I've been listening this past week to the new Brian Eno record, The Ship.
It's interesting, being an Eno project, and it'll take me some time to digest.
You can currently read his thoughts on making the album
at the bottom of this page and in an interview here.
"I’ve been working with Markov chain generators
which are statistical randomizers.
I was using them to generate text and,
in some cases, music as well.
Like all varieties of randomizers, what matters crucially is
A) what you put in the front end and
B) how much you select what comes out of the backend.
It’s not magic — they’re tools."
The Ship's first song is a piece of music he used in a Stockholm installation.
The next two songs use lyrics assembled from sources including
dirty World War I soldiers' songs and accounts of the Titanic sinking.
The closing song is a cover of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Set Free",
and it feels like the sun warming the Earth after a long, dark night.
It's sublime; majestic, stirring, and emotional.
You can download Eno's "I'm Set Free" on Amazon for a dollar.
(The original is on The Velvet Underground's third album,
featuring a surprisingly sweet and gentle Lou Reed.)
One of my favorite cartoonists, Eleanor Davis,
is biking from Arizona to Georgia,
and she's been documenting the trip
with periodical sketchbook comics
over on Twitter.
The first collection of her short comics,
How to Be Happy, is broken and beautiful
and good for the soul.
I just got a new (used) tablet for drawing -
a Wacom Cintiq. I was previously using Wacom's Bamboo tablet,
which is a stylus with a pad that reads the stylus' movement.
With the Bamboo, you draw on the tablet while looking elsewhere
(at the computer screen). With the Cintiq, the tablet is also a screen,
so you're able to look right at what you're drawing.
These pages are the first I've done with the Cintiq.
It's a lot easier to use than the Bamboo, especially with curves
like word balloons (there was some distortion with the Bamboo,
because the Bamboo wasn't quite the same proportions
as my computer monitor).
It's been just about seven months since I started
posting weekly pages of Flesh Machine.
Thanks again to all of you who have been reading it
and have encouraged me. It means a lot.
Today's pages can be read, as always,
at MichaelAvolio.com. If you've been enjoying Flesh Machine,
please take a moment to consider who else you know
who might also like it, and share it with them.