Chasing Love

Intro from Jay Allison: Our Transom Valentine's Day Feature by Miguel Macias. It is no mere confection. It's a long and intricate montage, that tricky form. Miguel pulls it off - scored with his own music, no less.

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What is Chasing Love?

CHASING LOVEWhen I started the preliminary research work for Chasing Love, I could not imagine that this project would expand over three years of my life.

Chasing Love started as a meticulous look at the arrival and evolution of the idea of Romantic Love in Western society. But since the very beginning, I felt very attracted by the vague connection that Octavio Paz establishes between capitalism and Romantic Love.

Traveling through psychology, anthropology, biology, linguistics, history and philosophy, the content of this project changed over the time, grew and shrank until, one day, I made the last connection, the one I needed to put together the more than 80 hours of interviews collected with experts and ordinary, wonderful people.

Many writings and researches have established the connection between capitalism and love, even between late capitalism and emotions.

How about late capitalism and Romantic Love?

Chasing Love is a one-hour radio documentary that explores the ways late capitalism has affected and is affecting the idea of Romantic Love and, consequently, the way relationships are handled and viewed in American society.

The process of creating a piece like this happened both in the paper, and in the waves. Waves that became more and more obscure. In these three years I explored the field of computer music, video art, radio drama and tried to mix them all together. The results are in Chasing Love. Chasing Love tries a way of conceiving a piece as a whole; where music is composed as the bits of interviews are blended together; where secrets are told behind words of narration. Where the producer is nowhere to be found and present in every second of it.

Creating something new is almost an impossible aspiration, but I would like to think that this is perhaps, at least, not common in a radio panorama where too many producers are tempted buy into the idea that there is only one way to make radio.

To all of you listeners out there, my advisor always told me she could not relate to this piece. She is older than me, has different experiences than me… I tried and tried hard to make this piece the piece of everyone… and of course… that was never possible. I wanted Chasing Love to be many more things than it is… I wanted it to be more political, I wanted it to be more universal… but it is what it is… a reflection of me. But the one thing I will always be open to is to keep talking about it. If you listen to it, please, say or ask something about it, very good or very bad… but say something.

Miguel Macias
Miguel & advisor Irene Sosa

This piece would not have been made without the help and wisdom of Martin Spinelli, Irene Sosa, John Jannone and Pat Willard.

I want to also send special thanks to my two actors, Brian and Liza, who gave a voice to my memories. And, of course, many, many thanks to the people who sat with me through hours and hours of interviews, giving me their secrets, their happiness and their sadness. Thanks again to my admired friend and advisor Irene Sosa for having so much patience and pushing me to never quit this project.

Tech Info… etc…

The tech info… oooohhh… This is the part where many say, “I don’t give a damn about the technical aspect of my work…” Well I do. As a matter of fact, I do too much, so… let me take my time to tell all the little details involved in the production of this piece.

There are a lot of fabulous producers who really don’t give a damn about tech as far as they know they are using the right material. I just enjoy trying new devices, testing microphones or looking for a sound that shakes the room. The idea of Chasing Love was driven by a implacable desire to find something that helped me and the ones who listened understand an aspect, if only one single aspect of the idea and nature of love. There are lots and lots of anthropological, biological, psychological, neurophycological, linguistic, sociological… philosophical or historical. Any type you can imagine. Any type of study will tell you that, there is no certainty on what love is. And almost inevitably every one of those academics will tell you that they believe in it. I believe in love more than I did when I started this project. And I did stop believing at some point of the process. The source of this paradox is the confusion, constant confusion, of members of our society when talking about feelings on one hand… and the ideas of them on the other. The feelings are, so far, unexplainable. Potentially universal. But the idea changes at every corner, country, society, home, person. My goal with this piece is not to question the emotion. My goal was to question the ideas attached to this emotion in western society.

Oh yes, back to the tech info… I did not use ProTools. I don’t particularly like it and if anybody out there feels the same way I would encourage you to go with a different piece of software. I used Digital Performer 4.12. A fantastic piece of software mounted on a PowerBook G4 1.25 GHz and 512 MB of Ram. To the question of a friend… is the PB overrated?. I have to answer, yes. It is a great machine but if you are going to run serious tasks it doesn’t handle them fully well. In that respect I have to admit that ProTools is much friendlier software than DP, or others. The amount of memory and speed required to run ProTools is much less.

To record interviews, I used two types of recorders:

HHB MDP 500. A wonderful machine. The MDP 500 is reliable, gives great sound, versatile and… Expensive… some might think that is not worthy to spend money on a MD like this when there are consumer level MDs for a fifth of the price. On the other hand portable recording is moving fast towards solid state recorders. I would say that means, while solid state are reliable enough, I do recommend this machine.

Sony MZ-R70. My first MD recorder… an old machine, but with the same good qualities of portable MD recorders. These are so cheap compared to the professional ones, and the quality is so good that it is hard to be convinced to spend over $1000 on a professional recorder. I’ve had this recorder for almost four years now and it still works!

Microphones:

Shure SM 86. I was having a little trouble keeping it quiet in these long hours of interviews. I wanted to have a very warm and clean sound that usually only condensers give. The ATM 10a is a beautiful mic, but it will pick up the dog barking three blocks away. I am usually reluctant to using Shotguns for interviews. I finally found the SM 86. This is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup… and on the top of that, being designed for stage performance reduces the handling noise a lot. It turned out to be a great combination with the HHb. The one complaint that I have is that, a couple of times, it gave me a very high frequency hiss.

Audio Technica AT ATM10a. As a friend of mine said… “the closest you can get to an studio mic spending a little more than 100.”

Shure SM 58. I don’t have anything to say that most don’t know about this mic. Very reliable and the sound is great for any situation.

Audio Technica AT 4050. This studio mic is a great option. Gives a much warmer sound than others from the same house and is very affordable.

AD Converter:

Motu 828 MK II. If you are ready to say bye to the digidesign monopoly and also have a decent budget. This AD converter is the best thing you can get for a under $1000 and that will bring you to the studio quality level… not that you need it for radio but… if you are into sound art or music… this thing allows you to record 10 tracks simultaneously at studio quality. A little big if you are thinking about moving around.

Instruments:

Fender Strat Plus 1991. My oldest guitar. I used it for anything from blues to heavy and radio.

Antonio Aparicio Flamenco guitar.

Ibanez Bass.

Max/MSP programming. Some segments of Chasing Love include sounds generated with Max/MSP. I have been working with it for about three years now. It is a great asset when creating sound environments.

Rhodes and Sefan Rusconi. For three months I had the pleasure of subletting a room to Stefan Rusconi, a Swiss jazz musician who is at a level that I probably can’t even appreciate. But, I was able to play and record with him a couple of times. On a section of Chasing Love, you will recognize the sound of his Rhodes.

Miguel Macias

About
Miguel Macias

Miguel Macias is an independent radio producer, sound designer and musician from Sevilla, Spain. For three years, Miguel worked as the assistant to Marty Spinelli, the director of the Radio Studies Program at CUNY's Brooklyn College, helping college students learn radio, while simultaneously earning his Master of Fine Arts degree at the Department of Television and Radio. During that time he was deeply involved in the construction of the new studios of Brooklyn College Radio and the development of the Radio Studies Program. At Brooklyn College Radio he also produced The Search for Intelligent Life a weekly radio magazine on air for the past two years. Miguel also worked as a radio instructor at Camp Ballibay for the Performing Arts. In February 2004, Miguel had the privilege of joining the interns team at WNYC's Radiolab. While interning at Radiolab, and due to some coincidences, he got in touch with Czerina Patel, producer of WNYC's Radio Rookies. On July 1st 2004 Miguel became officially part of the Radio Rookies staff at WNYC Radio as an Associate Producer. Miguel has produced long format radio pieces, features as well as live radio. Miguel is also an electronic music composer and a multimedia and video artist. At present, Miguel is working on a new documentary in collaboration with Miuki Jokiranta.

