Opening the Doors of Perception for Open Sourcing
By Rebecca Camarda
BROOKLINE — Rock and roll has always been linked to drug culture, with notoriously strung out musicians causing anxiety and frustration for many sound engineers and producers when they bring their habit into the studio.
At David Cardona’s studio in a Brookline apartment, drugs are key to the experience.
In this studio, filled with batik tapestries, drums from India, Africa, and South America, several guitars and a keyboard, and the aroma of Nag Champa, the recording begins when the acid kicks in.
On a recent visit I was included in a circle of musicians sharing a joint. One had a guitar in hand, the other a hang drum.
“We’ve already started,” David said.
Perhaps he was referring to the LSD, or the recording, or maybe both
This recording is part of a larger project entitled In Bloom, the goal of which is to create a library of music that musicians can sample and incorporate freely.
Slowly, the three musicians begin to complement each other and the cacophony of different sounds merge into one and begin to blossom into what sounds like a rock ‘n’ roll tribal hymn. They play on until they each naturally die out, the last being David as he tinkers out the final notes of his melody.
He turns to me and says, “And that is In Bloom.”
“In Bloom is an invitation to people with musical skills, musical talents, musical interests—and generally any kind of artistic orientation—to an environment where they can explore their creative intuition by manifesting their artistic selves through music in real time,” the musician originally from Bogota, Colombia explains.
Taking a drag from the joint, he continues, “There are no instrumentalist labels implied, you choose your instrument, even non musicians. The point is that they may not know how to play any particular instrument but they may have an inclination at that very moment to utilize a flute or something else to manifest ideas, ideas that are manifested by listening to everything else that is happening—so, in real time.”
Another goal of this experiment for David is to allow creative people to trust their own intuition, and to help facilitate this, he enlists the help of psychedelics.
“I’m on LSD right now,” he said, once again passing me a joint, which may or may not be the third he’s passed me since my arrival. Part of an ongoing tradition of artistic projects involving hallucinogens, In Bloom will always at least involve marijuana, but the artist is open to using LSD, mushrooms, salvia, peyote, even datura, a tropical flower that is stronger than LSD.
David said, “For being able to manifest the spiritual being or at least relax and let it happen, a good catalyst is any kind of mind altering substance just because it’s new to you.”
He adds, “It’s kind of like a playground. It destroys the walls of reality and lets you revel in the fleeting moments in which we exist. There is nothing besides the moment you are in, and if you play a ‘wrong note,’ who cares? The moment and the note are gone.”
David cleared his throat and leaned in closer to me and almost in a whisper, said “You rely on your intuition because you have nothing besides yourself at any given moment.” It’s as if his LSD trip has made him into a neo-hippie shaman.
Hallucinogens and improvisation are not the primary motivations of this project, though. David finds the beauty of In Bloom in the recording process. “It isn’t so much about the aesthetics of the recording or a final outcome that is very polished and clean. The idea is just to be able to keep a record of ideas that people are expressing. Musical ideas, new musical ideas.”
David passionately speaks about his frustrations with the music industry, especially in its current state. “I want to create a flow of musical ideas that may be utilized by musicians. I feel we’ve gotten to a point where the material that we have has been recycled so much that everything sounds the same. I want to provide a collection of ideas coming from whoever wishes to express them.”
Everything produced during the In Bloom sessions will be posted on the internet, with no claim to ownership. He hopes to encourage sampling by other artists and musicians.
“I’m trying to create a library of new ideas, made by anybody who feels so inclined, that anybody may listen to and will have the fucking right to use.”