I built a new recording rig that I’m excited about. I don’t like to talk too much gear on this site, but I’m quite pleased with the performance and cost-effectiveness of it. I have more tone-shaping options in the analog domain for tracking to work with. I also picked up a few new microphones that expand my arsenal of recording tools in a very useful way.

To test drive the new rig, I asked Eddy Dyer if he was up for a session. This song is the result. I also used the session as the basis for an upcoming Recording Magazine article about recording singer/guitarists at the same time. We got together with my new mics and rig, and the portable acoustic panels I bring to remote sessions, and we had a great quality mobile studio set up.

Then this happened:

We recorded two takes of Eddy playing his new Taylor guitar and singing at the same time. The first take was the best one; that’s the one you hear throughout most of the song. But the second take was really good too, so I edited it in to match the flow of the first take. That’s the 2nd guitar and the reverby chorus vocals you hear in the second half of the song. It was a nice moment, I’m lucky to have had my rig there to capture it.

Do you see?

Eddy Dyer – Far Be it From Me

This album was a treat to be a part of. It begin 13 years before I got involved. I’ll let Eddy tell the story:

“In 2003 my father died as I was traveling sacred pre-Christian sites in Ireland. Over the trip I wrote an album’s worth of songs dealing with loss, impermanence and grief. Started putting the album together and tracking in early 2004 then experienced a severe breakdown, and scrapped the project.

On Sunday, June 4th,2017, 14 years later, after losing both my brother Michael and my dear friend and longtime musical partner Brad Clarke earlier this year, I recorded the whole thing in one epic session; 13 songs altogether; 10 originals plus covers by my dearly missed friend Van Lawton, The Cure and PJ Harvey.”

Needless to say, this record has ghosts. We tracked the record in one day at The Halo Studios in Maine. We got Eddy’s guitar and vocal takes in about four hours, then spent another three or four recording tin whistle and backing vocals. There were a lot of room mics on this album, pretty much all the overdubs (whistle, backing vocals) were recording with ribbon room mics, where I had the performer stand in a different spot of the room for each overdub. For multiple takes, it sounds like a room full of musicians playing when you add them all together.

For the technically minded, this is the first album I’ve ever mixed using the Harrison Mixbus 32C DAW. This is a great mixing platform based on the open-source Ardour DAW, but with Harrison’s emulation of their famous 32C analog console bootstrapped on to it. I really like the workflow, and especially the sound, in mixing this way. I definitely plan to continue using Mixbus for mixing.

Podcast Episode 16 – Taboo to Totem: Heidegger & the Seduction of Fascism

©2017 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). As always, Crafted Recordings is about stories. If you have a story you’d like to tell, get in touch, yeah?

Episode Notes

First off, apologies for the long delay between episodes. Producing this episode was a struggle on many levels; Heidegger readers will not be surprised. Thinking about Heidegger evokes numerous struggles, one of which is Heidegger’s relationship with fascism and anti-semitism. Despite this history, interest in Heidegger’s thought remains strong. To find out why, and to more closely examine Heidegger’s (probably quite short-lived) seduction by fascist ideology, we interviewed three Heidegger scholars (in order of their appearance in the episode): Jeremiah Conway, philosopher, teacher, and author of The Alchemy of Teaching; philosopher, teacher, and Gods & Radicals writer Kadmus Herschel; and Susanne Claxton, philosopher, teacher, and author of  Heidegger’s Gods: An Ecofeminist Perspective.

Music for this episode came from Gin Mill Julep and Lani Thompson. Gin Mill Julep, at the time of this recording several years ago, consisted of Greg Bjork on mandolin, Ann Murray on accordion, and Paul Mattor on upright bass. The song in this episode is called “Mettsa Kukkia,” which is a single live performance (no overdubs) recorded in an old church building alongside the Saco River in Maine, and was remixed and edited for this episode. Lani’s performance of “Song Of The Nesting Bird” is on the kantele, an 11-stringed Finnish instrument that reminds me of a dulcimer with an utterly enchanting sound. Other background drone sounds and percussion were also added throughout the episode.


