I don’t listen to Morbid Angel with the same ears that I listen to Miles Davis. —Don Anderson
No extensive preamble here my saddle-sore pilgrim; never you fear. This is simply the continuation of a conversation between myself and Don Anderson in which we discuss Sculptured, Agalloch and his approach to composition using Anton Webern’s serialist masterwork Opus 21 as a colloquial point of departure. If you haven’t eyeballed Part I as of yet, well that’s on you. I will say that Don’s statement above, (taken from the first half of our convo,) is one that I’ve chewed on quite a bit recently. It’s such an uncomplicated principle yet it’s obvious pragmatism when engaging with a work of art tends to elude my dumb ass entirely. Again and again, I catch myself imposing the hefty surcharge of my biases and presumptions on an artistic expression rather than experiencing it purely as it is. To paraphrase Earl Nightingale, whenever you judge something, you don’t define the object of your judgment; you define yourself.
But then again, how can we not? How can we not hunker down amongst the familiar company of our expectations? How do we deliver ourselves from the tyranny of our own operating systems? Fuck, I honestly don’t know. It’s times like this that I retreat to the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius. What was that one thing he said? Oh, that’s right…
SOON YOU WILL BE DEAD AND NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER
Fallow Heart: Okay. In your opinion, is it a frustration or is it actually a feature that the worthiness of a classical piece comes down not just to the tastes and biases of the listener, but also to the quality and the approach of the ensemble performing it? Do you think that maybe that dynamic would be better for metal’s overall vitality rather than one based around static, canon copies of recorded performances? For example, how would Sculptured sound one hundred and fifty years from now, performed by ensembles who are themselves basing their interpretations on the renditions of previous ensembles? Would that be better for the genre? What would happen if—instead of dropping a new record—artists just published new sheet music?
Anderson: Huh. That reminds me that some of my favorite Metallica songs are their covers. I’ve always joked that if we ever did a Metallica cover we’d do “The Prince” or “Am I Evil?” I mean, I know Metallica’s a little passé but there’s a number of live versions of their songs that I prefer way more than the recorded ones because they continued to adapt them. If I remember correctly, “Fade to Black” and “Battery” had these really interesting harmonies that they started incorporating long after the records and it’s something I always did with Agalloch, too. I always continued messing with harmonies and phrasing so that there would always be something new whenever we played live.
When we make a record, it’s done and it goes into the archive. But we were always changing little things live and that’s really exciting to me. It’s part of a jazz mentality: all the things you are and all the things you play are essentially autumn leaves. Every time you play, it’s played differently. It makes it a living, breathing thing.
FH: Right, but is there a kind of melancholy in that, too? Since popular music’s generally tethered to these recordings… yes, you have the freedom to express yourself live but most of these new interpretations are bound to be lost forever. Whereas (especially in jazz but also in classical,) you see these endless blooms of melodic paraphrases developing. Do you think that we—as the audience of this art form—would be better off if our expectations of what a composition can be, (or even what a composition actually is,) was broadened?
Anderson: I don’t know if we would be better off but I think it would foster better—and probably more interesting—musicians who challenged themselves more reflexively and placed less limitations on themselves. I mean John [Haughm; ex-Agalloch/ex-Pillorian] and I always had a stark difference of opinion when it came to art. John would have a certain sound in his head or an idea on how the latest song was supposed to go but then, when we heard it played back out of the studio’s speakers it was no longer what he’d had in mind. Now, for me, that’s wildly exciting because at that point it’s become its own thing. Now it’s bigger than me and it’s bigger than the band that performed it. It’s as if now, we’re serving it. Now we have to make decisions based on what we’re getting as opposed to just imposing things on this structure. So, John was very much into the idea of there being the artist, the one who makes, whereas I’m more about this thing that emerges and then tells me what to do next. Like I said, I think it’s really exciting but it takes a lot of vulnerability and, I think, a lot of confidence. It requires a relinquishing of control. That’s something that I also really like about Anton Webern. Once he created a tone-row he basically surrendered control to that matrix. Anytime a musician can put themselves in a place of vulnerability and uncertainty, that tends to be where the good stuff happens.
FH: You mentioned vulnerability, (which isn’t something that we usually associate with rock or metal.) Do you think that heavy music’s reflex to project strength is its blind spot? Is that what makes so many of our old heroes so easy to dismiss and poke fun at once we’ve been given a little breathing room; that ginned-up invulnerability?
