Jin Men Ju's "Inconsistent Architecture"
Although he just got a full-time job teaching art at a charter school in Oak Cliff, Terry held onto his second job, selling tools at Lowe's, until his wife made him give his notice. My theory is that he was reluctant to quit, even though he was exhausted from working 80-hour weeks, because he's temperamentally well suited to retail (as am I), and not just because he was waiting until he was able to afford the materials to refloor his house, as he claimed. A more easygoing character would be difficult to imagine, although underneath his impassive demeanor, his mind is always working.
You can't find Terry without his sketchbooks and little digital recorder. He's always working on some idea; he says his pieces are never finished, and all of them actually add up to one big piece of art. He likes making "field recordings" of everything from wind noises to some woman's annoying voice in a bar where we're drinking, and combines them into sound collages with recordings of himself playing various instruments: cigar box guitars, turntables, sound samples from his laptop and iPod. He says he doesn't care whether or not people like his music. Maybe it's true.
The two tracks on this CD-R sound like an afternoon spent cleaning the house. In between musical snippets and found sounds are what seem to be the live-recorded sounds of someone running a trash compactor, a vacuum cleaner, and a garden hose. Dogs bark in the background, and there are illegible snatches of conversation, along with intervals of silence. I like to listen to this while I'm sitting at my desk, staring into space, which is an important part of my writing process. It's reassuring to know that somewhere else, someone is being more productive than I am at the moment. If Terry reads this, he'll probably think I'm full of shit.