The Engine Room

REWIRED EPISODE 1 OUT NOW 

IT'S HERE

Episode 1 of the radio play is now available on most major platforms. Slight delay getting it onto Apple and Google, but it's available most other places. 

NOTE: Proceeds from Bandcamp downloads of the play will go to the principal cast. 

I'm extremely proud of this project, and very glad to finally be sharing it with you. 

New episodes every Wednesday. Stay tuned…

Rewired radio play trailer out now 

Aaaaaand here's the trailer. Public release of Episode 1 will be October 11, 2023. Patreon members will get access beforehand, however, so do join us on there.
I am beyond grateful to all the cast members and everyone who's helped us get this far. I truly think we have accomplished something special, and I look forward to sharing with you all.
For more info, check out the official page, which will be updated with episode links as they are released. 
 

Mystery Man single out now 

Holy wow, this one's been a long time coming, but the new single, Mystery Man, is now available at all major online retailers. This one came to me in a very strange dream wherein I was William H. Macy in his guise as The Shoveler, and this is the tune that was playing behind it all. Weird, but I dig it. Managed to draft some fine talent for the recording at Cloudland in Fort Worth, including Matt Tedder, Chris Bellomy, Tom Urquhart, and our old pals Paul Shapera and Jeffry Simms. Joe Tacke engineered and mixed, Arthur Winer mastered, and the inimitable Trista Morris did the fancy artwork. 

Thanks so much for your continued support, it means a lot. More soon…

Introducing the matthew show Patreon page 

Holy wow, it's here. The  best way for you to be a part of the extended matthewverse. Listen to my lil' friend here:

If that sounds dang good to you, and I hope it does, I encourage you to join up at whatever level is comfortable for you right here. You will have my gratitude, and much more besides. Thanks for being a part of this. 

Communion 

One of the things that has always drawn me to the world of letters are the intersections. The footsteps of one writer stumbling upon the footprints of another in the deep, dark wood of the imagination.

On a recommendation, I’ve been reading Jorge Luis Borges, and came across a short story, There Are More Things, that borrows a mood from Lovecraft, from whom I’ve borrowed a not insignificant amount myself. In it, he remarks upon the works of Piranesi, which so happens to be the title of the book by Susanna Clarke that I finished just before reading this one.

I’ve never met most of the authors I’ve read. Many of them died before I ever drew breath. Yet there are times when I come across a bit of personal insight, and soon find traces of an earlier passage. I never am sure where I stand on the immutability of time, or the disposition of the self after death, or reincarnation, but there is a certain frequency that I pick up from time to time when experiencing the world through the eyes of certain other writers. It feels strikingly familiar, sometimes eerily so.

I’m hardly alone in this. As James Baldwin noted, “Books taught me that things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me to everyone who is alive and who had ever been alive.” History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes. A phrase which, incidentally, was not coined by Mark Twain, but instead psychoanalyst Theodor Reik. However, Twain did say, “History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.”

Well, quite.

Perhaps one reason I’m able to have the insights I do is because these paths through the underbrush of the collective unconscious have been cut before. They went as far as they could, in the span allotted them. In sublime moments of reflection, I meet their ghosts there, tip my hat in recognition and respect, then keep moving.

I no longer believe there is one answer to seek. Nor one correct way of seeing the great panoply of existence from our peculiar vantage point on this pale blue dot. But I know, on both a subterranean and statistical level, that there are paths uncut. Trails to be left for subsequent wanderers. As my own journey marches inexorably towards its eventual conclusion however many years hence, I find that I focus less on personal aggrandizement and more on leaving markers. This is what I found here. See what more you can discover further on.

In my second novel, Threnody, the Xaji discover that the landscape where they dream is in fact a discrete place, that their dreams are the same dream, explored from different angles. I sometimes believe that about humanity. All these intersections, shared sensations over long, noncontiguous lifetimes. It doesn’t seem unconnected to me. Not in those moments of communion across the ages.

