If you are reading this, then you have access to a free album called “Music-Shaped Hole” by Durian Brow, a music-oriented duo comprised of Zach Darrup on guitar and Ben Bennett on percussion.
This text functions as both the “liner notes” and “press release.” Find the audio (one 47’43” WAV file) in the same place you found this text or at the URL provided below.
We are emailing this album to friends and acquaintances and sharing it on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Soulseek. We may or may not post it on social media platforms. We think this is currently the best way to share this music for several reasons:
- Neither us nor any record label has to spend time and money producing plastic objects which would then pressure us/them to charge a certain amount of money and sell a certain quantity merely to recuperate the manufacturing costs; objects that would take up space in our lives and yours, and would most likely eventually become pollution in the environment.
- This album will not appear on a third-party website along with a display of how many people and who specifically supported it. It won’t appear in your fan collection. No one has to know about you listening to or supporting this music. It doesn’t have to factor into an online commerce-based representation of your identity or our identity. We can release the music this way without any temptation to evaluate it based on the number of purchases, downloads, plays, and social media shares. You can listen to the music and decide whether to support it without having to think about what this says publicly about who you are.
- Ideally you won’t be streaming this music in one of many browser tabs while the entire Internet accosts you with the prospect of having a better experience than the one you are having. Or maybe that’s your thing, in which case: be our guest.
You are more than welcome and encouraged to:
- Dub this music onto a cassette
- Burn it onto a CD-R
- Lathe-cut it onto an acetate or a picnic plate
- Chisel the waveform into the asphalt of a highway so that you can hear it when you drive your car over it
- Use the zero-crossings as a score for when to spit
- Use a shovel to sculpt the waveform into a miles-long line in the earth so that animals theoretically experience it when they traverse sections of it
- Use praise, insults, affection, withholding, and other emotional manipulation tactics to transcribe the waveform onto your partner’s emotional topography over the course of several years
If you think you like this music or perhaps relate to it in a way that is not so much about “liking” but is in some way “good,” I’d like to suggest that you could enrich your experience of it by supporting it somehow. Here are a few of the ways you could do that:
If at the time of your reading this either Zach or I are still alive and money still “seems to exist,” then consider sending us some of it in accordance with your “financial means” — however much feels right to you.
If you’re broke, don’t even worry about it. If you do send us money and you later become broke, then send us a message along the lines of, “I could really use that $10 right now because your music ruined my life...” or whatever, and we’ll send it back to you as long as we’re not broke.
We’ll likely always find a way to play this stuff whether or not we “make any money” from it. But as long as money “seems real” to most people, then sending us a little “helps out” a lot. It enables us to “buy time” by participating in the exchange of specialized labor.
My colleague’s guitar is in regular need of repair, as might be surmised from the sounds heard on this album. Money enables him to delegate this work to his highly-skilled “guitar doc” in a mutually-beneficial exchange. Although we are speaking of time here as having substance, somewhat paradoxically, playing this music helps us access the unreality of time and its derivative ideas like death and money.
In that sense it is ultimately fine even if Zach and I “go completely broke,” “never play music again,” and “die.” There is no actual difference between “playing music” and “death.” Giving us some of your money is also the same thing as death and the same thing as “enjoying music.” By doing it you can “de-realize” the separation between “things” and “remember” that these apparent things aren’t real. None of this is real. You aren’t even having an experience right now.
You can Venmo to @BenBennett84 or Paypal to email@example.com, but make sure to select the “send money to friends and family” option on Paypal so they don’t take a cut. You won’t get in trouble—I’ve done this a million times. Include “Music-Shaped Hole” in the note so that I know what the hell it’s for, and I will make sure Zach gets half.
- You could share this album with anyone you think might like it (or hate it). You could post it on social media, share it on Soulseek, e-mail it to someone, or text a friend about it. Better yet: call them up and use it as an excuse for a longer conversation. They’ll probably be glad to hear your voice. I think I got this idea from Arrington DeDionyso, just to give credit where credit is due. I’m just asking that these “liner notes” are shared along with the audio file. You could share the actual files, this text copied and pasted, or the URL provided below. It would be amazing if you translated this text into another language that you speak.
- You could send us some kind of response to the music — words, a drawing, your own music, etc. --> firstname.lastname@example.org
- We have another two hours of recorded material that we want to release. Would you please put out a double cassette for us? We have the cover art, titles, and everything all ready to go.
- If there is a time when gigs can happen, you could book one for us.
You are also welcome to do “nothing at all.” If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are a friend, a friend of a friend, and/or a person who acts not in accordance with the short-sighted, ill-conceived, non-synergistic value systems that still “seem to dominate” at the time of this writing, but rather in accordance with your “function in universe,” as Bucky Fuller would put it, i.e. you are a “freak” (used here as an umbrella term of endearment).
My colleague and I are into the idea of you hearing this music and reading this text and just continuing to “do your thing” and nothing more. This applies whether you are a “freak” or not. You could be rolling around an Ypsilanti basement with a contact mic stuffed down your Billabong board shorts¹ or the CEO of Lockheed Martin, and we would be fine with you just “enjoying the music” (same as death, remember) without lifting a finger to reciprocate. It’ll all come out in the wash, as they say. Do what you want (as if that’s a meaningful directive).
- If you really “come through” somehow (or just express enough interest), we might even share the secret bonus-track with you.
¹ Many thanks to Jonathan Pfeffer for his input and editing.