By the end of the first week that I was back from Rhode Island and working at Village Northwest Unlimited**, I had not only met Joe and sparked up conversations about music, but he had placed a copy of a Tim Hecker CD in my hands. Despite writing electronic music for nearly fifteen years prior, I had never heard experimental drone music. I wasn't sure what to think.
Trying to humor a new friend though, I kept listening to it as well as other similar music Joe had given me. Stars of the Lid and Tim Hecker and White Rainbow and Loscil began to grow on me. They ended up in my CD player more than I cared to admit, and I found them almost comforting as I read and prayed and adapted to my new life in small town Iowa. Experimental ambient was becoming a soundtrack to my days.
It wasn't too long before Joe asked if I would be interested in trying to write this kind of music. I said we could sure try. He began bringing over his equipment and instruments (of which he had so, so many), and my basement apartment quickly turned into a music studio. Our first recording session together went a little poorly. But we kept at it, and after a few weeks realized that we had a knack for experimental music. Joe was the master of the machines and I took all the strange sounds coming out of his equipment and turned them into long playing "music" compositions.
But, as is the case with bands and music projects, life changes. I met my wife (Joe actually introduced us) and we got married and bought a new house. It started getting harder to get together and write music. But we kept plugging away and bringing our own brand of experimental music to life.
Then I had kids. We sort of stopped music. Joe and I kept talking about releasing our stuff, but it was mainly only talk and random posts on Facebook. Unfortunately life changes had halted our music writing all together. Sigh.
Then Joe got sick. I got a call at work one day that he was in the hospital. That visit was the second to last time I saw him. When he saw me walk into his hospital room that day some of his only words to me were, "Scott, you have to release our faux.non music." I suppose that's as close to dying wishes as I've heard. At his funeral, a short three weeks later, I met many of his old friends and they nearly all commented on, and encouraged me about our music project.
So, without further storytelling, here is Solastalgia. We had named it years ago, but the title seems strangely fitting since Joe's death. The song titles, on the other hand, were invented by me in what I hope is the spirit of our creative endeavors.
Enjoy. I pray this is a soundtrack to future adventures and experiences as well as the music put to memories of our good friend, and my fellow music producer, Joe White. Thanks!
** Oh, and all the tips for this album go to a place Joe loved dearly. Village Northwest Unlimited is a great organization that gives mentally and physically disabled people a place to call home, meals, a job, assistance with their daily needs, and many other things. Your tips will go towards furthering and bettering the lives of those with disabilities.
Joe White - creation of nearly all sounds, drones and synthesized tones, playing of any stringed instruments including lapsteel and guitar with fingers or ebow, and all field recordings, as well as random long-winded text messages in the middle of the night, initiator of all conversations about obscure music, books or art, and brewer of fine coffee.
Scott Zeilenga - all compositions and mixing of provided drones and sounds, acquisition of many secondary sounds and drones, experimentation with filters and echoes and effects, as well as driver of car to haul either Joe or our equipment between apartments, graphic designer and photographer, and maker of dumb jokes.
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