Energy Research Journal
Energy Research Journal

The work of Alex Petty .:.

September 2010
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Release of drumfish “Memoirs”

alexalex

In addition to my love of math and physics, I also love to write and perform music.

I am very happy to announce that tonight I will be releasing my latest CD titled “Memoirs” at a performance in Vienna Virgina with my band drumfish.

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/drumfish/59713930924

You can listen to / obtain the music here:
https://soundcloud.com/alexpetty/sets/memoirs

For those interested, I will here provide a walk-through of the music on this new album.

This is the album cover

memoirs album cover

track 1 :: motion :: 04:07

motion

about “motion”
“Motion” sets the stage for the story line of the album. It deals with a protagonist’s first inklings that something is not right within and without. He sees that before him lies a journey of self-discovery and a need to make a difference in the world despite the apparent inner and outer turmoil reflected everywhere. “Where is the humanity in the streets?” the protagonist asks himself. “Brothers just don’t love their brothers no more”. The third verse in particular sets the tone for what’s to come, the inner voice emerging from the chaos offering the guidance to “Let your life arise by letting be what is”. It is for this reason that Motion became the first track on Memoirs.

track 2 :: without my light :: 04:31

without my light

about “without my light”
In the story arc of the CD, this is the song where the protagonist begins to set his journey in motion. He realizes the need for change and focuses on it despite the many distractions and obstacles in the way. He runs towards that goal never knowing if he will reach the end. He is somehow hopeful and aware that from within the darkness there is light. Instinctively he knows that within the light there is something important…..meaning, peace, perhaps even more than this. The light is his inspiration; it is that force deep inside that illuminates the path of life’s difficult journey. The protagonist says, “I will not run without my light.

track 3 :: poetry in motion :: 2:47

poetry in motion

about “poetry in motion”
In the “Memoirs” story arc, that is, in the life of the story’s protagonist, each of these song titles represents one of life’s milestones. As song writers, we see each song we create as a kind of marker, a way of memorializing an experience, an idea, and event or a feeling. So in this way, the song titles are a list of life experiences. It is as if our protagonist is collecting himself introspectively, recounting his life….past, present, and future….in an effort to embolden himself to take on his inevitable journey, just as anyone might in the face of great change. His life is flashing before his eyes.

track 4 :: it just don’t matter :: 03:30

it just don’t matter

about “it just don’t matter to me”
In the story arc, this is where some of the most difficult obstacles are facing the protagonist. Apocalyptic forces are facing him, causing pain and destruction in his world and creating a sense of urgency for his journey. Throughout the song, it is the Four Horsemen stating “It just don’t matter to me” referring to humanity in its condition of self-destruction. But in an ironic twist, it’s the protagonist himself playing with this thought in the final verse in which he realizes it is precisely this self-doubt which has acted to create a space around his habitual “sense of self” leading to an opening through which his higher sense of self is able to arise. He realizes that the direction of his journey lies down the road of letting go, by letting it all matter less. He recognizes the imperative to live more lightly in the space of his own mind.

track 5 :: flood :: 03:56

flood
about “flood”
This song is full of water imagery. It breathes of the idea that within us there is some kind of well. And that at some point, when one is ready, the waters of this well stir a higher instinct, an inexplicable compulsion to seek a further understanding and to reconsider one’s personal situation and the general human condition. “The rest is up to me” the song states numerous times realizing that despite the numerous and onerous obstacles in his way he must do something. The protagonist in our “Memoirs” story has finally turned a corner in his journey. There is even a “shout-out” to Nikola Tesla in the song. In the middle section, the line goes “On the rocks with Tesla’s boxes”. This is a tribute to Alex’s work with energy physics and his admiration for Tesla. Alex’s work incorporates new theories on math and their relationship to spirituality and physics. The rest of us have embraced his theories and have used it as part of the decision making process for the sequencing of the songs. Each number, zero through 9, has a particular meaning and we lined up the track numbers of the songs to match.

