dan sherman – process part 402

By: modyfier

Oct 29 2017

Category: Uncategorized

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DAN SHERMAN

“Visionaries of the Night”

A little more than four years ago, reacting to a gracious good word put in by a complicated force of creation and antagonism in my life at the time, Rayna, the creator of Modyfier, invited me to participate in the Process Series.

“It’s not always easy to know when a good idea may come along,” she wrote, “but I find it’s the practice part that can open you up, so that when it does, you’re ready to catch it.”

She invited me to aim at nothing, to ride the energy that surfaces.

“Pursue the unknown by throwing questions at it and following them like flares.”

She wrote about flow and artistic exploration and the expression of spirit and play and creativity, and she asked that I consider intuition versus gut instinct, all of which struck a deep chord and stuck with me, but most importantly, she made it crystal clear that there was no deadline, no pressure. What an awesome opportunity.

Accepting her invitation felt like being a little kid eagerly running outside to make believe in midwinter snow all afternoon.

To Rayna and the mysterious foe of sorts from long ago, thank you.

And to you, the listener, this is what I feel I ought to say, for whatever it’s worth:

This mix made itself.

I mean, I made it, but not really. What did was a force that moved through me, sometimes for hours, sometimes for just a minute – the energy that surfaced.

Occasionally, the force would stay with me for weeks. Other times, it would leave and be gone for months – no flares to follow. When it was with me, I worked on the mix. When it was gone, I didn’t touch the mix. When parts of the mix didn’t feel right, I shook the Etch A Sketch. And then I waited, sometimes for quite a while, for that which worked through me to return by my side.

I didn’t aim at anything. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it grew.

Time passed. The Earth orbited the Sun once, twice, then again, then again.

The mix formed and reformed, little by little, moment by moment, manifesting and shapeshifting and materializing until just a few days ago, when I put away the paint, washed my brushes and took a look at the painting. Now, as I’m looking, as I’m listening, I’m wondering.

Why is this song here? Why is that song there? Why did I need the sounds I recorded in Hong Kong? Why the sounds I recorded in New Zealand? Why the sounds of birds perched in trees that live where my father lives? Why the sounds of brass chimes on my mother’s front porch and the sounds of wood chimes on my oldest friend’s back porch? Why the other sounds I captured? Why the words I chose from those who spoke them? Why isn’t the mix longer? Why isn’t it shorter? Why is it sequenced and put together the way it is? Why four years?! Is it good? Is it bad? Does it matter? What is it? What does it do? Where did it come from? How did it form? What does it mean?

Maybe I’ll find answers someday, but for now, I’m content not knowing.

For those of you who plan to listen to this mix, my only request is that you listen to it as a whole from beginning to end with minimal distraction and at a solid volume, if you can. And if you’re willing and you want to tell me how the mix made you feel and what you thought of it, if it made you feel or think anything you find worth sharing, I would genuinely really love to hear what you have to say, because I’ve never made a mix like this and I doubt I’ll ever make a mix like this again. I’m not sure if it’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious material, but I like it. It speaks to me. I hope you like it. And I hope it speaks to you too.

Lastly, one of Rayna’s prompts from years ago was to consider where one’s creative and aesthetic powers and qualities come from, how they form and shape us, how we live with them day by day in our own unique ways. My intuition is that my creativity is rooted somewhere outside of myself – beyond me, I think in the same place I would travel to as a child playing outside in the snow, imagining and inhabiting a world that back then, didn’t feel like it needed to be imagined to be inhabited.

I know that what I create is an actualization of something within me, but I don’t really feel like my creativity is mine. I feel like it’s an energy that visits me, sometimes very briefly, sometimes for a few full moons, as a guest in the home of my soul. The instinct I feel – the instinct I think all artists feel – is to channel and interact with and transmute that force when it appears, capture the electricity in the air, follow intuition, wherever it leads, and go with the flow until it’s time to let go, if there ever is such a time.