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  • Jay Allison

    2.05.05

    Reply
    Chasing Love

    Maybe you’ve been in love. Or maybe you’ve been destroyed by it. Maybe you wonder what the hell love is–if it’s something inside you or something you learned. Or maybe you just like your media served up with a date peg.

    Our Transom Valentine’s Day Feature is "Chasing Love" by Miguel Macias and it is no mere confection. It’s a long and intricate montage, that tricky form, and Miguel pulls it off, scored with his own music no less. It took him three years to make. Download it, burn it, and listen while you’re driving alone, or with someone you love, or think you do. We guarantee it to be more thoughtful and provocative than most of the Love Stuff broadcast for this occasion, and certainly more interesting than hearing the day’s headlines again.

    When you’re done, come discuss it here with the producer and your fellow listeners.

  • Zak

    2.08.05

    Reply
    hola

    Miguel, I just listened to the piece in a crowded computer lab in Alicante Spain. I am studying here for the semester.

    I think the lack of traditional structure in the piece was a beautiful way to supplement the sprawling ideas and dialogue within the piece. I really liked the bookmaking at the beggining and end with the shakepeare passage.

    Why not use your own voice for your memories? Do you think the actor´s voice captured the expression you were trying to convey?

    The subtle guitar work was real nice. Did you ever think about using pre-existing songs?

  • Miguel Macias

    2.08.05

    Reply
    Re:hola

    Hey Zak!!

    Thanks for writing! I am glad you are enjoying the pleasures of Spain for a semester. I also hope you get to stay there until the weather gets real nice.
    To the question of why I didn’t use my own voice… I don’t really like to use my voice. I have used it in the past for live shoes but not much for pre-produced radio. For this project I wanted to make it as universal as possible and escape from the risk of making the piece too attached to one person’s voice or experience. Fortunately my two actors are good friends and they did get the emotion that I wanted from them. We talked for many, many hours about the script (that originally was about 100 pages) and about the ideas contained in the piece. By the time we recorded they were pretty aware of what I was trying to say. Regarding the question of… do I ever consider using pre-existing music? I have done it in the past but I am more and more reluctant to do it now. I love making music as much as I do making radio so… for me it becomes part of the same thing. It gives me a great feeling to be able to sit on front of the computer and play music, improvise, as I am listening to the pieces of interviews.

  • Rekha

    2.09.05

    Reply
    fantastic

    Miguel,

    I am still listening, and I’ll be listening more than once. The piece is resonant to me personally and to many people I know. Beyond that, it is absolutely impressive structurally and creatively. I will be playing it for my friends and for my radio students. Thank you.

  • Miguel Macias

    2.09.05

    Reply
    Re:fantastic

    Thanks Rekha!

    Every single time that someone tells me that they like the piece… that is a little bit of happiness running in my veins.
    But hey! If anyone out there doesn’t like it I want to hear that too!!

  • aida

    2.09.05

    Reply

    Me ha emocionado mucho oirlo y ya lo he hecho un par de veces.No puede negarse que es tuyo y me encanta.Que te vaya todo bien. Un besazo y suerte.

  • Miguel Macias

    2.09.05

    Reply
    to aida

    Muchisimas gracias Aida…

    Un dia de estos nos tomamos el tequila mitico ese que nunca llega. Un beso.

  • sara wood

    2.09.05

    Reply

    Miguel,

    Thank you for this imaginative and beautiful piece. Within the first 10 minutes, I couldn’t help but imagine a choreographed dance in my head. I could actually see the dancers. I almost wanted to start moving too. Then I realized, ‘oh wow, so this is listening in stereo…’

    Just a couple questions for you. Did you have some kind of a rhythm in your head when you were editing the parts of the actors’ narration with the actual dialogue and stories? A premeditated rhythm, if you will?

    Another question goes along with the actors’ narration. What made you decide/what was the process of having them read the same part with a different level and emotion?

    Lastly, experts talking about love – what was your experience with this? Did you get theoretical, technical answers from them all around, or did they have difficulties articulating between what’s a clinical fact and how they felt in regards to love?

    Thanks once again.

    Sara

  • Marco Aguilera

    2.09.05

    Reply
    Great Work

    Miguel,

    You created a beautiful piece of work that reminded me of the nostalgia when my wife and I first fell in love. We have now been married for 10 years and we continue to fall deeper in love when we reminiscence on our beginnings.

    Me gustaria escuchar mas de tu trabajo. ¿Tienes alguna pagina en el internet, dedicada a tu trabajo?

  • Miguel Macias

    2.09.05

    Reply
    Re:Sara Wood

    Thanks so much Sara!

    It is just sooooo good to be talking and writing about this piece. When you do work on the shadows for so long you end up thinking that is never going to get out there.

    To your questions…

    The question of the rhythm is one that represents certain conflict. I have a way to put pieces together that doesn’t quite follow journalistic manuals… nothing wrong about journalistic manuals… but when I do my own pieces I use a very intuitive way. Everything has to have a rhythm, every piece of tape ends at the moment it has to end, and I tap on the table and move my hands… and my friend Stefan could tell you about the strange movements that I do when I edit. It is a very organic process. When it comes to actually compose the music as putting together the pieces of interviews I have to confess that sometimes I find myself cutting a piece of interview because it goes longer than the music I made for that section… or the opposite… I will not cut down a section because there is noooooo way on earth I will cut down the music. So yes… it has to feel like a musical piece.

    The question about the actors. My actors and I talked for hours and hours… when it came to recording we met one day in the morning, I cooked breakfast, they stretched in my old back yard and we got into my small home-made studio. It took about 9 hours to record the complete script and I did have the ideas of how they were going to come together and be edited together but… I had nothing close to anything specific. Whispering, screaming, talking, all were planned of course. My whole emphasis was put in making them feel that they owned the script and that my home was their home. The rest… I didn’t have to tell them much. A few times I thought… I could not think of a better way to deliver this.

    And finally… about the experts… My experience with them was absolutely fantastic. I have to say also that I had some of the best experts you can find. I am not giving names because I always made clear that they would not be quoted as themselves. But they are some of the biggest authorities in the field. The thing that almost everybody agrees on is that… there are not many clinical facts… the most recent studies locate the emotion of love in the limbic brain. But when we talk about love we are talking bout the idea of love or culture views on love which are very, very far from anything biological. I am personally from the school of those who think that most of what we are is cultural. It is a great thing to try to locate an emotion and understand it in biological terms but… as a philosopher that I interviewed said… philosophy and the social sciences very often go ahead of times with their theories. We have reasons to be skeptical of biological science (although one of my best friends is a neuro-psychologists and neuro-psychology itself fascinates me) and some reasons to believe in it. I like to say: I believe in the emotion, which I believe is universal and the same everywhere… but any ideas, ideologies or culture stereotypes we attach to it… I question.

    Hope this helped!!!!

    Thanks!!

  • Miguel Macias

    2.09.05

    Reply
    Re:Great Work

    Thanks Marco!

