Sunday, July 27, 2008

to order tickets for UnTwelve...

Hi again!

If you'd like to order yr tickets online for th UnTwelve benefit concert (coming up this very Thursday!), you can visit & hit th 'begin order' button. Suggested donation: $45. Alternative donation: $15. If you are purchasing th alternative donation, enter the password "microfan" (without quotes) where it says "discount code".

Yr donation will help launch an innovative, ground-breaking organization - th first of its kind in th region.

Very excited about this event & hoping to see you there!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

UnTwelve benefit concert (I invite you!)

Consider yrself invited to th upcoming


benefit concert!

a unique concert series and organization devoted to the performance and advocacy of microtonal music

exploring the notes between the notes

benefit concert

a feast for the musical taste buds! enjoy a 30-minute microtonal music tasting followed by wine & cheese/meet the artists

thursday, july 31st

1245 chicago ave.


Jacob Barton
utopian songs with the bizarre and marvelous udderbot

Andrew Heathwaite, a.k.a.Nodal Nim
a quirky set of postmodern chaos-pop songs performed on cümbüş

Aaron Krister Johnson
evocative, spacious and otherworldly choral and keyboard works

Christopher Bailey
continuous effervescent sound installation

$45 admission
phone: 866-811-4111
or go to


Hi! This concert will astound you, & you should not miss it!

Microtonal music refers to music in alternative tunings, th "notes between th notes" or "in th cracks of th piano". Imagine taking th frets on yr guitar & sliding them to new places. Imagine instead of 12 notes in th octave, 17, or 31! Modern music has gone just about as far as possible w/ 12 notes. But we can go further! As th UnTwelve website puts it: "This universe in the middle of the semitone has enormous potential for expression of new moods and colors, which can be exciting for composers, performers, and audiences alike."

You don't learn about this stuff in universities. When I asked my professors about microtonality, they shrugged it off. They had no idea! But people study this on their own, come together thru th cybercommunity of th internet. They develop their own transcendent systems, &, most important of all, they make their own microtuned music that sounds like nothing else.

But most people don't know about this stuff, & th people that do have what I call a "geography problem". We live all over th world & hardly ever get to unite in person & get our voices heard.

So now UnTwelve comes along, devoted to advocating this stuff & getting it heard! This benefit concert means more microtones, more redefining pitch, more blowing minds, right here in Evanston!

So we invite you! Jump on th purple line, come visit yr neighbors in th north & get involved w/ th future of music.


Th money UnTwelve raises will help pay for th space for future performances, as well as bring in composers & performers from all over: San Francisco, New York, th middle of nowhere in Tennessee. It goes toward more microtonal music in yr neighborhood. However, if you really want to check this out & can't swing $45, we can get you in on a more economical "student discount." Contact me privately ahead of time, & I can get you on th list for this:

Andrew Heathwaite
gtrpkt (at siggggn!) yahoo (dott!) com

By th way, this may represent my last show in Chicago before I move! I'd reeealy love to see you there!

Much love & scepters,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last night, I had jolly radical fun playing a set of Nim + cumbus at "The Won't Go Quietly Impropriety Lack-of-piety Give it a try-ety Unsobriety High anxiety End-is-nigh-ety Why-oh-why-ety International Bedlam Society Asylum Variety Show" (whew!), splitting a bill w/ house band The Lie of a Pipe Dream, comedian Kendra Stevens, & a number of weird & wacky skits & games! Frivolity exploded from several bits:

  • An intense "Adult Spelling Be" which had grown folks spelling words like ithyphallophobia (fear of an erect penis) & Hindenbergs. (Microtonalist friend & good sport Aaron Johnson won a quite charming bouncy ball by correctly spelling th latter word.)
  • ESPN Twister (I drank th sour apple shot & came in second!).
  • Poetries, recitations, reenactments.
  • Nintendo 64 (I & Aaron played a bit of Mortal Kombat, as I recall!).
  • Slam Haiku (I won a poster!).
  • Other delightful things that have slipped my mind at th moment.

Th friendly folks running this spectacle do it every Monday night from 8:30 to 11:30 (or so) at U.S. Beer Company, 1801 N. Clybourn, Chicago. They don't slow any signs of stopping, so if you want to get out of th house on a Monday night....

In times past I would try to reassemble my set list for posterity. But no longer! I will tell you this: I played mandolin first, cumbus second, & mandolin third. ...& I improvised a song about drug-addict cats. I enjoyed playing & may go back for more!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Somebody broke into my car last night. Smashed th passenger-side window, intrigued, I would guess, by th twelve or so CDs I had in there o so shiny & tempting. In addition to some CDs, they took th CD player, &, most sadly to me, they took my new folding bike which I had left in th trunk.

I had left my car overnight on a sidestreet in a not-so-safe neighborhood. Perhaps I should have expected trouble. In retrospect, it would have made sense to hide th CDs & remove th face of th CD player.