In the episode, there are three excerpts of Heidegger himself speaking in German. I found the following translations for them, but since I do not speak German I cannot vouch for their accuracy. They seem coherent to me, and are consistent with my very cursory understanding of Heidegger’s thought:

0:17 – 0:30

“The relation of human beings to language is undergoing a transformation, the consequences of which we are not yet ready to face.”

23:55 – 24:38

“I would say that men – for example in communism – have a religion, because they believe in science. They believe unconditionally in modern science. And this unconditional belief in science, that means the confidence in the certainty of the results of science is a belief and is, in a certain way – something that exceeds the existence of a single person, and is therefore a religion. And I would say: no one is without a religion, and everyone is in a certain manner transcending themselves.”

36:07 – 37:09

“The decisive experience of my thinking and that means at the same time for western philosophy the meditation on the history of western philosophy has shown me, that in the past one question did never appear: the question of being. And this question is relevant because we determine, in western thinking, that man is in a relation to being and that he exists by corresponding to being.”

Maine Thunderstorm Field Recording

I love to make field recordings of natural sounds & events. A really cool thunderstorm blew threw here the other day and I got a nice stereo recording. It’s been edited down to 40 minutes. The thunder really picks up about 3 minutes in, and is at its loudest between there and about 10 minutes in. It continues off & on. Also you will here the forest insects and the rain, and possibly the occasional vehicle driving by in the distance.

I was struck by the height dimension; in some of the thunderclaps you can hear the air rushing upwards, getting further from you. Very cool. This will make an ideal background or sound effects track for various applications, so I’m releasing it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Listen below or download the mp3 directly (this is a relatively low-res 128kbps mp3; if you require a higher-res version of it contact me).

©2017 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 15: Like A Dragon Newly Woken

©2017 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

A Love Song To Sacred Wild Water

This episode came together out of love and gratitude. Quite literally, the piano music by Zoe Knight comes directly from a love song, and provides the musical structure of this episode. In working with the elements, my favorite Water devotional practice is gathering my own drinking water at a spring near my home, where the cleanest, most refreshing water I’ve ever tasted flows like love from the ground. I recorded the sounds of the spring (and a water blessing) on one of my recent trips, and it’s a perfect sonic backdrop for this episode.

The brilliant “Like A Dragon Newly Woken” poetry & performance narrative comes from Guests of the Earth, a performance group in the UK consisting of Nicolas Guy Williams, Peter Dillon, and Gods & Radicals writer Lorna Smithers. They were kind enough to send me an original sound recording of their performance by Terry Quinn.

The music in this episode is piano and vocalizations written & performed by Zoe Knight, with bass, guitar, drums, spring field recordings, production, and mixing by James Lindenschmidt. Sound recording ©2017 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

This episode is dedicated with love and gratitude to the Aquifers and Water Protectors across the planet.

Like A Dragon Newly Woken

Red River Rushing

by Nicolas Guy Williams

deep in the heart ran the rusting river red earth mother rushing //
under bridge leaping stone past old dripping wood bones //
carrying the water out to far ocean earth bearing shoulder touching the knowing //

cold as a whisper over grass leaping twilight ground keeping //
hard the rain’s weeping stand upon cloud drenched land moans //
deep in the heart ran the rusting river red earth mother rushing //

through city’s soul shivers drenched by the cleansing //
left handed path bouncing and bounding echo of rain on glass making tones //
carrying the water out to far ocean earth bearing shoulder touching the knowing //

the mud brown sliver shivering river bed broken and hushing //
ocean’s demand to break over land like ice creaking over glacial stones //
deep in the heart ran the rusting river red earth mother rushing //

through moist eye surface oh come hither dry wither cease thy shivering //
upon soaked sand ending dry land’s hold upon songs long forgotten by the wisdom of crones //
carrying the water out to far ocean earth bearing shoulder touching the knowing //

the feet of old mister dark coat floating memory of boating //
through hardship unplanned by death and the sound of ships and their bones //
deep in the heart ran the rusting river red earth mother rushing //
carrying the water out to far ocean earth bearing shoulder touching the knowing

Spirit of the Aquifer

by Lorna Smithers, voiced by Lorna and Peter

In eighteen eighty four
a monolithic feat of engineering
shifts the Ribble’s course:
no water to the springs.

