Forest Tape #7: Gone Tomorrow

Released/Hidden: October 11th, 2019

Dedicated to the memory of Daniel Johnston.

  1. a time presents itself
    William BasinskiExcerpt from Disintegration Loop 2.1
    from ‘The Disintegration Loops vol. 1’
    David Lynch & Alan R SpletExcerpt from Side A
    from ‘Eraserhead: Original Soundtrack’
    Anonymous singing group in Deal woodlandBelle Mama

  2. sky of blue, sea of green
    Emerson Kitamura & MMMRock Your Baby
    from ‘The Countryside Is Great’

  3. the future is bright and far away
    The BooksVogt Dig For Kloppervok
    from ‘Lost and Safe’

  4. you made me feel so young
    Laura Nyro & LaBelleWind
    from ‘Gonna Take a Miracle’

  5. the ground cracks
    Boards of CanadaEverything You Do is a Balloon
    from ‘Hi Scores’

  6. it gets harder…
    LowAlways Trying to Work It Out
    from ‘Double Negative’

  7. …but it gets easier.
    Harold Budd & Brian Eno Still Return
    from ‘The Pearl’

  8. you have to do it every day
    The BooksThe Future, Wouldn’t That Be Nice?
    from ‘The Lemon of Pink’

  9. enough for now
    Daniel JohnstonSome Things Last a Long Time
    from ‘1990’

  10. yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone
    William BasinskiExcerpt from Disintegration Loop 2.2
    from ‘The Disintegration Loops vol. 2’

Notes

My whole life I’ve been obsessed with death. It’s a bizarre irony when your neuroses about mortality are so overwhelming that you want to die. This being the last Forest Tape – and therefore the literal and symbolic end of the project – I wanted to confront this anxiety and hold nothing back. I filled up a notebook with streams of consciousness about my most difficult and distressing thoughts, forcing myself to explore them without flinching. There is more horror, evil and indifference in this world than we’ll ever know about. Soon, our friends and family will die and so will we. Childhood is the most innocent time of our lives, and we don’t lose that innocence once – we lose more of it every day. We lose it every time we pass a person sleeping in a doorway, or when we are reminded of the damage to the planet, or when a moment of peace is interrupted by the knowledge that someone, somewhere, is enduring more suffering than we can conceive of. We can’t run from this knowledge or the questions that arise from it. Nor should we. How else can we move on? The more we confront them, the less afraid we’ll be. With less fear, there is more room for joy and for love. There is beauty to be found in Hell, and we must find and propagate it. It’s ok to want to live. There are no answers, there are only responses. This tape is my response. I hope you’re ok.

Daniel Johnston

A true American eccentric, Daniel Johnston was a visual artist and singer-songwriter from Texas. Due to his exceptionally amateur (to put it mildly) performance style, it’s often easy to overlook his skill as a writer. His emotional honesty and dream-like eloquence were unique. Johnston was at constant war with himself due to an onslaught of mental illnesses, from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. That being said, neither his considerable fan-base nor his cult icon status were derived from pity. People who love Daniel Johnston do so because they adore his songs, and the unfiltered soul within them. I myself struggled to understand how to appreciate his music, to the extent that I felt like an enabler just listening to it. However, something kept pulling me back, and each revisit brought me closer to the truth. I’d strongly recommend his friend Kathy McCarty’s album ‘Dead Dog’s Eyeball’ which consists of nearly two dozen covers of Johnston’s songs, made far more intelligible for the die-hard and the uninitiated alike. I became more and more enamoured with his work over the course of the past decade, and I eventually realised just how much of an impact he had made on my life. Daniel Johnston did what he was born to do and never ever stopped. He made the music he wanted to make and no one else could have possibly made anything like it. He died on September 11th 2019 of natural causes. The documentary ‘The Devil and Daniel Johnston’ is a thoroughly enlightening film for anyone even remotely curious about his life, his work, or art in general.

creation

is who on earth
how on earth
why on earth

of this earth
of many
of one

is life
is worship
of life

by chance
by god
By God!

God is dead
God lives
god is a word

words are here
unclear
get used to them

in their infinite
in their wisdom
in their own filth

slurred blurred
spluttered
all to tell you

all monuments
to change
to stasis

to people
to loss
to gain

gaining height
like a tower
dangling

not so much
piercing the sky
as bruising the ground

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