diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: A tree I know and an old friend.


Good morning little rabbits of the earth…

“Its high times for the wine man”…. Don’t ask, those were the words of my vocal exercises this morning. I never know where they come from or who sends them. I was walking through giant hilltops of ancient trees this morning… and that’s all I heard blazing in the distance.

Yes, I did take a week off from posting an update. Quite frankly I was just happy most of the record was up and I wanted it to settle a little there in my digital Hadder realm. Oh I wasn’t twiddling my thumbs though. A little update.


Music: The rabbit is alive and well… seems it was warned from a black bird of the coming fires and so he hid deep in the earth as the wolfs fire brushed over the hillside. Thank heavens for him. Is that you Zabble? hmmmm He’s a little clever bastard. The last song has taken a rather symphonic turn for the best… there might even be a sacred ceremonial chant in there as well… nothing wrong with a little rising of the dead.... ha... what once seemed like a little revamp of the original demo has now gathered momentum into a grand finale track for the record. A little closure for Hadder and the Rabbit to welcome the true coming of spring. A flood of words has brought new life to the tale and it’s kept things rather exciting here in BOK as I can literally jump to the finish line now. I'll hold off on any new audio or video this week, but as I begin tracking the new vocals to this grand piece of music, I'll try to post something special in the coming weeks. Stay tuned if you like.


Other things: A giant orange butterfly flew into my tower a 2 days ago, literally, I think it was my dead godfather… wishing me well on this endeavor, it’s been years since I’ve been to his grave at Notre Dame Cemetery but I just know he’s smiling up there at this crazy fool on a hill in the west…. In other news, I received a gift in a dream last night, from someone I knew… a small fellow, it was a strange ornate thing, it was the shape of an elongated carousel… almost like a hookah… but it seemed magic in some way. I dont know what it meant... but it had the aura of a very kind gift surrounding it and it warmed my heart like hilltop campfire, there was also a sadness surrounding it. Anyway, just a very magical 2 weeks as the fog is starting to lift to colder weather patterns and pilgrimage itches under my toes.

Ezra is shedding this month, as she gets a dazzling fresh coat of black fur each winter and a red tint in her eyes, gone with the whites of spring and summer. I suspect it has to do with her predatory sense of winter… which is also when she eats most of her food for the year. She hunts at night, generally while I sleep by the campfire. Many a night have I awoken to her with a bloody faced grin licking her chops to firelight. And sometimes hell, she just takes the whole thing back to the campfire and eats it there. Quite the site to see first thing in the morning. Oh well, I guess we all need to eat. Grumble grumble.

I met a fellow rabbit this week, which was odd. I wasn’t sure that others survived the fires. That was a bit shocking to me and in some way it was a relief. Sometimes I think I’m alone on this journey and it’s just refreshing to know that I didn’t imagine it all and that there were others.

What else.

I hope you enjoyed the new graphics for the record. I certainly do. I slept a few good nights these last 2 weeks while my digital Hadder stood watch with his Tyme Seer, as the fire that brought him to life danced beyond the breakers. An image that certainly means so much more to me than you could imagine. If you ever have a chance in life to manifest a dream and slowly watch it come to life, it’s a very empowering thing to see. It almost makes the snails pace and drab bore of real life itself a bit more shiny and bright, if even only for a flash. Oh it doesn’t hold the boatman at bay for long… you know he wins in the end anyway, but as least I might have a chance to grin while we sail away. And that’s all I can hope for little rabbits. You could be so lucky to do the same.


Hadder Rehearsals: Well, they haven't locked me up yet. That's a good sign. Rehearsals are on my mind and the wheels are turning, these are big wheels and who knows what will rock or roll. The final months of this year of my hadder world will revolve around planning the actual release of this record, sending word to Remrod to see if any weary travelers are up for a fight, completing my Ancients project, and taking a wonderful pilgrimage or two or three… deep into the white mountains and narrow canyons of the Bokonian forest. I may even venture out past archers bay to the green lands of Europa. We’ll see. Updates will continue as I venture to some uncharted lands on all these fronts. As always I wish you all so well and thank you for traveling with me this far… may you dream the biggest and most beautiful dream imaginable and have the courage and will to accomplish those dreams in good health and with great fortune. The boatman says hi. Stay warm out there. Dig, DIG!


-j


Some words that came to me from the dead rabbit.


