Number 2

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I built Number 2 in February 2008, shortly after returning from Costa Rica to the rigors of a 10 day east-coast tour alongside Ayako Kataoka, Ami Dang, Doron Sadja and Zeljko McMullen. Generally speaking, I was exhausted, broke and in search of something to do for a few weeks between filling out job applications in the general malaise encountered in the grayest depths of an Upstate New York winter. Admittedly somewhat dumbstruck by my success in cobbling together Number 1, I decided to set out to make something with the same internal circuitry, but a little more travel-friendly, with a very specific flair. Based off a series of conversations I had had with Ami about performance and aesthetics while on the road, I decided to hack something together that was not only unique, but also, exclusively Amish, if you pardon the pun. Coincidentally, while I was in Costa Rica, I’d picked up a pretty fancy hand-carved jewelery box and had a bundle of components left over from my previous experiments – all said it seemed only natural that I put the two together. Which is exactly what I did over the course of a month or so, working slowly in my spare time, allowing creative construction to cure the frustration encountered while trying to navigate the frail economy of the Hudson River Valley. What was interesting, however, was what this project offered along the lines of providing a different perspective to the region I grew up in. I left home almost immediately after high school and never really returned other than holidays or the occasional long weekend for almost 7 years, with most of my time back in the valley spent almost exclusively at my parents’ house, decompressing and avoiding just about everything on the outside. Imagine now trying to navigate the same region as a professional – looking for sources of electronics, paints, building supplies and bargains – in many ways, I felt like I was new to the area, in spite of the fact that I’d spent a good chunk of my life. Disorienting, to say the least. I delivered the box a few weeks after completion, making the drop in the parking lot of the Elizabeth, NJ. Ikea – surprisingly, even though Ami and I have seen each other numerous times since said Swedish meatball-addled excursion, I’ve yet to garner any recordings from it – I should probably get on that, yeah?