Anderson: Yeah. I don’t think that ‘vulnerability’ as a theme has had much of a role in most rock music. I mean, I guess one way I can project the concept of vulnerability onto the genre is by considering guitarists who always play different solos live. People like Malsteem or Vai or Hendrix. It’s almost like having a conversation; like you and I are improvising right now. I’m not thinking too hard about what I’m saying, you know? But even as I pause to think of my next utterance there’s a vulnerability that I’m not going to say something worthwhile. There’s tangible risk there… And to be fair, classical musicians have zero understanding of improvisation. They play what’s on the page whereas I was taught by a jazz guitarist and so the idea of improvising has always been very natural for me. But vulnerability…
FH: Well, consider metal’s protagonists, right? Bruce Dickinson or Ozzy Osbourne… James Hetfield. I guess I’ve never thought about it in this way before but I believe that our collective desire is such that we create these idols—this canvas—that we get to project ourselves onto. And then at some point down the road many of us either resent them or just laugh them off when the fantasy no longer suits us. I think that’s the way we essentially designed this whole program that we’re running. I mean, we can be absolutely brutal in regard to the things that we used to love but lost the taste for.
Anderson: Well, there’s a real danger in deifying any artist. I mean, you build them up only so that you can tear them down because—god forbid—they changed or hazarded an attempt at something different. I mean, I’m sure we could come up with any number of examples of musicians who did artistic 180s and people were like ‘what the fuck? How dare you?’’ Maybe a few artists navigate that successfully, (I mean, Bowie and Madonna did it successfully,) but most bands like, (speaking of Morbid Angel, right?) That Illud Divinum Insanus album; oh my god, what an uproar! Or Opeth not growling… my goodness! You know, you build them up and then essentially condemn them to never even hint at change or growth.
FH: Right. The whole ‘king for a day’ scenario when the thing is that they must change. I mean, Sculptured’s whole Embodiment… album is about our physical bodies and the way that they function and part of the way that they function is by constantly evolving and changing. It’s funny that we, as a populace, just seem so naturally repulsed by that when it’s fundamentally at odds with who we are at our core, you know?
WHAT’S CUSTOMARY FOR THE SPIDER IS CHAOS FOR THE FLY
FH: Back to Anton Webern. Whenever I listen to the piece, [Op. 21] I feel this unnerving loneliness. What I suspect is that it’s mostly just a loneliness for a more familiar, (or let’s say… fathomable,) melody; something that I can follow along with like a banister. I think it’s funny too: the initial strains, (basically the first 45 seconds,) sound to me like utter, sonic delirium. I’ve listened to a lot of different performances of Op. 21 and every time that I go back and listen to a different performance it’s almost a shock to hear those exact same notes repeated in precisely the same sequence again. It’s like ‘that’s impossible! This can’t be happening!’ But then you get into the second sequence and the tension—like you were talking about earlier—you hear a melody that you could almost hum. But it unspools as this palpable menace which seems really at odds with what I’ve read. I read that Webern wrote this piece for his daughter and so I wouldn’t presume that he intended to express menace or loneliness. What do you think about that? What do you think about this piece being such fodder for interpretation in these wildly different ways?
Anderson: Honestly, my first response is just radical skepticism relating to the fact that—if I want to be really, really clinical—you have a palette of musical notes and then you have everything that we project onto them. So, like the famous ‘evil sounding’ tri-tone that you hear in metal; it’s not as if it’s actually evil, it’s just an E and a B flat. We project our concept or our idea of what evil sounds like onto it but [the notes themselves are] innocent, it’s just these two notes played in succession. Or something in a minor key sounding sad or something in a major key sounding happy. These are all just basic human projections. One of the great disservices in modern classical music is that so much of this stuff got used in horror movies like The Shining or The Exorcist. They used contemporary classical, atonal or otherwise experimental music and so now we’re left with these one-dimensional associations. I had a buddy that I used to work with at the classical store who would say, “well, it’s good for horror movies,” which is just condemning it to exist only as ‘scary sounding music’ as opposed to simply being music. So that’s also part of the challenge when listening to someone like Webern: to not fall into the habit of projecting qualities of menace or whatever. Of course, I have tendencies to project too. I mean, I listen to a lot of supposedly “sad’’ music. I make a lot of supposedly “sad’’ music. But I’m always aware that—at the end of the day—these are just notes produced by vibration in nature and we project our own human experiences onto them. I’m always a little bit skeptical of the kind of interpretation you mentioned because it’s metaphysical.
