☀️summer reservations
–==▒▓▓ The Sundial News ▓▓▒==-
--==▒▓▓ The Sundial News ▓▓▒==-

NEXT STREAM JULY 24th. 360 Degrees of Summer. We are going to be doing something special, pending all things go well! This one will only be on Youtube because we are planning on doing VR and Immersive stuff that isn't supported elsewhere, assuming it all goes as planned!

July 24th, 7 PST, see you there. Looking forward to rock and rolling with you into the summer.

This link below will always lead you to the most current livestream we are doing on youtube. Bookmark it if you'd like. Subscribing to the channel will also help keep you in the know, if you're into that kind of thing.


In addition to messing with 360 video, I've been getting into some new video related stuff that's pretty fun. Learning more and more about reactive effects. I am not great at visual stuff but creating visualizations out of modules makes it a bit easier for me because it is more like programming a synth than drawing a picture.

I am also working on SONG SONGS, revamping old stuff, revising jams from the streams to make them more real, that kind of thing. It is a fun process and I am excited to write more/show more/and so on. I really like making music on the fly with The Boys and I've been bouncing ideas off of JD on the internet and it is a good time. Wrote some lyrics even. Let's goooooooooo.


😂 you having a laugh?
--==▒▓▓ STREAM UPDATE ▓▓▒==-


(belated) MAYDAY stream

Set reminder, subscribe if you'd like, thumbs up. All free.

--==▒▓▓ The Month's Song ▓▓▒==-

Ok, down to business. Thanks for waiting. I know this is a little late but I've been doing other things! Patreon is active. Working on perfecting the perks right now. FOLLOW is totally an option even though Patreon tries to make you think it isn't. I'm going to post the songs from previous letters because I know some people missed them. We're working it out here!

I also want to thank everyone who has left suggestions on things to do for the next stream. We see you, we hear you. Get ready! If you want to leave a suggestion, drop on by the patreon or reply to this email. We'll figure it out! Also, if you're reading this on patreon just pretend like it is reasonable for it to be here.


--==▒▓▓ The Month's Song ▓▓▒==-

I've resisted the urge to go "drone mode" with cellitar for a long time. The systems used to teach music here in America are pretty xenophobic (as is the culture around being a music brained person) and I'm trying to embrace other perspectives. I just want to do what I can to not participate in the crueler parts of the system.

I love chords and harmony but I also feel in love with music theory concepts through modes. Modes are kind of like scales within scales with very pronounced sounds. The interplay with chords can be important but at the core of it, give me a drone underneath and a great mode and I'll be good to go! One chord vamp me into the night.

So I'll say I know VERY little about Raag / Raga at this time but I've wanted to learn more about this music so I got an app that lets you select a Raag and gives you an appropriate backing track. I feel weird talking about this music because I know so little about it but I hope to learn more over the coming months. There is something very therapeutic about playing along to these tracks. My understanding is that Carnatic music is mainly vocal but it seems to be the best word I've found for what this style of music is.

The raga is called "Yaman Kalyan" and I'm not sure how accurately I played it. There is a complexity I haven't quite unlocked so I would say at the very best it is probably an approximation. I listened to some songs that use it. I'd recommend "Kaatril Varum Geetham" from the film Oru Naal Oru Kanavu. There is a portion of the raga that has a string of notes that is some REAL good stuff. Wish I could speak to it with more clarity but I truly am a neophyte in this domain.

Anyway, playing Cellitar again and learning about the raga system. Let's gooooo!

--==▒▓▓ LIVE MUSIC IRL ▓▓▒==-

I saw some live music this past month. I sure did miss live music. Saw two bands this past month. Went outside for the first time in a while. Shout to the people in my life telling me to go outside (Rachel and JohnDavid and John, for instance) I almost forgot to!

1st show
SESONEON - great band. inside, mostly masked. I did feel a bit of terror when I stepped into the room. Haven't been around that many people in a long time. It is strange how it only took 2 years to forget what it is like to be around people.
2nd show
SUNGAZER - musician and guy who makes videos sometimes Adam Neely's fusion(?) band. Inside, a little scary, but life goes on. It was great watching a group of great musicians with a great system. The looks, the gestures. A lovely thing to see.
When I was younger I loved going to shows, one of my favorite bands to see was The Locust. RIP Gabe Serbian. Incredible drummer.

- A


== Austin's Corner ==

March 6th at 7 PST THE INVISIBLE SUNDIAL will be performing improvised music at twitch.tv/theinvisiblesundial

We'll be playing improvised music for the first time live in a couple of years now. It sure does feel good to get back into it. I look forward to "seeing" you there.

Did you wonder what I'd "mostly like to" last month? I don't remember what I was going to type. There really isn't much to update on my front. I've been working on the process for the stream on the 6th. I'll be implementing samples that Davin will trigger on the drums. I've always liked adding "non-instrument" type things to my music so I'm excited to rip those things out of the aether (online) and throw them into a sampler and toss them back at drums. It may seem confusing now but it'll make sense on the 6th at 7 PM PST on twitch.tv.

