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It came from Kezar Lake

August 15, 2011

My vacation was more than fog partially enveloping, but I think this is the coolest shot I captured on my trip.  The rest of the album is here. We spent the week on Kezar Lake, which is in Maine, but closer to New Hampshire’s Mount Washington than any natural lobster habitat. The lake has two claims to fame, the best beer bar in America and America’s horror royalty, Stephen King.

I spent a fair amount of time at the former, Ebenezer’s pub, and had, among other things Verdi Imperial Stout. It’s an Italian dark beer brewed with chili peppers and fantastic. The label is pretty cool too.  I think my favorite brew of the week was Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, a wonderful Flemish sour beer that could only be improved by being named after Josquin or Ockeghem

The last time I was in town, Ebenezer’s didn’t have these awesome tap handles, which, if I heard correctly, came from Stone brewery. I know beer’s reputation has improved greatly in recent times, but even your local bar’s selection of a dozen craft beers doesn’t come close to their selection. There’s a reason people are flying in for their yearly event from Australia this year.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Mr. King, but I use the week to sketch out a piece that is going to fit into Beta Test’s monster theme this October. I’m currently imagining the monster to be a cross between a toad, loon (somehow failed to get a picture of one despite two being around the whole week), and a siren.

As it was vacation not as much work got done I would have liked, but I did take advantage of the house’s piano when I wasn’t imagining my headphones to be a weapon from a video game. Writing the piece for harp and hulusi (a traditional Chinese reed instrument played untraditionally in this video.) has been a huge challenge since both instruments have pitch limitations that don’t immediately lend themselves to the themes I’m seeking.

Sometimes working on things like this requires a bit of faith that it’s going to be awesome in the end, even when it doesn’t look like that at the moment. Early on in the week I decided to take a hike up a mountain, expecting to see a gorgeous landscape at the top. Unfortunately, at the end of the 1000′ peak was a pile of rocks, a clearing full of wooden planks, and a wonderful glimpse of the tops of trees.  Sometimes you just don’t know, but I’m hoping that this music comes out a little more spectacular.

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