Welcome!

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"In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning."

-Goethe

I am very excited to be writing to everyone after this short while! I hope this December finds all of you well and happy! First, welcome to this newer, smoother, revamped site! Take a look around, there are new pictures, videos among other things. This is possibly my favorite time of the year- the Sun is shining through fiery Sagittarius and the Holidays lie ahead. I want to thank you for showing continued interest in my musical journey....

.....I will cut right to the chase, and finally and officially announce that I am in the studio again! I am recording a single called "Mad for the Light," to be released soon. This will mark my first (pro) release in some time, and I am excited to be recording again. The song is inspired by the ecstasy and transcendence of love and nothing less. (See the Goethe poem above this post for the song's inspiration). 

You will also notice that there is a wack-O design above this post, it's my first stab at t-shirt design! The t-shirts have been printed and they are available. The song will be out shortly, and there will an accompanying video. There is so much more to say, but for now, take care, and I will keep you informed of the single as it nears release!

Baktuns, Secrets......and a Holiday Show!

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There is so much to talk about! Musical developments, re-directed routes/initiatives, internal calibration, introspection, world calamity, unfortunately, and the coming end of the current "Baktun!" All of these things have been swirling together with an increased intensity as we draw closer to the year's end. I have to say that although many focus on 2012 (y'all!) for external events, this year has been as powerful for our internal worlds. It seems that a major theme emerging is how so much of the visible and external events that are occurring in our world seem to be rooted in our internal life. I have been particularly preoccupied with the climate and environment of our physical world, and how this is mirrored by the general ills of society on a psychological level and spiritual level. At this time, I have had thoughts of an all encompassing and purifying night which could purge our world of its problems, restore happiness, and add need room to our thoughts, perceptions on life. Right now with the speed of life, I tend to focus intently on the natural elements of the sun, the sky, the clouds, and the rain- as constant powers that exist independently of the current times.

Another things that can always restore our clarity is music. At the current time, music has been going well as I continue to the put the finishing touches on new songs that will comprise my new EP or album (more on this later, I fully expect to have plans for this worked out in 2013!). I feel that the connection I have with songwriting and my vision in music has been intensifying recently. Perhaps it's me continuing to gain clarity on my future in music, or just the gravity of the times, but I feel like it's much easier to forge ahead with less doubt or questioning, or need for re-assurance. With such traumatic events recently, music, like the Sun, Moon, and sky, can serve as reminders of the endurance of our world. These are things which have existed through time in all their essential purity, and suggest that we will in time return to the reverence of our natural world. And songwriting can help me look beyond the seeming limitations and frustrations of the world around me as I imagine (and slowly implement) another world.

Which leads me to remind all that I will be playing a show on Friday December 21, 2012 at 10:30 PM at ZirZamin (90 W. Houston Street)! I know that date is of hot discussion, but I think it will be perfectly safe to come, and might as well play some music to mark the occasion! I played to spot back in August, and it's a quirky underground room with candles- and it kind of looks like a restaurant you might see somewhere in Europe. I hope some of you can make it out to the show! I look forward to playing for some old friends, and for some new people who have not heard me play live yet!

There are some other things I am looking out for in the coming year, some of which for the moment must be kept SECRET. Secrets can be really fun, and I think for the time being it's best not to say much about a major, possibly pivotal project I have in the works. Since it's in its early gestation period, I think it's best for me to slowly work on the project to gain a better sense of its scope, and get a sense of how to best present this to the world. I will drop some hints- it's involves music, big data, and our universe (I know that sounds far-flung)- and I think it relates to just about anybody!

And, for the time being resolutions are being made. For instance, I definitely plan to play beyond just the NYC area in 2013! I have my new project, my new music, and all kinds of initiatives. I would say that in total this year has been about clarity, and stripping away things that were not essential or part of our trajectory, even if this was unpleasant. For now,  resolutions and visions burn so powerfully within that I cannot contain them- so they will certainly be spilling out into the world for 2013!!!

Forever,

Eric Contractor

California! Perseverance! Collective Longing....

