When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.
- Henry David Thoreau
In late 2001, I got my first computer with a CD burner in it. The Philosopher
was a project that I had been tossing around in my head for a couple of months, but the very idea of it required me to be able to combine tracks, something which I was unable at the time to do. I changed platforms (the first time) and found that I was able to crossfade tracks from one to the other, making the idea of this album, which was meant to "a collection of tracks, seamlessly edited together that would inspire a trance-like state for the listener." I therefore set out to make my first real concept album. In many ways, I consider The Philosopher
, along with the original California or Bust
soundtrack tape*, to be "missing link" between the mixes that I used to make on tape and minidisc to the "albums" I make today. When I listen to it now, I can hear my own enthusiasm in it.
However, over time that mix got lost. Unfound, but never forgotten.
In the subsequent years, I cannibalized several ideas from that mix into some others. The idea of framing an album with the "Journey" theme from Michael Small's Mountains of the Moon
would find a more appropriate home on my The Farthest Reaches
compilation, for example. I made two other albums with a similar idea, Ethereal
, both of which I was quite pleased with. I even attempted at one point to revise the original
, but I never found that version as satisfying, although I did like some aspects of it.
I found a copy of the original version of The Philosopher
while going through a stack of old data CDs. I listened to it carefully, and decided that I really, really wanted to revisit this project and bring it "into the fold," so to speak, with the rest of my mixes. After giving Ethereal
a really good listen, I decided to return to the original and redo it in such as way as so to replicate the best of both versions, and make it fit with these two newer mixes. As a result, I went back to some of the tracks that graced the original, but retained many that were on the redux version... and because of the fact that the concept of the other two albums were so close, it now becomes volume one of a (currently) three disc cycle; Textures
became the second, and Ethereal
became the third. This disc was therefore retitled Sensations
and the set is now called "The Philosopher." The artwork and CD-Text for the previous two mixes have been updated to reflect this.
As with the previous versions, this is an album that is blatantly trippy. A lot of the tracks tend to have a sense of what I consider 'weighty stillness' to them. Others have a sense of 'restrained intensity,' to paraphrase Thor Joachim Haga. Like many of my mixes, this one was designed with a 'side one' and 'side two' in mind, although unlike the two Farthest Reaches
and my Drivin'
rock mix, they are not necessarily delineated as such. The disc is much shorter than the previous editions, but is more in line with the other two volumes that are now in this series (not to mention that I used tracks from both in other mixes, thus thinning out the selections somewhat).
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Title Quote: Percy Bysshe Shelley
*Tee hee. The idea was that California or Bust was a film from 1982 that nobody had seen because the soundtrack was too expensive to license. The tape cover I made mimicked those old MCA and Arista cassette covers that had a reduction of the LP art and a bar code on the front (if you scanned it, it would come up as the Rhino remaster of Doctor Zhivago. I thought that was funny at the time for some reason). The "LP cover" was a landscape with Death hitching a ride (those of you who remember the old Kovatu logo, that was it), and it listed the bands and had the "Double Play: Equal to Two LPs" notice in the corner. The track listing was divided into four parts, one for each side of the two LP set. That was in 1997. I made the cover at Tower Records Damn, I wish I could find that tape.