My Fun / Kimberly Ellen Hall / John Ira Ebersole: Camaraderie
The Land Of

Camaraderie would seem to be the ideal title for a collaborative project—The Land Of's first—that includes a forty-minute CD by My Fun (Justin Hardison) housed within a twenty-four-page booklet containing poems by John Ira Ebersole and designed by Kimberly Ellen Hall (available in a limited edition in a 200-copy run). On presentation grounds, the release is striking. The simple watercolour illustrations, cream-coloured paper stock, and sewn binding complement Ebersole's hand-written poems, of which XV provides a representative sample: “Wishing to wake (wake) / What wishes to rest (rest) / Will not give me (me) / The same easy rest (rest).” The musical side of the equation can be summed up as electroacoustic, ambient-drone sound sculpting heavily processed and laced with field recordings taken from the natural outdoors and the urban jungle. At times musical sounds are at the forefront, such as when organ tones waver through clouds of hiss during “Murals,” while at other times field recordings dominate; “Churning Surf,” for example, contains few if any conventional musical sounds as the focus is wholly on field recordings taken from an apparent seaside locale replete with crashing waves and bird sounds. In other cases, a balance is struck between the two (e.g., the closing drone "Gasp").

In developmental terms, the project didn't merely involve conjoining the CD and poetry in a shared context; instead, the process evolved interdependently with the poems influencing Hardison's compositional process and the music in turn influencing the writing as it was shaped into its final form. Though such interconnections were part and parcel of the creative process, no compromise to the individual creators' respective styles is evident, a result attributable not only to the distinct areas of artistic endeavour involved but also to the sincere commitment to the project shared by all concerned.

December 2010