Tag Archives: Shake This Maze

Snapshots From the Collective

Secretary by Peter Muller

“Fuck the secretary I Don Drape that shit.”

Somebody in Madrid feels the same way.

 

 

Reflection and Response.

The Snapshots From the Collective series works to create a space for Reflection and Response through photography. ANYone who wants to contribute ANY photos to this project can email us submissions at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com. One photo will be posted each week, and photos will only be used for the purposes of this series. Thank you and we look forward to building and expanding the Collective!!! -P & V

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The Evolution of a Performance: Peter Muller Live in León

Tonight I’m playing a show in León, España at my guy Fran’s Bar Agustín. The name of the event is The Crazy Peters Present ModBlues. ModBlues standards for Modern Blues, because the bar plays this kind of music we had to cater the name a little bit to the audience. I’m not sure if Acoustic/Electric Singer-songwriter hip hop would really work in this case.

The comic together of this show represents the power of community and support in the León music scene. After arriving too late to play at the open mic at the Gran Cafe, my singer friend Mary and I ended up at our friend Fran’s joint, the Bar Agustín. Mary asked me if I’d like to play some tunes for both of them. After jamming through The City and some other tracks Agustín asked if I’d be down to play a show at the bar the following Monday.

Fran then talked to a friend who used to play in one of the first punk bands in León and he  made up the event poster:

I then spent the next few afternoons practicing with Mary who has a killer voice on her roof overlooking Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral:

Next Fran talked to other local business owners and put up some posters around León’s Barrio Humido. This poster is at a local favorite spot known affectionately as “Lo de Patri,”:

Finally Fran reached out to my dude Jota who is the lead singer of Los Platillos Volantes and Jota agreed to lend me and Mary a PA system that his band uses. I will be playing music mostly from Shake This Maze and the Radio Leon Broadcasts.

From the idea of the show, to the artists involved, venue, promotion, equipment, and rehearsals  this is a Collective effort and demonstrates the power of the Leon Musical Community.

I’d like to thank all those involved and see you tonight Live! at Bar Agustín in León!

Reflection and Response

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Shake This Maze: Tools of the Trade VIDEO

It’s been a long time comin, but today marks the release of our Shake This Maze Tools of the Trade VIDEO!! With this project we have taken our Patchwork audio-visual collaboration approach and applied it to itself.

The video content was filmed throughout the process of handcrafting the album cases for Shake This Maze. This documents the stages of cutting, stenciling, writing, folding, gluing, and packaging that went into bringing the 100 physical copies of STM to life.

Meanwhile, about a month ago, P brought out a couple of creative remixes that he based off of various tracks from the album. One of these remixes appears in the soundtrack of the video, along with a few other cuts from the album.

From the Leon studio to the Brooklyn workbench, from music to art, the Tools of the Trade Video sees the Patchwork process double down on itself and spin out through film.

This is a LIFESTYLE studios production.

Shake This Maze: Tools of the Trade from the LIFESTYLE on Vimeo.

Here’s an additional link for YouTube.

Much love to yall for the support!

Reflection and Response.

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Radio Leon #1

Radio Leon is a summer project. For the months of July and August I will be working a bilingual summer camp in the small Spanish town of Robledo de Fenar. I’ve brought some of my equipment from Madrid including my laptop, Akai MPK Mini, Novation Launchpad, Mics, Apogee One Interface, and acoustic guitar. On my days off I’ll be putting together a Broadcast of various projects I’ve been working on and release an episode every two weeks. Some of the pieces I’ll be putting up include Looping, Acoustic Guitar pieces, Shake This Maze Live From the Studio, and some special surprises. Along with the audio, I’ll release Tools of the Trade pictures and various Snapshots documenting the process and places that make up Radio Leon. I also hope to have some interviews with local DJ’s and people from the area. Tune in and check the RR coming straight out of Robledo de Fenar, España.

“I’m currently sitting on an overturned bulldozer head…”

-Reflection and Response.

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Photo Flows STM

Whatup! Upon receiving the Shake This Maze Second Edition in Madrid I found a surprise in the package. V’s printer started to lose ink while printing LS photos that come with each edition of Shake This Maze. Inside of an envelope I found 4 of these unique prints with various lyrics from songs throughout the album written on them to tell a story of STM in the form of a montage. V’s use of seemingly useless materials was a dope way to create from found materials.

