December 21st, 2005


In the loop

At the end of next week I fly to Osaka, where I'll spend two months in Hisae's family home at Tennoji. I must say this is tremendously morale-boosting, as I haven't been to Japan in almost a year. I'll continue recording my new album in Osaka before heading off to New York for my three month stint at the Whitney Biennial.

I need morale-boosting because it's been quite a stressful month. Hisae got thrown out of Germany last month after accidentally overstaying her visa by two days. She's been making a film with friends in London, but is now back in Japan. Rusty Santos has returned to New York, and I'm continuing with recording my album on my own. And, to be honest, it's sending me up and down like a yoyo or a bride's nightie.

Records have a will of their own, whatever plans you make for them. Far from the avant Tropicalia I planned, defying the Dogme-like rules I'd made, my album has veered in the direction of "experimental torch". Some days I think what I've done so far is utterly wonderful, other days I think it's rubbish. The usual pattern is for me to be completely in love with a track when I've just finished it, then, next day, to hang it beside something off David Sylvian's "Blemish" or Sufjan Stevens' "Illinois", and think how utterly crappy, trite, small and weak my work sounds. So I work on it some more, taking it somewhere more interesting, more strange, more otherworldly. Then I start a new song, determined to make the most wonderful piece of music ever, and the cycle starts all over again. Joy and despair in an endless loop.