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About Mystified

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 08/27/1971

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri USA
  • Interests
    writing, painting, music

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  1. "Dronal Tap"-- The Documentary: A short history of live looping performance in the MidWest USA:


  2. This is a part of a live performance by Thomas Park, in his live looping style. The piece is "Amalgamated Materials". It was created using one of Thomas' live mixing consoles.



  3. The REAL, gritty, no-held-punches story of mystified's music career:




    It has been my plan, for the reasonable present, to post a total of 3 live performances. I posted one show from the Julia Davis Library, and a second from the Kismet Creative Center. Here I am posting a final show-- it is the last, the longest, and possibly the strongest. It is called “Transmission Ghosts”. It was recorded live in my home studio, in one take, with no edits, on 6/2/2018. I hope that you will enjoy the music:




    Here we have a set of experimental videos designed to accompany live performances by Thomas Park. All of the audio in this release was recorded live, and in real time. The videos were assembled later. All of this material is free and in the public domain:



    1. Jack Hertz
    2. Mystified


      Thanks, Jack! I am trying to get more and more gigs like this.

    3. Jack Hertz
  6. Artists-- I have offered many of my works to the public domain-- here is a call for you to do the same-- if you believe in free culture: https://ia601504.us.archive.org/27/items/ThomasParkBenchmarkHub/23_Various_Artworks_In_The_Public_Domain.pdf

  7. On 5/17/2018, Thomas Park performed his first public live music gig. The performance was sparsely attended, but Thomas did manage to obtain a nice recording of the set. Thomas used 4 different live mixing consoles while performing his pieces.


  8. I have started visiting a site called "Electronic Cottage". It's Hal McGee's brainchild-- a resurrection of a project he began back in the '80's, which was dedicated to DIY and hometaper culture.
    I was immediately overwhelmed by what was too much to take in at once. A lot of parallels could be drawn between this scene and my early days as mystified.
    A main parallel involves what I would call a "distancing of the audience".
    Because a lot of home recording happens essentially without an audience (and involves just the artist(s)), it happens without restraint-- and without critique.
    As a result, it is often glorious, free, and, well- somewhat trashy and disposable. Fun stuff that parodies itself endlessly, recursively.
    I think again about where I am today in regards to archiving my work, and the sheer abundance of material from earlier eras that is not altogether different.
    A formidable challenge-- perhaps even a quixotic task-- to make as complete a record as possible?
    1. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      There's an interview with me about Poison Plant Music, my 1980s label, in one of those issues. I wish someone would digitize all of them so I can read it. I don't have the issue anymore.

      There's are lot of parallels between the 80s home-taper movement and the more recent Creative Commons movement. What has been collectively coined as "Bedroom Artists", have a much more diverse view of the music landscape because they don't have to consider if the work will appease the label, radio, and audience. IMO, this is the difference between entertainment and art. 

    2. Mystified


      Excellent thoughts. Thanks.

  9. Artists-- make my (mainly) retired status into a time to celebrate-- why not use some of my raw material or other resources? Here's how:



    Artists-- it’s sad to consider-- but if you die, or, rather, when you die-- how will you be remembered? Who will take care of your artistic creations? How will they be presented?

    I have created a free pdf with some thoughts on this matter:


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      IF it is all for personal growth, do we need to archive it? More and more I am feeling like there's no reason to publish anymore. Music has become more like cooking, today. We can talk about techniques and flavors, but its for dinner. Not for selling. 

    3. Mystified


      One great thing about this topic is-- because it's up to is, it really IS our choice. Reflexively. If we choose not to publish, then we don't have to go through that process, but there is no access or public record. If we want to, we do-- and there it is.

      I really wouldn't want to pressure artists who don't want to share or archive their work to do so-- only to emphasize that that might be their decision and their labor.

    4. Jack Hertz

      Jack Hertz

      That's a very important point. Most commercial artists become trapped by their success. The audience always wants more of the same. They will not follow the artist down the rabbit hole. This kind of contention has ruined a lot of artists music for me, especially in the Ambient genre. If an artist is not reaching, I get bored with their work.

      I used to wonder about what legacy I would leave. But Is gave up on the idea because it felt like a distraction from making music. 


    This is a remix by Thomas Park of Rolling Calf Sinfonette's classic Webbed Hand Records release, "Don't Mind If I Do". The original release was full of warm, friendly-sounding plunderphonics. The remix release takes the original sounds and brings them up to date, into a more industrial, dystopian present:


  12. In 2017, Spotted Peccary Music released an electro-acoustic work by mystified called “Morning City”. Morning City was about the use of urban field recordings, together with select instrumental sounds, to explore “The City” in a mythic sense.

    For a limited time, “Morning City” is now free (or “name your price”) at Bandcamp.com: https://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/morning-city

    More people are living in urban centers every year. Experiences like standing on a fire escape or driving near a truck on the expressway are common for many people.

    “Morning City” is different than many ambient albums, in that it contains a lot of “sound”. This is sound, rather than music. Yet, the sounds in the work are very musical. They are, for the most part, actual recordings of mystified’s home city, which he collected during a pivotal time in his life and career, during the early ‘oughts.

    The effect of listening to the work seems somewhat chaotic, at first, but gradually a method appears behind the compositions. The use of recordings, especially the various metallic, concrete and other sound textures has an pronounced “three-dimensional” effect-- the music seems to project towards the listener-- who finds themselves inside the city, sonically.

    “Morning City” has its romantic attributes, but mystified feels it more closely resembles a musical realism. It connotes places a person might actually experience. It lifts up that which really is, and in doing so, provides a redemptive listening experience for those who live in cities and for those who love them.

    Now that the release is free, mystified urges music fans to stop by Spotted Peccary’s Bandcamp page and pick up a copy. There’s no time like the present!

  13. Folks,
    There is a LOT of free material here, available for use. All is free, some is public domain.
    Please enjoy, and spread the word:
  14. I can think of no more important subject than Climate Change. In these contentious times, when politics and other things divide us, we should all be able to believe in a common enemy-- a common goal.
    The rapid warming of this planet is unnatural, and the scientific community recognizes it. This current administration does not.
    You can pretend a clear and steady trend isn't happening, but you can feel it in your skin, your bones, and your memory. You remember Winters with lots of snow-- that lasted 3 months.
    Winter months without freakishly warm, 80-degree days.
    A North Pole that didn't climb above 32 degrees in the Winter.
    An inconvenient truth? Yes-- but one we can (and must) deal with.
    The answer is simple-- use currently known and accepted technologies, as many countries have, particularly in Europe, and switch the U.S. power grid over to renewable energy.
    Not only do we get our planet, and the future of it, back.
    We also step up with the rest of the planet-- and enjoy the many benefits of solar and wind energy.
    I have created a soundscape series, to which I will be adding more pieces, with the notion of persuading people to accept and consider climate change as real, and to acknowledge the known remedies and to work towards them-- I call this "The Emissions Series".
    I hope that you will join me in contemplation of this serious subject, at a very pivotal time. Listen, believe, and share.
    We can all work together on this one: