Hello Dear Readers –
Okay, I’m back. And I’ll spare you all of the usual excuses. You know how this works by now. Blogging seems to be a cyclical activity for me. So my intention moving forward is to, once again, keep some semblance of this thing happening for the rest of the year. Perhaps it will be more weekly than daily at times, but we will attempt to keep it cruising along nonetheless. And, as usual, I’ve appreciated the occasional check-in e-mails from some of you. Love y’all.
It’s been a busy time these past number of months, my friends. Lotsa hours in a windowless room. I’ll look forward to sharing a bunch of new stuff in these coming weeks. But first, a couple immediate things I wanted to mention:
In case you haven’t been by my stagnant-ass bobbyrock.com website lately, there’s been a title change in my newest book. A Season in the Warrior Utopia is now simply called Zentauria, with My Season on the Warrior Utopia as a subtitle. Obviously, this is the same book that I’ve been previewing shit from for the last year, and most everything about it has remained the same… except the name.
And, of course, many of you might recognize Zentauria as the name of the place where the journals were written. It ultimately wound up making more sense to call it this, I think. Additionally, because this thing is shaping up to be a series of titles, the Warrior Utopia tagline seemed to work better, in various forms, as a subtitle for the other works. Digital versions of the main book should be available pretty soon.
I’ve been at the early stages of a new solo CD lately, messing around with some basic pre-production ideas. This CD will essentially serve as a soundtrack for the book, and will therefore share its name (but have a slightly different cover). One of the cool things I’ve been working on quite a bit in the practice room lately is something I stumbled across during the Zentauria experience called “Alphabet Drumming.” (It pops up a few times throughout the book, during three or four different entries.) I’ll be talking more about it in these months ahead, I’m sure, and will probably post some informal video clips, as well. But basically, it’s involved a complete expansion of my kit so that 26 of my now 33 drums have each been assigned a different letter of the alphabet. Then, I play various words, sentences or paragraphs – in rhythm – almost as if the drums are a computer keyboard. I also refer to it as “dryping” (typing with drums) or “drexting” (texting with drums).
Of course, there’s a whole backstory as to how it all came about, and how it was supposed to be this challenging, out-of-the-box new way of approaching the instrument from a heavy left-brain perspective, blah, blah, blah. (I’ll explain more later.) BUT, I have to tell you, for as interesting and obscure of an idea as it is, it’s the sound and the musicality of this alphabet drumming thing that’s been blowing my mind the most. I’ve just never fucking heard anything like this before. Some of the combinations, rhythms and overall melodic sequences are really something special. I’ve even been working on “dryping” poetry, literature and dialogue excerpts from movies like Pulp Fiction and V For Vendetta. Man… you just have to hear this shit. I believe it will have a heavy influence, one way or another, on some of the groove, fill and solo ideas I’ll be getting into on the new record. Stay tuned.
And yes, believe it or not, I’ve made some good headway on Muscles, Mangos and Meditation lately, tightening up this never-ending manuscript. My goal is to get it out of my hands (where I will always keep fucking with it!) and into an editor’s, asap. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting content from the book, right here.
All for now. Good to be back in the groove.