64 Songs by Cotton Mather and Future Clouds and Radar
About This Project
A few years ago, I was contacted by an artist asking for songs for a new release. All I had to go on was her first record, and after listening felt puzzled as to where to begin. As a student of the I Ching, it had never before occurred to me to seek counsel with respect to songwriting. Hexagram 14: Possession in Great Measure, instructs on how one should consider their gifts, and suggested that I had been entrusted with an important task, a great honor. I found her first record very impressive and was especially knocked out by her voice. I wanted to write her something that would be a departure from that record- a throwback to artists like Lulu- a big brassy biographical pop song that could introduce her to the world anew and let her voice shoot out the lights. So after some correspondence, I had enough information to start the song. The artist was Nicole Atkins, and the song, “Call Me the Witch” (as yet unreleased) was the first of several I wrote for and with her. Over the next couple of years, I turned to the I Ching for artistic guidance on several occasions and with nice results. So finally I thought – why not go for the whole cycle?
64 songs for 64 hexagrams written and recorded in real time and real weather.
Here are my song reactions to illuminations from the I Ching about life unfolding. Some of the songs directly reference the text and others use the readings as a starting point. The songs are being recorded by Cotton Mather and Future Clouds and Radar. We are releasing most as we go. Each song will be accompanied by a “commentary”, which is traditionally where the translator shares thoughts on the reading. I will limit my commentary to the readings themselves and let the songs enjoy a free-range lifestyle.