    One of the ambitions that I had when I first thought about this piece was the one of communicating and even "creating" emotions with sounds… I am not quite there yet but… I love to hear that this piece does move things inside people.

    No, desafortunadamente no he tenido tiempo de diseñarme una página Web todavía. Si te interesa te puedo enviar una pieza en español que compuse hace un par de años, "Felicidad" que me gusta particularmente.

    Thanks!!

    Miguel

  • Beatriz Macías

    2.10.05

    Reply
    Congratulations

    Congratulations…

    Tengo que escucharlo de nuevo y ya hemos hablado de esto…pero…. no puedo dejar de felicitarte, de nuevo, por tu "parto" (lo siento… monotema) rítmico y lleno de sentido.
    Sólo una pregunta… ¿Cómo de universales crees que son el tipo de emociones que reflejas? Creo que una jugosa profundización de este tema podría venir a través de ciertas comparaciones en las que "el otro" puede quedar mejor definido… el amante que describes encaja perfectamente desde mi perspectiva, en el joven wasp norteamericano… pero no tengo nada clara esta tendencia como universal. Ya sé que lo sabes… creo un contraste intercultural no le vendría nada mal.

    Besotes-Bea ©

  • Miguel Macias

    2.10.05

    Reply
    Re:Congratulations

    Gracias hermanota!

    Ok… so I am going to have to answer to this one in English… not because I don’t love to claim my Latino condition (questioned by those who think that the Spanish is part of the “European” culture… which I question as a whole)… but because Beatriz comments open a lot of questions that I would like everybody to be able to read. Beatriz… happens to be my lovely older sister, psychologist, living and teaching in Spain.
    I put an extraordinary emphasis in the rigor of this piece. As I have said to many fiends I did not want this piece to be something that tells the things that anyone who reads one book about the history if the idea of love could know. I became pretty passionate about finding the one approach that would offer a different view on the subject.
    The theory that late capitalism and the way we live our lives today is affecting our capacity to build long-term relationships is not new. Richard Sennett talked about it extensively… how late Capitalism denies the worker the possibility of creating a personal narrative and corrodes the character. But I don’t think the connection to the evolution of the idea of love was done too often.
    The main idea of Chasing love is that due to the way late capitalism pushes individuals to change jobs, cities, friends, hobbies, we are beginning to forget about something as basic as taking care of the long term narratives of our lives: long term job commitments, long term friendships, long term love relationships. This has a lot of good aspects to it, of course, being free to choose to not follow culture and religions restrictions is always a positive thing but… the capacity to commit is a skill that we usually learn. In the times that I call “the age of Hiper-romantic love” we not only expect to find the perfect person but also we expect that to happen with a minimum amount of work. And we expect to acquire the capacity to commit without having develop that capacity previously in our lives.
    When I say that the emotion of love is universal I mean that we have natural limbic inclinations that include loyalty, and affection. Also there are some theories about how there could be an evolutionary reason for human beings universally feeling the emotion of romantic love. But just because there is a feeling that does not involve that the social constructions are going to be any similar (family, exclusivity, property and of course… the very different connotations that dependency has in different cultures…).
    Anyway… Beatriz thinks that establishing comparisons with “other” culture environments would have been helpful. And I agree. But I was more interested in establishing a comparison with our own culture, in different times of history.
    I do think that we are living I a somehow a dangerous time. And I don’t mean to say that the times before were better or that the future times will be horrible. But the tendency that we have had in western world to not take care or our personal narratives and give an extraordinary amount of importance to our personal career I believe has its risks.
    Anxiety and depression are the first consequences of this “limbic omissions”. Quoting Thomas Lewis: “These two emotional states are epidemic, depression and anxiety cost America more than $50 billion per year (…) The rates of depression in the United Sates has been rising steadily since 1960. Suicide rates for young people have more than tripled over that time”.
    Sitting in a café in with a friend of mine I said… you know… the 8 hours a day of work thing was a historical achievement that is not a coincidence, it didn’t come out of nowhere. The fact that we, now, are throwing this achievement out of the window?… I am not sure is that is a good thing. Many of us have great excuses to do so… we like or love our jobs and we have a personal implication with these activities. The boundaries fall and we don’t distinguish anymore what is work and what is personal satisfaction. We care about what we do to pay the bills. But I personally, have to be suspicious of the consequences.
    Capitalism is a great machine that found its way through many, many challenges. But just because it did, we should not forget that it only has around 200 years of history. And the ideas of love that we accept today as a “fact” are mostly fairly new as well.
    The emotions… I still feel they have been there for much longer than economic, political or culture systems.

    Uufff… sorry for the long lecture!

  • Pamela

    2.10.05

    Reply
    Chasing Love

    I’ll never forget the first time I heard this piece, hurtling on the A train to Harlem, through a pair of headphones that had been slipped over my ears. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the richness of its texture — the uniqueness of a piece of art that melodically weaves together controversial ideas, cultural analysis, and straight-up passion and pain. Feeling all that, beside someone I love, I couldn’t stop smiling.

    The second time, I was on a plane to Los Angeles, leaving behind someone I love, and, feeling all that, I cried.

    What a gorgeous tapestry of emotion, music and intelligence you made. Thank you, Miguel,for such a touching piece of work.

  • Miguel Macias

    2.10.05

    Reply
    Re:Chasing Love

    Thanks Pamela!

    And I also cried a couple of times when putting together this piece. There is something that takes place when you edit using so many layers and music, which is that a number of unpredictable things start to show up. And those are the things that to me make certain pieces different. At least… that’s what I think…

  • Jad Abumrad

    2.11.05

    Reply
    Bravo Miguelo

    First off Mr Macias, big congrats! I’m enamored with all the textures you’re playing with…and with the ambition of this piece. There are many moments that soar. You have an ear for the music of storytelling, and storytelling in my view is mostly about music.

    I love the tape you get from people. It’s intimate, comfortable. Sometimes I feel their breath.

    I also know that you like a little debate, so here’s the flip side: I wonder if you might have given us a clearer sense of the underlying architecture?…some signposts, as they say, to reassure us that this is a journey, this thing you’ve created, and that we’re heading in a certain direction toward a certain destination. I don’t need to know WHERE we’re going, in fact that would ruin most of the fun, but I do need to know that we’re going SOMEWHERE. And a few times, particularly in the middle of the poems, I forgot that we were headed somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, as a listener, I enjoy being offbalance, disoriented, but never lost, and navigating that fine line, though difficult, is absolutely crucial when you toss out the traditional narrator and split it between many. Not to say you should go with the One as opposed to Many approach. Please don’t! But I think showing your hand every so often would help the piece. Not sure if others felt the same…

  • Miguel Macias

    2.11.05

    Reply
    Re:Bravo Miguelo

    Mr. Abumrad!!!

    Thanks so much. It means a whole lot to me that you enjoyed the piece and… yes! I love debate! (some people think I love it too much!) So… let’s open it!
    The first time we talked about this perception that you had, about the piece being a little disorienting, I thought that it would have been unavoidable. Well.. of course I was wrong. Anyone who has dealt with a long piece, with over 80 hours of tape, and a broad topic knows that at some point you lose some control over the material. It is just impossible to have all those words in your head, plus the 100 pages of script that I wrote plus the ideas that I wanted to communicate. So I do think now that if I have had dedicated more time to the development of the structure of the piece, it would have possibly felt less disorienting. It is true that the narration segments have very little connection with the interviews segments. They do have a great connection with the main idea of the piece but… I see how some might say “what the hell havce these poetic pieces to do with the interviews?”. I could say, this is the artist license… to be able to make lose connections or leave room for the audience to make those connections. Also I was very interested in staying away from making the piece sound like my only voice. Or anyone’s single voice. Love is something that almost everyone feels that they know about. And almost no one likes to be told much about how to understand it. So I tried to avoid such a conflict. Of course many of the people who listened to the piece argued… you are all over the piece… there’s no way this piece could sound like not coming form one person.
    Now… if you ask me… would I want the piece to have more focus, without compromising the sound and feeling it has right now? I have to honestly say… actually yes. I am planning in doing that in my future pieces. And I will be asking you advice in how to do so!!