FH: But don’t we always project what we understand as some idea of consciousness—specifically our own consciousness—onto the objects of the world around us? It’s like a practice of continual, involuntary animism. It just seems like we’re programmed to do that. I agree that it’s funny that in music we’ve all agreed upon the nature of certain tones. But then of course, like you just mentioned earlier [see Part 1] with traditional Japanese music, these sequences completely fly in the face of Western suppositions. Still—in the enclave of Western music—we’ve agreed on what emotional values certain melodies have. It’s an interesting quirk but I think we’re bound to do that. I mean, people thank their car or tell it that it did a good job after a long road trip, for Christ’s sake. ‘Good job, car!’ Right?
Anderson: Sure, I get that. John was always super metaphysical in Agalloch. He’d always speak about riffs in terms of imagery, like ‘here, I’m soaring across the mountains,’ you know? Whereas for me, it was just a riff. It’s this chord going to that chord. It’s in that key played in this time signature. I’ve always been really unemotional about it. The only time I felt emotional in relation to the music was when we were playing it live. Then I could be all emotion, you know? Playing it live was never technical. It was always emotional. But I’m the type of guy that likes to get up early to write. To me it’s a process. It’s a craft, you know? I don’t wait to be inspired. I don’t need to have a bad breakup with a girl. I don’t have to have a death in the family. I just sit down with the guitar and I compose. John is very different. He would always require inspiration. He’d have to go camping or something and try to bottle the experience in a way; you know it was a very different approach. A lot of people do that of course but… I just like work.
FH: Yeah, you clearly do because your nose is always to the grindstone and you don’t seem to mind it. It’s funny to me that you say that because Sculptured is such a personal project for you. It’s a projection of who you are—or at least—a projection of who you were, right? And yet we see so little of Sculptured, (release-wise,) which seems at odds with what you just said. You don’t require those catalysts like trauma or exhilaration to write.
You know, prior to speaking with you I was wondering about the last 13 years separating Embodiment… and The Liminal Phase. I wondered what we might have missed at different points in your life between 2008 and 2021. What would have been the richest time for Sculptured to express itself on record? When would you have had the most to say? But now it seems as if that underlying assumption isn’t really applicable to you. Sculptured’s not dependent on any external life events because when you write it’s more about the exercise of writing in-and-of-itself.
Anderson: Yeah. I mean, some of the songs on The Liminal Phase have been lying dormant since like 2010 or so but it really has nothing to do with inspiration. I know that sounds unromantic but what happened was that around 2010, Agalloch took off and I was still finishing up my graduate degree. So I was depositing a lot of time into those two arenas and Sculptured just always got shunted to the back burner. Agalloch became this kind of beast that we had to continue feeding. Now, in many ways I was happy to do it because I was kind of living my dream. Not a day went by where I wasn’t on tour or something in Europe, thinking, ‘Oh, my God, this is what I wanted to do with my life since I was 10 and here I am! No, it’s not Metallica or Maiden but this will definitely do,’ you know? And so, a lot of it was just Agalloch taking up all my time. It did feel a little… Even though I wrote some of Agalloch’s music and loved [the band] and loved playing that material, it was always, (both lyrically and theoretically,) John’s baby. The music was always good but it was sad not to have Sculptured really going to the point that as soon as Agalloch broke up, the first thing I did was basically button up this fourth Sculptured album because I suddenly had the time to spare for it. I had actually written a bunch of riffs for Agalloch that I always thought could go either way so I just went ahead and used them for Sculptured. That’s also an example of how unemotional it is for me. I basically have a folder that I’m like, ‘well, this could be an Agalloch riff or a Sculptured riff,’ know? They’re interchangeable to me, really.
FH: You said in an old interview that you felt like a Sculptured track could exist as a single entity in the way that say, a classical music piece could exist as a single entity, (I’m insinuating that last part myself,) whereas, say in iTunes culture, that degree of fragmentation waters Agalloch down. Agalloch needs to be heard in the context of an album whereas Sculptured can exist as lone, atomized pieces. It’s not deleterious to the listening experience. Do you think that that’s because of your methodical, more calculating sort of approach?
