out the National Music Centre.  Whether it's a tour of the museum, or an extended stay to use their wealth of synths and sounds, it's worth the trip, no doubt!  

Josh and I will be releasing music composed with the sounds in the future, so look out for that.  In the meantime, check out all the NMC has to offer HERE!

And here are just a few pics below.  There are also more to see under the hashtag "#impossibleinstruments" on the Twitter.  

- jB

Two New Videos To See

In the last week, two stellar videos came out into the world.  They are both work checking out!  
The first is Leanne Simpson's "How To Steal A Canoe" :

And the second is For Esmé's "Just Yet" :

So, watch them.  And enjoy.
- jB


As of this weekend past, the band Ptarmigan  has released their album "Ptarmigan" out into the world.  It's a magical sounding affair, full of mythology and a sense of the surreal, while still keeping one foot firmly planted in the world of acoustic folk.  It's a beautiful balance that Ptarmigan has managed to achieve, an equilibrium that is not often heard.   

I had the pleasure of working with the band to help produce, develop and actualize their ideas, and it was a joy.  To be a part of the sonic transformation of a band that is made up of such talented musicians and wonderful humans has been an incredible experience.  It is an album that is worth checking out, whether for the mythical journey of "A Magician Of Sorts", the soaring flight that is "Stilts", or for the attack of the synths that comes in "O Zephyr".  There is much to hear and experience and enjoy on this album and with this team - I am almost certain that you'll find at least one thing on it you haven't heard anywhere else.

Check it out here :

And check out Ptarmigan here :

- JB