  • Jonathan Mitchell

    2.11.05

    Reply
    structure etc.

    (I wrote these thoughts before I’d read Jad’s comment above, so they’re not informed by the last few comments, but definetly part of that same debare…)

    thoughts I had while listening to the piece:

    I love the opening minute or so, with the build-up of voices. Nicely done. (bit of a cliche in a post-Beatles world, but still fun to hear… and well used in this context)

    In general, I really like the way the piece uses voices, and that you’re not bashful about layering voices in evocative ways. I especially like when the two actors are saying the same thing, one whispering, one screaming. It draws from a wide vocabulary of presentation devices, which is something I really enjoy hearing. In general, my feeling is that stylistic devices need to serve a function in order to really work (i.e. the device adds something to what’s being said, and plays a role in the overall message). In this piece they often did that, most effectivly in the scripted moments. Sometimes, though, the devices felt unmotivated. For example, in the middle there’s a point when the eq suddenly becomes thinned out on one of the voices, and I wasn’t sure why. And I find the device of panning at the end of a speaker’s line to be a bit on the self-concious side — it tends to distract me from what’s being said rather than reinforce it.

    On a technical note, my ear wanted to hear slightly more compression on the voices.

    I think the music is really good. It’s emotional without feeling too manipulative, which is a tough balance to achieve. Sometimes it feels to me like the events in the music aren’t quite in sync with what’s being said, that there’s an implied, or desired, connection between the two elements that could’ve been stronger if the rhythm of events were tweaked a bit. But overall it sounds very good.

    in general, I find myself wanting to hear more stories. I feel like it really clicks in and makes me want to listen when I hear someone start to tell a story. There are a lot of abstract ideas, which I enjoy hearing, but for me the balance is off. I think the ideas would have more resonance with me if they were presented in the context of some kind of narrative, or at the very least, organized in a more linear way. In broad structural terms, I like to feel like what I’m hearing has a specific function. Not that I neccessarily need to know what that function is, but I like to sense that it’s there. Many times, the piece feels like a succession of interesting thoughts… it feels like the kind of piece one can tune in and out, with a loose and fairly non-linear structure. And that’s cool… but I guess my honest feeling is that a piece without a strong direction and formal motivation is just a bunch of people talking — I wanted to be given more of a reason to care about what they were saying. That’s not to say that what they were saying wasn’t interesting, it often was. It’s just that each statement felt adrift, whereas significance and meaning comes from observing relationships between ideas or events. This occurs sometimes, and what i’m saying here is not meant to be a universal criticism of the piece. For example, about 50 minutes in, there’s a nice build-up with brooding music, and this section posseses more of the kind of structure I’m talking about, that I wish had been present throughout more of the piece. It’s just that, when the piece wasn’t working for me, it’s because I felt that what the speaker was saying had little meaning attached to it from outside that speaker’s insular world — in other words, it felt unmotivated.

    Overall, I think this a wonderful, intricate, inventive, and ambitious piece. It’s the kind of work that i would love to hear more of on the radio. Thanks for producing it, and I look forward to hearing more of your work!

    Jonathan

  • Miguel Macias

    2.11.05

    Reply
    Re:structure etc

    Hey Jonathan!

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to listen and… to give such a rich and complex feedback. And going back to what Jad was saying before, not only I love debate but also I love to get constructive criticism on my work.
    Let me get to the specifics and then the overall…

    You mentioned the idea that stylistic devices need to serve a function in order to really work. I agree in some degree. I do think that using a mixing technique or a particular esthetic for no apparent reason not only distract the attention from the piece but… let’s be honest… it’s annoying… especially to those who have been on the quest for the discovery of effective and new sound environments and techniques for a while. So I completely understand that some techniques seem unjustified and consequently distracting. Now… Do I think that Chasing Love have some of those unjustified technical or stylistic moments? Aaahhh… I will say that I can see how you and others could think so. And I have to say that I even took out some segments or techniques for that reason. In particular there was an 8 minute section on sex that I loooved which I cut out. The editing in that segment was as challenging as I could get it to be… but not in terms of layers and music but in terms of cuts and interruption of the flow. Breaking the expectations of the audience concerning the unbreakable continuity of sound. I cut those segments or techniques because I received reactions of that sort… “what the hell is that there for?”. The ones that stayed I was too attached to. Now the real answer. Some style elements are related to the flow of the piece, or the ideas explained. Sometimes they didn’t. The EQ effect you mentioned does not have a particular purpose except for becoming an extension of my emotions. I, many times, try to communicate my emotions and thoughts trough those stylistic devices. Sometimes they come across. Sometimes they don’t. The same way that sometimes you are able to express emotions with words… and sometimes words are useless.
    Nice that you noticed the panning of voices in and out. And I hear you when you say it makes you self-conscious. That is the kind of technique that someone of your high perception could become self conscious about… as I would probably be if I heard it on someone else’s piece. For those who don’t quite get to recognize what is going on it might work to give it a nice flow.

    I didn’t use any compression whatsoever. That was a choice that I made and that could have been different. I base that decision in the fact that I monitored the levels so carefully that I thought they didn’t need compression by the end of the process.

    I am glad that you liked the music. Some of the musical recordings I would even recognize are not totally in sync with the ideas expressed. Again… me trying to put emotions through my fingers, via my guitars, in the tracks.

    In response to your thoughts about the lack of stories. I have to agree in some level. The piece fell heavily on the side of the ideas. And many people mentioned that it becomes difficult to follow. There are so many ideas being said, so condensed, and with a good level of profundity, that it might become difficult to follow. Stories are always easier to follow and we get hooked to them easily. This was a conscious decision. I become so passionate about the ideas included in the piece that I ended up thinking “I don’t have no time for stories!!”. But I can also admit that the kind of coherence that I achieved in some segments (like the one around the minute 50 you mentioned) should have been more present. Hey! I am not going to lie… I did try… and sometimes I didn’t achieve it.

    On the overall structure of the piece I will say that… I found myself with the challenge of having a good deal of complex ideas and theories to post in the piece, a great deal of personal experiences and feelings and only an hour to fit everything. A clear and directed structure was not going to make it. I tried to use a structure that left many gaps for the audience to fill, not only at a conscious level, but at an emotional level. I do recognize the fact that by doing this, I am assuming the risk of the piece not seeming together. But it was a challenge that I had to take. There are ideas in this piece that are not even mentioned specifically. Like the relationship between depression and love. Some perceived that at a very basic level “the piece is very sad”. But I realize that I encoded a little too many things in between the lines, tracks, music, words and frequencies.
    The one thing that I am sure is that I have with myself the indestructible responsibility of pushing the limits of my work. The next piece I produce I will want to make it an 85% different. And still different. And yours and others comments will help me to do so.

    Thanks a lot Jonathan!!

