"Theory wrapped me in an entire climate of description. Theory was simply, shoulder-shruggingly, the only thing that helped me to see what I was and where,"Read More
If you follow our social media accounts you'll know we are spending this weekend amongst audio greats at Podcast Movement. First time visiting this particular conference, and already excited for the next one. Yes, they have it set.
This kicks off a couple busy weeks as we are continuing to put out The White Whale every Sunday, have some work for other shows in the mix and are playing participant to the 24-hour Radio Race from KCRW next weekend. Yes, we have asked ourselves what we are doing. Too fun to take that reality check.
If you are new to our podcast as of #PM15 please take a listen in whatever order you please. First season is chronological, but as conversation of the records and films speaks to listening and watching in whatever order you please we have designed each episode to be part of a larger whole that can be heard unto itself.
Cheers to all following and participating in this crazy business. We are having fun. If looking for us tonight we will probably be mixing some radio somewhere in the ether. Feel free to steal attention.
There is a lot of work on the horizon as we round the corner of summer into August. Not only is The White Whale's first season wrapping up in a couple weeks, but we're honored to be contributing to a few other productions for which we are long-time fans.
After the season ends we'll have a slight break. An album collecting original music from the first season is being whittled down. Something we're excited to release, but there is a lot to go through.
We'll also have some one-off productions covering the work of people we love. That's a secret we will hold for now though.
Second season is already under-way as well, though it's subject is still ours to tell. While its approach and aesthetic will be much in line with the first season, this is also going to be a very different experience and very different story. Much more dealing with a particular perspective of the last half century and how it changed the world. Pretty rich and cool stuff. Not a story we imagine you have heard.
What else? What else?
Surely there is more, but the audio world seems enough to highlight for the moment. We just released the newest music video from Scott Wooldridge, something many years in the making, and have a few other tricks up our sleeve in that end. There may be some fiction we wish to visualize as all this audio work is really presenting new worlds and wouldn't mind finally releasing some new photography from the last few years. See if we find the time.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.