Image    ImageLet's catch up! I hope this e-mail finds all very upbeat, and focused on their goals and materializing their goals and hopes for the future. Speaking of hopes, let me start with the picture above! This picture was taken last month in Santa Monica during my trip out to California. I thought this picture was very striking to me for many reasons. I forgot who took the picture- if it was me or Chris Westenberger, mathematician extraordinaire. To me, this picture really encapsulates many things that relevant to my (other people's?) lives right now. First, the Ferris wheel is always something that I associate with youth, escape, and light-hearted mirth. But, all around it is the dark night and the looming black ocean. To me, it was a very powerful symbol of the endurance of all our dreams and your aspirations holding forth against oblivion. It just seemed magical, ethereal, triumphant, and cheerfully defiant- all of which I think could be said about me now as I continue to believe and work with my music. Overall, the West Coast has a very different vibe to me- Los Angeles and California in general is said to be the ending point of all Western Civilization. (We stayed in downtown L.A., which is near the famous "MacArthur Park" of "MacArthur Park" the song fame- and there were no cakes anywhere in sight!!!)  It collects all of our projections and seems to project them back. And there is a very ethereal, illusory quality to the area- after all- Los Angeles is where so much of our culture, media, and values are projection from, and with that, the whole area's energy holds this subtle power. It creates myths, legends, and encapsulates so many American Dreams. What I loved was to dip my fingers and toes into this slipstream of collective longing so as to inspire what I already am and all the things that I am becoming. The different energy of the area during this trip allowed me a space to hold myself above heavier issues of the moment for some time and really re-collect.

Oh, and I had plenty of time to lounge around with my friend and drink some fancy drinks and take some hikes, and explore the burgeoning art scene of downtown Los Angeles. From there, we ventured up in a big ass Jeep at 86 m.p.h. up to Davis, California and the surrounding Bay Area. Davis, California is a charming little town with an emphasis on "sustainability," biking, asian food, and farming. Some of your may also recognize the town from the pepper-spraying  scandal that erupted on campus when students refused to cease their protest. None of that this time- just a charming little idyllic town with a marvelous 12 mile biking loop and good Chinese food (rare!)

The levity of my trip last month helped me focus intently on the challenges that I have been facing. So much of what I do is work that is being built and harnessed  from a world that doesn't physically exist yet. My job and challenge as an artist is to continually pull from that world and materialize it into this world, and to remain resolute in that process- even when it feels slow and painstaking. Whether it's finishing a new song, or attaining the perfect balance of concrete worldly action and other-worldy inspiration, I have to remain confident that I will fully realize my wishes. My mission with music is to reach people in a spiritual way, to communicate powerfully with my songs, and to enter a haunting realm of mass consciousness that can transcend the physical limitations of our lives. But, I must remind myself, this broader vision is completed one lyric at a time. One e-mail at a time. One period of research at a time.

Right now is honestly an excellent time for everyone to find the tangible steps for their biggest, grandest aspirations. I know that many of us are learning how to implement our eventual wishes with systematic steps over a larger period of time. Anyway, to us, and our future!

Forever,

Eric Contractor

P.S. Spotify Search: "Did you mean "Epic Contractor?" No- but, actually, yes!

(In other words, my album "Night Escape" can be found on Spotify!!!)

Show at ZirZamin! Micro-Opera!

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Hello Reader!

I now realize that it has been a while since I have last updated, and for that I should be properly abashed! But no matter, all of you fair/buxom/dapper readers should take solace in knowing that I have not been able to post simple because I have been so busy being E(p/r)ic. And that includes, new ideas, plans, sketches, and moves.....

The first of which was my move from NYC to New Jersey. When I found out that my roommates and I had to leave our apartment, I decided to simply go with the flow, and come back to New Jersey for a little while. While I have been out here, I have been allowing my thinking, internet consumption, circadian rhythm, and practice schedule to come into relative balance. Put simply, everything in New Jersey is slower. I'm talking food service (don't even get me started!), driving, walking, and the expiration of tired, running jokes. It seems that happenstances and identities and points-of-view are so varied and many in NYC that someone can run through several in the course of a week. However, I have to say that the slower pace in the Tomato State is allowing me to consolidate and focus my thinking for my upcoming plans. (By the way, since when did people start saying "Y'all" in the Northeast?)

And, being out in New Jersey doesn't mean that I am not still involved with New York. In fact, I have been coming for hanging out, inspiration, and a couple classes. I will also be performing a show in NYC at the intriguing venue ZirZamin (90 W. Houston Street) on Saturday August 25th at 7 PM! I am look forward to this show because I am excited to play music for some friends of mine who have never seen my performance in a live setting. I always love to present my work to people for the first time- and- I feel recently like my performing and a sense of my purpose as a performer has been consolidating as well....

