Five-Hundred Word Challenge 1192: It’s Now All About Defeat

Sitting here and twiddling my thumbs and trying to work out what to write about. I feel like I should have something to cover. I want to have some sort of thing to convey but I’ve got nothing and maybe that has to do with a lack of sleep.

Maybe it has to do with a lot of things, but at least for now I can confirm that I’m here and I’ve got nothing and in having nothing I have something that I can hold and call my own. I can hold it near and dear and that way I have something that is precious and important.

It is the nothingness which I must treasure and treat with all the respect that I can. I need to make sure that it is looked after and so that way it can grow into more nothing… through the care of nothing.

See? I really do have nothing, but the thing is with nothing you can create something and that’s the beauty of it, so really, even if you have nothing you still have something and so there is something that you can get out of nothing so long as you’re willing to let it grow.

Now this is me trying to pretend that there is substance to this whole thing and unfortunately I am unable to confirm if there really is substance or if I’m just trying to drag this out as much as possible. I need sleep. I need sleep so as to better grow the ideas that I have so I can better coverage of things and all that stuff.

Perhaps really what I should be doing is trying to write something so devoid of content that it makes anything else devoid of content look like it is positively brimming with things. I could do this and maybe I should do this, but I also don’t know if I should. It’s a big ask and a great challenge and perhaps I am not up to the task. I can admit when I am defeated – I hope – and maybe just the idea of this is defeating me. In that case I should write more about defeat and then let all the defeat wash over me as I write more about defeat.

Perhaps I should find some sort of victory in this, but there is no satisfaction. Finally I have come to something of which I can grapple with and embrace and write about, but I do not derive anything positive from this. It is a horrible fate of which i have allowed to come over myself and now I must dutifully see out the task at hand so I can get on with things related to defeat. From there I will see out the task and groan and whine and complain about the whole thing, but it’s all on me at the end of the day.

I should’ve stuck with nothing, really. At least that had a greater depth of substance.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 05:15:22

Of course defeat can have just as much substance, but I like the way this ends. Works with the complaining.

Written at home.

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Layered Water at the Cliff

A photo that contrasts with this one.
Here the waves are smaller, or at least appear smaller.

There’s more of a sense of calmness and perhaps that’s due to this being between larger waves. There’s also a sense of the relationship between solid and liquid, and I like how that relationship makes the water here look a bit more variable in height than it is. Of course that has to do with the rock platform, but still.

This is my submission into Leanne Cole‘s “Monochrome Madness” for this week.
I suggest checking out Leanne’s photography, as well as checking out what other people submit.

A lot of what people are submitting will likely end up here.

I hope you enjoy.

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Kaytan Underae: Big Water, Big Sea

Three listens for this one.

On the first run through I didn’t feel I’d done enough. The second two were me mostly filling things in and maybe this wasn’t the best approach to take, but I think the writing better represents the song than after finishing the first run which was quite flat.

Kaytan Underae’s “Big Water, Big Sea” is from Ecco The Dolphin: Tribute.

I hope you enjoy.

Something akin to bass plays something melancholic and soon it is joined by something akin to stringed woodwind. They seem like they are adrift among a vast space. Behind and around them something atmospheric keeps the expanse there whilst keeping the focus on the sounds. A light percussive strike joins in, forming a greater sense of rhythm.

The melancholy remains and a set of string lifts up whilst the percussion becomes rapid. Sounds echo and seem to churn and urgency comes forward. There is danger and things are uncertain as a body thrashes and turns and becomes massive.

Soon the percussion pulls back but it soon pulls back and more space arrives. Gradually the space becomes more open as more sounds pull away. All grows calm and the strings continue to sound out over a background and for a moment it seems very much at the forefront. It then fades away with what else remains as the song ends.

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Envy: Seimei

I wrote a really rough draft for this last week and planned to wrap it up a few days later but something else that I needed to take care of came up and so this (among other things) was delayed.

Not a great writing. Not sure what I was going for other than trying to say why I thought this is good. Not sure if that came across as well as I would like.

Most of my interview and review work now appears on Culture Eater.
My colleague and I set up a Patreon to further develop Culture Eater as a source of good quality arts coverage from both ourselves and our contributors.

We’re looking at what we can give to supporters as we don’t want to set up a one way relationship, so suggestions are welcome. Podcast Eater is one of the things we’ve got going and (aside from the next few weeks) new episodes are available through there first.

Please consider supporting, or at least sharing the Patreon page with others. Please also check out what our wonderful contributors are contributing.

I hope you enjoy.

Seimei begins with spoken word. Something builds, overtakes and almost smothers the voice. A sudden cut, another phrase and “Seimei” sees Envy firmly move into the dramatic. The rhythm heaves and drags whilst the guitar rages with precision; Everyone plays loud and hard whilst the spoken word continues onward.