  • Kevin Raymond

    2.11.05

    Reply
    chasing love comments

    Miguel i havent listened to the whole peice yet, only about 15 minutes, but i have really enjoyed what ive heard so far. You are wonderful at adding music to storytelling and making it work. I know from experience how hard it can be but you do a great job on what ive heard. The whole concept of love in our heads and in reality is very big and ambitious and i am not suprisingly impressed with this work by you. Nothing less than exceptional was expected and so far thats what it is. The struceture and pacing seems free and easy to listen to. congrats!

  • Miguel Macias

    2.12.05

    Reply
    Re:chasing love comments

    Hi Kevin!
    Good to hear from you! I am glad you liked the piece. And I know how much importance you give to the combination of music and words so… It’s a great compliment coming from you!
    Thanks!

  • Stefan Rusconi

    2.12.05

    Reply
    Thank you Miguelito!

    Your piece is not only a great work of art to me but also a memory of the great time I shared with you in NY. Listening to your piece is like looking at a painter painting a picture. Every knew color makes you see and understand more. But it’s not linear, it’s a sphere growing wider and slowly eating you up. I’m proud that I could follow the process of you creating this piece. I also know how much dedication and passion you put into this work. That’s how it should be. Ride on…
    Zürich, Feb 2005

  • Miguel Macias

    2.12.05

    Reply
    Re:Thank you Miguelito!

    Mr. Rusconi!!

    It’s sooooooo nice to read from you!! For those who read this and don’t know much about what we are talking about… Stefan is the guy I talk about in the description of Chasing Love, at its main page. When I think about the final process of the creation of Chasing Love, almost every single memory has Stefan as a direct witness. We sat to drink tea together and talked about the ideas and the sounds of this piece extensively. This is the best scenario I could think of to create a piece like this. Stefan, I am very happy you liked the piece. I know what an exquisite ear you have. I have to say that one of the interesting things that Chasing Love has for me is that it changes. I have listened to it as a finished piece many times. I keep rediscovering things, and meanings that I intended and created but that hid and reappeared with the different listening sessions.

    It is not a linear piece, it could be heard in a different order. As Stefan knows, the sections were created separately and only very late into the process were placed together and then redistributed a couple of times. Stefan, sharing space with such outstanding musicians (Gabriel too) for that time was unavoidably an inspiring experience.

  • natalie

    2.13.05

    Reply
    amor

    hola miguel!

    listening to your documentary about love has helpled me define my personal concept of what this complex feeling trully is. living in the western world, we sometimes forget that you do not have to be the best at everything in order to be with someone. it is much more simpler than we imagine but we cannot know this until we experience it. many people believe that if they haven’t been in a relationship for a certain amount of time, they are destined to be by themselves forever. but what they don’t realize is that it happens when least expected and most of all, that it takes time to develop. i strongly believe that when a human being feels love, he or she should give in to that feeling entirely. life is too short to be afraid to love or to be loved. if we have an opportunity to love, we should embrace it and live it to the fullest.
    you write beautifully and i really enjoyed listening to the entire hour of "chasing love"…
    nos vemos en la escuela!
    natalie

  • Miguel Macias

    2.13.05

    Reply
    Re:amor

    Thanks Natalie!

    Relationships are a complicated thing… and I like to say that they have a lot to do with religion… you have faith on them and decide to stick to them base on expectations but, with no real guarantees. Love is definitely one the most important elements of a relationship but… not enough. We should embrace love, embrace relationships, conversations, respect, looks, care… anything that makes us be together and not separate.

    Thanks!!

  • Lizzy

    2.14.05

    Reply
    Only you

    Dearest Miguel,
    While the above discussions about narrative direction are important and valid, I want to compliment you on your willingness to break the mold of linearity in audio work. You are one of the rare people who is always looking for a new perspective, pushing forward despite the criticisms of those too impatient to attempt to step into the unfamiliar. You have a unique vision that is unadulterated by attempts to force your work into the main stream, and I am confident that this piece is the first of an entire body of groundbreaking work.

    Regarding the piece, at some points, my mind wanders and grasps for direction, but I’m brought back by powerful words or sounds. I think this structure could be interpreted as analogous to love itself: the initial impression is so powerful and strong, but then the intensity fluctuates with periods of extreme emotion cycling with more mundane feelings. At some points the reasons for and directions of love are clear; sometimes not. Having spent the past seven years in a relationship, I can attest to the waxing and waning nature of the emotions associated with love. While the underlying feeling consistently remains, the clarity and direction are constantly changing. I really think your work gets at the soul of this. It’s a complicated, inconsistent piece, and love is a complicated, inconsistent emotion.

    This is not a piece for everyone, and I think you know that. But you stayed true to your vision, and you’ve created something beautiful that many people can enjoy. I truly look forward to hearing what you come up with next. I have no idea what to expect, and I love that!
    Love,
    Lizzy

  • Miguel Macias

    2.14.05

    Reply
    Re:Only you

    Lizzy!!!!!

    I was missing your sensitive view in all this discussion. Looking for a new perspective is some sort of obsession for me. And yes… I would absolutely love if that prediction of yours “and I am confident that this piece is the first of an entire body of groundbreaking work” becomes true. The one thing that I am sure is that in my independent producer face, I am not interested at all in making anything that sounds like anything that I have heard before. And of course one takes the risk of thinking that you are doing something original just because you haven’t heard enough. I always have the assumption that most likely, whatever I do, is not going to be new. But making sure that I produce radio that doesn’t sound quite like the radio that I hear on a daily bases, is already enough of a challenge.
    And your comments on the content of the piece are, as always, accurate and inspiring.
    For a next project I am still wondering how to take this idea of radio as an extension of one’s emotions to a next level.

    Thanks so much!!

  • helen woodward

    2.15.05

    Reply
    were you a scientist in a former life?

    what I like about this piece is how, almost like a scientific study, you have captured so much of the essence of love by casting such a wide net. By interviewing so many people and distilling those interviews down to the most insightful few sentences, and carefully putting them together in this piece, you have crafted a portrait of love which is grounded in reality.

    so if this makes any sense at all, how did you know when you had spoken to enough subjects to complete this portrait of Love? Do you think you could get closer to the truth about love by speaking to more people, discovering more individual slices of the truth?

  • Miguel Macias

    2.15.05

    Reply
    Re:were you a scientist in a former life?

    Thanks Helen!

    I actually absolutely didn’t know when it was enough of interviews. I stopped because the amount of material that I had generated was way to large for the time that I had left to finish the piece.
    I was certainly worried about the gap that I had in the range of age of 50’s. But of course, as one of my main influences, Martin Spinelli says, there is always one more book to read, one more interview to conduct, when you are doing a project like this. There has to be a point where you learn how to live with the possibility of leaving something out. But more important than that is to make sure than after that, the passion and perseverance is going to be directed to the next stage, no matter how late you were.
    I think that rather than getting closer to the truth on love by conducting more interviews, perhaps I would have got closer by having more time to listen to the tape I already had. I deliberately chose to carry the production of this piece in a very unorthodox way. And I believe that is harder than using the orthodox way (you can find this on books, right?). Doing it in an unorthodox way, getting results and having a reason for it, is the challenge for me. Like in many, many tings, I think one has to be aware of what is happening I one’s head and one’s production process. You can go overboard doing interviews and that’s relatively ok… what is not so ok is being clueless about it… not even realizing that you are doing it. You might be following an unorthodox form, and that is ok. But is not so good to try to deny this circumstance to yourself. As in love, in the production of a piece, being aware of one’s emotions and contradictions is always a good thing.
    To go back to your initial question… (I am rambling way too much). I knew I had enough material when I managed to make the connection on the ideas of the piece that made me feel comfortable with it. And that connection, unfortunately, didn’t happen until I had spent all the time that I spent reading, thinking, talking and writing about the topic. I do whish I would have made it before. And have more time to dedicate to listening to the tape and building the un-linear structuring of the piece.

