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Sunday, May 16, 2004


Hello once again to all fine people,

A Loss For Words: Song Track

A dear friend gave me this book by a fellow named Douglas Hofstadter who had written a column in the Scientific American magazine called "Metamagical Themas" (also the title of the book). In the preface he begins to describe what he calls "Whirly Art" which describes as his particular form of artistic expression. As he describes; he begins with a form (many times the alphabet) and then begins to freely doodle strange variations of lines and patterns off the top of his head and onto the paper creating new alphabets and "fontscapes" with no purpose or practical end use intended.

I could relate to this sort of obsession given that most everyone in my family does this whirly art of one form or another while talking on the phone or doing something while having a pen and paper in hand. I don't think there are any Slacks who can just jot down a phone number without frilling it up with whirly art and I certainly have never sat through a meeting without a full page of doodling..

When the kids arrive at home at the end of the school day, they litter the house with free form "whirly art" for which I have a large stack of paper and markers available. It's really a great pass time to exercise creative tensions and sometimes there are some very interesting and wonderful creations that emerge. In my opinion Douglas is on to something big here...

Finally I realized that I needed to confess to all of you that much of the music I create is doodling whirly art!!. I begin with a pleasing construct with form and then layer all sorts of free form expressions on top with no purpose or practical end use other than to annoy all of you with endless uploads. This particular song I tried to write words and construct a vocal melody but it just wasn't working for me. Some times there are words that don't require music and some times there is music that doesn't require words. So I decided to do some whirly art with the guitar voice instead, and backed up with some far north Brazilian backdrop. Most people wouldn't consider broadcasting their whirly art on the internet....But why not?!! ...It would be revolutionary!! ;-)

All the best to all of you,

PJ Slack

WORDS & MUSIC ©2004 Peter J. Slack, SOCAN

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