From the hill’s abyssal deep
a rumbling of the bowels,
a vexed aquatic shriek:
no water to the wells.

Breached within the chasm
a dragon lies gasping
with a pain she cannot fathom:
no water to the springs.

Water table reft
her giving womb unswells,
surging through the clefts:
no water to the wells.

Unravelling inside
her serpent magic streams
to join the angry tides:
no water to the springs.

Culverted and banked
her serpent powers fail,
leaking dry and cracked:
no water to the wells.

The spinning dragon-girl
tumbles from her swing
and slips to the underworld:
no water to the springs.

Her spirit will not rise
through the dead and empty tunnels,
disconsolate we cry:
no water to the wells.

The hill, no longer healing
stands broken of its spell,
no water to the springs,
no water to the wells.

Four Wells

by Lorna Smithers, voiced by Peter and Nick

Four wells at Little Plumpton.
Four wells at Roseacre.
Four wells in the darkness
between drilling and decision.

Four wells of steel meets shale.
Four wells boring into the mind.
Four wells of screaming poison.
Four wells of deadly sands of time.

Four wells? A gaseous question
scorches ears of invisible skies.
Four wells? An uneasy whisper
from underworld gods.

Four wells to decide the future.
Four wells of choice. Four wells of trembling.
By word on four wells our land
will be saved or destroyed.

Drill Rig

by Nicolas Guy Williams, voiced by Nick and Lorna

it is like a metal horse
eating the earth
that drill
stood still
and chewing
through layers of my stone skin

it is like a robot mosquito
sucking the earthblood
that drill
stood still
and sucking
through the veins of my flesh

it is like a metal tick
consuming the lifeforce
that drill
stood still
and feeding
all bloated on the stuff of my soul

it can’t hear me screaming
it can’t hear me screaming
it can’t hear me shout
it can’t hear me shout
it can’t hear its poison
it can’t hear its poison
dissolving me out
to a gas not worth breathing
it’s burning
it’s burning
i’m screaming
i’m screaming
its waste is my doubt

Anti-fracking Soliloquy

by Nicolas Guy Williams, voiced by Peter

the time of winter’s love does come
upon the hearth and on the stone
it creeps in moss and through the trees
the portal of the dead to see
the whispering wind doth stretch its hand
to claim the passion of the land and thus
curl around lost summer’s leaves
to shake the branch the sun to breathe
and pierce the bones of all the folk
of forest fell of hill and mount
the love of ice the love of frost
whose cold caress creeps in the dark
around the house around the hill
the rivers rise the rain comes down
the sun grows pale the moon demands
that earth to cold doth turn its hand
but summer spirit seeks still its turn
the air may learn the air may learn
that by the hand of man and sun
the atmosphere alerts
as do the chemicals in the earth
and now they seek
oh yes they seek
to gather more unto the bleak
they seek to frack
the hypodermic toxic jack
and spill the winter’s love
but spring is strong inside our hearts
and the fight against fracking is our fire
as deep as our old sun
we start
in the love of winter
in the love of glistening mother earth
and from our heart we start

Proud of Preston

by Lorna Smithers

The voice of Belisama, goddess of the Ribble:

Proud of Preston heed my entry
Hear the call of ancient memories
Hearts purloined by Roman sentries
Like a river shining bright.

Proud of Preston born free traders
Made by commerce and hard labour
Merchants gilded artists favored
Like the Brigantes warred in tribes.

Mechanics shift the scene of battle
Raise the red brick smog industrial
Cording hearts like twisting material
On the wheels of the cotton lords.

Step the Chartists to the engines
Pull the plugs release the tension
The rioters face the sentries
Dye the river dark with blood.

Grey arise the business faceless
Fake fulfillment for the faithless
Mass the market for the tasteless
Selling life for capital.

High in the stone fortress
The sentries hold their rule
Beyond the mall and office
Do you hear a river call?

Proud of Preston I have carved you
In my sweeping spirit formed you
Through your veins floods dazzling water
My Setantii shining bright.