It’s a common yearning, to be understood beyond one’s lifetime. Really, it’s the only form of extended lifespan I care to trifle with. Broadcasting into the ether and hoping someone picks up the transmission, whether in the present moment or well after. That’s the soul of art, in my estimation. It’s a sort of relay race, but one with no finish line or trophy. Just the eternal baton, passing from hand to hand, always forward, always learning.

So as the spectres of Borges, Lovecraft, and Piranesi pass me in the twilit forest, I bid them safe passage. They live, even if they do not know it. There’s only one moment, and we’re all living it together. Let’s make it a good one.

What's new? 

"So what are you working on these days?"

I get that question a lot, and always stumble a bit, because there is no single answer. Therefore, it seemed like a good thing to cover on this, my very own personal website. The list will be presented in rough order of priority, but work on all of these things is concurrent to some degree or another, depending on the week.

- Merch. I know, I know. Dangit, matthew, how do you have a musical brand for two decades and not have merch? I have no excuse. But soon, very soon, there will be shirts, stickers, and who knows what else, in addition to those compact disc thingies no one has the players for anymore. Be on the lookout.

- Rewired: A Radio Play. This is an audio drama version of my first novel, Rewired. I started production back in the fall of 2021, and I'm aiming for a fall 2023 release, lord willing and the creek don't rise. The cast is fantastic, featuring talent from the Fort Worth area and beyond. It's really shaping up to be something special, and I look forward to sharing it with you sooner than later.

- Everything: the album. For the past few years, I've been putting out singles on a semi-regular basis. But being a person of a certain age, I yearn for a collective version of these tunes. To that end, I'm working on compiling them along with a couple of brand new covers onto an album entitled Everything, the eponymous tune for which has already been released as a single. With luck, this will come out close to the holidays this year. I'm even considering vinyl. Let me know if that's a good idea.

- texas II: an album. In the recent years of turmoil both personal and global, I have been whittling away at some new tunes that are finally getting presentable. An album's worth, in fact. The feel and subject matter seem to keep calling back to my first album (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, holy crabs), with an updated perspective I couldn't have had then. Basic tracking has begun at my home studio, in the texas tradition. While I've enjoyed working at pro studios over the past decade, this one feels personal enough to be best captured in a more intimate setting. I've got way better gear than I did for the first one, and have learned a lot from watching Grammy winners and such work on my stuff, so I'm excited to see how this one shapes up. More as I know it.

- Essays and poems: various. Sometimes music is the wrong avenue for expressing a particular feeling, so I publish poetry and essays on both Substack and Medium. I've started posting a few on here as well, as the spirit moves. I collected some of the earlier essays in my book Other Gods a few years ago, available at all online retailers. I expect I'll put out another compilation at some point, but in the meantime, enjoy them in digital form.

- Stories and novels: various. While Threnody was my last completed novel, I have continued to write periodically on a variety of stories, some of which are closer to completion than others. I don't rush my writing process, so who knows when they actually see the light of day. Rewired took me several years, while Threnody was much quicker. Hard to know how it'll all go, but I've gotten a bit more open to sharing progress than I used to be, so watch for updates here and elsewhere.

...which brings us to...

- Patreon. I'm developing a Patreon platform for the matthew show. It's something I've considered many times, but with all the world's craziness the past few years, it never felt like the right moment to attempt such a thing. I know there are people who appreciate what I do and would like better access to the process, and when it launches, this will be your best opportunity to get a peek inside the engine room, as it were. Early access to releases, demo mixes, shop-floor stuff, plus bonus material and Q&As. Aiming pretty squarely for May. Be on the lookout.

"Is that all?"

HA. No. But it's a good list of the less nebulous projects floating around the matthewverse, the ones that are closest to being visible to anyone but my addled brain. As those of you who follow my social media know, life has been full of challenges both personal and professional. What comes next, if I have anything to say about it (and I do), is committing even more fully to doing what it is I have spent my life doing, with greater proficiency the longer I work at my craft. Expect good things in the near future. I hope you'll be a part of it.

More soon, real soon, and thank you always,

matthew