#027: what we want • bird truth • Reunion

Welcome to the twenty-seventh ceremony of Ephemerata: reflections, observations, and life at the edge.


I’m doing this to stimulate discussion around what I find interesting, and also to share things before they disappear into the void of my journal.

Thanks to Mark Segger for becoming a backer this week ❤️.


  1. What we want
  2. Podcast coming soon
  3. Asides
  4. Music


When it isn’t possible to both make money and do something meaningful, I’ve always opted for the latter. In What we want, I attempt to understand the reason for this:

Why is it that when confronted with the choice between ‘popular and profitable’ or ‘esoteric but meaningful’, I always take the hippie route and just do what makes me happy(, man)? Why is my primary motivation generally creative expression or being original, despite coming at the cost of my financial comfort? Is it just my millennial urge to be a unique snowflake? [continued…]


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Almost finished editing the first episode. I’m usually excited when releasing new projects, but my measurement meters are overloading on this one. Can’t wait to see how and where this goes: https://strolling.rosano.ca


The Truth Behind ‘Birds Aren’t Real’. I was really hoping this would last forever, but it’s good that the guy can move on with his life and get closer to his family. This ‘hit job documentary’ is a fascinating look behind the scenes at the movement’s origins—feels kinda deep to be honest. Going to miss this important example of what’s possible when people come together.

[Embodying lunacy can be a way to express the absurdity of reality.]
[People participate without even realizing.]
[Everyone acts and plays their role, but there’s no rehearsal.]

I had a day of bingeing funny videos last week and went through some of Chris Fleming’s little skits. Had some good laughs with uncle or famous?, Halloween Candy Countdown, and Teens Who Drink Coffee.

Punctuation in novels. Visualizing texts by frequency of their punctuation marks. I’ve always been a fan of data visualization, especially condensing an entire work into a single graphic to facilitate comparisons. I did this once when studying Hindustani music by transcribing an improvisation and mapping out which notes of the raga were used and how they were approached (laborious but interesting to look at). Curious to try this on my own writing some day to know what it ‘looks’ like. (via Alexei)

Notes from a mystic:

Your seeking creates a smoke around the flame. You go on running around and around, you stir much dust, and you create much smoke, and it is your own effort that stirs the dust and creates the smoke, and the flame becomes hidden. Rest a little, let the dust settle back to the earth. And if you are not running very fast, not in a hurry, you will not create smoke. By and by, things settle and the inner light is revealed.


All the following items can be accessed as a one-click playlist via Joybox without accounts or sign up—just open and play.

Playlist via Joybox


Bobbie Gentry: Reunion from The Delta Sweete (1968). Complex interleaving of multiple parts with folksy Southern USA accents. Listen to the percussive clapping, bass drum, and guitar on the left channel, with voice and trumpets in the right channel. Reminds me of Moondog. (via Debora Ipekel)

Israel Fernández: Fiesta (Bulería) at COLORSxSTUDIOS (2021). The simplicity of a powerful voice accompanied by delicate clapping and feet hitting the floor, heard in stereo. Even without understanding the lyrics, one can appreciate how the fierce singing cuts through your prefrontal lobe. An example of making music with the body and whatever’s around (the desk might have been my primary instrument for years). As an aside: there’s too much good music on this show, and I would appreciate recommendations. (via Brian Ginsburg)

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Rare Things Grow from EARS (2016). Mishmash of many exquisite textures: water glugging, saxophone flutters with delay and reverb, possessed drone voices, quartal harmonies, celestial singing, some shakers in just the right places. Hinting at indigenous musics through instrumentation and motifs, but unapologetically electronic, jazz, and modern. The cover art might be a good metaphor for how this strange and beautiful thing makes you want to keep staring, or listening. (via Gordon Brander)

Two oldies gems (via Pat Power)

The Dixie Cups: Chapel of Love from Chapel of Love (1964). Super soulful vibe created from vocals, bass, horns, glockenspiel, drums, and clapping—fewer ingredients than ice cream.

The Everly Brothers: All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958 single). One of the first things I played in public on the piano when growing up; the harmony fits perfectly in one hand and can be pretty satisfying to repeat for hours—great way to learn about thirds and sixths.


Ornette Hawkins: Raw Sun Live Sessions (2018). Live jazz-infused drum and bass from an artist with a killer name.


Check out Fleeting Arrivals for more music.

(I heart music)

I always love receiving music. Send me recommendations anytime, anywhere!

That’s all folks!

Feel free to reply and share any reflections you might have, or just say hello. Have a great week 🙂.

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