Will you hearken to my entry
Drown false dreams in ancient memories
Will the proud of Preston
Like a shining river rise?

The Activist Said

by Nicolas Guy Williams, voiced by Nick and Peter

is like a bush-break-bead-bone born from what the hurricane missed

this oh so nonchalant idea of distance
sun seared so cerebral tone that crone-corn in the drying field a fist ferocious free fall frozen in street moments

gaze grown atonements of a prize-praised eye

oh so diligent in polite society

here is the bombchord the cold ordered class called

what pierceth earth doth pierceth heart like broken glass like broken glass

do i have to ask which Herculean task this voice must break over the record of a snake sneered volatile habit of wrong thought

ain’t no money-honey in the poor in the poor

and whilst virgin forest is persecuted for gold
whilst industry doth chemical-rape our innocent earth
and whilst bankuponbank can take from folk both home and hearth for their false wealth
we will live in the fierce dawn like that first fire
draw line-carved dont’s across their most hearted won’t-stops
and be in our strong silence stoic grim
where thought and voice are force are force
and revelation is a choice a choice

and stand on stone with stone born mind
with eyes that set their worlds on fire

like a dragon newly woken

Zoë Knight – Come Here My Darling Lover

This was a fun mix. It’s as simple as you can get; 2 mono tracks, piano and vocals, reasonably well recorded with a nice microphone. The piano is a stunning 1893 Steinway Model A with a gorgeous tone, and Zoë is in full command of her voice. There were a few bumps and background noises that needed some repair, but the biggest challenge was to add a sense of spaciousness to the song, given the mono character of the sources. Also, the vocal track is a quite dynamic performance that required a bit of taming to get it to sit well with the piano. I used a lot of techniques, including EQ, a few different compression schemes, reverb, saturation, and delay. The final mix has a lot of ambience in it, perhaps a bit much for some but I thought the song called for it.

I’m happy with how this came out. It’s a real testament to the fact that if you have a decent mic, a great-sounding instrument, and a good mix, anyone can make great recordings. This Syren’s song is an appropriate song for Valentine’s Day, so give it a listen!

Podcast Episode 14: Pagan Anarchism with C.S. Thompson

pagan-anarchism-1The first book published by Gods & Radicals was the very worthy Pagan Anarchism by C.S. Thompson. This episode features an interview with the author, discussing the context of his book.

“What I see as the crisis of the modern world is that we are trained, if not brainwashed, to see the world as being dead. Dead matter. Not infused with spirit. And so, because of this mentality which was shared by both the capitalist world and the authoritarian communist regimes… we have done so much damage to the environment that Earth won’t be able to sustain a complex civilization like ours for much longer if we don’t change course. So my argument is that we need to return to a conception of the world as being absolutely filled with spirit, an animistic conception of the world, which is the core idea of pagan religion.”
–C.S. Thompson,

There are several poems in the book, two of which, “To The Goddess Of The City” and “To The God Of The Wood”, were performed by Joie Grandbois for this episode. Music here is “Thieves Oil” by the fabulous Disemballerina.

Audio recording produced by James Lindenschmidt. ©2016 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Podcast Episode 13: Fascism, Solidarity, & War Magic


“We have what we’ve always had, which is each other. We have the ability to come together.”
— Shane Burley

“Pushing back against the atomization of the individual is the bedrock of … solidarity. Once we have that, it’s possible to really push back.”
— Ryan Smith

“A fertile and new American resistance is blossoming, and it needs a magical edge.”
— Dr. Bones

This episode has a lot of fun stuff in it. It begins with an automated recital of the 14 characteristics of fascism. Next, is an invocation by Kiarna Boyd, performed by Cassandra Boyd, “To Thems What Practice War Magic.”  After that is excerpts from a discussion on fascism with Shane Burley and Ryan Smith. Dr Bones also has an an inspiring sermon about the importance of the magical edge of resistance and linking up with people around you.

