Dave Kulju - Notes In The Margin
Dave Kulju - Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer, Keyboards, Sound FX & Programming
- Skating on Europa (9:33)
- Know Again (6:24)
- A Poet's Talespin (29:35)
- Half-Slept Moments (1:56)
- Soft Collisions (8:28)
- The Bridge (7:55)
- I Write (5:01)
- In the Shadows (6:15)
- Get the Hell off my Lawn (4:18)
- Counted the Stars (1:18)
Frank Basile - Drum Kit
Annie Oya - Vocals on "A Poet's Talespin"
Ian Cameron - Electric & Acoustic Violin on "Know Again"
Page One (550 kb PDF)
Page Two (550 kb PDF)
Overview & Composition Notes
The title of this collection is a reflection of the fact that much of the process of making this record was really a struggle of rewrites and refinement. Examples?
I created no less than 33 separate mixes of "Skating on Europa". "Talespin Part 3" was completely overhauled musically in the writing phase at least twice with
enough sections discarded to write a whole other piece of music. Talespin was originally based on different poems I couldn't get the rights to use, then lyrics I
wrote myself after researching the Dust Bowl for a month, then finally the ones I did use -- all of which had to be adapted to existing melodies. A song was added,
then dropped, then replaced right at the end.
While this isn't a really concept album there are certainly a couple of literature related themes that run through it.
The 5 part centerpiece of the album "A Poet's Talespin" has lyrics adapted from a couple of terrific poems by Amanda Joy. The first Three Part Tale Spin is story of a
dream where a poem unfolds, and the second I Write tells about how the poet can examine the world around them and create a world that may bear very little resemblance to it.
"Skating on Europa" was inspired by a strange distorted and unintelligible phone message left on my answering machine. It had a quality that reminded me a lonely
transmission sent by a doomed explorer who has just discovered life on Europa in Arthur C. Clark's 2010. Best chapter in the book - too bad it wasn't in the movie. FYI,
a recording of the actual message left on my answering machine is used in the piece in a couple of different parts.
"Know Again" is one literal translation of Anagnorisis, which in Greek Tragedy is a key moment of recognition for the protagonist. I don't remember exactly why I was
thinking about this when I finished writing Know Again and was searching for something to call it but I think at least a couple of the melodies really fit the concept.
The closing piece, a sort of pseudo-tone poem called "Counted the Stars" is named for a phrase in a Anne Sexton poem that early on in the writing process I hoped to
adapt as lyrics for what eventually became "A Poet's Talespin". According to the internets Anne was quite a fan of the radio listening all the time while writing and
referencing the radio in a few of her more famous works, hence the old tube radio sound fx.
So quite by coincidence all these tunes have fairly strong ties to literature, so it seemed to me that the title and artwork should reflect that. Of course one
of these things doesn't belong with the others.... But I found a tongue and cheek way to work that in on the back cover.