Thank you for visiting Polyester City, a labor of love several years in the making. If it’s late at night or early in the morning, I’m probably writing, recording, designing, and typing away.
I’m Peter Blasevick, a long-time musician, composer, writer, and artist. I’m also the Archivist at the historic Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ. Attics and basements, dusty artifacts, old books and documents, never-ending spreadsheets, and 90% of the time spent alone. My perfect gig.
So, what’s Polyester City? A weekly-or-so dive into original music and art, with some storytelling sprinkled in. Each episode will include one beat and the work of art that inspired it; some notes about both; and random thoughts about whatever may be on my mind.
I hope you enjoy my music and musings.
I’ll be deconstructing the writing and recording process of each week’s beat, giving a peek into the process. A few general notes:
I usually refer to the music as beats [vs. songs, compositions, etc.] since the short format and overall vibe are informed by the modern bedroom-beat-making culture.
The beats are concise. Most are under 2 minutes.
I am heavily influenced by short story writers, and I see these beats as little stories: a main theme and sometimes a quick contrasting section, but never extensive subplots.
My beats are little slices in time: a friend likened them to the area-specific music you hear in different locations of an RPG. That works.
My musical influences are all over the place, from Aaron Copeland to Warren Zevon. Pop, jazz, classical, hip-hop, show tunes, whatever. It’s all wonderfully vital.
I apologize in advance for when I get a little in-the-weeds about production or music theory.
What is this art I am making here?
First, it is definitely reductive, so I figure it makes sense to call these pieces “reductions”.
Second, it is founded in two very different places:
A survey of great works of art throughout history, from cave paintings to Banksy.
Pop art from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s.
I have true love and awed admiration for the visual arts. It's different than my love of music, though. Unlike music, I don't REALLY understand what's going on.
It's more along the lines of my appreciation for literature: I love it, and I think I know when it's great, but I'm no expert.
So, I start with a beautiful masterpiece, take the subjects, the composition, the colors, and strip it all down. Desecrate it, in other words. All in the name of trying to figure it out so I can write music for it.
Basically, if you could take any amazing work of art and imagine it having been painted with squares and rectangles by the cats who designed early Blue Note album covers, you pretty much have what I'm doing here.
There is a time and a place for grand, involved works of art—symphonies, great novels and biographies, enormous paintings or murals—but generally speaking, I find that so much of the time I am digging down to try and get to the very essence of something in order to understand it.
I guess that is what I am doing here by composing these short pieces of music, reducing these great works of art to right angles, and spouting off a couple of sentences on random topics. I’m just trying to get down to the most essential, critical building blocks of art, and life I suppose.
Which are basically the same thing I think?
I very much hope you enjoy. Please click below to subscribe, and then listen, read, comment on things, and reply to the newsletters to email me anything you want. (Including art suggestions.)