I also have been in talks with film director extraordinaire Audrey Lorea (currently working on her feature length sci-fi film "Heaven is Now") for a short film that will be based around one my new songs. Right now, we are aiming for a performance art, possibly scripted short film that will use a more experimental approach with integrating my music. We are going for something bold, visually stunning, possibly irreverent, and of course tremendous. We are now finding out sources of inspiration from all places and ages, but I don't want to give away too much on this just yet......

But, overall, more than ever, I am learning to really trust my instincts, which are currently telling me to continue to vivify my vision and follow it wherever it may go. I've gotten into trouble in NYC trying to do this or that because it's the thing I felt I was supposed to do....according to conventional wisdom, or simply because other people have done it. But in a calling that is equal parts inspiration, arduous achievement, and exceptions, conventional wisdom really only goes so far. This means that I have just been taking time to lessen the exposure to other extraneous voices and opinions. And, as far as I can tell, one of the general themes of the 2012 (Y'all) era is that the old, overly obvious ways of going about things don't work.

And isn't it so much more enjoyable to go on your own path? After all, no one will be a better you than you. Best regards!!! More updates soon.....

Forever,

Eric Contractor

Still 2012, Y'all

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 Hello!
 I hope all are well! A common theme I am seeing in the people I know are breakthroughs- both professionally and personally. As I talk to many friends, we all seem to agree that right now, people are having major transitions into their lives, and are being re-aligned with their true missions in life. I have also be noticing how life recently has been loaded with immense symbolism. It seems as if the people, things, events, words, and conversations that I have been encountering have had undeniable meaning on many levels- and that they all seem to have a hidden clues and lessons about where to head next. But this warrants its own discussion.....
       As I write this particular post, I am finding myself totally excited about music, life, and the general unfolding of events in general. Though it is hard to say what this summer will bring, I anticipate times of transformation and fervor to continue. Though it may seem right now as if events are looming in the ether, I can let you know about some more concrete developments!!! Aside from making a video for "Coming 'Round My Door" at Boston University, I have been writing new songs, making videos, and even recording a rendition of Radiohead's "Reckoner."  I am also very pleased to announce that this Wednesday, May 30th at 8:20 PM, I will be appearing on Evan Ginzberg's "Legends Radio." I will be doing an interview- discussing the nature of my work and my involvement in music, and snippets of my tracks from "Night Escape" will be played as well. I look forward to discussing and sharing my work through this internet radio program.  To listen to the show, go to http://legendsradio.net/ and click on "Listen Live" this Wednesday at 8:20 PM. 
        This July, my interview and performance from the lovely Jay Grayce's "Cyber Serenade" will also air (more on this later). I will also be playing a show at Gizzi's on Friday June 8th at 9 PM.I am grateful to be active in my music, and I am now prepping an expansive course of action for the summer. These developments will come to light as the summer wears on- and I cannot wait to share this natural unfolding of things as they come. I am positively certain of change. Right now, I am taking pleasure as the days and night run together, and time works in mysterious ebbs, flows, and inversions. And, if there was ever a time for change, now is it. This is to riding the wave!
Best,
Eric

Summoning Duende/Show/Music Video

     Duende: El duende is the spirit of evocation. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to music. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive. Folk music in general, especially flamenco, tends to embody an authenticity that comes from a people whose culture is enriched by diaspora and hardship; vox populi, the human condition of joys and sorrows. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Hi to All!  I am excited to back and writing yet a new post, and to share with you some events that and happenings that are developing. And, like usual, I have a couple of announcements: First, I will be shooting a music video to "Coming 'Round My Door" on April 25th at the Boston University Studios, compliments of my friend Carina Chavda. I am excited and grateful to have this opportunity and to share the final product with everyone. I chose this particular song because the lyrics and feel of the music naturally conveys a storyline with specific imagery. I am thinking of invoking a character for this video, with some Civil War era dress- canteen and hair wax included. When I write my songs, (and my music career in general) I am often inspired by seeing things through a cinematic scope, so this will be great. As much as I would love to sport some wild 19th century facial hair, I can't grow any!

Secondly, I will be playing a show at Caffe Vivaldi on Saturday, April 21st at 6:00 PM. For this particular show, I am trying to add some more dynamics to the set, including some new songs, the resurrection of some older ones, and some storytelling and even spoken word to help enliven the set with just a bit more context. I have been spending a bit more time staying in to write, practice, and perfect some aspects of my music and act in general. As much as I love to be out and share my music, recently I have been on an introspective streak. I have felt the need to really further ground my work, and recapture some of the "duende" (see above) for my work. I have been trying to get my purpose clear for my music, and to really establish an essential template and spirit for all of what I do. Creative individuals are often the directors of their own odysessy, so finding the raw spirit of enthusiasm can help propel us through the trials we must face on daily basis. Whether it's sitting down to write a song, or just playing for people, running with this feeling of creative exuberance brings us all forward. But, in the coming time I am sure there will be more developments to share. Until then, I leave you a video of my cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game," a song filled with "duende."