    And was I a scientist in a former life? I am not sure…I do feel a great responsibility of making my work very rigorous. I would not like to touch a topic on a superficial way or just listen to one’s opinion, or one perspective on any topic. On this piece I really tried to balance out both social science and neuro-psychological perspectives on the topic. This doesn’t even need to show on the piece, but I need to be sure that I am not just speaking about something without having a strong foundation. Of course, there is always more and more to know about everything.

  • Miguel Macias

    2.17.05

    Reply
    Response to Iceland

    A listener from Iceland who listened to Chasing Love on Transom sent me a question via email:
    Did you use the same questions for all the interviews?
    And I thought… actually that is a question that some more people might be interested in so… here is my answer for her, an for the rest…

    I didn’t use the same questions. Not only that but I didn’t really have questions. During the first 10 interviews or so I would bring with me a paper with some questions written down. By the end of this first series of interviews it became pretty obvious to me that I didn’t need them. Not only because I wasn’t really using them (besides for the purpose of making the interviewee feel more comfortable), but because having a piece of paper in front of me was distracting. The dynamic of the interviews was very relaxed and opened. I was not interested in covering a particular topic or perspective but about letting the interviewee lead the flow of perspectives and reactions they had to the ideas I would express. Unavoidably almost from the first questions the series of reactions would trigger and it would become a nice conversation.

  • Joshua Kilpatrick

    2.18.05

    Reply
    The Interview Scene

    Miguel:

    Your piece was intense, and this discussion is too. I wonder if there’s room for questions from a beginner? I have so many that I think I’ll just resort to multiple posts.

    Following the train of thought evoked by the most recent post, can you paint a picture for me of what your interview sessions were like? I’m looking for a description like the one you gave of the day you recorded the actors. How did you set the mood, where did the interviews take place, did you take breaks, did you cook meals, did you meet with the same person more than once, did you wear jeans or slacks? Can you just describe the scene of the interviews?

    More to come. Wonderful work.

    – Joshua Kilpatrick

  • Miguel Macias

    2.18.05

    Reply
    Re:The Interview Scene

    Thanks a lot Joshua!

    Ok… so I actually had to think a little about this question before answering. The fact is that the interviews were held in such a variety of places that it is hard for me to give general descriptions.
    I could name a few places and then try to take out the common elements that these spaces had:

    – Several interviewees’ apartments. This is probably the most common set up that I used. Some interviewees asked whether I wanted them to come to my place. I generally said that I preferred to go to their places… for obvious reasons… they would have a tendency to feel more comfortable in their own space.
    – Small radio studio. Especially the first series of interviews were conducted in a small radio studio. It was small enough to be extremely comfortable, in the middle of the countryside, a very calm set up.
    – Offices. Several interviews were conducted in college offices. I did make sure that these were absolutely quiet and isolated from any interference. Low light usually and comfortable.
    – Over the phone. Only one interview was conducted over the phone. She was recording herself and from what could hear in the background… there were birds!! So it must have been relaxing.
    – My apartment. A couple of interviews were held in my apartment.

    So… It is rather easy to guess that the common elements, more than a particular space or place, were the conditions of the space. I did meet with most of the people twice. It had to be a quiet place, with a door that could be closed, where the interviewees were sure that they wouldn’t be overheard by anyone else but me. In many of the interviews I brought some beers and the general feeling was closer to a conversation between friends than a formal interview. In other occasions the environment was very “therapist office like”. This is something that I wouldn’t say myself but that several of my interviewees mentioned “this felt like a therapy”.
    In general terms there is something that usually happens when an interview about a personal topic such as love is conducted for a long period of time (one or two hours). The interviewees start to realize things, think for the first time about things, as they are talking, on the mic. So the mic disappears, the recorder disappears, the piece disappears, and we have remaining two people, talking about meaningful things. It is also a very stressful experience for me at moments. Since I don’t have questions written down and I didn’t write anything down during the interviews, I had to develop the capacity to listen very carefully, archive any question in my head, go back to them, catch details, catch looks, tones of voices… challenge the interviewees… and have fun.
    Leaving in NY one doesn’t have time to take care of friends as much as one would like. But I definitely feel a certain permanent connection with most of the people that I interviewed that remains. Some people have told me that I have a capacity to get particularly intimate tape. I am not sure. I am no one to judge myself in that matter. I can say that I expose myself in this piece as much as I expose them. And I want to believe that they know that, and they appreciate it.

    Looking forward to more questions from you!

  • Joshua Kilpatrick

    2.18.05

    Reply
    Everything All At Once

    Miguel:

    Thanks for taking the time to be so thorough in your answers.

    In this post, I’ll present a few more detail questions and then share my beginner’s subjective comment on the effect and content of the piece. I’ve dropped the multiple posts idea and am just going to ask everything that’s on my mind at once.

    More on the interviews. Since they were so comfortable and conversational, I’m curious how you handled the equipment. This keeps coming up for me whenever I talk to producers because I just don’t get how to be natural with the equipment. Did you actually hold the mic for the 1-2 hour interviews? Did you actively monitor (wear head phones)? If not, great! I can see how maybe you could get comfortable; just tell me what you did with the equipment. If you did hold the mic and monitor actively, then I’m blown away. How do you pull that off?

    On Max/MSP. I did some research and understand that it’s a graphical tool for creating sound “environments”. What sort of moments/environments in the piece are the handiworks of Max/MSP? I’m not sure when I was hearing it and when I was hearing the effects of normal multi-layered editing.

    I’m curious about two of the effects you created – remember, I’m a beginner; so, please just humor me. I loved the “crowded room” effect where lots of voices were talking to me, but they were close and distinct enough that I probably could have picked any of them out if I had tried. In general, how is that effect accomplished in a multi-track editing environment?

    A similar effect that I loved was when there were just 3 – 5 people talking to me. Invariably, I would hone in on one of them. I mean, at any given moment, it wasn’t a blur, I was hearing someone more than others. I was listening to one voice and tuning out the others. I’m sure that in some of those moments, you had picked the voice for me, but I love the possibility that maybe you didn’t. Maybe my heart just picked that voice, and if I listened again a month from now, I might settle in on a different one. By the way, this is a comment – not a question. I don’t want to know if you picked the voice.

    Now, about the stereo experience. Loved it! I loved how there would be people talking in either of my ears, then finally, someone would nail me right in the center and demand my attention. The interviews would walk in on my right, sit down for a chat, then walk out on the left. I liked it because it made the experience more visual and spatial for me. How, in general, do you create effects like this? Can I do it in ProTools? I realize that you can’t give me a how-to on this discussion board, but can you just give a general explanation of what is done during editing and maybe point me to more info?

    Ok, finally, it’s time for my subjective, personal opinions of the piece. So many wonderful comments have been made already, and I agreed with many of them. Yes, the rhythm of the piece was critical; yes, the lack of firm structure created disorientation and delight simultaneously; yes, there was a sense of a dance. I loved all of that, but here’s my new contribution.

