Saturday, August 27, 2011



This is the second MCD SPECIAL EDITION. The last one came back in February and was a holiday edition. If you haven't seen it, please check it out: MINICONCEPTDOC #53: SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION: (HEART EMOTICON) 

I have just a few notes on today's MINICONCEPTDOC.

I get so sentimental with these MCD's... They're like little chicks hopping around at my feet. Or goslings, staying close in tow.

This new MCD is special in a few ways:

1. It marks my first time to the true west. I look forward to returning. It had a profound impact on me.

2. It showcases some very special music.

3. It commemorates the storm that is currently baring down on my home state of New Jersey.

1.) My travels to the West included stops in Billings, Gardiner, and Livingston, Montana. The latter half of this MCD places us in Yellowstone from Gardiner to Old Faithful in the Wyoming portion of the country's first National Park.

In Livingston I quickly became enamored with the "Americaness" of the town. I mean, portions of the classic cinematic homage to Montana, A River Runs Through It, were filmed there.

But even more so, I was captured by the beauty of its "places". "Places" that are marked in the tradition of hand-painted, bulbed and neon signs. These signs, for me, mark another time. To see layers of former paintings fighting through years of updated advertisements and businesses is like witnessing history overcome itself.

2.) The music in this MCD is special in a couple of ways. The first selection was created by British musician William Yates under the name memotone. I discovered his work on http://freemusicarchive.org/. It's an excellent site that musicians use to allow their work to be downloaded at no expense. The site allows the artist to set the usage rights for each song and many songs allow Creative Commons usage, which is a great thing for filmmakers, DJ's and other artists interested in remixing and mashing.

The second track, Irene, comes from the American icon in folk/blues music Huddie William Ledbetter, also known as Leadbelly or Lead Belly. I've always had a special connection to Lead Belly as we share a birthday: January 20th. Though, there is some confusion as to his actual birthday (it could be the 23rd), I like to think we share the day.

I think the choice for the song is obvious. I suppose I am caught up in hurricane fever just like everyone else!

There are several recordings of the song, with various listings as well: Irene; Goodnight Irene; Irene, Goodnight, Irene. This particular version, Irene, has a quicker tempo than most and comes with accompaniment. It was recorded in 1944.

Before we move on to the show, let me leave you with the words that Norman Maclean sends us off with at the end of his novella which lends its name to the film mentioned above. They are at once inspiring, thoughtful, philosophic, and spiritual; and the images and songs I put together in this piece try to aspire to those words, full well knowing I could never match them:

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.  The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.  On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops.  Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters."


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