And as all else slept and tired of that bass/In it’s beautiful hum I found a place…That’s the power that’s behind the lines I spit/ Hard to catch like a line drive hard hit….So if it wasn’t for this pen and this pad and this beat/ I would have been as mad as I was sad at seventeen…Give some reason to the path under our feet…So many piles of poo/ Cover the ground defiles the truth/ It took a while for me to see the meek inside your cool…In a one man room playing the blues getting pennies in this straw hat…Now it dawns on me the futility/ of passing judgement on other societies..This night this night this night it wears on/ Know I should sleep but the time to care is gone..SHAKE THIS MAZE TO THE CORE WITH THESE CHORDS AND VERSES…So here we are the scars are shown? And it feels so nice to be finally home…The city’s a lonely thing when it’s only you living.. Search for the spark to start this shit flaming/ Burn the house of cards down all in and sick of playing/ Then flip the table over all the chips fall down/ Return to the night before the dawn clouds..

-Live from Comillas, Cantabria, España.

Reflection and Response

-P

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Shake This Maze: The Whereabouts of the “Gold Banner” 2nd Edition

Once again, thank you all for the consistent support for Shake This Maze: The Album from day one!! Like we outlined for the fifty 1st Edition units, the following map now shows the whereabouts of the “Gold Banner” 2nd Edition units thus far…

We’ve only got 2 available copies left in the States, and a handful left for global distribution from P based out of Spain.

If interested in supporting this project and getting a hold of one of the remaining copies, find purchase info here. This is the final pressing for Shake This Maze, new projects are now on the DOCKS, so stay dialed in!!

Thanks again yall! One Love!

Music by Peter Muller | Art by Vicken Donikian

Reflection and Response.

P & V.

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Shake This Maze Remixes

First of all, we are GRATEFUL for the support with Shake This Maze Second Edition!! We still have copies left but many of you have  helped build this project into a successful reality. Soon we will be posting a behind-the-scenes VIDEO of V’s Craft in the making of the albums by hand in Brooklyn.

The soundtrack of the piece will include some remixes of Shake This Maze tracks.

The first one is called He’s So Jade and contains elements from He’s Your Guy and Jade Eyes.

Elements are from

He’s Your Guy

Jade Eyes

Our second Shake This Maze remix is called Spark Job Stab

Elements are from

Spark This Shit Flaming

This Job

Stab

Be on the lookout for the video dropping SOON!

Reflection and Response

-P

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SHAKE THIS MAZE, 2nd Edition

Shake This Maze

An important idea of the album comes from the title track:

Shake this maze to the core with these chords and verses/ Mix genres like cops, johns, whores, and virgins/ Turn the source of hurting into a sense of pride/ Find the gold on the shipwrecks of life.

Music for me has been a main source of Reflection and Response, and the tracks on this album are just that: Reflections on everyday experience. This release is an ultimate Response.

– Peter Muller

WELCOME to the release of the 2nd edition of Peter Muller’s debut album, Shake This Maze. Original music, independently produced and recorded. Original album artwork, individually handcrafted. 50 hand numbered units.

We wanted to release a 2nd edition of Shake This Maze as a continuation of our collaborative project. The gold banner cover design gives new character to the same musical content as the original edition.

The re-crafting of the album has been a dope experience, and in the upcoming weeks we’ll be releasing some “Making Of…” documentation of the process in various forms of media. Stay dialed in!

**The Golden Ticket** Each album comes with a few goods in the inside left pocket, behind the tracklist. We’ve included: 1) A “the LIFESTYLE” or “Reflection and Response” sticker, 2) A “Peter Muller” logo flyer, and 3) A “the LIFESTYLE: Reflection and Response” banner photo. One of the 50 units includes The Golden Ticket – a banner photo with NO blue pigment!! If the banner photo in your collection of goods has a color-less sky, hit us up!! A custom handwritten parchment scroll of lyrics from your favorite track off the album will come your way..

Check our narratives about the creative process from the original release a couple months ago:

The Music:

Shake This Maze is a project that started sometime around 2009 in Buenos Aires when I decided to get back into writing more personal lyrics. During this time I had the good fortune to be able to work with talented musicians both inside and outside of the city of Buenos Aires. Conversations about life in Buenos Aires can be heard on “The Villa,” which was recorded in Villa Carraza, a low-income area outside of the city. While in Argentina I also work with a woman with an amazing voice whose version of “The City,” brought out such soulful tones in the track.

