Planet Canvas 

it was early december, 2019, and a toxic smoke haze rolled in over canberra. the beautiful and everpresent mountain ranges disappeared from view. the streets became eerily quiet silver vistas from which the blocked silhouettes of the occasional car ghosted past. i stared out the window of my apartment and could no longer see the gum trees in the neighbouring vacant block. the resident kangaroos had nowhere to hide, but were hidden well enough. as an asthmatic I can't do outdoor physical labour in toxic smoke without potentially fatal consequences, and even though i had hardly enough savings to cover rent, i had to cancel a large and physical outdoors job chopping and stacking wood that would have got me out of financial doldrums for a month or so. for the next fortnight i stayed locked up and sweltering as the unrelenting haze choked out most activity in the city. thankfully, i had some borrowed recording equipment and some instruments lying around. they didn't just save my sanity, they captured the emotional landscape of grief, hope and despair of living on a dying planet. all the hopes of humanity, of aspirational cultural longings, seemed metaphorically fixed, lifeless but expressive, in a screen of ash and embers. making music isn't just a selfish pastime that i've done my whole life just to make myself feel good. deep down i've really believed in the "human project", the archives of art and culture produced by visionaries and dreamers who perhaps felt too much to comfortably exist in their immediate surroundings, but have longed to contribute somehow. i wanted to contribute, somehow, but as the smoke kept killing the sunlight and the ability to do much at all, and all across australia millions of hectares of land burnt to a crisp, i felt a sickening despair at the realisation there may be no legacy to leave, no contribution to make, as there won't be anyone left to appreciate it, or be appreciated by it. each one of us has known from an early age that one day we are going to die. and yet we persist in the face of this certain doom. we make lives, we create things, we have good times and bad times and construct meaning for ourselves in the face of an all-consuming mystery. part of what keeps us doing these things (living) is a feeling of legacy. we leave things behind for others to carry on. memories. songs. stories. some even leave property portfolios. but what's the point of continuing if there's nobody left to carry our efforts... but then, why do anything? these questions haunt us all, in our solitary chambers, as a once-in-a-century pathogen roils across the globe. good luck with the answers. this music is merely an attempt...

image by Cicatrix

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