30 June 2003

(Turquoise Journal Excerpt 1 - "Fiction")

Today, the year is halfway over. How is that possible when it feels like I've lived ten years in the last six months, yet feel they were all too short? Or, a day contains so much it's even more confusing that it passes by as it does? Regardless, I know I'll look back on these last months as some of the most monumentally life-changing ones in my life to come, when things make sense or make absolutely no fucking sense and it's all the same surreal blur of deja-vu drenched moments. Still, some things stick out so much it''s hard to believe I can handle them. Conversations with my dad, sitting in his car with the windows down and the summer air blowing through and smelling so delicious that I am simultaneously so upset that my mom can't be around to breathe it in, yet morbidly grateful she has allowed me to see those breaths I take in such a new and light, free way.

I've gained a perspective that feels so good. It makes me more in touch with the things that matter most: being happy and enjoying my life. It trivializes so many things that used to get me down. It lessens stresses associated with "what if?" questions I have always asked myself. And, like I told my dad, it's not that I don't care, but I just don't care. If you want that sentence to make sense, it actually will if you let it. I care and don't care at the same time. It's not that it lessens my drive, or that I'm a defeatist, but it just means that because of all this, I've started practicing what I preach about the transience of things: letting go of the present sometimes because even that must pass. The future must pass just the same and, when we fall, we fall; then we fell, so now get up! Look around you and realize you're no longer on the ground unless you want to be. You're wherever you want to be, something I realized and scrawled in permanent red ink that day I took LSD for the first time, and now realize was an amazing revelation I am lucky to have had, regardless of what initiated it.

The strangest thing of all is how closely life resembles fiction nowadays, like things are a little too perfect and connected and related to you if you notice; how small the world is, how quickly time passes and things change. The author of this has embedded so many complex and elaborate twists and turns that keep bringing us back to truths over and over again. Things that many dismiss as "weird" or "coincidence" are happening more and more often, with spaces getting fewer between. Relationships beginning amidst the illusion of chaos we are hiding in. My eyes are closing- I'm too tired to continue. Just know I am happy and grateful, and somewhat amazed I can be.

01 June 2003

[DISCOGRAPHY] MA: Music For Clothing Shop

MA: Music For Clothing Shop (Blues Interactions, 2003)
FCCD-1001 (Japan)
Format: CD

"All These Todays Just Melt Into Tomorrows"

(taken from the album, Stars On My Ceiling)

[DISCOGRAPHY] ON Video Magazine: Summer 2003

ON Video Magazine: Summer 2003
Format: DVD

"Goodbye May Kasahara" appears during the Ed Templeton section

XLR8R (June, 2003) - Sweet Vibrations Blossom From Zak Mastoon’s Midwest Basement by Frosty

XLR8R (June, 2003)

Sweet Vibrations Blossom From Zak Mastoon’s Midwest Basement

Zachary Mastoon is Caural. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, next door to Chicago. Close your eyes and let’s visit.

Wake up. You are tumbling through a tunnel of grass. The walls swirl with glistening green. Cymbals guide the way. Glowing melodies shimmer like scales from magnetic vibraphones. Hovering jellyfish speak in tongues as bells and handclaps snap thunder from jukeboxes stocked with electro hip-hop. Every part of your being vibrates with resonance. Rhythm and texture flow endlessly. This is Caural’s world.

Caural was born in a basement. Before spending a decade on earth, Zachary Mastoon and pal Stuart Bogie recorded cellar jam sessions on Casio keyboard, electric guitar, and cheapo microphone. The two lads committed Sun Ra-soaked hip-hop for seven-year-olds to tape. Stuart sprouted into a saxophonist for Afro-Beat all-stars Antibalas, while Mastoon lassoed youthful enthusiasm into the refined spontaneity of Caural. His debut, Initial Experiments in 3-D, was a dive into what Mastoon calls “dimensional music.” “(I was) composing from memories to create expressions of space, time, and warmth,” he says. “It was an album for myself.”

Caural’s music blossoms from borrowed notes. “I go to the library, check out ten CDs at a time and pour through them, finding beautiful moments that can be used in new ways,” explains Mastoon. From Javanese gamelan to fusion jazz, he excavates exceptional flashes from forgotten wax and ties them into new forms. “I make imagined albums,” he says. “I hear sounds I like and say, ‘What if this happened next?’ It’s a remix of what’s in my head.”

Mastoon is a natural explorer, unfolding inspiration into action. His loops around the world make Marco Polo blush. Traveling has influenced Caural’s work more than anything else. “You get bug eyes in the back of your head,” he claims. “You start to see things differently.” This nature extends into the studio, where Mastoon freaks for fun- plucking mbira through a wah, recording bricks, and using water bottles as shakers.

“Everything has been done but as long as you act from your origin and dig it, it’s cool,” explains Mastoon of his mantra. “I strive to be true to myself and make music from my heart and experience.”

- Frosty