“I heard the song of the blackbird

Singing in the fields of blowing wind

Past the hills I called home

that angel, it said to dig

They tried to kill that black bird

Just because he tried to sing to me

And so the fire it swept past the den

And that wolf… he could never get in


"Don’t kill the song of the black bird

Who’s singing in a broken tree

Just because it sang wrong

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t dream

Oh don’t kill the song before the last word…

It just might turn.. you’ll see

You just might kill the very thing

Sent to set you free”


234 views

diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: A digital version of some "Beyond the Breakers" artwork. Perhaps. Who knows for sure.


Good morning, what a day. What a week. This morning a fresh batch of autumn clouds crossed me overhead as the sun was coming up. Actually it’s been about three days of this weather pattern here in BOK. I could smell the aspens changing colors and it brought such a warm feeling to my bones. Ezra is antsy for our yearly pilgrimage traditions… as I am.


Words were plentiful today as I approached my little first counter for the record. Although I may not have completed all the writing for the record, I certainly am on the final throughs of the project. I have a lot to say today as it was a very focus week for me… normally I’m looking at “parts of songs” or “songs” or “smaller” more focused segments or lyrical phrases or pieces of tracks… but this week, as I was designing some of the artwork for the record… I was looking at the record as a whole. As a body of work that in some way was therapy for me. Therapy over grief of lost things to be perfectly honest. That really is what this record is about. In time, perhaps, I’ll look back at it as a little box that I put things in for safe keeping. A box of things that no longer are trapped inside of me, but instead are on a shelf somewhere so that I can be free of them.


Beyond The Breakers: Why such a title? During the start of this endeavor… a few years back.. I was struggling with grief and depression. I still do to be honest. There was a cliff I often went to, overlooking the pacific… a place where no other people go. A place close to where I lived. That place that’s gone now. I often sat there staring out at the horizon past the breakers. Thinking about our lives and how the good and bad times echo out there forever traveling in the light beyond the earth and galaxy. Those happy places and feelings. I imagined them out there in that golden light far away from the place I was at in the moment. Grief is a terribly destructive thing and I don’t wish it on anyone. What doesn’t kill us, well, we hope it makes us stronger. I might break… but I am not broken. I had a sense of what was coming, hence my dream and the wolf and the arrival of Mr Evermore. When I wrote the words for Master Of Illusion.. that say “It isn’t real, wake up Johnathan… you have to kill yourself!!!”. It wasn’t a literal meaning of the words. God no... I would never think such a thing. I just knew that something had to give and that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience letting myself die to some degree so that I could live again. Let me quote a good movie… “What we do in life, echoes for eternity”. It’s so true. “Beyond the Breakers” is about life and death, about grief, about loss, about growth and revival and determination of spirit beyond the things that try to break us for good. It’s about that place beyond the horizon I imagined so well for so may days… on my little cliff by the pacific. A place I still go. That’s why. There never was another title for this body of work and I didn’t even have to think about it.


Record Progress: Times up. Well, most of the record is up on the newly designed “Music Page”…. Although not complete as I continue dancing with the last track, “Ballad of the dead rabbit”. It’s a nice dance. But the rest is up and playing. Some quick comments on the Rabbit… having now seen the entire body of work for this record set against the new artwork I commissioned, well I have a better understanding of the track. After some midnight contemplations, I’ve decided to remove “The Crying Game” from the record and instead will have this “Ballad of the Dead Rabbit’ as the closer for this delightfully strange piece of art that I call “Beyond The Breakers”. I’ve been feeling very operatically inspired by this last track and the finality of this body of work and season of my life. The song will certainly reflect that when it’s complete. Overall the record will stand at about 50 minutes or so of music all performed and recorded by me, myself and I. I will say, a huge swell of emotions came over me once I saw it come together this week… with the artwork. It’s like decorating a cake now. Regarding me removing ‘the Crying Game”. I’ve always felt that that song was the odd song out, a tale more focused on Greek mythology and lessons of life and not so much the story of my journey. And so… for now it will just be a stepping stone to the larger thing as a whole. Important to write to get to where I am, but that I think was the only purpose of that tale. Some pieces of art get left behind when your painting large pictures, not to be forgotten, but to be appreciated for what they started… and how they inspired new layers and levels of the final picture.