    I think it’s amazing that you spent three years working on this, and I can’t imagine not being interested in anything an artist had spent three years on (well, ok, maybe something wouldn’t be interesting). I also think it’s amazing that at least 15 strangers (based on the number of posts) sat down and gave you an hour of their lives. They trusted you enough; I trusted you enough. An hour! You had me sitting in my little room on the other side of the continent (Portland) thinking about your world for an hour! There aren’t many strangers who I give my ear to like that. My point is that radio is amazing, and the whole experience of your piece brings that out. It’s not just that I listened, but that this whole Transom community listened. On top of that, we’re all talking about it. Amazing!

    Also, people have mentioned the lack of “stories”, and I wanted to explain how my mind processed all the interviews from various subjects and on various aspects of love. If I had tuned into this piece on a radio station and failed to hear a very compelling introduction, there is no way I would have listened. I listened because transom introduced me to you, and then you explained that you had spent three years on this – interviewing, reading, researching, thinking. I entered into the thing thinking, “Wow, three years, why would a guy do that? Why did he care so much about this topic, what happened to him?”

    So I’m entering into it with this curiosity about you. I’m picturing you working on this and thinking about it and sitting in the room with all those people, and I’m constantly wondering what exactly you are thinking and what you want to tell me. The underlying unspoken story of “you” is what held it all together and held my attention. As I processed the topic of love, I was always wondering about the author – “Is he poor? How did he get to NY? Why does he love radio? Why does he care about love? Has he been in love? How did he meet these people? How many late nights did he spend on this? I wonder what his studio looks like. I wonder if he works by a window.” Without enough foreknowledge about you and the time it took, I don’t think I would have listened; the curiosity just wouldn’t have been there. In short, yours was the “bonding” story.

    – Joshua

  • Miguel Macias

    2.18.05

    Reply
    Re:Everything All At Once

    Hey Joshua!

    Your comments touched me. They have some of the keys of this whole project.

    Let me answer in the right order…
    Interviews. Well, I did use headphones at all times and held the microphones in my hands at all times. I don’t feel it is particularly difficult. I guess I am used to it. The only thing that required concentration was monitoring the levels on the recorder. I set up a safe level at the beginning of the interviews. During the interviews I would look at the levels every minute or so. If the levels felt good on my ears and looked good on the monitors… I would forget about them for longer. I never conducted and interview with anyone present in the room but myself and the interviewee.

    Max/Msp is a wonderful tool that multimedia artist John Jannone introduced me to. I used particularly to create very low frequencies and musical melodies that follow the guitar. If you pay attention to the narration parts… you can hear it.

    About the effects… the crowded room is very easy… just place different voices in different tracks and play them all at once. If the recordings are powerful, the effect created is even more powerful and overwhelming.

    In terms of the three to fie people talking… I did choose the voices that would come to the front at a particular second and then go to the background again. The levels are very carefully managed so it is possible to still hear what people in the back are saying. It is a very organic process… I hear, feel, find a word that goes after an other word, place it there…

    The panning of voices is pretty easy to do in Protools. You just have to change the set up view of the track to Pan (not waveform or volume) and then you are ready to play with it. Clicking and dragging the line of pan from the right to the left, from the left to the right… the same way you would play with the volume…

    Joshua. Regarding your subjective views… I would love to dedicate more time to comment on your comments. There are a lot of things that you say that are touching and very true to me. The impact that having my piece on transom has had is something that I can’t really understand. Maybe the folks of transom would be able to tell us how many people gave their time to listening to Chasing Love. I have run into pretty amazing stories of people who don’t even know who I am, who don’t even listen much to the radio, and who run across the piece, listened to it, and somehow told someone that knows me… sharing something so personal was hard for some time. Then you start realizing that not everyone sees the number of secrets you are writing in every word, every second of the piece. You nailed it. This piece has my story on it. And some of those stories have to do with other topics, beyond love, and they are not in the front but, if you listen carefully, you start wondering. I prefer it like that.

    Hey!! Unfortunately I don’t have more time right now to keep writing but I promise to complete this thoughts.

    Thanks for your great feedback!!!

  • Brian Pickett

    2.20.05

    Reply
    speaking from the storm

    Brian here. One of the actors in Miguel’s "Chasing Love." The piece is haunting to me. Reading such personal letters written by someone else, i.e.- Miguel, I had to find "ins" to the material-parallels in my own life in order to speak the words with understanding, both intellectual and emotional. These "ins" were often upsetting. As a result, I have very little distance from the material when I listen to it, and I find myself caught up in the storm, so to speak. This phrase brings me to my point. In terms of the "structure" of the piece, I really think Miguel is onto something. In the theatre I have come to categorize shows in two basic camps (though there are many layers to this.) In short, here it is. There are shows that analyze, frame, and distance- all with the hopes of understanding of course. Much of “straight theatre” falls into this category. Then there are shows that manifest- that report in a visceral way from the eye of the storm. These shows jar and disorient. These are the plays of German Expressionism (to give an example.) By combining the narrations with the interviews, I feel Miguel attempts a weaving of the two- analysis along with manifestation, sometimes upsetting, always beyond analysis (as love often is.)

  • Miguel Macias

    2.20.05

    Reply
    Re:speaking from the storm

    Mr. Pickett!

    The other day, at an event that you had the opportunity to attend, a friend of mine described my style in a way that I wouldn’t be able to describe myself. "My entire brain, from the most primitive limbic system to the most evolved frontal cortex, is being stimulated simultaneously”. That is something that I would love to think of my work. It is hard to create a piece without a rigid structure. It is especially hard when the tradition, or at least, the tendency in the present, is to rely on narrative structure in a way that seems almost dogmatic. It is very difficult, and for me specially, to distinguish where the professionalism, knowing how to produce good radio, and wisdom ends, and the senseless dogmatism starts. There are movies, books, radio pieces, music pieces that lack of a traditional structure and they are successful. They connect with the audience and transmit ideas or emotions. So I can’t help asking myself the question, why? Why did it became so important. Some might say that without a narrative structure a piece is just not of their interest. Well, what about all those master pieces (including those of German expressionism that you mentioned) that managed to attract the attention of an audience breaking all these rules? Should they be dismissed just because they don’t fit in this model? I am not trying to compare my work to expressionism, or surrealism, or impressionism or great pieces of art that are just unquestionable. But I do want to throw the question: is this limiting our imagination to extremes where we are following rules that have not even been proved right to us? It could be that, to become a part of the present media panorama others and I will have to follow those rules. But if we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to create with no constrains… how are we ever going to become good enough at an alternative style? I am not going to accept the idea that one thing is better than the other. I personally try to avoid as much as possible the terms better or worse. In any situation.

  • katies

    2.26.05

    Reply
    4miguelo

    brilliant.
    (you
    are)

  • Miguel Macias

    2.27.05

    Reply
    Re:4miguelo

    Thanks so much Katie. It is especially rewarding to see and hear that the people that I interviewed for Chasing Love feel good about the piece (it’s always sort of scary to cut interviews dramatically and show the results to the interviewees). And… I am soooo happy that it is helping you in any way.

  • trinka

    3.14.05

    Reply
    the bee in my belly

    hi miguel.

    i stumbled upon this website in my google search for aural culture. i’ve never heard of radio art (no one does this sort of thing in my country) and yours was the first piece i listened to on this site.

    and i was blown away.

    i love it! great storytelling. very compelling and honest.

    thank you for such a wonderful piece. it’s now part of my visual and aural library to draw inspiration from.

    so go forth and produce. i can’t wait to hear your new stuff.

    i in the meantime, will draw bees from my belly.

    be well.

    trinka

  • Miguel Macias

    3.15.05

    Reply
    Re:the bee in my belly

    Thanks a lot Trinka!

