user since
Fri Jun 21 2002 at 00:38:14 (17.3 years ago )
last seen
Thu Apr 3 2008 at 21:29:25 (11.5 years ago )
number of write-ups
47 - View earthen's writeups (feed)
level / experience
7 (Chronicler) / 3000
mission drive within everything
sensory impulse
Cornell University
most recent writeup
Twin Peaks
Send private message to earthen

September 2003,
Greetings friends. I am traveling in Central America at the moment. From August 1 through October 15, my friend Jan Heise (Frankfurt, Germany) and I are enjoying a trip from Austin, Texas to Lago De Atitlan, Guatemala by bus and train only. We are at this point on the way home. We have visited the following places: Chihuahua, Copper Canyon (by train), Mazatlan, Creel, Puerto Escondido, San Cristobal de las Casas, Tikal, Panajachel, Chichicastenago, Tulum, Valladolid, and many other lesser known spots. Life is stimulating. Please let me know if you have visited, want to visit, or are generally interested in these places--I have a lot to discuss....

I love rhythm and blues, that is black music recorded generally for an African-American audience. In addition to my constant writing and reading about the music and its inner workings, I am constantly searching for recordings that exemplify soulful music-making. By using my trusty Top R&B Singles (1942-1999); Dave Marsh's "The Heart of Rock and Soul", which includes musicological and personal descriptions (nodes, if you will) of 1000 important singles from the popular music canon, I love this book; and the music collection tools Napster, Kazaa, and Audiogalaxy (in order of discovery), I have amassed what has got to be one of the largest collections of historical rhythm & blues recordings around.

This musical resource means the world to me, but it would mean more if I could share it in some way. If you archive music through the mp3 format and specialize in rhythm and blues, soul, funk, and/or reggae, let me know, and I'll see if I can't burn you a cd-r (or 3!) of choice cuts from the time period or style that you enjoy. A trading relationship is much preferred since I have my current college student income is minimal - however! - if you express your interest passionately, I will provide abundant amounts of music to your mailbox.

For me, E2 is all about audience and atmosphere. By changing the direction of audience from authoritarian (teachers, editors) to peer-based, my approach to writing has become more rigorous and focused. I enjoy presenting research for e2 because it is read for the intellectual benefit of the readership -- not for the mark of a grade or the satisfaction of a requirement. I can now appreciate the pure joy of writing.

Deeply critical and based on growth, the atmosphere of E2 is why I return here (excessively, perhaps).

Born in Austin, Texas, November 18, 1978, I was exposed to the benefits of live music culture from a very young age. As a freshman in high school (LBJ Science Academy, g. 1997), I was exposed to a new group (I separated from everyone I had grown up with by choosing this school) of people who inspired me to grow intellectually and spiritually. From 1997-2001, I attended college at Cornell University in tranquil Ithaca, New York - a place that inspired me as much through its natural beauty and cultural diversity, as through its courses and professors (who have their own charms, of course).

My central project on e2 is to explore and research critical issues in African-American music. Finally, I have a non-academic forum for the presentation of theory and criticism. My goal is to write about music in a way that deepens the experience of listening for myself and the critical community here. By uncovering threads that unite disparate forms of cultural production, I hope to give readers new ways to find pleasure in listening, reading, and living.

Some fellow users on e2 have asked why -- considering I've written some analyses of individual songs and styles -- haven't I written any profiles on individual bands or musicians? The reason is that I'm trying to write a history of (esp. soul, r&b, jazz) music that is not based on the chronological (diachronic) but on the intertextual (synchronic). In other words, I am more interested in particular moments in music -- songs, performances, rituals -- as opposed to entire lives in music. I simply don't have the confidence to write profiles yet, but it is an avenue I'll be going down very soon.

In black music, there is a striking sense of connectivity, of strands that unite all forms of production -- art, dance, music, literature. I always sensed this, but my thoughts were not lucid and focused until I got a hold of two very powerful and groundbreaking books: The Power of Black Music by Samuel Floyd (Oxford University Press, 1994) and The Signifying Monkey by Henry Louis Gates (Oxford University Press, 1989).

The Power Of Black Music excited my interest in musicology and history by demonstrating (so eloquently) how African-American music is inextricably linked to African cultural traditions. While much has changed over the twentieth century in the sound and meaning of popular music, there are tendencies, practices, and rituals that link together African and American music forms. It lays out a theoretical framework which can be applied to music forms to extract their histories.

There is an aspect about my writing and research that I want to emphasize: because I am here to contribute meaningful and interesting content to E2, the point of my nodes will never be 'intellectuality' as an end in itself. I will elaborate critical ideas - such as Signifying or the concepts of black music - and apply them to music. My hope is that these writings will bring out the (sometimes hidden) context that allows music to create meaning in its listeners.

There are oodles of ideas that I'm interested in (writing about) besides music -- my love of the kitchen and its history, and all forms of artistic production, including the plastic arts, dance, and especially film.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the brilliant writers drownzsurf and anthropod for their critical insights and for having reached out to me as friends. I have truly grown as a writer and a person through them. I can't believe I've been here so shortly.