Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Medulla Explanations Pt.2 (the making)

Welcome to The Medulla Explanations part 2 (the making of TMT)
You’ve got the inside story, now here’s the outside scoop.

Spring 2009, Lewis Johnson, the Golden Mic King himself and I were working on Songs for Bloggers at Truth Studios, which ended up getting released soon after in June. It was loads of fun spitting out productions and ideas, learning to mix, and experimenting with wild song formats. This was right after recovering from a tonsillectomy and also just as I had given up (for various reasons) on recording my original first album by the name of *For Star People Becoming Human with who would become my future mixing engineer Dave Green (More on him later). I was in a vulnerable place vocally with a totally new voice which I am still trying to get used to, to this day. I was going by the alias Dot back then. (remember that guy)
During a hang out session with Lewis, between popsicles and Pixar movies, the conversation of me finally breaking down and doing a project happened. At this point there was no excuse. I had co-piloted Songs for Bloggers to a safe landing, so I knew it could be done. So that’s precisely what I did. 

For the next 3 weeks I showed up at the Johnson residence around 8am on my fixed gear bicycle, fixed Lewis a vegan breakfast, then I would go to work in the lab. Didn’t actually take long for me to come up with 10 different production that sounded diverse enough yet from the same family to hold down an ambitious record like the one in my mind’s eye and ear. By August I was ready to start vocal recording so I set out to record at my brother’s (Vitamin D) studio The Pharmacy. Maxie (Mystique) Jamal and I would start in the early morning around 3am before I would go work. Things later became a bit unpredictable with scheduling on the studio’s end and for one reason or another we wouldn’t be able to record there. Eventually I started looking for another place to record.

Meanwhile Lewis was preparing to move to Los Angeles.
Later that fall I arranged with Lewis to record at Truth Studio. I got the green light and proceeded to work. During that time I got to interact with Lewis’s wonderful family, George (Pop), John (JMilla), Tanesa and Kaydee (the pitch shifter). Tirelessly I worked along with Maxie, clear into December and nearly completed mixing with the assistance of Lewis coming back for a post holiday visit. In this same time I was helping to clean, rewire and paint the studio with John and Pop and working on side projects with other artist recording in truth studios. Just when things we’re gaining momentum a shift occurred. I was forced to move my workings and my project elsewhere. That was the beginning of the Saturn Retrograde. This was a very sad time for me as the future of my transmissions were more uncertain than ever before. It was also during this period when Dot died.  

It wasn’t until the end of the retrograde in May 2010 that I even had an opportunity to begin thinking about completing the project thanks to a very dear friend and school mate of mine. THE GREEN WIZARD, Dave Green, whom I must say is a far more brilliant musician/singer/songwriter/engineer than I. His work will melt your brain with goodness!!!!
A disparate telephone call after almost an entire year had gone by with little to no communication set the second half of the album’s journey in motion.
Dave helped me salvage my scrambled encrypted audio files and reformatted them so that we could mix in Protools and did a spectacular job if I may say so myself. It was a glorious summer at Houdini’s Tree, mixing, barbecuing, eating, movie watching, video game playing, long walks and good old fashion bonding with my old buddy Dave and his lovely wife Ann (and of course Sam). Around the tail end of the mastering, another miracle appeared from on high. Jennie Lucas is her name, who just happens to be Dave’s sister. When Dave and I were discussing album art, he referred me to her. Jennie and I met and brainstormed on a a couple of graphic concepts and I knew from the beginning that she was going to be wonderful to work with. She came forth with great ideas and seemed to understand my visions from the beginning. It wasn’t long until we did a quick photo shoot and she went to work. We went back and forth via email until the vision was realized. Jennie was super supportive and understanding with all my pickyness and I love her for it.
The Medulla Transmissions saw it’s first bit of daylight at a performance Maxie and I did at the Capital Hill Block party with Air to a Bird. (Amos Miller, Gabriel Teodros, Estrella de’Leon, Lara Davis)
Dave and I put a seal on the Masters in early August of 2010.