From here “Seimei” moves through a few different stages of quiet and loud whilst retaining continuity. Eventually both the quiet and loud meld into each other at one point and the speaking gives way to screaming. It’s an emotive moment and a high point that, at the right point gives away to more quiet. It’s here where the song could end pretty comfortably.

Instead of ending the song becomes massive once more. It’s cathartic, feels like the culmination of realisation and hits all the right notes. It also sees one more move to quiet, at least for a few short and perhaps sombre notes as it ends.

Whilst “Zanshin” is more direct and agile than “Seimei”, it also feels more atmospheric. A sense of tension comes through strong, but there’s something almost around the song, seemingly blurring what lies beyond. In a way everything also feels restrained, but in the end Envy break free and launch into a blistering close. Once more it’s a strong close to an emotive song.

“Zanshin” could’ve stayed really straightforward, and in a way it does. However, Envy keep a sense of range throughout without losing thrust. There’s some space in parts that leads to a slight ebb and flow, but it’s the contrast between the vocals and instrumentation that stands out here. Screaming would’ve been fine, but instead the vocals are clean spoken word for the song’s entirety. It reinforces the tension and adds urgency without throwing more guitar at everything.

Seimei closes with “Tamayura”, a rather gentle piece that flows outward and onward as it moves toward a state of peace and quiet. Much like the rest of Envy’s music, there’s an emotional space here that feels justified and earned. It’s touching and effective, and a good way to end the EP.

Envy are still going and it’s great to see them doing so. What’s better is that they sound more like they’ve worked out how to progress and deepen as a band here. If Semei is a sampler for the next album, then it’s more than welcome. If it’s its own thing, then it’s a strong and emotive release from a wonderful group.

Seimei is available here.

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Salyu: Sailing Days

I think I was mostly trying to cover image here.
Not sure if I did a good job of it. Some of this feels forced, I think, though quite unintentional.

Salyu’s “Sailing Days” is from S(o)un(d)beams.

I hope you enjoy.

Guitar plays a gentle tune whilst light percussive strikes lap against structures embedded into water. A high vocal sits somewhere above and seems distant and close. Gradually more percussion becomes obvious but the sounds remain gentle. The vocals also, but at times they go for more energy, and perhaps that is a longing to be traveling by wind along water.

Seemingly there is a letting go, or a thrust into motion and and more sound builds on the foundation. Much of it seems in the background and fills out space, but there is some at the forefront too. More vocals come in and create a depth over range, and the percussion continues to fill on out.

There is something that is longing and perhaps idealistic about this, but it feels realised. There is no sadness and the sounds continue to build into a calm rush. Suddenly there is a low gliding and some things stretch out and shimmer as they are passed on by. Voices stretch and blend with the atmosphere and seem soothed and excited, and all gradually fades away into a dream, leaving the guitar to play its last notes.

The sound of water lapping at the shoreline makes itself better known than earlier, and it stays present as the song ends.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 1191: Familiarity in the ramble

Clouds hang outside and a brightness comes on through, but the sun is blocked. Of course this is how things work but sometimes I wish it wasn’t how things worked; well, I sometimes wish this is how things didn’t work if I was able to go back to how things worked if I wasn’t happy with the alternative, so it’s probably a good thing that I don’t live in that kind of reality, or something.

Sometimes there is some sort of wonder in the banal. There certainly is familiarity, or at least there usually is some sort of familiarity and in that there can be some sort of comfort through recognition. If everything were to go completely dark due to clouds obscuring a view of the sun, then even though I can recognise it as something right now, I imagine that experiencing it would be a different story.

I imagine that, were I to experience such a thing, due to the current experience and understanding of various things I currently have, it would create some sort of conflict between the expected and the observed and that is something I’d rather avoid.

Perhaps eventually I’d be able to reconcile these and then this would become banal, but that’s still not something that I want to think about. What I want to think about involves the fantastic away from considering what would happen. I want to be an observer from a great distance and I want to make sure that all stays that way. I don’t want to get involved with something this unfamiliar as it would do something to me and that would be create a new experience, and why would I want that? I’d rather not.

Well, I certainly want to create new experiences with what is already around me and what I can already access. So long as I don’t have to worry about changing reality so as to entertain some thoughts I think I’ll be fine. I don’t want to worry about changing reality, especially when there is so much already to see as it is. I need to go somewhere and then I need to go elsewhere, and I need to do a lot of exploring so as to be able to experience more things and all of that stuff.

There is a beauty in the mundane and there is a familiarity in the banal, and sometimes we need to step out of those to be able to grow as people, but sometimes you can only grow through familiarity and comfort and all that other stuff.

