Please forgive my indulgence as I wax lyrical about The Ephemeral Man, who is one year old today! (6.6.13)
Life is an intricate thing: dazzling, maddening and magnificent. It shapes and defines us whether we like it or not, and we had best heed the inner-self we shelter so keenly, for we know what we want far more than we admit to others or ourselves. Sometimes life is kind, sometimes not. It is almost certain that life will not proceed quite as we expect it, but it is often the better for it, even if only in retrospect.
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Seuss
In a little over a month, I’ll be thirty-eight years old. How I’ve changed! Yet the core me is the same as it ever was. I am, at heart, an introverted geek who loves to dwell in worlds of imagination and creative fugues.
Last year I decided to adopt an alter ego so that I could create outside of the restraints that the mundane me might hold over myself.
The adoption of the moniker The Ephemeral Man seemed to appropriately evoke the often fleeting state of unmediated creativity within which such magnificence (whether subjective or otherwise) often occurs.
When I am The Ephemeral Man, nothing else matters but the intent to creatively express and experience.
To begin with I started a Tumblr blog, and set myself a six week challenge.
[ It’s worth noting that The Ephemeral Man has a bit of a fixation with the number 6 – probably influenced by my love of the classic 60’s programme The Prisoner – The Ephemeral Man was officially born on the 6.6.12, and I have it in mind that he has a lifespan of 6 years ]
The challenge was to keep to a schedule of posting. Mondays I would post some photography, art, or other kind of “oblique expression”. Wednesdays, an “Eclectic Mix” of music. Fridays, a “Psychedelic Exploration” mix, and Sundays, a “strange episodic tale of a gelatinous blob called Pid”. This last I wrote and read myself, using my camcorder to record the 3-5 minute episodes. It was lo-fi but fun, and I’m toying with the idea of re-vamping the project with better recording, effects, and music.
[ Episodes of Pid’s Pod, as well as all of my mixes, photography, art, and writings during that six week period and beyond can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of the archive of my Tumblr blog here. There is also a direct link to Episode 1 of Pid’s Pod here ]
After the six week stretch was completed, I moved on to “Phase two” of The Ephemeral Man, which consisted of experimental mixes, artistic postings, and quasi-experiential writings from the curious (unravelling?) mind of the alter ego. This last is a side of The Ephemeral Man that I’d like to develop further in the future, but at the time I became distracted by an urge to create original electronic music, by no small part inspired by the lo-fi experimentation of modern tape culture and the output of projects like Ricky Eat Acid and Lost Trail.
I realised that I didn’t need lots of expensive equipment to start making music; I didn’t really need much of anything at all except the determination to create. And so, using my laptop running some open source music creation software, my camcorder for field recordings, the internet for public domain samples, and the open source software I use for mixing, the first Ephemeral Man album Nacreous Clouds was born. I’ve since begun to upgrade my equipment and refine the use of what I have, but I’m proud of this first album.
To celebrate The Ephemeral Man’s birthday, Nacreous Clouds is now available digitally for “pay what you like” – so you can download it for free, or throw a few virtual coins my way if you wish. There are some of the limited double-disc editions of the album left too, which are now only £6 each.
There are also a few of the very limited Box of Ephemera left (there will only ever be 10 of these), which contain:
– a handwritten copy of my dark fantasy short story collection Creeps (each copy of which is just under 24,000 words & took about 50 hours to complete)
– limited edition handcrafted Nacreous Clouds double-disc CD-R
– 36 printed black & white photographs from the Shades of Grey project
– “Inspirational dice game” (includes a die)
– original piece of art on an 8 X 6 inch canvas board
all contained within a genuine Romeo & Juliet Habana cigar box!
The Box of Ephemera has now been reduced to just £30. A content reduced digital version of the Box is also available for £6. Shop here.
I mentioned my dark fantasy short story collection Creeps above. You can read one of the stories in full here, and an extract of another here.
Creeps is now available in new digital formats: mobi, pdf, and rtf – with epub coming soon, for only $5 (which is about £3.25). You can buy it here.
And if you’d like to read a nice review of the collection, there’s one here.
Today is also the pre-order launch day of Wyrd Daze, an experimental collaborative zine with writing, art, and a music download. I’m really excited about this, and the response from those I asked to contribute exceeded my expectations.
My contributions to the zine are: an alt-reality sci-fi weird-fiction story called Arthur Chance and the Lacuna Breeze, and four new Ephemeral Man tracks. The full list of contents can be found here.
My intention is for the zine to be available for free, with buyers paying just for the cost of shipping. However, I’ve left the “pay what you want” option open because the zine is costing me more than $300 to produce, and any donations would increase the likelihood of a second issue.
There are just 50 copies of the zine available, so snap them up quick here.
I’ve also produced a special extended version of The Ephemeral Man’s contribution to the Wyrd Daze zine as a CD, with two extra tracks not on the Wyrd Daze compilation. Limited to just 25 copies, they can be bought here.
And as if all of that is not enough cause for celebration, début print issue of The Famulus – A journal of neo-fabulism is now available to pre-order, and to that I contributed a short story called Raven and the Boggart and a suite of exclusive Ephemeral Man music!
The full contents is listed as follows
– SIGHTING THE TRIPLE KIRKS: a psychogeographic essay by Kieron Bacon
Artwork by Paul Watson
– RAVEN AND THE BOGGART: a modern Fairy Tale by Leigh Wright
– EDGE OF THE CITY – OCCULTISM IN EAST LONDON: an artistic exploration by Ada Jusic
– WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH: an examination of Corpse Roads and their history by Dr. Lucy Ryder
Plus free download of a specially created hauntological soundtrack by the Ephemeral Man
The zine is limited to 50 copies, and when I looked yesterday, 32 of those had gone already. Pre-order here.
Happy Birthday, Ephemeral Man!