Fall 2010.
After running into Amos Miller numerous times at various events, him and I finally sat down and talked about a project he was doing with Hollis Wong-Wear. Together they were The Heartfelts. He wanted to pull me in on production and I thought it was a great idea.
We linked up at Buttermilk Studios and I tool a listen to their rough recordings of 5 songs and I was deeply moved.
After a couple of months of developing with The Heartfelts, playing some gigs, helping to record and vocal produce Act 1 a 5 song EP and releasing it, the turn of the year was upon me. I knew it was time to release the album. I had managed to get my name out quite a bit playing with The Heartfelts and interacted with quite a few musicians. January was the month I would have liked the release, but I was a little too busy with other aspect of my life. Time burned right through chilly February and finally on the first of March, The Medulla Transmissions was out to the public.

I thought it might be appropriate to post my thank you’s and acknowledgements. It will serve as a perfect close to this chapter of TMT.

||| Reflections |||
To "the ONE", the transmitter of the greatest transmission. These recordings are for YOU. You've got my attention and I'm listening. To my Earth family: Lisa, Herman, Derrick, Kisa, Dana, Aja thank you for putting up with such an alien for all these years. Hope I can make you all proud.  To the Johnson Family: Lewis, George and John, this project would be no such thing if it weren't for all three of you. Our time together will not soon be forgotten. To David Green: I just need to pause for a moment................. for everything you are and everything you've done. There is no way to thank you, so I'm not going to try. We're just going to keep doing exactly what we're suppose to do. To Jennie Lucas: My ears might have heard, but they wouldn't have seen "TMT" if it weren't for you.  You're a wonder! To Maxie Mystique Jamal: Thank you for being you and being here, always. I'm not going anywhere! To my ethereal family: You know who you are and I know I'll never make it through this transition without you. Lets continue to evolve and to vibrate higher. To the versions of the program: I bet you think this song is about you! Don't you? Well, you're absolutely right!!! To YOU reading this: This pilgrim couldn't make progress without you, so for all of you, I am forever grateful.

Jahon Mikal

||| End of Transmission |||

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Medulla Explanation " what's this all about?"

I’m sure most of you know by now that about a week ago I released my very first solo album by the name of “The Medulla Transmissions.” Now that it is released, anyone that knows me, knows that I want nothing to do with it any longer, let alone promoting it any further. I’d like to let the work speak for it’self and let word of mouth carry it to new listeners. One night as I was laying my head down preparing to slumber, a voice began to chatter, wouldn't allow me to slip into my 8 hour coma. It kept urging me to talk about the record. I gave in and started writing breaking it up into two parts. 1.) An explanation of the album it’self, 2.) The Making of the record.

Lets start with some basic questions.

What is "The Medulla Transmission"?
To answer that I must answer another question.
What is the Medulla Oblongata?
It's a portion of your brain right by the stem, but it is far more that gooey brain matter in your skull. It is the energetic center from which we receive our cosmic energy. A form of energy weather we wish to acknowledge or not, we NEED to survive. It's our little crystal radio that receives cosmic transmissions of primordial sound. It is commonly referred to in the metaphysical world as "the mouth of God"
In the tail end of "In the Beginning" Mystique recites a poem explaining this very concept.
"oh no no no my darling,
man cannot live off bread alone,
but from every word that utterith from the mouth of God,
Nourishment of the cosmic kind, but first you must still the mind,
tune in as the universe chants it's mantras,
Transmissions of the Medulla Oblongata"

Now back to our original question...
The Medulla Transmissions is a collection of expressions in celebration of primordial sound. Within these expressions are the life stories of those who have dared to venture to the land within and listen to these transmissions and the earthbound travesties that befalls them as a result.
...and now l guide through each Transmission.
IN THE BEGINNING: The tone you first hear rings the musical note (B) witch is the frequency associated with crown chakra. Then you’ll find yourself listening in on a one sided conversation about an ever present sound thought to be coming from the source of all things and also how the humans are not vibrating at their highest frequency. Being that everything matter is vibration, everything is sound. This song serves as an acknowledgement of the intelligence of sound.