Anderson: Um, not necessarily… I think with Agalloch, everything was about being epic. Everything was vast and everything had to flow from point A to point B. Every album was so conceptual and thematic even if it wasn’t really telling a story necessarily. I never really had the inclination to pursue [that approach] with Sculptured, I guess. I think I just wanted… Like, take The Liminal Phase for example. It’s five songs. It’s just boom, boom, boom, boom, you know? There are no interludes, no segues. It’s just those five songs. And sure, they’re long. They’re like eight or at least six minutes [each]. But I don’t feel the need to have as much of a widescreen-lens as we did with Agalloch. In Agalloch I got my widescreen-lens kicks. Now John still writes music in the way that; even if there’s multiple songs it’s really an hour-long piece. For example, The Mantle is really just one big piece.
THE ORDEAL OF UNDECIDABILITY
FH: Switching topics quite a bit here but do you think that ‘classical’ is a rational descriptor for such an extensive type of music with such vast stylistic variance? Does it make any sense? I mean, the term ‘contemporary classical’ alone is so oxymoronic that I feel like it’s borderline batshit. Also, doesn’t the descriptor just alienate younger people who might otherwise be interested in checking it out?
Anderson: Yeah. I think you’re absolutely correct. I mean, it’s also weird because there’s the Classical period which was Beethoven and Mozart’s time and yet we simultaneously use the same term to describe everything from medieval music all the way to what’s being written today. It’s really a terrible designator in a lot of ways because it’s not necessarily a classic right? And even the term ‘Modern Music’ people still use to describe Webern which is from the 1920’s, a century ago. Yeah, I’ve thought about this a lot. I mean, that’s why there’s a separate kind of classical room in a larger music store that was insulated and people were often just intimidated; really intimidated. Most of my job in the record store was similar to what I do as a teacher, you know? People come in and have no idea where the fuck to start. I mean there’s 500 through 600 years’ worth of music here. Where do you begin? And honestly, I loved that part. I mean, I loved helping people narrow it down and helping them ease into that world. There’s also a huge problem with elitistism and access. For example, most young people can’t afford to go to the Symphony. That’s a big barrier. It’s just access. And not to mention metadata! My god, metadata is terrible! Have you ever pulled up iTunes and tried to find a Brahms piece? The difference between the artist, the composer and the performer… It’s a complete mess. It’s just like foreign films and Literature, (with a capital ‘L’.) I mean, I deal with this all the time. We’re trying to provide access to people who haven’t been able to gain that access to it.
FH: Well, what you said about access to live performance… I believe that that would be a game changer for people to actually see some of these performances. They’re so goddamn physical. And it’s so captivating and emotional to actually be there and to feel that resonance when a piece just collapses into frenzy and you’re watching this wave of musicians… I mean there’s the synchronous quality to the sudden violence and the sudden serenity… It’s really intoxicating. That’s one of the things that initially got me into classical music was just seeing a couple of performances; having the luck to be dragged to a couple of them and I was like, ‘Jesus, there’s something really powerful here.’ I don’t know why it should sound so different wafting out of the speakers of your stereo, but it just is. It’s like you’re almost taking part in a ritual. The complexity of the emotion being communicated is mind-blowing.
Speaking of stylistic labels, you’re clearly attracted to minimalism. In all honesty, Sculptured has never really struck me as the type of outfit that would have much of a practical, analogous relationship to minimalism but you mention it pretty frequently. Does minimalism impact Sculptured on a compositional level?
Anderson: I’m certainly attracted to minimalism but… It’s hard to say because I don’t so much deliberately sit down and write anything in a particular style, you know? I mean, I like a lot of things but it doesn’t necessarily follow that my tastes will be referenced in the music I write. I guess it’s just a methodology that makes me think about things differently. I mean, certainly with the new Sculptured it’s so much more restrained. It’s more melodic and much more straightforward; probably closer to Apollo Ends, (though it still sounds like Sculptured to me.) There are even riffs [on The Liminal Phase] that I’m like, ‘that sounds like something I would have done on the first record.’ But I don’t think minimalism enters into it very much. I think that Embodiment… was just so maximalist, (so many notes; so many different variants. Just too much.) The new record is much more streamlined. The nice thing about the mixing process is that I always record more than I need and so I can start shedding things away and subtracting and letting other things breathe. And so maybe minimalism kind of encourages me to do that, you know? To clean house. I mean, one thing I’ve been experimenting with is—when there’s a guitar harmony—I just take out all the rhythm guitars because if we were playing it live you would just have the bass. I remember listening to Thin Lizzy. God, it sounded so cool when they would break into harmony and there’d be nothing underneath it! It just opens up this wonderful space. It was the same thing with Maiden before they had three guitars. Same thing with Sabbath. Sculptured had been missing that. And so I’ve started wondering, ‘do we really need everything? What could go and what’s really essential?’ I think that that’s where the lessons of minimalism have entered in. It’s just a consideration on how to get more from less.
