Art in the Making

Inside the Belly

It's Indian summer in the northern reaches of Alberta. The sun doesn't set until most have found their way to sleep. Gentle, dry breezes wind their way across the Canadian prairie then the splash onto the foothills of the Rockies. It is here that Situation Tranquil has reconvened. This time to record tracks for yet another album, tentativly entitled "Free to Slave. Pt1".

Situated in a remote recording studio 16 miles south southwest from the town of Moosenose, ST is applying their craft with brute authority. Once a fruit cellar, ST has transformed this space into a high tech center for aural transformations. The acoustics specifically designed by a trained team of Stanford educated scientists: nothing is left to chance. The electronic equipment is enough to make NASA drool.

Entering this subterranean shrine to modern man's desire to control sound, one is immediately struck with the feeling of calm and grace. Tears begin to run down my right cheek. I sense the presence of true greatness, genius, if you will. An overwhelming feeling of smallness take me and run me through a series of self loathing tests. My life, so meaningless is now decorated with this moment. I take in voraciously through all of my senses. The sights, smells, sounds. Before me is a massive sound board, lights, faders, buttons. Each has their calling as a tool, a means to an end. That end being unbridled, passionate tunage.

Like a ship's captain sound engineer Roy Saladin barks orders to his assistant, merely known as "Sader". The middle aged albino moves quickly to satisfy his superior. Behind thick, smoke-tinted glass only silhouettes, human forms are visible. To the right, a drum kit, separated by a sound wall from the others. To the left, a keyboard, a sandy haired man dressed in a silk jump suit hunches over his ivory keys. Eyes closed, he occasionally glances to the others, but only for an instant. Soft shafts of light separate the room into smaller spaces. There in the far corner is a man, he stands with guitar slung across his chest. To his side is a quieted lawn mower. Perhaps a relic of past lawn care adventures. His fingers explore the strings of the instrument with severe precision. In the other far corner a large balding fellow sits cross-legged over a pair of bongos. In his Kurtz-like posture he gazes upward as his hands syncopate via the skins of animals once sacrificed for the sound.

Yet in this scene all attention is somehow lured, yes drawn, toward its center. It is from there that all commands, all energy seems to originate. Barefoot, tanned, wearing tattered, well traveled jeans and a form fitted bodyglove maroon athletic shirt this one is unquestionably 'the leader'. An unspoken language seems to drift through the room. No words, just nods, glances, and the occasional third base coach inspired series of gestures, signal each his task.

Yes this is KF Nibla engaged in the composition of true art with his longtime band mates, James Rodney Beach, Dr. Maurice G. Trash, Ennos 'Toro' Hair, and the artist formerly known as Markus K. Elman. 24 years of professional fine tuning has this group in a place few rockers have ever treaded. Perfection is a rarely accomplished goal, yet for these men it is the norm.

From the hidden control room speakers the sound dances through the air. It strikes my ear with a clarity and vision rarely known to homo sapiens. Each moment builds upon the previous. Higher and higher the music seems to take me. Each moment redefining the term, 'awesome'. New elevations of sensations rattle like light sabers upon my cerebral cortex and down into my pleasure centers. There is no evidence of written music before these musicians. Their rehearsals seemed refined beyond all perfection. Can recording, no matter how dolbyized or digitized ever do honor to the moment? I say no way.

Minutes seem like hours, hours like seconds, days like nano seconds spilling over the time space continuum until I see my birth, my death, love, hate, space, God all mixed into a smell. Meaning, life, sex, evil, truth all mixed into elements before unknown...yet now celebrated.

Finally, as if it was always to be, the band takes time to pause. They move in unison. Time for a break. Their faces now crack into softness. Smiles, notes of relaxation spill across their expression. Some stand, other lean back soaking in the glow of a day well spent. An exit evolves into an entrance and soon before me stands the two prime architects of this mastery. KF Nibla and Dr. Phillip S. Trash.

"Hey. What's up?" Says KF.

"Yo Dude." Trash verbalizes without hints of reserve.

I am speechless in their presence. But my role demands interaction; probing questions.

"How do you do it?" I offer prior to even a formal introduction.

KF takes a second, closes his eyes, reopened them with pure focus, intense internal energy and offers, "It's what we do.....man"