Here's another 20-year-old tune from my album leave a trace. It's a bit obscure and inscrutable, perhaps, but it has a connection to something subconscious and "out there" for me and I wonder if anyone else gets anything out of it. Here's how I described the writing and production in my studio log:

This is quite a jam, something alive and changing, it probably takes a lot of listens to hear it all. The music really reflects the lyrics' sentiments of fractal decay and beauty. It started with me and Jon jamming in his living room on August 24, 1995. He just started grooving on the drums, and I got an electric guitar going, whapped some congas for a minute, then went back to the guitar. Then on March 15, 1996, the bass was recorded just grooving and meandering. Then the acoustic guitars just sort of followed along, blurring the borders between chords, never quite repeating with the same pattern. Then on March 17, 1996, with four guitars ringing in my ears again, I looked through my book and found what was a poem and turned it into a lyric that rolled along with the music in a fractal, non-repeating pattern kind of way. The more I hear it the more I groove on what happened there and then, why and when, here and now.

And here's a journal entry about it from a April 3, 1996, a couple of weeks after I'd finished it:

Man, so many things to do, such piles of lists, piles and piles of lists of lists upon lists, an an e-mail inbox with 500 items, lists of mail unfiltered into those hundred long maillist and project list of email correspondence every word caught and referenced, sortable, searchable, accountable, datestamped and bloated. Something massively beautiful is jamming in my head now, the tune I called "really?" which fell together, one jam after another, folding all over myself, looped and recycled, caught in the act, playing with myself staring into the screen, soundwaves drawn in lines across the screen, copy and paste, punch in and out, adjust the pan and volume, something jiving and hurting comes alive, something rebelling and smart, something cool and alert, something knowing and sane, something crazy and wild and funny and interesting. . . . somehow blown away into something new, web and wonder, musical dances and email chances, messages of updates and performances, wonder, wish well, wow this never, ever will end will it? But without me it will wind on and whence I came and go no matters more than nothing no more none and pointless blur, saw that comet tail streak and watched the night envelop everything again out with my dog by the creek, up the field, back home, something delicious and unsung, untasted, unbegun, twisted questions unasked and teasing, frozen and pleasing, what entropy and quizzes battle singular insular thoughts into morphic group patterns and progress of beauty and construction. Run on run on, babble master.

The little drawings on this page are from my journal, scanned into my Mac when working on the CD booklet for leave a trace. These two are on the page for this song. The album cover and back cover are below. In late 1996 I'd just started working in Cornell's Advanced Technology Group, where I'd spent the last little while developing a "slide window" feature for the Mac version of the pioneering video-chat program CU-SeeMe. It allowed you to easily grab anything on your computer screen with an empty yellow frame that was a custom window implementation (WDEF), including stills from CU-SeeMe video windows. The bunches of numbered frames on the album cover all came from my testing this new feature. Selfies and Skyping back in 1996?!? Really?

Thanks for listening!



never too sure
always impure
something nasty and random
eats away at it
chaotic decay
up close the beauty
of symettry fades
and the beauty of complexity
fractal replication
icons, never changing patterns
logic fragments
the number of dimensions
is a variable and isn't
an integer
    drawn to
    often riddled
something major
    never answered

12 March 1996
© 1996 by Andy Wyatt

download: really_.mp3