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Blog Lifebook Music

10 Years Ago I Scored Music for Liquid Imagination

It was 10 years ago today that my original compositions produced for the LIQUID IMAGINATION web zine first went live. Today I am reissuing all 16 tracks in one complete compilation under my instrumental music project Brandon: Unsung.


This featured music was composed, performed, programmed, produced and recorded by Brandon L. Rucker. Originally published on the web by Liquid Imagination web zine.


On December 1, 2009, John Arthur Miller (“JAM”), then-publisher of the online web zine LIQUID IMAGINATION, contacted me via email to, firstly, pile on enough kind words to make a grown man blush, and secondly, to discuss the possibility of merging my music-making abilities with the featured poetry published in the Liquid Imagination web zine. He had read my bio. He saw that I had spent over half my life playing music in various underground bands, and had evolved into something like a one-man musical franchise of sorts, composing, performing, recording and releasing my own original music all over the web as well as on CD.

Ultimately, I was asked to join LI’s amazing staff as the Music Composer/Coordinator, working very closely with then-managing editor (and now publisher) Sue Babcock. What a wonderful opportunity and journey it was. I remain truly honored and grateful for the opportunity, and I admit, quite proud of the work.

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The way it worked was: a web page was created for each individual poem, with a layout creatively adorned by photos, graphics and the poem’s text. Once that was in place I then took inspiration from the words and images and composed the musical piece from my own unique interpretation of the whole — whether the results of my interpretation was accurate to the author’s intentions or not was not the point of the confluence and sum of the parts in conjunction.

I wrote more extensively about the process and each piece in an article published in the fifth issue of Liquid Imagination, which can be accessed via: The Synergy of Poetry and Music.

Coming soon: I have plenty more music to upload and reissue on Bandcamp for the ease of sharing.

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Blog Lifebook

Reset

sunlight through trees
Photo by Micah Hallahan

Every morning. Without fail. The reset. For me it’s almost like a complete reboot because the internal processor that is my brain does this total cache-ing of whatever negative energy or static was effecting me by the previous day’s end. Thus, mentally and emotionally (maybe not physically as I am a middle-aged man) I awake completely refreshed, happy-go-lucky and with a positive mindset for the day and very little-to-no nasty residue from the day before. This can be annoying (sometimes I’d like to hold on to that intense energy from the day before) but I can’t deny that it’s a good thing too. Comes in real handy if you need to apologize the next day for how you acted the day before, or on the flip side of that, be more receptive to the mea culpas of others.

By nature I’m not what one would call “a morning person” because I always (well, used to) stay up late and I’m not exactly anxious to rise early to go to work, but in the last couple of years as I’ve eased into middle-age (and have a weekday grind that starts a 8 AM) I’ve found that even when I don’t need to rise early on weekends and days off that I’ve been rising well before my preferred 10 o’ clock rising time of the good ol’ days (of course that may have something to do with my falling asleep earlier than planned like some old man). This earlier awakening  happens by default now but I appreciate it because as a sunshine kid I do like to enjoy as much of the daylight hours as possible as well as those ‘quiet hours’ in my house as they’re perfect for thinking, reading and writing without distraction and interruption. The universe knows my eternal struggle with distractions.

Anyway, good morning to the two or three of you reading this after it posts. I am reset for this glorious new day! Here’s hoping it’s not downhill from here. I need tea.

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Lifebook

My New Music Project w/ Upcoming Show

So I’ve been doing this music thing for while, right? But I’ve never been in a cover band, I’ve always created original music. But recently I joined an Alice in Chains tribute band that actually has a show coming up on July 5th at Radio Radio in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis. How crazy is that? The guys I’m playing with have also played in other tribute bands for such classic rock icons as Soundgarden, Guns n’ Roses, AC/DC and The Cure. I am splitting lead and rhythm guitar duties as well as helping out with the multitude of harmonizing backing vocals that Alice in Chains are very notable for executing very well.

We’ve had four rehearsals so far, getting tighter and tighter with each one.

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Lifebook

Death Angel & Man Eating Giant at BCBC in Indianapolis

Above are just a few photos from our Tuesday night of which the highlight was the Death Angel show (w/ special guests Mothership, Photian Schism and Man Eating Giant) at the Black Circle Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN that I attended with my lifelong best friend and brother (from another mother) Joshua Hooten.