FH: So from minimalism back to serialism: There’s a serial passage in “Bodies Without Organs” that I think I described as an ‘anti-riff’ in the Fallow Heart piece I wrote about the record. It’s really startling when it occurs and initially I found it, you know, pretty fucking off-putting, (which I think was mostly due to my unfamiliarity with the melodic form.) But hey, it definitely succeeded in stirring up strong emotions in me! When you’re inserting a piece like that into a broader composition, what emotion, (if any) are you hoping to evoke?
Anderson: This is going to sound so unromantic, but none. No emotion whatsoever. I never think about communicating anything like that. This goes for anything that I’ve ever written—whether it’s for Agalloch or Sculptured, or Khôrada—one thing that I’ve never tried to deliberately evoke is a specific emotion. I realize that might be depressing for some people because after we’d play a show, Agalloch fans would give us these passionate testimonials about how much the music meant to them. And certainly, there were performances [such as] when my father passed away during the recording of Ashes Against the Grain…The last couple of tracks [on that record] were super emotional, (which is exactly why I improvised a lot of those guitar lines.) But, yeah, Sculptured was always about wanting to write cool sounding riffs. That goes for “Bodies Without Organs.”
By the way, those riffs are serial but they’re not 12-tone. I’ve tried writing 12-tone death metal but I couldn’t get it to work. So instead I’d do matrixes of four tone rows. It would be a matrix of four notes down, four across. I’d build the matrix first and then I’d try to find some kind of rhythm to go with it. So in a way, the notes were all predetermined for a lot of the riffs on that song. The rhythms sound pretty traditional in some ways but yeah, those notes are all four-tone. They’re all serial matrix.
FH: So when you insert something like that, it’s just like, ‘Oh, this is just a cool passage.’ That’s pretty much it?
Anderson: Most of the time I would say yeah, it’s just a cool passage. I mean, I’d be lying if I said that that was all there is all of the time. I mean, the last track on The Liminal Phase is very emotional. It came out really nice. But most of the other riffs… Even looking back to when I was a kid and I got my first four-track, I would record a guitar part and then rewind and record another part on top of it and I was just like, ‘wow, that’s fascinating!’ It’s so simple but that fascination is still with me today; it really hasn’t changed. I write a riff, and then maybe I’ll go back and add some notes to it. See if there’s a verse in there; maybe there’s a chorus…draw more things out. See what happens, you know? But no, I have no idea. I have no idea what feelings it will trigger. Whatever it is, it is, you know? I’ll find out when it’s done. It’s a Zen approach; I don’t know what it’s going to do and that way it’s always a discovery for me. When my students are writing an essay I always tell them not to do an outline. Just start by asking yourself a question and when you begin to unpack that question you let it lead you on to another question and then another question, and you just keep following them. And you don’t know where you’re going but that’s good because when you get to the end, you’ll actually be someplace new. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s the same with music. I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m going to do, which means that when I get done with a piece or an album I’m just as surprised by it as anybody else.
FH: That’s really fascinating. I’ve read about how you allowed contributing musicians essentially carte blanche in regard to their individual parts on the last couple of Sculptured albums. Personally, I’m glad that I wasn’t aware of that factor when Embodiment… was released because I think I would have listened to it more as an experiment. I would’ve diagnosed it as too academic or too cerebral. And of course, now I love it, but I wonder: Were there any performances on Embodiment that you initially struggled to connect with or accept for what they were when you first heard them played back? Did you ever consider reneging on that determination to allow your collaborators all that leeway? Honest truth.