track 6 :: earthworms :: 04:48

earthworms

about “earthworms”
In this song, our protagonist is making the first steps towards completing his journey. He has accepted that the journey is difficult. He notices many things around him in the world that are leading to a potentially apocalyptic ending…. “Hell fire in the mother’s breast”, “Lightning in the distance”, “Thunder in the middle sky”…. He feels like an “Earthworm in the eagle’s nest” meaning that the challenge facing him seems overwhelming and seemingly unbeatable. He is a tiny person in a vast world. He mentally challenges himself by facetiously saying, “You are listening to me, watching as the whole world dies”. Yet he summons his courage and “Puts one foot in front of the other”….he takes his first step.

track 7 :: no hesitation :: 04:35

no hesitation

about “no hesitation”
One of the lines in the first verse says, “I am what I am, zero to nine”. What exactly does it mean to be “zero to nine”? Alex does a lot of work with numerology as it relates to physics and spirituality. And much of the numerological work settles around new theories on math involving the intrinsic meaning of enumeration as it relates to conciousness. The numbers one through nine are represented on a circle and through these representations many deeper truths may be approached. On the circle, nine is also in the same place as zero. So when the protagonist in our story says this line, it is referring to all parts of himself, beginning to end. This is the song where our protagonist has begun to fully make a change. He says, “I have already gone, no hesitation”. Yet he still struggles with himself by following that up saying, “I have long way to run, have some patience”. He has internalized the need for spiritual re-emergence but is battling himself. It is a battle against his ego which all of us are destined to one day dispel. It could be said that life itself is a struggle to defeat this inner adversary.

track 8 :: all for you :: 06:03

all for you

about “all for you”
In this song, our protagonist is experiencing the intense psychological pressures that can accompany inner transformation. Still all around him in the world there are things that he cannot change and an inner sense of self-doubt and so he falls into acute despair even contemplating suicide. He goes from questioning in the first verse, to angry in the second, to slightly insane in the third and finally he’s suicidal in the final tag section of the song. As we’ll see in the next song, “Already Home”, he makes his way through this desperate state and emerges from this intensely negative state transformed with true realization of the nature of self, like a dreamer waking from a nightmare.

track 9 :: already home :: 03:20

already home

about “already home”
One of the main harmonic themes on the record is to start in the home key and then move to the 6th scale degree. We do this in 4 or 5 different ways on the record but you can hear this happening over and over. We began to align the songs in an order such that the keys of the songs would line up in the same way. The record starts in D for the first two songs and then the third song is in B-flat minor….again 1 to 6. In fact, if you line up the keys for the entire record, it makes a progression very similar to what a lot of the individual songs are doing. It even goes full circle and arrives back at D for the last song, “Remember”.Another pattern that we saw emerging was that a lot of the songs aligned very closely with Alex’s numerology work (for more on this see the back stories for “Flood” and “No Hesitation”). The numbers 1 through 9 can be placed on a circle moving around clockwise. 9 is just to the left of 1 and could also be represented with a 0. The number 9 in this way represents returning back to the beginning or back home, the starting point. And so this track “Already Home” became track 9. Other songs on the record have similar stories about placement due to the track numbering. In addition to the song keys and numerical meanings, the songs were placed in order for lyrical reasons as well. In “Already Home” our protagonist has just gone through a very difficult emotional experience in “All For You”. He has passed through his long journey of transformation and has emerged changed. Through a moment of acceptance forced upon him by the nightmarish intensity reached in “All For You”, he realizes that what he searched for throughout his journey was already within himself the whole time and in this way he has connected with the source of his own life. He now understands that he is “Already Home”.

track 10 :: remember :: 04:18

remember

about “remember”
Throughout the history of the band we have had many songs that toy around with key changing, in particular we like the interplay between major and minor. In “Remember” that idea is taken to a new extreme. The first moments of the song are definitely in D-minor but then slowly elements are brought in to change it. Alex sings an F# in the verse which is the major third. By the time the chorus hits, we’re all playing a full D-major chord instead of D-minor. At the end of the chorus, on the lines “remain, always”, we’re in both major and minor simultaneously. The instrumentation has switched back to D-minor but the vocals are in D-major. You can hear the tension between the F# in the vocals and the F-natural in the guitar. Another interesting musical element to this song is the section that comes right after each chorus. Similar to the poly-tonality of the harmonic structure, we have a poly-rhythm when Aaron continues playing in 4/4 time while the rest of the instrumentation is playing in 5/4.