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3BT2xpZaXM]

Forever,

Eric Contractor

Rockwood Show! Dreams! Still 2012 Y'all!

(Me)                                               (Geminid Meteor Shower)          (Resemblance?)

As I predicated earlier, 2012 is already shaping up to be a most interesting and magical year so far (though not without a need for some tenacity, intention and effort). First, I have some announcements concerning shows: First, I am playing at set at Culturefix this Sunday at 9:30. I am also extremely excited to tell you all that I will be playing at Rockwood Music Hall on February 18th at 3 PM! Rockwood Music Hall is wonderful place to play, complete with a stage, piano, cool environment, and great lighting. I've wanted to play over there for a while and I'm glad I finally have a chance. It's right in the heart of the downtown corridor in the LES (off Houston Street) and they even have a little rope and carpet in front of the entrance.

(New Song- Check post below to listen)

And I have other developments, but more on an artistic level. Recently, I have been thinking about integrating some spoken word into my sets. At this point, I am trying to just flesh out the details of a larger vision for my music- something bolder, grander, more theatrical. A show that can properly suspend reality to enlarge the possibilities for storytelling and expression. For a newer song of mine, called "In the Floodlights," I added this spoken intro to set the scene that transpires in the song:

"There was a time we used to meet out back in the floodlights, and we’d wait for each other when there was nowhere else for us to go. Past the clothes lines, the ghostly light of unwatched TV’s,, and the din of cars from the road, we’d find each other there. Our breaths fall upon each other in silence, and pointed towards those parts of ourselves that we wanted to share but couldn’t say. Before we found words, there was an unborn understanding. And we’d faithfully dip into the wilderness of our dreaming, away from the noise and glare of those scenes where appearance and preconceived notions were everything. But here, everything was silently understood. When we stood in the floodlights we had a place to ourselves, a world rendered by our wishes, dreams, and preoccupations. In the surrounding darkness were misunderstandings, the wind was our journey, and the light was our truth.

                               And so tonight, our constellations are falling                               And tonight no one but me is calling.                                So meet me there away from the scene,                                Hold me close and have mercy on me."

For me, songwriting is a vessel and vehicle of an an earlier interest of mine, which was poetry. At this point, I want to bring to life a more comprehensive show complete with songs, storytelling, spoken interludes, some stage design, more musicians, video, and maybe some dance? I feel like now, we are in a time of which the suspension of reality is more palpable than ever, and we are learning the ability for all of us to sort of create our own reality and energy, for better or for worse. I think the time is ripe for music, theater, and dreams and in general. This all may sounds like a lot to bring together, but little by little I shall. For now, the songs and the music itself is more than enough.

Speaking of dreams, I have had some powerful dreams recently. I had one dream in particular last night which was so strong, it recalled other dreams, and the locations of these former dreams in my own dreamworld (yes, I have these strange fantasy locations that I return to over and over again). I'd rather not try to describe the whole dream, but, in short, I started writing lyrics to one of my new songs, and I felt like these words were being dictated to me from a purer plane in this dream. All these people (from all parts of my life) were saying words to me for this particular song, line by line, or in little pieces, sometimes suggesting a line with mere looks. Somehow the dream seemed to signify to me something triumphant, and reaffirmed my purpose as a musician and songwriter. This was a dream so intense I don't think I'll ever forget it. And I think the barrier between these dreams and reality is thinner now than ever. They are bleeding into one another, and we all have a greater understanding of how work between these different planes of consciousness. After so much disembodiment, I think we want these deeper layers of awareness. And so we shall.

Forever, (friends suggested I use this tag- we really won't last forever......or shall we?)

Eric Contractor

2012 Y'all!

So here we are, in the midst (and mists) of what promises to be a most spontaneous, fulfilling, and magical new year. With a side dish of doom of course. Nah- I think we'll be here next year, but I can sense that we are all facing some challenges that range from global to personal levels. With all of the floods, revolutions, and televised frivolity, it's almost as if now I can sense and feel impeding events very deeply before they even happen. My B.S. meter is sharper than ever, and I feel as if I can sense the depth relevance of things more quickly. My gut tells me that things will intensify in the spring....after a somewhat mellower and more plodding winter.

