I am absolutely thrilled to embark on our recording project, Data Lords.
In revisiting my past recordings, it’s easy for me to see how my music has always reflected the world around me. But these days, I feel my life greatly impacted by two very polarized worlds: the digital world, and the organic world. While one world clamors desperately for our constant attention, the other really doesn’t need any of us at all. Amidst the noise and the clamoring, it now requires great effort for us to take real breaks from the digital world so that we can fully access the organic world that sustains us. Feeling both of these opposite worlds represented in my recent music, I have decided to make this a two-album release reflecting these two polar extremes.
In the digital world, data lords, who are in a race to amass the entire world’s information, hypnotize us with conveniences, endless information at our fingertips, limitless entertainment, “curated” content, and endless other enticements. While many of those things offer us wonderful tools that enhance our lives and societies in mind-bending ways, a vast number of the enticements numb our minds and lure us into submissiveness. And almost without fail, the enticements, tools and conveniences delivered to us by these data lords, force us into a Faustian bargain of bartering our personal privacy and individuality for these often fleeting benefits. With the additional consequence of less and less face-to-face contact and no real accountability, humans’ internal compasses that measure empathy, along with their sense of self and purpose, are often hijacked. Fueled by silicon chips, rare earth metals, energy-hungry server farms, this digital world often feels right out of a science fiction novel.
In the natural world, magic is revealed if we intentionally divert our attention away from the virtual world long enough to embrace silence. Not long ago, the natural world was our only world. With a brain much freer of clutter, our minds could coast and daydream – a state of mind that produced many of our world’s greatest ideas. This space also left our senses keenly alert. Our eyes and ears were truly hungry for absorbing new artistic creations. And while far less music was instantly available literally at our fingertips, I think most of us remember longingly how intentional and deep our listening was. Many more people reveled in nature, and the myriad of mysteries one would encounter there, ignited questions and a search for meaning and purpose. A vacuum of space in our lives left humans reaching out to others for discourse and real connection. In this organic, analog world, we feel rooted to the earth as unique beings. Fueled by sunlight and oxygen, along with 117 other elements, this mind-blowingly complex and bewildering world, inversely, offers us a centering simplicity as well.
One could say these two worlds represent: digital/analog, virtual/real, inorganic/organic, yin/yang, or a loss-of-self/recovery-of-self. All I know is that I’m searching for sonic beauty in all of it, as well as searching for my own sense of balance between these two opposing worlds.
Welcome to the Data Lords Project. I hope you’ll enjoy being a part of it and will revel in the music and our collective discourse and discoveries as well.
We plan on creating a stunning package with artwork made especially for this project by Aaron Horkey, and package design by Cheri Dorr, who designed The Thompson Fields. We will also take the utmost care with materials and printing. The artistry of these two people is at the highest level. Music, visual art, introspection, and inspiration – I hope to fill your senses with delight and more.