The SF LP marks a big step for me. The idea of it led to the first "ART, COMPASSION, HUMANITY" event I put on in San Francisco to raise money for the work in Haiti. Here's how it started... I'd recently done a project called JULYfor which I'd made all the tracks and then mixed them live and played a synthesizer throughout. I was digging this approach because it gave room for improvisation and new things were able to happen each time I mixed the tracks. During that same time, I'd put together a project "A Window to the World" that employed all 12 keys and cycled through each tracked via the circle of 5th's. It was mainly beats and I did eventually bounce those tracks, but never did anything with them. It was the idea that mattered.
One night I woke up around 2:30 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I pulled out my notebook and started writing. Many of the ideas that have guided my life have happened this way. I devised a plan to do a record with 12 tracks (1 in each key) and then create 12 corresponding videos of people walking around San Francisco like this one:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ducIh4JFSZs I'd started going out to film videos like this because I wanted to get back to creating videos, but I had no idea as to what they'd be about. I had been an intern at Hyde Street Studios earlier that year and would always enjoy the endless stream of interesting individuals that line the streets on any given day in the city. In addition to the videos, I hit the streets with a Tascam recorder and collected as many cool sounds and ambiences as I could find. On a previous project, RUNNING IN STREET CLOTHES, my good friend and Mitch and I had hit the city and gathered sounds and it was a blast. It really brought that project full circle and I wanted to explore the process more.
Then one day I was in my room where the music making happened and plugged in an extra pair of speakers to my interface, making 4 in total. I'd listen to music this way and liked the experience. While doing some live mixing, I realized I could route individual tracks out of individual speakers and the possibility of quadrophonic sound bloomed in my mind. I took the tracks I'd composed for this record and split up the individual parts to be routable to their own speakers. After a while, it occurred to me that for people to experience the record that way I'd have to play it in a space that enabled the use of four speakers. I drew things out on paper and started planning out an event that would take place in a gallery space in the city. I was working full-time at a restaurant, SIDEBOARD, in Lafayette, CA and so was able to fund the project. Then one day in the city, I spoke to my friend Adam and he suggested I make the event a fundraiser for Haiti. Shortly after I asked one of the owners of the Sideboard, Ford, what advice he had for someone trying to start their own business. He said, "Stick to the Heart of the Business". I asked myself, "What is the heart of Bob Rabbit?" I jotted down 3 words on the back of a receipt: ART, COMPASSION, HUMANITY. Those words became the name of the event and have been a guiding force me ever since.
After finishing the composition of the project, I booked a session at Hyde Street Studios in the city and laid down one take all the way through. PJ flew out there from Arizona and my friend Arman cruised through also. My sister, Elli, and her boyfriend at the time, Mitch, came by too. Will Chason engineered the session and it was the first of many we've done together since. It was a great time and the tracks sounded just like I wanted them too. We went back and did a bit more mixing afterwards, but pretty much no editing, a decision which upon looking back at, could have been different, but hey, what's a man going to do? The event took place in November and went about as well as I could ever imagine.
On the cover of the project is a photo I took with a disposable camera of my friend Matilda. We'd had very intense and strange relationship my last year of Arizona and a lot of things went unanswered by the time our times ended there. I was in a real anxious and difficult time in those days. I'd decided to go without any drugs or alcohol half through my senior year and the recoil from years of depending on them to tamp down my nervous system was heavy to say the least. We'd met outside a political science class at the start of the year. The teacher had us each say what we liked most about Tucson and I said, "the mountains and how they are always there". She said she was an exchange student and didn't know much about the place. Her Australian accent was thick and she was beautiful and I just had to go say hello after class. I did and we walked for a bit, and there was another girl there too who was pretty goofy. The three of us chatted for a bit and then went our separate ways. The next class and all that followed she was absent. I remember seeing her outside Starbucks a couple months later but just recognized her as the Aussie from the class and shirked the opportunity to say hi. Then a couple more months later I saw her at Frat pool party and we hit it off. I got her number. She put Matti Aussie down as the contact. I messaged her a couple days later was stoked when she messaged back. Then one day I saw her walk into the classroom next to mine and I decided to go say hi and inform her that we had a table at some new club the next night and that she should go by if she was going out. The next night she did and we had a couple drinks and then ended making out at the bar. It seemed like she almost lunged at my face, which was awesome! We spent the night together and linked up a few more times after that. I fell completely in love with her. She was one of the coolest and most beautiful girls I've ever met and carried herself in a way I'd never seen; like she had already lived an entire lifetime on Earth. It was wonderful. I saw that Alt J was coming to town and raced around to buy 2 tickets so that we could go together. I was broke as fuck but wanted to make it happen. I got the tickets and then while sitting at the bank, I got a message from her about how she had a guy she was seeing in Australia and he was going to be visiting in a week and would be staying with her. It completely crushed me and I started going off the deep end. A few weeks went by and we ended up going to the Alt J show. I got shitfaced and then afterwards Matilda and her friend to some party. I went home and continued drinking until the morning time. I remember crying on the couch and my friend Jack giving me hug. I was broken. We remained friends but I was trapped in thinking that we were more than friends. It was love addiction at its finest. It carried on for a few months until finally i asked if we were only friends and got confirmation. I didn't see her much after that. I was so mind fucked by the whole thing and needed space. She was going through shit too. She talked about problems she had with her brain and after getting beat up on a city bus one day, they all seemed to come back in full force. She was in the hospital a lot towards the end of the school year and I wanted so bad to bring her flowers but never did. I didn't get to see her before she left for Australia. I'm not sure if it did anything, but I used to meditate and pray to God for her brain to be healed. I've got no reason to doubt it didn't help.
We remained in touch after school and she even sent me a very wonderful care package full of meaningful things and a wonderful letter. I was ecstatic when it arrived and sent a package back a few weeks later that contained Gandhi's book "On Non Violence". It eventually made its way all the way to Adelaide. One night I was having a real rough go of things and she sent me the template for what became the "Rabbit Notes" practice I continue to this day. I went on tour playing music and half way through she emailed me a reflection she wrote on her time in the US and it warmed my heart and settled my mind to find out that she too had caught the love bug and that our time together was significant. It meant a lot to me because, to be honest, if none of that was real, I wasn't sure what was. Luckily, while I was tripping out most of the time, I was completely off the grid of reality.
About 6 months after that she visited California to be with a friend and made a stop in San Francisco. I picked her up in my 1999 Toyota Corolla at her Air B & B and we grabbed a coffee at 4 Barrel in the Mission. It was a wonderful time and afterwards we walked over to Dolores park and talked about that time in our lives and cleared the air. I think it was wonderfully cathartic for both of us and cleared the air of tension that existed for too long. It's crucial to communicate with people. I'm not too good at it, but have gotten better each year of my life. We went to the Embarcadero next to meet her friend and grab a few beers. After parking I took this picture of her. Beers were nice, we said goodbye, and then I went to record store and grabbed a few LPs I ended up sampling for the record. I chose to use that photo as the cover because it captured what it was all about: growing up and resolving past experiences that hurt, communicating and overcoming the fears of what the truth might bring, reconciliation and restoration of life. She wrote on my notepad that "Time will always come back to you..." and a few more words. I still have yet to understand what that means. I've had glimpses and I think its akin to something "There is no need to rush" or "Take your time", but it seems to change in meaning all the time. Maybe that's what it means. Well, onward we go down the path of discovery!
THE WHY UNDERPINNING ALL THINGS BOB RABBIT: HELP AN ORPHANAGE IN HAITI PROVIDE KIDS WITH FOOD, WATER, SHELTER, HEALTHCARE, AND EDUCATION.