Bewilder is an attempt to explore and unpack natural cycles of creation and destruction to investigate whether it is possible or worthwhile to escape the world's tendency toward violence and unraveling. These instrumental and impressionistic pieces shift between ambient calm and aggressive energy in unexpected ways, highlighting the way nature embraces generation and ruin in equal measure.
"Stalagmite (dripdripdrip)" meditates on the dual nature of water. Water is both a life-giving force and primary vehicle for erosion on our planet. Relentless dripping of water can construct incredible calcified structures in caverns, and, when used as torture, it can make someone feel as if a hole is being bored into their skull. Water nourishes and destroys, all while submitting wholly to the laws of nature.
"Beecombing Human in the Hive" embodies the violence that goes hand-in-hand with the process of creation. Whether it's the bloody process of mammalian birth, the destructive force required to escape an egg, the sculpting of a form from a solid mass, or the physical and spiritual separation of an individual as it develops an identity from the raw material of humanity, there is always a violence inherent in making what is into what could be.
"Approaching Zavodovski (Mount Asphyxia)" uses the drama of chinstrap penguins in the Traversay Islands to imagine the nobility of accepting and submitting to the forces that govern nature and life. As seen in BBC's Planet Earth II, these penguins engage in a perilous and often fatal struggle out of the waves and up the rock walls of their island home in an attempt to bring food back to their starving offspring. The instinctive impulse to nurture new life in spite of thrashing seas and imposing rock requires an ignorance of its futility, as the young who survive simply repeat the same violent spectacle for a new generation.
"Complete Meltdown of Humanity" takes its name from a United Nations description of the massacre of civilians by government forces in Aleppo, Syria. It pits the work of human ingenuity and creativity against the incredible destruction that this same energy often produces. It questions whether the creative energies can exist at all without the destructive ones and, ultimately, whether the beauty that humans conceive can outlast the tendency to blow it all up.
released October 27, 2017
back cover photo graciously contributed by Drew Etienne
special thanks to Derrick Hostetter (Dark Modular Cases) for wise, intuitive, and enthusiastic guidance in shaping this work