To hear me talk about the new category, Collisions, why it’s awesome, and why I’m having more fun writing:

To hear me read the post aloud:


And four apples!

Other than being the shopping list of a potential serial killer, it’s also a list of recorded sounds in one of Adam Young’s (Owl City) projects. No, I didn’t get to interview him. That’d be pretty rockin though.

So how do I know those sounds are in his track? Well, because I stumbled across the following video on his YouTube channel. Now, before I show it to you (and talk about it), don’t freak out. What you’re looking at is a software program called Logic Pro which is what Adam uses to create his incredible music. Each little rectangle in the screenshot represents an audio clip, and perhaps more, a story. If you either don’t know what a Vitrola is (I didn’t), or want to skip some of the technical-music-speak then start at the 1:23 mark:

One day, I found myself looking for sounds…
– Adam Young

And perhaps he found himself amidst the noise

When his creativity took over, he surveyed his smattering of raw materials, and thought: “ya know what? I’m gonna build something will this!” And bingo, we have a masterfully layered audio project that took a zany collection of audio and turned it into art all while telling us a pretty cool story about this time where our main character (Adam) went on a scavenger hunt.

Do people send him birthday presents just because they make a cool sound? I mean, if I were Adam’s friend that’s totally how I’d figure out what to get him every year (“yes, I’d like this 20 year old jewelry box, this baby rattle, and this rusted weed eater piston…it’s for a friend.”).

So this is how his art has shaped the way he sees the world. Nevermind the direction I could go if we took his words out of context and re-framed this sentence away from meaning “I became aware that I was now looking for sounds” to meaning, “I became aware of who I truly am, and this is what I was doing when that happened.” And what would you likely be doing if there was to be a moment when you found yourself at last? It’s funny, I think a lot of us have an answer for that.

Back to Earth now…haha.

Which reminds me…

I started shooting some stock photos for Shutterstock (don’t be too impressed, it’s pretty easy to start) and aside from making my first quarter ($0.25), I started ‘seeing’ my world a little differently. The other day I stopped to shoot a weird chain link fence:

…and noticed the texture in the wall next to it:

Which isn’t that different from finding that the latch on our front door sounds pretty cool:

And the pop of my bug zapper racket makes a convincing snare:

The point is that there’s definitely some overlap

Between texture photography and layering sound in software and telling stories. And what if we keep going? Suppose Adam is a fictional character in a novel. What’s the occasion for a 30-something to be at his dad’s house? Why did they need a trailer? Were the apples eaten on the run? Where does a shotgun fit into this?

So now there’s this collision with the fictional. Art is connected, and where there’s connection, there’s something to be learned about how it works.

Last point

I think creativity is hopelessly, beautifully, and wonderfully massive. I think we attempt to sequester off a chunk of it, label it ‘craft’ attempt to learn it in isolation and in doing so we limit our capacity to understand it, our ability to dodge fear, and ultimately, our art itself.


Share this like a forest fire and then passionately agree with me in the comments. Or…ya know, tell me I’m insane.