In the story arc, this song is a reflection of our protagonist’s journey. In it he is “remembering”, the steps of his path to the attainment of inner peace having realized that he was “already home”. This return home is also reflected by a return to the original key from the first song on the record (“Motion” was also in D). He says “life is but a dream” in his understanding that this human life is not the absolute level of reality but only relatively true. He knows now that the physical world we experience as human beings is a merely a construct of mind fortified by senses, a beautiful illusion manifested for the benefit of the collective consciousness, so that the Universe, through us, can experience love as self. The protagonist, having experientially realized this is no longer questioning. He says, “I can guide you by the hand; I can make you realize how you and I remain, always”. This certainty comes from having passed through his journey and living now in the state of clarity which accompanies attunement to higher vibrations of consciousness.

At the very end of the song, if you let it play for about 10 seconds you’ll hear one last tag for the record. It was spontaneously recorded as Alex was tracking his acoustic guitar part in “Earthworms”. Our engineer/producer Kevin “131” Gutierrez tracked it and kept it as part of the recording. Alex is playing the guitar by himself and singing, “I am trying to make a difference with everything I do and say.” As we were listening to playbacks of “Earthworms” during the recording process we all really took to it. We decided that it was the perfect tag line to the CD, a simple yet profound statement that summarizes the entire work.

Here are some pictures of the band.

alex
larry and alex
aaron

For those of you who are interested, here is the bands bio:

drumfish was formed in 1992 by Alex Petty, Larry France, Neil Richardson and Aaron Bertoglio. From its inception, the band has always melded a wide variety of musical sounds, cultures and genres. This approach has led the band to develop a signature sound forged in the fires of cross-genre innovation, harnessed by an acoustic modern rock feel. The band has always focused on writing and distributing their original music. In 1997 drumfish released its first self-titled CD. Before long the band was attracting the attention of various record labels and playing venues all across the United States and Canada. As the excitement for the band grew, the demand for a follow-up CD grew with it. The band released “Ra’s Zoo” in 1998 to critical acclaim. In 1999, due to uncontrollable circumstances, the band parted ways before their full potential was realized. However, there was still unfinished business, a message that needed to be sent. There was more music that had to be created and shared. In 2000, a year after the official breakup, drumfish recorded their third CD, “Under Under Hill”. Not to be outdone by their earlier releases, the CD “Under Under Hill” went on to win a nationwide songwriting contest and received strong praise from critics. But this third CD remained dormant for nine years, without artwork, labeling or packaging. This weighed on the foursome leading to attempted reunions in 2005 and 2007. Finally, in early 2009, the band decided it was time to release this long overdue work. While the band was preparing for the release of the 3rd CD, they began writing new music. The material the band wrote during this period was fresh and invigorating, drumfish was now writing at a new level and doing its best work yet. More than that, there was an underlying message emerging from this new music, a message carrying a call to action for needed change in the world. The new work is filled with images of light and life. In early 2010, drumfish began recording its 4th CD at Assembly Line Studios near Washington, DC with double-platinum producer Kevin “131″ Gutierrez. At around this time, the band signed up bassist James Hansford to fill the position left by departing bassist and founding member Neil Richardson. The band spent the spring and early summer recording new material and Memoirs” was completed in early June. The group is now embarking on an international promotional campaign of the new record. Boosted by early reviews, France, Bertoglio, Hansford and Petty are now preparing for their live CD Release Concert on September 11th at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA. 

.:.

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