February is a weird month. I'm excited to get back to performing. Here is my pledge to not worry about the numbers and resist the grind (it is a lie) while still improving my craft. It is an important thing to hold on to when everything is so easy to attach a number to. The Numbers do not equal your value. Uh, but see you Sunday.

== Davin's Corner ==

What does it mean to be a creative? That's a question ive always struggled with. Ive watched my friends and associates grow as artists, self-titling and all. Developing their styles and tastes, whether it be music, visual art, or different forms of writing, I admired there sense of place I seem to have missed. I didnt include myself in the community I was so strongly connected with for a very long time.

For me, creativity has always been a part of my thinking, I just never realized. My imagination was very strong, and in my youth, I had an ability to think outside typical constructs. If i wanted a treehouse, id build it. If i wanted a garden, Id grow plants and make one. I wanted to learn and grow, so I'd take the leap of faith that is to risk being terrible at something, for explorations sake. I never thought to myself, I can get good at something. I guess thats what was the authentic part of my identity, and I was able to be honest with myself enough to improve.

I sought it when i didnt know. Younger, i always loved to play legos and build. I learned how to color and draw from my parents, but the true call, and desire i felt with building with legos was unparalleled. I would spend hours and hours, imaginging and trying to form in 3d my concepts and ideas. I was so in love with it, i stayed building well into my adolescent, even showing people at school, despite the teasing. The problem solving, and adapting to create a connection was the draw, and I considered it a pleasure and expression of my true self.

During that early time, I also discovered i enjoyed rhythm and movement. Somehow that translated into drums. I danced far younger, and to be able to dance and create a sound, others would dance to was fascinating. I dont remember the exact path, but somewhere in there, i began to play and took some lessons. The magic was my thoughts and ideas, and motions, would create and translate into somehting greater than myself, or anything else. It would be a life of its own.

On and off, I delved into my drumming. Some days id be very motivated, others id feel the lack of cohesive, consistent rhythm and feel bad. I dont know why i kept going but it was addicting. Maybe similar to the work out for a dedicated gym goer, or a person who needs that one aspect of life they can completely control, I ended up making it my sole expression, and outlet. The saying you cant see the progress from your perspective rang true. Despite being blind to where I was, I didnt care. To create and express felt good. I did it for myself.

At some point, hardship and struggling created by life made me appreciate drumming, even more. It was there for me. I knew it always would be, and I can count on it to help me. It soon turned into a pure expression of me, my identity, the one thing I have and know I can do well. I played a show at a place in Oakland, and I remember someone coming up to me, and asking, "when did you get good at drums?". MY response was" Ive always been good". Of course I didnt mean literally, but I finally was able to take pride and accept myself into a community ive always been a part of, but felt a stranger. I was always good, because it felt good, it was one of the first things I was acknowledged as good at, and it drove me to be better at other things. From there, I was an artist, a musician, and a drummer. I was a creative.


Update 1: I have a Fretless Bass now. It isn't quite the same as the Cellitar, which also does not have frets, so it'll take a bit of practice to feel like I'm any good at it but I am already having a lot of fun with it. If you don't know, fretless instruments don't have metal strips on the neck that define what note it is.

Update 2, On Streams - Well, hey. March 6th at 7 PST! March you calendars. Even if it is just me streaming nonsense, let's get out there. It is time to start back up again. You don't mind if I just fiddle around doing nonsense, right? I mean, that's basically what I'm doing here and you're here for that. I'll let you know more about it when it gets closer.

I've been working on some visual effects I’d like to incorporate. Here is a sample of something I put together: Here Is The Link We'll see!

Update 3, Yeah. I'm thinking about stuff. One thing about being a composer over being a "guitarist" is that you don’t make a single thing and call it done. I've been working on textured parts to would-be songs without the songs written first. I thought maybe I could share some but it is so underdeveloped it feels kind of silly. Who wants to hear some chopped up voices?? Earlier this week, while eating some lunch time pasta as I sit in my wife's big wicker egg chair, I was watching "days of our lives" and a villainess said "wasn't it Euripides who said 'cleverness is not wisdom'". I don’t really know anything about Euripides but it reminded me about this thing that happened to me once.

When I was in high school, I was eating pasta at a friend's house and the concept of internet for all came up. I learned how to use a pepper mill properly during this dinner. Over the course of the meal, I said that I thought internet should be free for everyone and their dad said something along the lines of "who will do the jobs to keep the internet running if it is free?".

My high school brain was not ready to respond to this. Flooded with fear, I couldn't even come up with "I mean, who pays the cops?". The kid who thought being revolutionary was writing the word COMMUNISM on show flyers could not possible go toe to toe with someone who had amazing expertise on the subject.

I don't really know how informed he was but he was clever enough to stump me. However, being clever doesn't mean he was right. This showdown was a big step forward for me. I probably thought more about government programs like "internet for all" because of his remark. I hope I've grown from this. I've only recently started thinking more about how being smart does not make you righteous and being dumb is not a moral failing. I would mostly like to

On a similar note, this doesn't mean there isn't value to spending time and practicing your craft but thinking that you'll get good enough for people to want to throw money at you (shout out to the patreons) might not be the best way to go.