The photos, clockwise:

  • The Death Angel U.S. Tour t-shirt I bought from the band’s merch table (the back also has a design along with the U.S. Tour itinerary. Also a guitar pick and drum stick personally handed to me by lead guitarist Rob Cavestany and drummer Will Carroll, respectively.
  • Man Eating Giant (MEG) logo t-shirt from their merch table, where I also nabbed a 3-song CD and a drink koozie.
  • A pic of Josh and just prior to Death Angel’s face-melting set to a packed house.
  • Pacos Taqueria where Josh and I dined. I got the asada quesadilla which was delish and came with creamy sour cream, cilantro-strong pico de gallo and lettuce. I washed it all down with a Sprite.  By the way, their tomatillo green salsa verde was one of the best I’ve ever had. I introduced it to Josh who tried it with blind faith (saying I’ve never lied to him) and he dug it as well.

It was great being front-to-the-left to witness one of my guitar heroes nuke my brain with is ridiculous riffing and scintillating solos. The whole band was very tight and precise.

Death Angel is a pioneering American thrash metal band from the San Francisco/Oakland, California Bay Area, formed in 1982. We discovered them around 1988 on their sophomore album Frolic Through the Park.

Death Angel

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Lifebook

Tribute – April 19, 2019

Happy Birthday, old friend. Rest in peace.

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Blog Journals Lifebook

Resolution: Regain and Retain Attention

~ Lifebook #19 ~

Like many, I consume a lot of media. Be it social media, websites, research, daily & weekly podcasts, television, music, books and comic books — altogether it’s too much. Something’s got to give because I need my own damn attention back. I need my focus. I need to make a change, like pronto. Of course it won’t be books and certainly not music that I eliminate. However, I’ve already cut back on my weekly/monthly comic book/graphic novel reading. Over the recent years my television consumption has increased quite a bit because we are in a new golden age of television after all (although I’m still under the national average, at only 2-3 hours per day). Yet, still it’s too much. I could probably cut back on a few podcasts, but really those lovely things get me through my workday while I do very repetitive and monotonous work at the Day Job. That means the obvious place to make a drastic change in consumption (read: time suckage) is in social media and, well, the Internet in general. And what perfect time to make that behavioral adjustment than the New Year? Getting the damn phone out of my hand more and replacing that physical activity with even more books and more writing. It is precious time that could be better spend writing, say, daily microfiction like 100-word drabbles and 50-word dribbles, or jotting down the half-dozen story ideas that percolate through my brain daily. These are activities that I wish I could simply do on my phone with ease, instead of scrolling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — however, the soft keyboards on smartphones are very aggravating interfaces for writing.

But I digress. The point is, WE ALL need to regain and retain our attention so that we may focus on more creative and productive things in our daily lives. In short . . . we need to PUT DOWN THE DAMNED PHONES!

One way of looking at it is: anything that is great . . . anything that is worth a damn hardly ever comes easy.

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Early last year I presented this article by Craig Mod (via Backchannel and Wired) as a guest blog where he writes about his determination to snatch back his attention. It’s worth a read.

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Blog Journals Lifebook

2018: What Will Be, Will Be

~ Lifebook #18 ~

So I exited 2017/entered 2018 in a rather foul mood and before turning in for the evening (which was not long after midnight because apparently I’m an old man), I wrote this rather sour New Year’s Resolution.


Usually I go into a New Year with a positive outlook and attitude. I go in with a plan and mindset to do new things, better things and simply be better at everyday life.

Well, this year I’m not doing that. For 2018 I’m going into it with a negative attitude for once. I’m embracing a certain realistic cynicism where usually there’s an idealistic optimism. In its place is a fatalistic realism?

I’m done trying to make things be what they should be — or what I believe they should be. I’m done trying to make things right that don’t want to be right.

The one exception might be my heath. I’ll do what I can (as a diabetic) to make that better, I suppose.

But everything else?

What will be, will be.

Or something like that.


I did mention that I was in a foul mood when I wrote that, right?

Sour notes aside, still, what will be, will be.

What will not be, won’t be.

P.S.: I did wake up in a much better mood and with a better attitude on this fine first day of the new year . . .