My digital music release Present Shock (listen / purchase here on bandcamp) was made with the idea of simply capturing a random moment in time. The two tracks were recorded, edited, and released on October 2nd, 2020. The concept was the important thing, not the day itself. My approach was to record the two tracks in the moment, while using a live radio broadcast as a sound source, in addition to my usual analog synthesizer. The cover photo was taken of a live TV news anchor, while I was editing the tracks. During that stage, I let the general idea process in my mind, in order to lead me to the song titles. Coincidentally, around the same time I watched The Social Dilemma with my partner, and was trying to remember the name of Douglas Rushkoff’s related book that I had read a few years earlier. That failed to happen, but the title popped into my brain as I was editing the music. The phrase “Present Shock” is more important, as it relates to my concept, than the actual book. My favorite author is J. G. Ballard, and his visionary perspective seemed appropriate to tap into for this project. I have his interview collection Extreme Metaphors in my e-reader, so I searched the text using key words that worked for my idea. The two song titles came from unrelated, but appropriate, Ballard quotes. I may make future recordings using the same process, as they will always be unique, and hopefully interesting documents.

-Jonathan Canady

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