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  • See beneath the surface. My daughter and her guitar

    December 09, 2020 2 min read

    See beneath the surface.

    See Beneath the Surface

    When I first wrote that line, I was thinking about the augmented reality in the designs I create. The messages hidden in the work are mantras to make someone feel better about themselves.

    I want No_System to be life-giving, whether that's through amusement or meaning. As I've continued to dig into the core of the idea, I continue to discover that every phrase has a second meaning.

    Seeing beneath the surface can also mean introspection. If we peer below, we can start to better understand someone's why and how someone arrived where they are. I started creating this body of work because I contemplated what I would design for my daughters if they were adults. They're at the core of everything I make.

    The genesis of today's song started with a cheap, pink guitar. As kids with birthday money are wont to do, they spend. This summer, my older daughter decided that it was time for a guitar that was a better size for her, and she used the money she'd saved up to buy an inexpensive offering from Amazon.

    I found myself toying with it one afternoon and started doodling the song's melody. The guitar didn't strum very well, so I quickly found myself plucking notes. I recorded the part into my phone (so that I wouldn't forget it) and named it "Eleanor's Guitar."

    Daughter and I eating ice cream in Stillwater, MN

    One of the best and worst parts about social media has been its habit of reminding you of the past. A month or so after I recorded the guitar part, I saw a memory of a time we'd taken our older daughter to get ice cream in Stillwater, MN.

    My mom was in hospice at the time, and we'd raced to get up there so that we could say goodbye. I started to think about Eleanor's guitar, and the lyrics began to spill out. My mom recorded a couple of Hallmark books for the kids before she passed away. I realized that I could sample them and almost collaborate with my mom... bring her back to life. Eleanor mostly has only ever heard her voice in a book.

    So, see beneath the surface. This song points a little bit more towards the things that make me tick. It's also an example of the type of thing I hope to live up to with No_System. Also, it's a little Christmas-ey while being hopeful and sad at the same time. I'd say that's on-brand.





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