Music from this episode is “Inside The Forest,” from Eddy Dyer‘s new album, Love Is At The Heart Of This Thing, Right? This album was just released and I’m very excited about it, since I was involved as a producer, recordist, and mixer. It was a pleasure to work with Eddy, and this track had the perfect vibe for this episode. Drums by Charles Greenwood, piano by Zoe Knight. Vocals, synthesizers, and theremins by Eddy Dyer.

Kiarna Boyd is an author, a practicing Geomancer, and a System Administrator. More info: www.blessedandcursedalike.com.

Shane Burley is a journalist and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon.  His work has been featured in places like ThinkProgress, In These Times, Waging Nonviolence, Labor Notes, Roar Magazine, and Make/Shift.  He has provided interviews and research on fascism and the far right to places like The Guardian and the Huffington Post, and is currently working on a book on neo-fascism for AK Press.  His work can be found at ShaneBurley.net and at Twitter at @shane_burley1.

Ryan Smith is a Heathen devoted to Odin living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the co-founder of Heathens United Against Racism, a founding member of Golden Gate Kindred, is active in the environmental justice and anti-police brutality movements, and recently completed his Masters in modern Middle East History and economics.

Dr. Bones, as always, can be found at The Conjure House, on Gods & Radicals, and on Disinfo.

Audio recording produced by James Lindenschmidt. ©2016 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Eddy Dyer – Heart Of Your Rage

heartofyourrage-coverHeart Of Your Rage is the second single from Eddy’s forthcoming album, Love is At The Heart of This Thing, Right? We’ve been working on this album for several months and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Give a listen here:

Musically, there’s a lot going on here. Acoustic guitar and a single vocal take are the foundation of the song, with several layers of electric guitars (played by both Eddy and by Justin Spicer) coming in & out of focus as the song progresses. One of the more subtle guitar tracks was recorded at Battery Steele on Peaks Island, Maine, which was one of the most fun recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. Eddy also played bass, and there is also cool synth drone that runs in the background throughout the song. There are drums (played by Chuck Greenwood and recorded by Bob Nash at Wonka Sound in Lowell, MA).  About 2:00 in you can hear a kid’s choir directed by Eddy & Seth Bailin. The song slowly builds all the way up to the climactic ending. After I dialed in the final mix, the song was mastered by Scott over at Old Colony Mastering, who will also be mastering the album when it’s finished.

All that is well and good, but the real story with this song is with the lyrics, which are quite timely in this world:

After our fight, I let the cedar wolf lead me deep inside
into the angry flesh of a tulip, partially capsized.
When we washed the blood from our faces at the heart of it all
we could see the bottomless well behind the cracks in the wall;

It said,
“Illuminate the love that resides within the heart of your rage
Illuminate the love that is hiding in the heart of your rage
because later or soon, there’ll be
none but the moon left to blame
so cast off what’s been burned in the fire,
keep what’s been forged in the flame.

Liberate the love that resides within the heart of your rage
Liberate the love that is hiding in the heart of your rage
because in sin or in grace, there’s but one face
that carries your name
so cast off what’s been burned in the fire,
keep what’s been forged in the flames

Watch the stars, they’re moving

Celebrate the love that resides within the heart of your rage
celebrate the love that is hiding in the heart of your rage
because in sin or in grace, there’s but one face
whose ways you can change
so cast off what’s been burned in the fire,
keep what’s been forged in the flames

and love.

Enjoy the song. If you really enjoy it, then support Eddy as we complete this album.

Podcast Episode 12: The Dead Speak



October 31st is a good day to tell tales of the dead. For this episode, I recorded Pete Witham & The Cozmik Zombies doing their song “Dancing With The Dead.” Thanks to Jon Wyman and the guys at The Halo for the recording space. Pete Witham wrote the song, sang it, and played lead guitar. Drew Wyman played upright bass. Steve Dunphy played acoustic guitar and sang backing vocals.

Spoken word contributions came from several of my favorite Gods & Radicals writers. In order of appearance, they are:

The background sound on this podcast is a result of an accident with a campfire, a time machine, and a cave. It’s a long story.

Artwork in the image above is “Hornblower” by Danial Ryan. Used with permission.

What is remembered, lives. Hail the Dead!

Audio recording produced by James Lindenschmidt. ©2016 Crafted Recordings. Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).