    I have to say… I didn’t run into a lot of sound art when I was living back in Spain. Or at least, there is not much space for this in Spanish radio. You brought up the term "art" and that term is one that I have thought about quite a lot. Specifically about the conflict that anyone who sees him/herself as an artist faces in a time when art is valued based on how much it sells, or how popular it is. It doesn’t seem that this situation encourages the appearance of new artistic movements. Or maybe only with historical perspective we can recognize what was a new artistic movement. I am no expert on this topic but… it seems that this is a particularly interesting time when art is very much related to money and capitalism.
    I am so glad that my piece is inspirational in any way.
    Thanks so much!

    Miguel Macias

  • trinka

    3.17.05

    Reply
    the commodification of art

    Hey Miguel!

    Art has become a commodity. That’s the most problematic thing about it. The pressure of having something you value be regarded in monetary terms does discourage honest forms of storytelling. Thus we have formulas and cliches and all the rest which can be easily discarded…So sometimes it’s easy to forget the real reason for really exploring all those little nagging thoughts and ideas at the back of your mind when you start measuring the worth of your work with what society can measure it with.

    Chris Doyle once said,

    "Being true to oneself is a difficult journey. To find a way to share that with others is all art can try to be."

    I cannot tell you enough how much your piece means to me. I even started making my friends visit the site and listen to your piece and they all fell in love with it.

    "I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth."–Nietzche

    Thank you again. 🙂

    All the best,
    Trinka

  • trinka

    3.17.05

    Reply
    PS.

    I’m from the Philippines, so yes, your work has reached us. And I’m excited to get something like this going over here. It’s really great stuff. I’d ask you more technical questions and comment more academically about the piece but I can’t at this point. I’m still busy loving it. Hehe. Yup. Take care.

  • Miguel Macias

    3.17.05

    Reply
    Re:the commodification of art

    Trinka! Thanks so much again!
    I am so flattered by your comments. Especially by the fact that Chasing Love can have a meaning to you.

    It’s really hard to distinguish what it is about art today that makes it a mere commodity from forms of art that being a commodity still can be challenging and truthful. I know very amazing artists who take this as a challenge, and especially in the radio panorama, trying to make art but still sell it, sneaking creativity in the forms that the institution that pay consider acceptable. But… I think it is unavoidable to loose something on the way.
    If you asked me I would say, life is too long to spend it trying to duplicate the same kind of art or products that already exist. I prefer to be a fool and believe that I will some day make something new, even if it doesn’t ever happen. Than accepting, with so many years in front of me, that I will never create something new and that I would better spend my energy on replicating. Being true to oneself is something that does not happen a whole lot. I don’t tolerate myself anything less than that. And that is definitely a difficult journey. And that is the only reason why I have any desires of doing something creative.

    Thanks so much again!!!

    Miguel Macias

  • Natasha

    3.18.05

    Reply
    Thanks

    hi Miguel.

    Your work was astonishing discovery for me.
    Beyond all commendations. This piece revealed to me more than all books or human reasonings.
    I’ve heard simply words that express what I feel and answers for many deepest doubts.

    Very very sharp and honest

    Thank you. Waiting for new works for you

    Natasha. Kiev, Ukraine

  • Miguel Macias

    3.18.05

    Reply
    Re:Thanks

    Thanks so much Natasha!

    What is astonishing to me is the impressive potential that the internet has. This is something that we all know but… until you start confirming that people from Ukraine and Philippines are listening… it’s hard to believe. And it makes all the work worth to know that it is helping you and other people think and finding answers.

    Thanks for your amazing words and for the surprise of having people listening in Ukraine!!

    Miguel Macias

  • Adrianne

    3.24.05

    Reply
    Amazed.

    Definitively the best radio piece I have heard in a long time. It was original, poetic, and deeply insightful. What a gorgeous work you have put together.

  • Miguel Macias

    3.25.05

    Reply
    Re:Amazed

    Thanks Adriane!

    I keep getting surprised to see that people still are listening and being amazed… Thanks for your comments… this means a lot to me.

    Miguel Macias

  • Jason Cook

    5.09.05

    Reply
    Great work

    Great show – love the editing and topic. Great work!

    – Jason

  • Miguel Macias

    5.10.05

    Reply
    Re:Great work

    Thanks Jason!
    Miguel

  • Daniel Hicks

    7.08.05

    Reply
    latecomer

    I just discovered Chasing Love last night…I’m not sure why it took me so long when it has been on this site for almost 5 months now. It was great! Thanks for sticking with it over the years of interviews

    Also, thanks for giving all the technical background behind the scenes. I’m from a recording background and a self proclaimed ‘gear head’ so I always find it interesting what technology people find themselves using for self expression. I’m also excited to see that you used the HHB portadisc. I’ve just recently ordered one of my own and can’t wait to have some fun with it!

  • Miguel Macias

    7.10.05

    Reply
    Re:latecomer

    Thanks Daniel!

    It is absolutely great to see that some are still listening to the piece after all this time. And yes… I am quite preoccupied with the technical gear. I’ve bought some new device, software ad instruments lately that I’ll be using in my next project.
    Thanks again!

    Miguel

  • l1xxladyy

    12.16.05

    Reply
    stay wit him or break up?

    well here’s the thing me n ma bf is going out for 2 months now n when we first began it was great
    ! like we were kinda shy n w.e but i was realli in love i had 2 ex’s but i didn’t realli like them .anywayz as the day gets longer n longer the more he ignores me not like ignore but like he doesn’t come up to me n say hi or like when we see each other in the ha;ll he doens’t like stop and say hi but now he jus walks past n jus stares at me n some ppl said he dones’t like me cuz he told them n w.e n some of them jus told me its rumomrs so i ask him maself n he said he does still love him but i didn’t ask him then yy aren’t u talking to me n w.e now one of ma freidn is FORCING me to break up wit him cuz he isnt realkli doing ANYTHING ;like he’s not even trying. i jus dont haf any one to talk to so i realli need some help=[ i don’t noe wut i should do should i break up or stay wit him?

  • l1xxladyy

    12.16.05

    Reply
    should i break up wit him or stay wit him

    me n ma boyfriend is going out for 2 months n i realli like him but ever since now he stoped talkign to me n like all he does is stare at me now n he doensn’t even tlka to me now like not even a hi it’s always me thats haf to tlka to him like if i don’t then we don’t even talk ar ALL so wut do u guys think i shuld do?

  • Iulian Muresan

    2.16.06

    Reply
    a fine job

    I enjoyed listening to this piece. I liked it. The idea of illustrating it with your own music is great when you have the capability to do so. I loved the old man in the piece. Perhaps I would have liked to hear more aged persons. The majority, I guess, are, you know, "active" population in their 30s or 40s. Anyway the old man brings a very refreshing perspective, without the intricacies of the modern mind and all. It’s a fine piece of work. And I think you can relate to those instances of love you’ve experienced, in your life. It’s almost impossible not to find one such in the piece.

  • Miguel Macias

    2.22.06

    Reply
    Re: a fine job

    Hi Lulian,

    Thanks for your comment!
    Many folks loved the old man. And yes, he offers a very refreshing perspective that in my opinion, might be pretty close to the way relationships work. He sees them as a matter of decision. You decide to stay with someone and that’s it… it might sound a little anti-romantic but in fact… it might be one of the most romantic approaches we could imagine. After all, this approach consists in having an enormous amount of faith in a relationship and deciding that both in the couple, are going to make it work, no matter what happens.

    Miguel

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