Artwork: Just a note about the artwork you see on the front page and music page. This is a digital representation of the physical record that will be pressed, I’m thinking. The idea of it anyway. The cover, which you see on the front page, is something I’ve been envisioning for some time… with the fires out beyond the pacific breakers behind Hadder, who is holding his Tyme Seer. This is a quick digital rendition I did… it may be painted for the record or maybe I’ll just fine tune the digital version for print. Not sure just yet. The foreboding image is true to my real life and I think it represents the record well. “We left one night, never to return, for the glowing light out past the burn”. I saw this image years ago when I penned those lyrics on my cliff overlooking the pacific.

The inside of the record will be the artwork you see on the “Music” page, I think. It was commissioned from an illustrator in Germany who goes by the name Julius Maximilian Strohlein. Currently he’s a student in Sweden working on his masters degree and his very own childrens book. You can see more of his work here, I’m so grateful that he’s been working with me to bring some of this Diamonds Hadder imagery to life. This was the 3rd of 5 pieces that I’ve commissioned from him. I love his style as I kind of see Hadder as a fairy tale and not so much as some cliché heavy metal sword wielding guy. There s a lot to Hadder and the story I’m yet to complete about him. Jules seems to have a delicate pen stroke and childlike way of bringing the events of Diamonds Hadder to life. His backgrounds are just as important as the characters they surround and quite frankly I just really love the subtle ways he describes a scene and the connection it has to the characters and events of the image. I also like that it doesn’t look like what you would expect. I tend to steer away when I can, from the normal. Although some rules and guidelines are also good to follow. Your guess is as good as mine on what to follow and what not to follow. I just love his work and I’m honored and grateful to have it be part of this project. Thanks Lord Jules! BTW, you might find a few little noises and things that I added to the artwork.. these are things I love and that also help set the stage for Mr hadder and the events of his awakening that fateful day by that river in Bok. Zabble is there too, but he’s in raven form hidden behind the music player… I had to put the player somewhere.


The Mixes: A quick note regarding the mixes. Some of the tracks were mixed in a larger tower, the original tower that is nothing but ashes and earth now on that hill I used to live and some were mixed in my old tower at 408… and those tracks certainly reflect those spaces and times. The last tracks really have not been mixed yet.. “Long is the road”, “Rivers End’ and my soon to be finished “Ballad of the Dead Rabbit”. To close this record out I will need space to mix and my current tower simply is not working. Mixes need space, especially the mixes I’m looking to create. Let me steer off topic a minute to elaborate on something that has been on my mind regarding mixing and space and the things we create.


Small Pot, Big pot syndrome: If your still here… well, sorry for all the off topic today, but it does all have to do with the record. Regarding Mixing and my very own Big Pot, Small Pot syndrome. This might apply to your own endeavors. A quick story. I once lived in a big space, over 2,000sq ft, on a mountain… 3 stories.. about 2000 ft above sea level. Large ceilings over head allowed a view to the sky each morning and to the clouds that would race in from the pacific and cross over the santa monica mountain range. Don’t worry I will be making a clever point with this tale. Once in life I had a very small balcony, with potted plants that I tended to… my garden, I couldn’t help but notice that the plants in the small pots only grew a certain size and then stopped growing. Yet the same plants in the larger pots grew much larger. And if I did a transplant with one of the smaller plants, they too suddenly grew larger. So is true for us in life. My grief comes from learning to live in a small pot. My roots and my wings do not feel very comfortable these days. It’s a dilemma I’ve been secretly planning to evacuate from. I hope to jump pots soon again. This same phenomenon can be applied to many other situations. With space, dreams become bigger, mixes sound bigger, songs grander, life larger. We are complex beings and our roots are not meant for small pots. Yes, we are forced to learn to mold to the shape of our surroundings at times, and I suppose there’s nothing wrong with subtraction and boundaries to some degree. However, my roots have been squashed to the walls around me for a bit to long, for good reason mind you as I’ve made these decisions because I’ve had my eyes on a larger pot for some years now and simply couldn’t make the jump just yet. Even my mixes these days are small pot mixes, I hear it. I only mention this because it’s a very important thing to be aware of. I hope to be mixing the final stages of this record in a larger pot. My roots have no where left to go, but up and over. Call me selfish, but to be perfectly honest, I have no desire to be in a small pot and I have every intention of changing that dilemma before I die.