It doesn't bother me all that much to lose CDs; I have just a bit less crap to have to lug to Urbana now. I'll miss th CD player, tho. I've had it a long time; it moved w/ me from car to car since 1999 or so. Music makes driving tolerable. & I definitely loved my new bike. It allowed me to save time, money, & gas. I don't want to go back to public transportation & driving to get places.

But all material things go away sooner or later. I didn't lose th most important objects in my life; my mandolin, cumbus, & iBook (but of course, some day I will). &, more importantly, I didn't lose any people. I'd rather have a thousand bicycles stolen than have a friend get hurt.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Nodal Nim played a set at a party called FUCK TH 4TH hosted by th IV Collective in Logan Square to raise money for radical anarchist activism. Yay! I played last, but for a delightfully pleasant little audience who didn't seem to mind that I sing songs about vegetables & fish, instead of about (non)violent revolution, fucking w/ th status quo, eating Republicans, etc. (Not that I don't enjoy those topics immensely....)

Thanks to th old friends for sticking around; thanks to th new friends for dancing, drumming, & grinning! Hooray, I say!



I visited Urbana again this weekend to work out (a) working, (b) living. Th plan: I will work in audio, digitizing old reel-to-reels in th Herbert Brün collection (mostly original electronic compositions from decades past); I will live at La Casa Colectiva w/ wonderful humans, chickens, & currants; I will move from Chicago to Urbana in August gradually, one carload of my stupid junk at a time, working in Chicago during th week & taking trips downstate during (some of) th weekends. Things appear to make sense.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Hello then!

I've noticed some changin'. Things change. Change abounds. X changes into Other. Other changes x. Universe. Flowering. Hm.

I took a peek at my new year's resolutions from, well, six months ago:

  1. every single day, further my development of self-awareness & self-discipline.
  2. every single day, speak only th truth - speak not lies - learn to think in E Prime.
  3. every single day, actively embrace with joy (& never with terror) th absurdity of th universe.

I have, I think, made some progress w/ these. Hm, but where do I start explaining that? I've done so little blogging, I don't know where to start w/ all this.

Taking a step back, I should probably talk about my "relationship," which has changed dramatically in th past month or so. My image of myself as future step-father & future husband I have abandoned. I think that image rested on lies I told myself anyway. When I leave Chicago, I will have left Tiffany's & Jordan's intimate circle. No longer do I want to pursue a relationship there. Something didn't work for us. I could pick it apart for years if I really wanted to, but I don't. It didn't work; I need to leave.

You might call my leaving selfish. Perhaps. But staying means stagnation. & if I stayed, I could only see things getting worse.

But I leave to somewhere, as I've said, to th School for Designing a Society, & to th town called Urbana that th School calls home. This excites me more than anything. Big changes have happened to point me this way; big changes will happen once I start my new life.

I've done quite a bit of reflecting offline lately (using pens & pages of paper, no less!) to help me see my thought process, call myself on my ego-bullshit, etc. It has helped me quite a bit. I have started letting go of some nasty demons (& I have others yet to engage w/).

I've started a project of breath meditation. As I walk my dogs, sit in chairs, spin th wheels of my bike, I observe my breathing. Often, I synchronize my breathing w/ my footsteps or pedaling. Deeper breaths, longer breaths, w/ longer pauses at th beginning & end of th inhale & exhale; this kind of breathing has helped me this week. I intend to continue this rewarding project.

I have started questioning my use of alcohol & caffeine in certain circumstances. They make things easy; relaxing in social situations, engaging in a universe that I perceive as uncomfortable, etc. But lately I've started forcing myself to find non-chemical solutions to engagement issues. If a chemical can do it, I can do it. Breathing helps, & sleeping & eating right, & simply remaining open.

I want to make sure I don't need th chemical - but if I decide that I want it, that I don't mind sacrificing a bit of self-control to make things go smoothly, I still allow it.

A big thing: I have started looking at my hate & anger & finding ways to transmogrify it into love. Altho I don't always succeed at this, I often do, & just having that intention helps me. I want love instead of hate because it feels better, because it makes th world seem much more beautiful, because, if I could choose th world I lived in, I'd choose of world devoid of hate entirely. Because hate means suffering, & if I can choose not to suffer right now, why would I choose to suffer? I say this because I don't believe in th rhetoric of "altruism" for its own sake. I consider it much more healthy to acknowledge how love & helping others helps me. I want it in my life.

(I'd like to say more about this. Maybe in a future post.)

I remain vegan. I love it. I couldn't see myself dating a non-vegan now.

I mention all these projects to demonstrate how I've changed. These changes may have a lot to do w/ my relationship changing. I have become someone incompatible w/ Tiffany & Jordan. It feels bittersweet. I'll miss them; but I feel really optimistic about my new direction!

Ok, there. I've blathered. I send my love to y'all.

Beetfutures, Andrew.

(p.s. I have lots to say about th E-Prime project, but I'll leave that alone for now.)