New Logo for The White Whale

The last time we posted here was about a new logo for CyNar. Something evolved with its age and increasing abstraction from the typical methods of media production. 

Now, The White Whale is following suit. As we are finishing up Series 3, and already looking beyond to other material, a new face seemed appropriate. One that speaks to its continued understanding of itself and the evolution of its presentation in this self reflection. So, with that, here is the new look as well as a new Facebook page devoted to its own malfeasance! Enjoy.

KCRW #RadioRace

This weekend we are making a go at the KCRW #RadioRace. Stellar event bringing in exceptional producers from all around with some great ears behind the judging table. Besides eventually getting a new piece from us, what exactly does this mean for you?

Well, you get to track our progress. Social media is stressed by KCRW - so much so that an award is given for best use - so we will be representing. You may have noticed some extensive use of the desired hashtag aRound Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

weird photos

odd assortments of words

usual nonsense

We are going to be very busy and probably overly tired. So, you must give us a pass as we try to entertain while live documenting what is not necessarily a unique experience for us (we have made pieces in shorter time spans), but usually happens quietly in our confines. 

Enjoy the ride and have no fear, Sunday will still bring you a new episode of The White Whale. It's already in the bag. 

 

Long Time GONE

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

It's been a while since we have updated. 

 

We have not forgotten you. 

 

Études

We have a new album coming out tomorrow - solo release by Garrett called Études.

According to Wikipedia,

An étude (/ ˈeɪtjuːd/; French pronunciation:  [eˈtyd], a French word meaning study) is an instrumental musical composition, usually short, of considerable difficulty, and designed to provide practice material for perfecting a particular musical skill. The tradition of writing études emerged in the early 19th century with the rapidly growing popularity of the piano. Of the vast number of études from that era some are still used as teaching material (particularly pieces by Carl Czerny and Muzio Clementi), and a few, by major composers such as Frédéric ChopinFranz Liszt and Claude Debussy, achieved a place in today's concert repertory. Études written in the 20th century include those related to traditional ones (György Ligeti), those that require wholly unorthodox technique (John Cage), and ones that are unusually easy to play.

Our version of this idea is a first release of some of the original music you have been hearing on The White Whale as well as podcast episodes produced for the oral history project SisterStory. Engineered by John R. Barner, these are not as you heard them in the podcast, but developed variants that allow new life and new ideas.

We just released our newest episode of The White Whale and are hard at work on Sunday's release as we prepare for the MEGAPOLIS Audio Festival (http://megapolisfestival.org). We will also be releasing a new Mixtape shortly called Event Horizons. Lots of great material! Keep checking Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to the podcast!

 

The Yokai Trilogy - A Reflection

by John R. Barner

Yōkai, in Japanese, means “ghost” or “apparition” and the distinction holds a particular pride of place in Japanese folklore and literary culture. The earliest beginnings of this project had to do with ghost stories, or telling stories with ghostly or supernatural elements in them. So the name fits, I suppose, but it is stripped of almost all the rich cultural history and color, reduced to its most literal sense. When I first started this project, I did not even know it would involve music but I remained committed to the idea of conceiving of one or more stories (written, recited, or performed) that had ghosts in them. And not just any ghosts, but particular ghosts that haunt us now. Before even starting, I had thought that the very idea of the ghost story was a tired one, lacking in color, creativity or anything I felt was unique or engaging. Everything seemed to have been done. For five months I mostly railed against what I saw represented in mainstream American and European popular culture around the idea of the ghost or ghost story. I re-read Poe, Hawthorne, James, Blackwood, Machen, Collins, Lovecraft, Doyle, Dickens, Shakespeare, and many other literary and dramatic representations. I watched films like Paranormal Activity and television series like Ghost Hunters—and still nothing felt right. Most often, I was left with versions of the same questions. Why was it, even in today’s modern conception of the ghost story, that the spirit in question either an unseen force of some kind, or some representative of a bygone era—the Victorian “woman in black” or avenging Civil War-era soldier? What would a ghost be like who had just become a ghost yesterday? Someone who surfed the Net, listened to Top 40 radio, and watched YouTube videos. I frequently asked myself if such questions were themselves silly and I more than once felt like The Maitlands, the young couple played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in the 1988 film, Beetlejuice who are repeatedly chagrined to find their quotidian afterlife is never interesting or scary enough, in the traditional sense. Played for laughs in the film, I think it really says something about the Western conception of death and what lies beyond death that we, as a society, don’t really want to explore on some level, but are drawn to just the same. We want to be scared (and entertained by our fear, as it were) but we certainly don’t want to confront death on any level, therefore relegating the more frightening aspects always at some remove. For the Maitlands, it’s found in the more traditionally ghoulish and grotesque title character—for us it’s the invisible monsters, or the vestiges of the ancient, historical or unknown. It’s never us we should be afraid of.  I think it was these persistent questions that finally led me to try to tell a series of ghost stories using only contemporary, mostly electronic, music and sounds. I reasoned this would, at least, be an attempt to answer the question. At the end of five months of research, I had three ideas, roughly sketched, and I started to work. 

Twitter!

The White Whale is officially on twitter! It will obviously be a bit of a catch all for CyNar and other assorted ideas, but we never really had a project with enough regular output to motivate a twitter reach so it seems like the right voice for the platform. Are you on twitter? Check us out at https://twitter.com/whitewhalepod.

And make sure to listen on Soundcloud and iTunes. We really like the worlds of sound we are creating and you listening will help keep us going!


The Yokai Trilogy on the podcast!

It's been a few weeks since we have written. We've been busy getting new content out in the world and it's limited the time to write a proper update. 