Closing thoughts: I’m deliriously happy to present this piece of work as it is. I don’t really care if anyone ever hears it, although of course I hope if they do, that it would move them in some way or touch something inside of them and to perhaps even uplift them to overcome their own demons and decisions in life and to stay the course on their own projects, passions and endeavors. Sometimes in life things take a while and it’s scary when your racing to finish things and that finish line is so far from the start of the race that you forget why you were running in the first place. In the next 4 months I have two big projects that I’m hoping will each have a finality to them, projects that took years of my life. This record and a little thing I call “The Ancients”, which is a visual retrospective of an ancient forest I’ve been visiting and photographing for over a decade. I’m so close now and I sense a big shift in my road up ahead. A shift due to some other circumstances as well. A shift that I can embrace with these two endeavors closing some doors I had open. A larger pot awaits me and my wings and roots need some space again. However, I’m not done just yet. And so… back to the rabbit hole. Please have a seat and enjoy some passions of mine loudly and with good intensions if you wish.


Enjoy your life and if you’re in a small pot, look around for the larger one… and take a leap of faith someday to bigger skies when you have the courage. Someday iz now I used to say. LEAP!.

-j

284 views

diamonds hadder the tower kind winters promo video

Image: Just some artwork I liked, inspired by the Dead Rabbit in us all.


Good morning… it’s Friday in late July. Don’t cry.


Strange days as so many little things I’m working on are culminating to an end. I suppose I can see another little cross roads approaching beyond these next few months. A time when maybe I’m fully engulfed in the Hadder book or maybe another book that I recently started called “the Ancients”. Something about winter rehearsals sounds very enticing to me as well… I love the cold air of autumn as it collides with summer.


Music: It looks like my little timer is almost done. So where am I on the record? I’m a few sessions into the “Rabbit’ re-write. I believe I’ve solved the riddle of the front of the track… which seemed to come together after a few hours on the piano. I had a little guitar doodle that kind of took off on it’s own and I ‘Think” has become the ground work for the opening sequence of the song. It's in the video below. I also spent a day trying to incorporate this new opening sequence into the rest of the track and for some reason… I think it just doesn’t work that way. Funny how that works… it does seem to sound nice standing on its own to open the track. Time will tell as it always does. There’s also a new operatic section in the song, it’s something I’ve been thinking about just for this track and so during the 1st vocal tracking session I did earlier in the week, I think I found a spot for it. And some new lyrics came to me the following morning for it as well. I'll test it out this weekend. If it works…. Great!!, if not… oh well. Life is filled with as many failures and successes. Trick it seems is to navigate away from the failures and towards the successes. That relates to many things. We are navigators at heart.


In all reality I don’t think the rabbit track will be done per my front page counter, but, I’m close and well in the throughs of it.. and so we’ll see what I do. I may update the music page with some artwork I had commissioned and add all the songs to it with little players, minus the last rabbit track of course as I continue painting it. That might be nice, we’ll see… I may design that next week.


Life After: It’s frightful to think about a life without writing this record. It’s been a part of me for some time. I do love finality to some degree. My gears are already turning on what’s next. I’m guessing there will be a little breather time when I just sit around the tower, sketching ideas and seeing what seeds are left in my little bag of tricks. Perhaps I’ll travel more, who knows.

Well that’s all for today, I have a very busy time ahead as I approach the final weeks of this endeavor. Ezra says hello, I noticed a few more people joining up on the site recently and I just wanted to say Thank you all for reading and for taking part in this little Hadder journey with me. Always so very much appreciated. Much love.


-j


PS. Some new lyrics that might show up on “The Ballad of the Dead Rabbit”


I took the road through the pass

Fate it seems she never asks

Where a prophecy looms ahead… some see

The clouds they took a shape

To warm of coming days

And this winter she would take… it all… from me


I saw a wolf that night…

In a dream…

It rode the winds from the fire that I set

It spoke in tongues I’m yet too understand

But one thing was clear, it said that we’re… headed for the end.


Sins they fall like winter leaves

Call me the master of the weeds

Tending the garden once a week,

Shame some things we can never keep

So I tried to hold it all in

Things I could never be or say

Oh this precious gift of life,

Still buries in the end.


Sands they run through broken glasses

Falling falling ever faster

Till the hills they made are still

it starts again..


All it ends and turns to ashes

Burning burning ever after

Till the hills are nothing more

it's then… we rise again



Video Info: Some clips from Watership down in 78 to some "Dead Rabbit" doodles earlier in the week.





203 views
concept-art-3.jpg
diamondshadder2.jpg
hallow1.jpg