At this stage I don’t know what I am saying, but I think I’ve said something. What that thing is is likely pretty obvious, but it is easier for me to pretend that it is not and so I will pretend that what I have said is neither obvious nor clear, though maybe it is neither obvious nor clear and so what I’m diving into is multiple thin layers of bullshit.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 05:48:40

This is much, much messier than I’d hoped. I think that at the start this could’ve become something interesting, but alas.

Written at home.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 1190: Sitting, Wondering

I sit here and I wonder as to where a lot of the month has gone, as a lot of it certainly has gone. In a couple of days it will be December and the rush will hit and then it will be February and everything will be slow. Every day will be felt and every day will be lived, but sometimes that’s the way things must go, I suppose.

I wonder as to why I am writing right now, but as always I know the answer. I want to try and pretend that the answer is different, but it never is. In any event, I am sitting here and I am writing as I desire to write. I desire to throw out a series of words and leave them out there in the Internet abyss and then forget that they exist.

There is something beautiful about writing and there also is something ugly, and it can tread a thin line. It allows us to express in ways familiar to most, even if we do not write.

I think about my lack of writing over the past few weeks and how I need to do more, or at least strongly desire to do more and so this is what I’m trying to do more of, and I hope that I can. I hope that I can get more writing done and I hope that I can get back on track. There is a lot that I need to cover and I need to do so in a rather short amount of time, but that’s not different from the usual way I operate and so I’ll just keep on going with that.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been exhausted to a greater extent than usual, but I sit here now and I can do things right now, and I’ll keep on doing things as there are things that I need to do. I need to take advantage of what time I have and just keep on going, and hopefully I can get through it all before the next time I feel rather incapable of doing things.

Maybe there won’t be a next time and maybe I’ll just be able to keep on going. Of course I hope that that will be the case but there’s no telling sometimes. Sometimes you go through periods of being unable to do things and usually you bounce back. Maybe you don’t and then you have to work out what to do with what you have. Maybe you can’t do anything, but you still do what you can anyway. Maybe you choose to rest.

Maybe I’m too stubborn and I should let go and relax more, but I don’t want to. I want to do what I can with what I can, and maybe nothing will come from it. Maybe nothing will come from anything I do, but I still will try because, even though this is slowly wrapping up, I don’t regret doing this.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 05:46:71

I thought this would be longer, but it’s probably too long. Oh well.

Written at home.

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Not Far From the Curve

More train tracks and once more without a train.
I probably should’ve gone for a lower position to take the shot as maybe this is a little too matter of fact, but I like the result. There’s some variation in what is around the tracks, but the tracks remain as is.

I hope you enjoy.

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A photo of Bathurst, or at least some of Bathurst as not all of Bathurst is visible in this photo of Bathurst.

This appears quieter than Bathurst is, though I suppose compared to larger cities Bathurst is quiet, but overall this is just an easy image. Seems calm and that’s likely due to a sense of distance.

This is my submission into the two hundred-and-twenty-sixth Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. The theme for this one is “Home Sweet Home“.

Whilst I don’t live in Bathurst, looking at it makes me think of Sydney in comparison.

The host of the Lens-Artists challenges cycles weekly between the following people:

Week 1 – Tina

Week 2 – Patti

Week 3 – Ann-Christine aka Leya

Week 4 – Amy

Week 5 – John Steiner

Week 6 – Sofia Alves

Week 7 – Anne Sandler

Week 8 – Guest host

This one is curated by Tina. Patti curates the next one and the theme has been announced in advance: “Diagonals”.

I recommend participating in the challenges. They’re open enough to allow for a fair bit of thinking about approach and closed enough to keep focus on meeting the theme of each one. If you don’t participate, you should still check out what others of the Lens-Artists community are submitting.

I hope you enjoy.

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Vice City: Fantasma (Abstract Mix)

One listen for this one. I feel I should’ve gone for a second as there was a lot I missed and I feel this doesn’t cover the song well enough.

Vice City’s “Fantasma (Abstract Mix)” is from Reconstruct Fantasma.

I hope you enjoy.

A mysterious sound flickers and seemingly oscillates whilst a percussive strike scatters and spreads. It seems to have shattered and it continues to to break and smash whilst more sound that could be percussive comes in. It is, at the very least, mechanical.

Space clears and there is something else that makes itself noticed in a loop. Slowly something else, seemingly growing comes to the forefront and it spreads out and lowers whilst staying exactly where it is. That loop rises and other percussive sounds come, but they clear and the focus is on this growth and it continues to smother everything and clear, and something seemingly searches upon its surface whilst other sounds appear as clicks and beeps, and all seems calm, though maybe not quite at ease.

The sound is wide and narrow and parts of it shimmer and it seems beautiful and odd, and fantastic, and it slowly thins and recedes as the song ends.

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