And as the years pass, an aesthetic forms – a philosophy of beauty, a way of living with this mysterious universe in our mysterious bodies, a relationship with the ineffable and inscrutable nature of existence – and, with an emotive and evocative charge, this aesthetic somehow shapes the expression of our representations of reality, to ourselves and to others, in ways that allow us to deeply and truly feel the feeling of existing.

“It is like an autumn evening under a colorless expanse of the silent sky. Somehow, as if for some reason that we should be able to recall, tears well uncontrollably.” – Kamo no Chōmei

The force, the energy, the essence, the spirit, the magic.

The dance that is dancing the dancer.

What is it?

Inspiration. Emotion. Love.

Thank you for listening. It means a lot to me.


1. Chimes At Mom’s House (Excerpt 1) – Field Recording
2. Along The River Trail (Excerpt 1) – Field Recording
3. Hong Kong Street Chatter – Field Recording
4. The Power Of Imagination (Excerpt 1) – Carl Jung
5. Along The River Trail (Excerpt 2) – Field Recording
6. Kings (Original Mix) – Alaskalaska
7. Along the River Trail (Excerpt 3) – Field Recording
8. Freezer (Original Mix) – The/Das
9. Chimes At Adrian’s House (Excerpt 1) – Field Recording
10. Birds In Dad’s Yard (Excerpt 1) – Field Recording
11. New Reality (Original Mix) – Laurine Frost
12. For (Original Mix) – Noe & Nyolfen
13. It’s Really Just A Hallucination feat. Merival – Isaac Horvath
14. Travelers (L Ron Remix) – Julian Lynch
15. C2 (Original Mix) – Rain Dog
16. Skyline Glow (Original Mix) – Alveol
17. A Surprising And Meaningful Answer You Might Not Expect – Bill Murray
18. No Meditation (Pablo Bolivar Solar Mix) – Pulshar
19. Humpback Whale Song – Humpback Whales
20. Holocene (A Cappella) – Bon Iver
21. Half Asleep (Lusine Remix) – School Of Seven Bells
22. Passmiss (Sieren’s ICE941 Remix) – La Boum Fatale
23. You And The Universe (Excerpt 1) – Alan Watts
24. Sitting By The Stream (Excerpt 1) – Field Recording
25. Amanogawa 1997 (Original Mix) – Susumu Yokota
26. You And The Universe (Excerpt 2) – Alan Watts
27. Space Is Connective (Excerpt 1) – Alan Watts
28. Space is Connective (Excerpt 2) – Alan Watts
29. Sitting By The Stream (Excerpt 2) – Field Recording
30. Rain Light – W.S. Merwin
31. Sitting By The Stream (Excerpt 3) – Field Recording
32. Hong Kong Taxi – Field Recording
33. Bright Clouds (Original Mix) – Unknown
34. Silky Paws (Galvino Remix) – Moett C
35. Space Is Connective (Excerpt 3) – Alan Watts
36. Birds In Dad’s Yard (Excerpt 2) – Field Recording
37. La Chute De L’Homme (Original Mix) – Marco Dassi
38. Absolute Dub 1 (Original Mix) – Yuuki Hori
39. Kill Me (Few Nolder Remix) – Markas Palubenka
40. Tesserae feat. dBridge (Original Mix) – CMX
41. Starlight (Echospace Dub) – Model 500
42. Woolloomooloo (Original Mix) – Dave DK
43. Alakai Swamp Birds – Field Recording
44. Secret Beach Waves – Field Recording
45. Volcano Dirt Walk – Field Recording
46. Chimes At Mom’s House (Excerpt 2) – Field Recording
47. Along the River Trail (Excerpt 4) – Field Recording
48. Chimes At Adrian’s House (Excerpt 2) – Field Recording
49. The Power Of Imagination (Excerpt 2) – Carl Jung
50. Birds In Dad’s Yard (Excerpt 3) – Field Recording
51. More Or Less (Original Mix) – Lake Powel
52. Birds In Dad’s Yard (Excerpt 4) – Field Recording
53. On Creativity – David Lynch