Anderson: No, not really. I mean, in the case of the drums…when they were completely finished it was the first time that I ever heard them so there was absolutely no way to go back and change things. I got what I got. And it was the best drum recording session ever because I didn’t have to be there and listen to a snare being tuned for three hours; I wish it was all like that, like I could just write a check and have drum-takes appear in my mailbox. So no; no regrets. I saw it as a chance to really challenge myself. And, you know, those drums were far more spastic than… I mean I was familiar with Dave’s [Murray] work in Estradosphere, (among other things,) but I was like, ‘Wow, this is like spaz-jazz! This is all over the place!’ But that kept it exciting and interesting. It became a kind of Zen practice of relinquishing control. I love it… I get what I get. I trust that it will be good. I trust that Andy [Winter] knows what he’s doing on the keyboards, Jason [Walton] knows what he’s doing on the bass. They’re going to do a good job; I don’t need to micromanage them. You know, the worst thing to ever happen to art is ego. Imposing ego on art and not being able to step back as an artist and to just let whatever seed you’ve planted breathe and grow is really terrible.
FH: Let’s finish by looping back to Sculptured’s beginning. You stated once that if you could change anything about the debut [The Spear of the Lily is Aureoled], you would give the record a different title, you’d completely rewrite the lyrics and you’d remove the track “Fulfillment in Tragedy…” That last one surprises me, especially given how informed you were by Anton Webern and by serialism. I mean, “Fulfillment…” is a serial piece. Why remove it? (I understand that you initially only included it as a way to satisfy an obligation to your record label [Mad Lion]) but it’s remarkable that you’d choose to cut that track. It breaks the album up and in a really impactful way, and it’s so pensive. But this is your vision, right? Why is it better to remove it?
Anderson: Well, I don’t think I would now. I think I’ve just gotten more comfortable with, (as you said early in the conversation,) the fact that it’s a snapshot of a specific time. This is where I was when I was 16 or 17 years old. It is what it is. And, you know, I look back on [the album] and I’m like ‘God, some of those lyrics are…’ Well, not only are they poorly written in a lot of ways but I’m just not that type of person now. But I was at one point, you know? So why would I want to go back and change it? I don’t think that I actually would take it away now. I mean, I do think I put it on there in part to meet the guidelines of the label. But also, I was just finishing up the music theory program and so it was my first shot at doing a 12-tone piece. And I liked it, (I still think it’s cool.) I don’t know if it exactly fits because the [rest of the] songs aren’t 12-tone in any way but whatever. That first record sounds so much like the bands I was into at the time. Amorphis, Edge of Sanity…you know, melodic European death metal. Wow…now I’m anticipating going back and listening to it again because I’m curious. I’m 42 years old now. After all this time, I’m curious what it will sound like to me.
EXIT DON ANDERSON
As our conversation sputtered to a weary smolder, Don and I finished up with the expected boilerplate palaver, (all the standard pleasantries; say the word ‘yada’ three times and you’ll get the idea). In my clumsy way, I tried to make it clear how consequential his unwaveringly obstinate creativity has been to me ever since I first purchased Sculptured’s debut with my precious barista bucks nearly twenty-five years ago. The challenges he’s presented me with have certainly not always been appreciated. In fact, I’ve frequently been so frustrated with his output that I’ve teetered on the knife’s edge of out-and-out acrimony. But I always, always wander back, nosing around the halo of his cook-fire to discover what’s for dinner.
Don’s work is neither an expression of futurism nor of nostalgia. It isn’t about outpacing any trends or expectations. It seems most concerned with simply engaging his collective muses -not from the conductor’s podium but from the distant vantage of the mezzanine. It seems to be about ducking into the passenger seat of the creative exercise itself and releasing the parking brake. About observing the way a composition’s structure deforms along the route of its wild and sometimes violent journey and of admiring the new and ever changing shapes that it takes on as it becomes something else, something heretofore unforeseeable. (Or maybe it’s just about writing ‘cool sounding riffs’.) Regardless, I tried to make it clear to him how important his peculiar voyage has been to me over all these many years but the words… sometimes they don’t come to me when I call them. Nonetheless, I do thank you very much, Mr. Don Anderson. And that will simply have to do.
‘The worst thing to happen to art is ego.’ Huh…take that, Richard Wagner.
You may grind their souls in the self-same mill
You may bind them heart and brow;
But the poet will follow the rainbow still,
And his brother will follow the plow —John Boyle O’ Reilly
What finally is beauty? Certainly nothing that can be calculated or measured. It is always something imponderable, something that lies between things. —Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ album, really; not so long as its contents scrupulously reflect the purity and the passion of its authors. There is only appreciation for an album, the lack thereof and those fine alcoves of measurement that separate the two. —Fallow Heart (Heavy Meta Pt. 6)