I'VE KNOWN THE GARDEN (Instrumental):  A first person journey through a night garden. A Utopian reality of Earth in perfect harmony and balance, until you the lone wanderer follows a straying dragonfly over the crest of a hill to look down into the valley in terror at the blinding confusing lights of a seemingly ever expansive city. You return to your lovely night garden without the innocence of not knowing that your Utopian reality is only a fantasy and shall soon be discovered and taken over by the inhabitants of this metropolis
THE ASYLUM: Here you'll hear a sedated Jahon talking to you from the confines of a padded cell feeling deflated in every way possible, and under the influence of behavioral medications prescribed by his childhood shrink. This song reflects on the struggles of indigo children (and first wave Indigo adults) trying to interface with a system that doesn't recognize their other worldly intelligence. Deemed as insane and cast out by members of his family, religious institutions and the educational system, his worthlessness was reinforced at every turn, so he turned within, where he would find his true self worth which spans far beyond the confines of the world man has created to contain and control it. Thus escaping the asylum.
PILGRIM'S PROGRESS: This song is about my interactions with a young man who wanted to embark on the journey of self discovery, but didn't seem to want to take the responsibility for his own ascension. Instead he tried to use me as a scapegoat so he could straddle the fence of his old fraudulent life and his newly awaken state. My life path number is 9, meaning I must walk the path of wisdom and integrity and most of all leading by example. Pilgrim's Progress serves as a mantra for me to stop trying to rescue people and let them find their own path to self actualization. Yes, show them the door, but allow them to walk through it on their own. Otherwise it's ever so taxing on me. (that's why I can't do it.)

STATIC CLING: This song speaks on the sea of advertising we're subject to living in a major city or simply owning a television set. With one conglomerate company dominating the air waves our values have rapidly become skewed and we can no longer find the negative space to unplug and recalibrate to our internal value system. But a wonderful thing is happening with the rise of social media. People are starting to value the word of their peers over the ever present voice of corporate advertisements. The true value of things are beginning to be exposed. Most importantly we're beginning to march to our internal drums once again.

GHOST IN THE MACHINE: Individuality can oftentimes land you in a place of obsolescence in a society based on normality. You begin to feel like a ghost; something not of this realm that nobody quite knows what to do with. Is there a place to belong for a phantom?

THE TRUTH BEHIND YOUR NIGHTMARE: People create false identities for themselves in order to be more comfortable within the confines of social norms. I see right through them so to their factitious world I become a threat. But the cowards wouldn't dare face me. Instead they run , afraid to transform and to be exposed for who they really are. Symptoms of a terminally ill society.

TURNED SADDER AT SATURN: A song about a major astrological event in the life of any individual known as THE SATURN RETURN. Saturn returns to it's place in orbit when you were born every 29.5 years, and with that comes harsh realities, lots of changes, new found purpose, and new challenges. I have yet to go through this rebirth myself.

NO RETURN POLICY: The finale of the album takes a look at the concept of a contract life agreement with my higher self to stick my mission out until it is my time to return to the other world.  My purpose and mission upon this planet has become increasingly harder to accomplish. Thus leading to apathy, depression, and the over all feeling of a life wasted struggling to do anything at all useful. Thoughts and feelings of quitting are constant especially sense there is nothing guaranteed in life. The only conclusion is to keep going and to let the story unfold as it will and to do what  I can with the moments I am granted.

Welcome to a big piece of my world. Hope you found something you could relate to, but if not it’s okay. I’m used to being the sol occupant of crazy town, cause after all crazy is a population of one.

Thanks for Listening
Jahon Mikal

Monday, March 7, 2011

Welcome to the End of Transmission

Dear Comrades,

You are now experiencing the end of transmission, graduating off the grid, disassociated with delusion, diverted from the deception, transcending the trivial, counteracting the counterfeit, hovering above the hoax, repelling regularity, renouncing the ridiculousness... Happy Recalibrating!