The White Whale season 1 is in full swing as of yesterday with the first episode introducing John Barner properly and the ideas that have built his trilogy. Brimming with tales of ghosts and mechanical malfeasance - this should be a pretty great ride.

You'll recognize music from the catalog and certain approaches to sound unique to the games we play. The storytelling will keep evolving as the conversation evolves and grows richer so stay tuned for some impressive arrangements.

Any of the original material we bring into the mix will also get a certain mixtape remix - as we've done in the past, though this obviously being the first with music original introduced in a podcast. So, what you hear will come back around again. New shapes and forms to embrace the ideas we come upon through this journey.

We're always looking for a way to give you new work and new perspectives.

Release of the final album, Funayūrei,is also fast approaching. Album is ready,  though release date has yet to be set. We are working tirelessly to finish up the films first so you will have the full experience from get go.

Other adventures are in the mix, but for now listen to The White Whale.


ARRVLS Remix - Ricochet

The White Whale has been establishing itself for the last couple weeks with a couple audio concoctions. We're in process on what will become a larger aesthetic of the podcast, but we may be teasing for a couple more episodes as these pieces are fine tuned.

From the get-go we've been blessed with the attention of Jonathan Hirsch whose show ARRVLS  has become a new favorite around the office. It's a truly brilliant show that you should all be listening to if you are not already.

Jonathan has been really kind in highlighting the first couple episodes of The White Whale. Now he's gone and done one better. He's offered us the opportunity to remix their episode Ricochet.

This is a pretty exciting opportunity. It's one of their most popular episodes and the story certainly provides a lot of sonic possibilities for us to play.

Our episode should be coming out in the summer, but for now you should listen to the original episode as released a month ago and go listen to the rest. This is a truly terrific podcast.

The White Whale

We've finally launched our podcast! It's exciting. We were planing to wait a bit on these as we are in production on content right now, but we got the name and did the artwork and just couldn't wait.

First episode may seem light on content, but considering the development of CyNar and the various ideas we tend to embrace it felt like the right way to get things started.

Take a listen and subscribe on Soundcloud. We should be in iTunes soon as well. There is lots more content to follow soon.


Updates from the Curtain

It's been quite a while since we've written. So what's up in the CyNar world?

A lot actually. Looks like we'll be shooting some work for Hanan in the coming weeks. Plans are sounding good and it should prove to provide some beautiful imagery to go along with their amazing music.

Our podcast is starting to gear up. Trying to decide on a title and other details to help frame it, but the project is happening and should prove to be a pretty cool peak behind the curtain.

Work on our label is starting to make the rounds quite a bit in podcast land with the oral history project SisterStory making heavy use. A new episode of Curve Riders by the St. Catherine University student Alexa Harnagel featured the track Parts Hopeful.

And an episode of Set Apart by St. Catherine University student Lily Jacobson was released today featuring two tracks from the American Residue Records Presents: arrangement.

So, yeah. Things are kicking in this world. We also have a few things on the negotiation table that might happen this year and would be really cool so stay tuned. We will keep you informed.

In the meantime share with the world. Help keep us going. 

Set Apart Episode 103 - Barrier Breaker

Just a quick note here. The newest episode of Set Apart again features some music from American Residue Records. Go check it out if you have a chance. There are some interesting stories being produced by the oral history project SisterStory.

Find the latest episode in Soundcloud or watch in YouTube below.

Set Apart Podcast Episode 102 - Special Treatment

Before we can get started with our own podcast, we've found ourselves in the worlds of others. The recently begun Here's My Secret has a theme song by Garrett Tiedemann and a new podcast mini-series called Set Apart  also by the oral history project SisterStory has just started and amidst the layers of sound and other music you may hear familiar material if you have listened to our previous releases.

From what we here there will be some other appearances in other productions of some new original work in addition to previously released material so stay tuned.

For now, check out this second episode on Soundcloud or YouTube and see if you can hear us in the mix. Cheers!

Here's My Secret Podcast

There is a new podcast produced by the oral history project SisterStory called Here's My Secret. What is it? To quote the podcast write-up,

Here’s My Secret is a podcast produced by Alicia Beyer about the oral history project SisterSTory. Through interviews with student oral historians she learns more about their experiences and the valuable relationships forged between them and their Sister during the semester process. By reading the SisterStory blogs (www.sisterstory.org/student-blog) and personally getting to know each student prior to interviewing, we gain insight through Alicia into how this experience has changed individual lives and evolved perspectives on women religious.
— https://soundcloud.com/asisterstory/sets/heres-my-secret

So, you may be asking why we at CyNar are highlighting this production. Well, despite it being a great new podcast offering a unique perspective of a cool project, the theme music was done by Garrett Tiedemann along with a lot of guidance as to its production. So, dear reader, if you so wish, have a listen.

We will decide later if this theme will be released as a single. Cheers! 

On the Horizon

Brief bits of news.

First off, the Hanan shoot is delayed. Rather than create a video for something already released the band is back in the studio working away on something new. The great thing about this is we can develop the video together as the music comes along for a really unique collaboration and experience.

We're going to be shooting some footage of the band performing to provide you all a taste of what's to come. So, look for that in the coming months.

Secondly, CyNar is going to be venturing into podcast land for the first time. We've been thinking for a while what kind of podcast we might do and the Yokai Trilogy has provided a perfect conduit. We're going to develop a look into the process with John as our guide. Talking about each song in depth and the project as a whole. From initial discussions before putting this on tape it's an incredible process and one that will make for good radio.

So, our first adventure into the art form will be a mini-series of sorts. Test the waters with a 15 to 16 episode run. After that, who knows. We'll see where the wind takes us.

We also may have a film up our sleeves...