To stay creative, one must create. Such a statement seems obvious, but few people abide by it. All too often, artists fail to work when they’re not inspired, ignoring the fact that inspiration is more often the product of inactivity than of inertia. Write something every day, the experts say, even when you don’t feel like writing. Marcus Fischer understands this lesson well, and has taken it to heart. His Dust Breeding blog documents efforts to create one piece of art a day for an entire year: photographs, illustration, music, videos, even sewing. After perusing it all, M. Ostermeier chose the best of the music for Collected Dust; Fisher re-worked Ostermeier’s picks, then lent the tracks to Taylor Deupree (with whom he last collaborated on last year’s languid In a Place of Such Graceful Shapes) for mastering.
Collected Dust is a fine name for the project, as dust is a slowly accumulating collection of particles whose origins can include anything from space debris to human skin. Dust is intensely personal, although it bears an impersonal air; and it tends not to be noticed until there’s a lot of it in one place. The tracks on Collected Dust even sound like dust: little particles of music, slowly descending through a sunbeam in the light of late afternoon. Tiny additions – muffled conversation in “nearly there”, subdued static and the sound of what might be a film reel on “halfway to six” – add to the sense of suspension. This may be music for drifting, but it’s not inactive; it simply takes place in very low gravity. The album’s peculiar irony is it required a high level of activity to create. It’s the sound of rest, stemming from a body in motion. (Richard Allen)