What I also sense is the immediacy of great expansion for my music and my life at this point, despite the growing pains. Recently, NYC Rock named  "Night Escape" #27 (after Rihanna of all people) for 100 Best Albums of 2011! Pretty amazing! More bragging- he also called my album "the surprise of the year." This mention, among some others, was to me a great confirmation of many things. First, that hard work and dedication to one's art and craft will be rewarded. Secondly, I feel that my desire to break to new ground with a distinctive new sound and vision is slowly beginning to manifest and become ever more clear. To a large extent my album, and my songwriting in general aims to explore, reveal, and thrill. However, despite a bit of recognition, the greatest confirmation of my work always comes with the urgency and excitement of a live audience.

And from here, it's about some enrichment, enhancement, and blasting through some roadblocks. All majestic highways and paths can be blazed, however, sometimes a bit of crude TNT is needed to blast some rock out of the way (OK, I'm generally more environmentally friendly than that). Recently, I have a hawk's eye out for laziness, fear of reaching out, and good ideas that go forgotten. I also want to look into making some videos and work with other artists of all kinds. These details are slowly being fleshed out, but there are times when I can feel the reality of future performances and I am shocked by their closeness. It's almost as if I am reaching into a deep pond that displays these hopes, and once I touch the surface to find the world, it all disappears with ripples. For now.

Of course, there are more shows brewing. I just played a cool show at Sidewalk Cafe with Danny Leonard and Pete O'Neill. 2012 seems to be a reckoning to many- that we discover our true callings and move towards them. With general instability and destruction of paradigms, it feels more welcoming than ever to walk into whatever world we wish to create for ourselves.  And as I sit watching this rosy Brooklyn sunset, an airborne plastic bag/trash drifts merrily on by. 2012 Y'all!!!

Show at Pete's Candy Store!

Hello Everyone!         

(Drawing - A. Curnock)             (Picasso)                      Rubber Plant

I am writing to you from within the depths of a full-blown Halloween s(n)ow(ck) -it-to-me. As I awoke, I was stunned to see 2 inches of snow all over my deck. But, since it's been just two months since I found myself in the midst of raging flood due to Hurricane Irene, my shock threshold is quite high and healthy. Biped transportation today proved futile- in an earlier voyage my feet skidded everywhere in a full slushy shuffle all over  the sidewalk. No matter though- today I have been staying indoors, having whimsical visions of sled dog transportation this winter, and re-energizing for my show at Pete's Candy Store , this Tuesday November 1st at 10:30 PM!

(October Snow)

For those who are less familiar, Pete's Candy Store is a famous staple of the Williamsberg music scene, and I am pretty honored to be playing there. (For futher notice all mentions of Williamsburg relate to the neighborhood in Brooklyn, not the colonial town in VA (god those tours were boring!)). The venue and performance space is neatly modeled after the inside of a train car, and this is just a cool place to hang out in the neighborhood in a very relaxing, low key way. So if anyone is out in the area in the evening, you should definitely come out! I can't wait to deliver a a cool show in this intimate and unique venue in NYC.

And I have some further musings- it's funny- because in other years, an October snowstorm would have felt even more shocking- but truth be told, after seeing my mom's house being ripped apart by a flood, and the months of subsequent repair, a mere snowstorm looks like good, trivial fun. Recently, I've almost come to expect the most extreme possible outcome when it comes to the weather, social upheaval, technological advancements. Doesn't anyone else sense the escalation of dramatic events? While so many of these things seem to be overwhelming, unprecedented, and wild, all of these things, I feel, are happening to allow us to move on from older paradigms and elevate us into a more graceful existence on this planet. I can't say exactly where we are headed, but all I can say is that if people want change, wild occurrences should be expected as the agent of change. Grand statements, I know.

But, here I sit at least making some attempt to contextualize the world I live in. It's so much easier to dissociate from the world and resign from one's heartbeat in this seeming madness, but I feel like I want to make an effort to constantly view myself and those around me in a tangible, historical context. I want to emotionally feel a sense of urgency- a sense that we matter and that the reality of our lives, choices, and inclination make palpable, long term effects for the better. For me, in in throes of a cultural bewilderment and conflict, music can be an excellent grounding to gain this fresh and vital perspective. But this perspective can require a voluntary effort- and a drive to create focus and order- and to allow the storms to play out through my music. So for now, I can't help but feel I am in for some excitement- for my music and from all kinds of whacky events. The possibilities right now feel larger than ever....and we are on the brink of something....

And you ain't seen nothing yet.....

-Forever