These thirteen free improvisations comprise a compilation of performances from my YouTube channel, where I share my weekly sonic meditation Deep Listening practice.
They are downtempo ambient drone affairs. Beats tend to textures. A wide array of acoustic, electronic, electro-acoustic, and digital instruments are used. Long-form excursions that put this album at just under 400 minutes of music.
I wanted to make these more widely available because it's some of the most personal music I have ever performed. I hope you find your own Deep Listening within its long breaths and emergent structures. For the musicologically curious, deeper background appears below.
Thank you for your support! Enjoy this Body Listen.
In March of 2022 I learned I have Complex PTSD. Shortly before that, I had developed a chronic migraine condition where I am sensitive to sound (of all things). When it's active my brain sends me signals that sound is being heavily distorted, when it's not.
My actual hearing is fine for my age, but COVID in 2020 left behind a tinnitus problem that exacerbates the hyperacusis. The result is that my ears are constantly filled with phasing, crunchy, distorted white noise. I've been in treatment for 3+ years, and it has only gotten better through the healing power of sound... not in spite of it, which I finally had to face.
Before March of 2022 I was afraid of making music. Not being able to DJ any longer stole a passion from my heart. Not being able to handle the noise of a live show has meant no more concerts for me, as attendee or participant. There are entire genres I used to love which I can no longer listen to. I fell into a dark and lonely despair. Decades of symptoms rushed to trip me up. I was fired from my job. I sought psychiatric help, which I had never done.
Alongside therapy work, I decided to take my Deep Listening practice a lot more seriously. I remember Pauline's words that it quieted her "monkey mind" and gave her meditative focus. That's what I needed. I decided I would carve out one day each week (typically Wednesday evening), turn on the camera to get me into a receptive intuition stance, and record a concentrated sonic meditation. Most of the time drones and ambience, sometimes they escape into more complex forms.
Meditation and mindfulness is what my therapists and mentors have urged me to use to help me with C-PTSD's constellation of behaviors and my neurodivergent traits. The weekly Deep Listening exercises have been incredibly motivating for me to heal, and sometimes they dissipate the migraine entirely. So I don't do it when I feel like it, I do it as a discipline. A lot of times I don't feel like it at all.
I will never "be free" of PTSD, I know that. I may never be free of this migraine. But because I am leaning heavily on music to help me through, I feel a lot more like a musician than I ever have. Even though the migraine sounds persist while I'm making music, I am including them as part of my listening, and it gives me the bond I need to integrate my whole person.
released January 3, 2024
Craque improvises with all these things (and occasionally sings):
* Epiphone Les Paul PeeWee "tabletop" guitar
* Fender Electro-Acoustic Ukelele
* Hunquejarp Sampleboard (invented instrument)
* Amplified objects (rocks, chains, metal springs, alligator clips)
* Doepfer Modular Synth
* Eurorack Modular & Synth DIY
* Ensoniq ESQ-1
* Electrix Repeater
* Line6 DL4 v1 Delay Modeler
* Neutral Labs Elmyra
* Korg NTS-1
* Korg Volca Drum
* Korg SQ-1 (x2)
* Roland TR-08
* MakeNoise 0-CTRL
* MakeNoise 0-Coast
* Moog Werkstatt-01
* Dinsync Gilbert
* Arturia Microbrute
* Shotmaker Heroine Deluxe Distortion
* MXR Carbon Copy
* EHX Holy Grail Plus
* EHX Canyon Delay
* EHX Hot Tubes
* Mooer Pitch Box
* Fender Chorus
* EarthQuaker Rainbow Machine
* Boss RC-2 Loop Station
* JamMan Solo X-1
* KOMA Field Kit
* KOMA Field Kit FX
* Alesis Quadraverb
* Alesis M-EQ230 Multiband EQ
* Alesis 3630 Dual Compressor
* Zoom Audio Q2n Video Recorder
* Pioneer DJM-450
* Technics SL-1210MSG Turntables
* Shure Whitelabel styli
* Locked groove vinyl (i.e. RRR-1000, Starfish Pool, So Takahashi, various battle tool records)