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Indian Summer

personal art project, 2012

A mix-tape art project. I put together the mix on an airplane flight from Seattle to London – 9 hours of uninterrupted nerdery. At first I was heading toward doing something about the color red. And then I decided to call it Incandescent and focus on colors in the sunny side of the spectrum – yellow, orange, red, etc. I bought a bunch of glass vials and with the help of my daughter, started finding things around the house, yard and neighborhood that were yellow, orange, and red, trying to get as many different kinds of things as I could. It ended up being a lot of natural materials: various leaves, honey and dead bees from our beehive, berries, crushed lava rocks, turmeric, sunflower petals, chili powder and peppers, a lock of my daughter Izzy’s hair, dandelion petals, feathers from my chicken Rosie, pine needles, a burnt match, and tree sap. Things started to feel more like autumn, especially with all of the organic materials drying out and fading slightly in color, so I changed the mix name to Indian Summer.

The liner notes are rolled up as a little scroll and inserted into one of the vials. The base I made from leftover elm lumber from MoPOP’s Nirvana exhibition. The elm came from a tree that fell on land owned by Gray’s River Grange in SW Washington, and Krist Novoselic from Nirvana is Grange Master there. I bought the wood from him for the exhibit and the monies went to the Grange. There were lots of leftover pieces with some good thickness. It’s pretty wood. I cut it, used a jointer to square it up, drilled the holes with Forstner bits, cut the CD slot with an oscillating multi-tool and after sanding, did a light walnut stain and a beeswax coat. Ultimately, I wanted to create something that sounded awesome and could be a cool, minimal-ish, but quasi-scientific and natural history feeling.

  1. Boards of Canada – Dandelion (Geogaddi, Warp, 2002)
  2. The Beakers – Red Towel (Red Towel 7” single, Mr. Brown, 1980)
  3. David Bowie – In the Heat of the Morning (Live on BBC, 1968)
  4. Caribou (Manitoba) – Cherrybomb (Up in Flames, Domino, 2003)
  5. Loretta Lynn – Little Red Shoes (Van Lear Rose, Interscope, 2004)
  6. Squarepusher – My Red Hot Car (My Red Hot Car 12” single, Warp, 2001)
  7. King Crimson – Happy Family (Lizard, Island, 1970)
  8. Flin Flon – Red Deer (A-OK, Teenbeat, 1998)
  9. Guided by Voices – Hot Freaks (Bee Thousand, Scat, 1994)
  10. Hella – The Devil Isn’t Red (Acoustics, 5 Rue Christine, 2006)
  11. Looper – Burning Flies (Up A Tree, Sub Pop, 1999)
  12. Momus – Old Friend, New Flame (The Little Red Songbook, Le Grand Magistery, 1998)
  13. Santo & Johnny – Summertime (Summertime / Caravan, 7” single, Sonet, 1960)
  14. Brian Eno – Zawinul / Lava (Another Green World, Island, 1975)
  15. Low – Sunflower (Things We Lost in the Fire, Kranky, 2001)
  16. Neutral Milk Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1 (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Merge, 1998)
  17. Fennesz – Endless Summer (Endless Summer, Mego, 2001)
  18. Syd Barrett – Golden Hair (Octopus / Golden Hair, 7” single, Harvest, 1969)
  19. Wire – Heartbeat (Chairs Missing, Harvest, 1978)
  20. Tape & Minamo – Honey Buzzard (Birds of a Feather, Headz, 2007)
  21. Broken Social Scene – Pitter Patter Goes My Heart (You Forgot It in People, Paper Bag, 2002)