NOTES BY A PRODUCE:
"The Clearing" was originally released in 1988 in an edition of 500 LP’s. At the time, I considered it to be “an album of conceptual space.” It was also very much a transitional album having gone from playing guitar in the “dark dance band” Afterimage in the early 80’s to where I was headed musically and creatively in the 90’s on up to the present.
The notion of the Trance Port label also evolved in the early 80’s, first as a cassette releasing label of what was evolving as the “L.A. underground” music scene. Many of the artists I met during that time appeared on the two L.A. Mantra compilations issued on Trance Port during those years.
Many also appeared on the tracks of "The Clearing" project. I am thankful for those artists’ varied contributions on this album. It would not have turned out as well and as interesting a project without them.
After release of "The Clearing" LP, I began to drift into more space/ambient realms. Some of "The Clearing"’s original tracks have appeared on later compilations of my work. This is the first time the entire album has been rejoined as the whole it originally came from. An added “lost” track has been included on this CD release to complete the experience. For this release, all track tracks have been remastered by Loren Nerell and myself.
EXCERPT FRON THE ORIGINAL LINER NOTES FOR "THE CLEARING" (1988):
“. . . and then you discover you are approaching a small clearing in the midst of this small forest, but no sunlight penetrates. In the middle of this clearing appears an ancient stone building. . . it looks like it’s been there for centuries. As you walk slowly around this building, you see this carved, old carved door. Somehow, you that. . . . if you open that door, you’ll see something that is very important to you. . . . and yet you hesitate . . . to walk up to that door. Total silence . . . the woods around . . . and finally walk slowly to this ancient carved door . . . knowing when you open it . . . you’ll see something that is so very important to you . . to you alone. Slowly your hand reaches . . . pushes open the door slowly . . . and what do you see inside . . .”
Jack Gariss Studio of Your Own Mind”
NOTES ON TRACKS:
Track 1—“Farming in Arabia”
This is a track that “Option” magazine founder Scott Becker and I worked up for a live appearance. The title is also his. He played two guitar parts on the studio version, one picked--and the other played with a drum stick. This is and will always be a favorite track of mine. Originally re-issued on the anthology “Black Sands.”
This track grew out of an inexpensive delay unit I had at the time that featured a “hold” button, allowing storing and looping of a bit of sound. My only keyboard at the time was a Casio CZ-101, and it’s on every track of “The Clearing.” The “tunnel” sound on the delay suggested a video, shot from a vehicle racing through a series of tunnels. Also played some acoustic guitar on this one. “Tunnels” began the 1995 compilation of my early work called “White Sands.”
Also from “White Sands.” This was a trance groove with “Hang ‘Em High” organ. Also played some electric guitar on this one.
A previously unreleased piece from the LP version. Josie Roth enhanced this track with her wordless vocals and viola. A soaring track that was also enhanced by Bryan Daly’s congas.
Track 5—“October 1st”
A dark ominous track originally reissued on “White Sands.” I took a page from Eno’s book and cross-faded into a completely different piece near the end.
Track 6—“Ashes of Love”
The big production piece of the album—an ambient intro and ending, with a song inbetween. Dan Voznick from Afterimage did the vocal and bass, I played guitar, keyboard and effects. Dinah Lehoven played wind harp. A CD of the original Afterimage tracks was released by Dan and me last fall called "Strange Confession" which included this track and others.
Track 7—“For Jackson Pollack--#3”
The track was first reissued on “Black Sands” which I added some guitar and ambient piano as well as multiple effects. Again, the inexpensive Ibanez delay came to the rescue.
Track 8—“The Raw Silk, the Uncarved Block”
One of the most familiar phrases in Taoism, I constructed this previously unreleased piece from the original LP as a wind chime piece which cross-faded into a rocking track originally inspired by the 70's German group Neu. Previously released only on the LP.
Track 9—“The Clearing”
This piece was issued on “White Sands.” I have included a portion of the original liner notes taken from the LP version taken from a guided imagery talk Jack Gariss gave back in the 70’s called “The Studio of Your Own Mind.” This peaceful track done with Scott Fraser seemed to be what the album was leading up to.
Track 10—“Raga Riley”
The only unreleased piece from the original “Clearing” tapes. It was an experiment that I felt at the time needed to be developed more. Obviously an homage to Terry Riley and Steve Reich. What seemed to need more at the time now sounds complete.
All of the tracks on “The Clearing” have been remastered, even "re-remastered" in some cases from their original reissue on “White Sands” and “Black Sands.” In other words, this album sounds even better now all these years later, better than when it first came out. While some of these tracks have been featured elsewhere, it’s nice to hear them back together again, all coming the same space from which they were carved.