So I looked up Euripides and it said he is a "Tragedian". What is that? A professional sad guy? A professional guy who has bad stuff happen to him? Who pays for that?

And one more thing, E-mail people pretend like you don't see this. Hey, if you sign up for the monthly e-mail, you'll get these posts in your inbox with bonus content like mp3s attached. You can subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email to "news at theinvisiblesundial dot com" asking to be added to the list. Public transmission ends here, see you in March.


Hey Everyone,

Long time no see, ZVBXPRL had me on the podcast "Surprise, You're On My Podcast". We talked for 2 hours about all kinds of stuff like Parker's favorite X-files episode, Jóhann Jóhannsson (RIP), making music, Nietzsche, police brutality but mostly They Might Be Giants. There is also a clip of a song I will probably never release. Click the duck to listen!

In other news, I've seen Davin face to face and we watched the new Mortal Kombat movie. It was just OK! But we're going to get our chops back up and start live streaming soon. So stay tuned! - a ////


Hey. I watched the movie Koyaanisqatsi for the first time. I think? It might've been the 2nd time but I'm not sure. It had a certain familiarity to it that maybe I have always seen it. Come on, you know how it is! If you aren't aware of the film, it is a dialogue-less sequence of visuals. There is something being said about humanity/nature's relationship to technology which is interesting to consider but I mostly enjoyed absorbing the visuals and the music. I would love to watch it again in a theater. I miss movie theaters.

I have a pretty strong memory associated with watching a VHS of the Glassless (Phillip) Koyaanisqatsi-like movie Baraka on a small TV with my cousin (Davin Payne) on a hot summer day. The director for Baraka was the cinematographer for Koyaanisqatsi and also Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. I like that there are several movies within the vein of Koyaanisqatsi and would like to watch some more. Chronos (1985) looks cool!

[caption id="attachment_141" align="alignnone" width="300"]Two people in front of a fire A fiery scene from Koyaanisqatsi! Who will win? Man or technology?[/caption]

So why am I bringing this up here? Two things.

First, the movie made me miss my cousin, Davin. I haven't seen him in about a year due to lockdown. I always enjoy watching movies with my cousin! You may know him from me watching Baraka at his house or from him playing music as part of The Invisible Sundial. Boom clack type guy.

Second, hearing Phillip Glass do his thing made me want to go back to one of my projects I haven't touched in awhile. I've mostly released music that goes everywhere all the time, and I really like making music like that, but I have a few projects that are atypical to this approach. Two that are more long form and meditative, one that is loop based and one that is drone based. The drone based one will sound like this website's music (SOUND ON!). Thinking about calling it something like "Music for Computer Websites". I don't have a name for the Phillip Glass ripoff tribute. I'm sure something will come to mind.

Uh, so, other stuff? Yeah, there's always other stuff. I need to finish the script for my choose your own adventure-like album 1000 tapes. You can play the two demo albums (games?) right now if you are curious! I'll write some more about that at a later date. This will be done in October for spooky season. I also want to write a proper 4th the invisible sundial album, but that's a post for another time.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm writing this down in hopes that I can come back and be like "oh yeah, i remember that stuff! i gotta boot up my digitone and record those loops for that the invisible sunglasses album". But, I hope life is treating you well and I hope to see you soon.

The Cellitar is a Guitar Cello hybrid imagined by Austin Amberg, built by Scott French. The Instrument can be played with a plectrum or with a bow, it is fretless with a custom shape which enables bowing one string at a time. This means it can be a melody machine AND a chord machine. I essentially wanted an instrument that would have some extra emotive powers (the fretless nature allows for very expressive playing) and I like the sound of the bowed vibrations. The Cellitar was intended to be a 50/50 hybrid by taking as many elements from the parent instruments as possible. Ultimately, the instrument is not quite an even split. I play it pretty extensively on Four Years In August by The Invisible Sundial and it makes some cameo apperances on Two Ceramic Lions. "not to be taken away" is probably the most cellitar song.

Thoughts on cellitar?
Bowable SF3 Shape
Acoustic Grade Redwood Carved Top w/Wenge Lam
Figured Spalt Maple Flat Back w/Wenge Lam
Poplar Main Body
Polyester Body Finish

24.75" Scale Length
5-Piece Birdseye Maple Neck w/Wenge Lams
Ebony Fingerboard w/7.250" - 4.531" Radius
Metal Side Dots
Ebony w/Maple Headstock/Healcap Veneers
24 Maple Position Marker Lines
Thin 'C' Neck Profile
2 Way Adjustable Truss Rod
1 11/16"' Nut Width
Individual Elements w/Zero Fret
Polyester Neck Finish

Custom Ebony Bridge w/Graphite Saddles
Custom Nordstrand NDC Humbuckers
Sperzel Locking Tuners
Schaller Locking Strap Buttons

Spec information courtesy of Scott French.