After moving back to Seattle to finish school at the University of Washington I formed a group called 55thandBrooklyn, and tracks such as “Past That,” “Wake Up,” “He’s Your Guy,” and “The Christmas Song,” were part of the live set of 55th later performed live around Seattle at venues such as Fourno’s, Lucid, and Waid’s in early 2011. After graduation in March 2011, I got a job at Duke’s Chowder house, a Seattle seafood chain restaurant. The members of 55th had gone their separate ways and I focused on solo lyrics accompanied by acoustic guitar. Experiences from Seattle during this period crafted through this type arrangement can be heard on “This job,” “Making Spaces,” and “Jade Eyes.” Final recording of these later tracks was done in two different apartment studios in Madrid, Spain.

The final two tracks of the album were projects begun years before I even left for college. “Livin on the West Coast” comes from the P.Muller and Sneaky V days of 2002-2006 when V and I first started messing with composition and arranging music with Garage Band in Berkeley. In  “Spark This Shit Flaming” I used a beat from Seattle that samples me playing drums from my parents basement in 2003.Then in Spain I wrote the lyrics and recorded and mastered the track.

I started out using Logic Express 8 in Argentina and finished up with Ableton Suite 8. I have used the same Apogee one interface and MXL V88 mic for 3 years.

While the tracks mostly come from me, this project is 100% collaboration between V and I. If it weren’t for his idea to start this project, there’d be no album. If it weren’t for his craftsmanship, the tracks would have no presentation.

-P.

The Artwork:

The making of the album artwork was a handcrafted process involving 6 stages and multiple mediums. We started by ordering 50 blank recycled chipboard album covers and some CD sleeves from the good folks over at Stumptown Printers, and Shake This Maze was soon on its way…

1. Cover Art, Part 1: Acrylic paint stencil

I started the cover art by cutting a stencil of the “PM” logo that I had created for Peter about a month ago. An old-school classic stencil made from the basics: a manila folder and an exacto blade. Using red acrylic paint and a brush, I hand stenciled this first layer on the units.

2. Cover Art, Part 2: India ink stencil

Next, I cut another stencil of the lettering I drew up for the album title, Shake This Maze. Using india ink and a brush, I centered this second layer over the red “PM” backdrop.

3. Back Cover

For the back cover (not pictured) I hand-wrote some credits with a Pigma Micron #8 pen..

4. Tracklist

Moving on to the tracklists, I used a Pigma Brush pen to write the song titles. I also marked each unit with a 1/50, 2/50….49/50, 50/50.. on the right inside cover. It would be dope to see where all of these end up, so hit us up with the whereabouts.. we might have to set up a map to keep track!

5. CD Labels

I printed the “PM” logo and the “Shake This Maze” lettering on Brown Kraft CD Labels, which we then threw on each CD..

6. Assembly

Finally, using a hot glue gun, I folded and assembled each case. Look for more goods in the inside left pocket too!!

This was a dope collaborative project to work on, and it’s amazing how each album case turns out to be unique in some way – whether it’s slightly different placement of the cover lettering stencils, or the individually numbered inside pocket…they all have their own vibe and character! I think this handcrafted approach is the only fitting way to showcase Peter’s original, honest, and raw creative talent. Reflection and Response.

V.

In order to purchase the album:

Directly from Peter in Madrid at upcoming shows, album release parties, open mics, other events, or contact P at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com

Directly from Vicken in the New York City area or contact V at the.lifestyle.rr@gmail.com

Online store for orders not in Madrid or New York City…

Shake This Maze USA:

Buy Now USA

Shake This Maze Europa:

Buy Now Europa

8€ for European orders and $10 for orders in the United States. All other currencies accepted.

This is the end of the beginning. Our first collaborative product, and it’s been a raw and inspiring experience expanding our craft with you. Thank you all for the love and support!! We’re looking forward to building off this project as we move forward!

Reflection and Response.

P & V.

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Shake This Maze, 2nd Edition Pre-Release

Shake This Maze, 2nd edition. A couple months ago, we released the “First 50” units of Peter’s debut album, independently recorded, with back-to-the-basics handcrafted artwork. The second edition features another set of 50 individually numbered albums, with a new gold-anchored cover design.

We wanted to release a 2nd edition of Shake This Maze as a continuation of our collaborative project. Vicken takes the feel of the collaboration to a different level with the gold banner, which gives new character to the same musical content as the original edition.

This is the end of the beginning. Our first collaborative product, and it’s been a raw experience expanding our craft with you. Thank you all for the love and support!! We’re looking forward to building off this project as we move forward!

Stay tuned for the upcoming release of Shake This Maze, 2nd edition!!

Reflection and Response.

P & V.

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