To avoid hearing lyrics, among other reasons, I've been listening to mostly classical music — while writing, drawing, doing other things — since 2014. In Trip
, I mention listening to a selection of Chopin etudes by Ann Schein while on a bus going toward Occidental to meet and take a plant-drawing class with Kathleen Harrison. Recently, I've been enjoying a playlist I made of the slow, second movements of eight of Beethoven's ten violin and piano sonatas, which he wrote from 1798 to 1812. I will list them and say what they make me think in terms of Trip
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3, second movement
This seems good to listen to while examining the cover of Trip
, which is a mandala I drew and mailed to my editor in 2015 for possible use in a different project. It was his idea to tint it blue like my Twitter avatar, and I like it a lot.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 4, second movement
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There's a faint zaniness to this, which could work well while reading about DMT in Chapter Five of my book, which I think can be read out of order, because I worked on each chapter as if it were a short story in a story collection, as well as a chapter in a book.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 5, second movement
This is the slowest so far. It makes me think of my book's cannabis chapter, maybe because this sonata is known as "Spring" and I associate spring with green and green with cannabis.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 6, second movement
This reminds me of my girlfriend, whom I began seeing last year. In Trip
’s epilogue — a narrative about my July 2016 visit to Kathleen Harrison and Finn and Klea McKenna, her children with Terence McKenna — I share that I hadn’t had sex or kissed anyone in almost three years.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 7, second movement
This one seems tragic to me, for some reason, but in an inspiring, hopeful way. It reminds me of in Trip
when I say that aboriginals spread psychedelics to modern people in the 1950s and 1960s, as modern people began to spread pesticides everywhere.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 8, second movement
This one seems productive to me, like it could help one be more productive. It reminds me of Trip
generally, since I was productive while writing and editing it, working, as I specify in the book, 6-13 hours a day, around 97 percent of days, for 17 months.
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9, second movement
This is by far the longest second movement of Beethoven's violin and piano sonatas. My book's longest chapter is the epilogue, which is approximately 19,000 words and like a novella. The second longest is the DMT chapter, which is approximately 11,500 words. I enjoyed writing a range of chapter lengths in Trip
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 10, second movement
This one reminds me of sleep and being tired. Which reminds me of Trip
's epilogue's epigraph, a quote from “Tao as the Great Mother and the Influence of Motherly Love in the Shaping of Chinese Philosophy,” a 1974 essay by Ellen Marie Chen: "In Taoism, rest is a mere preparation for activity, and death is but one stage in the transformation of Life."
÷ ÷ ÷
is the author of the novels Taipei
, Richard Yates
, and Eeeee Eee Eeee
, the novella Shoplifting From American Apparel
, the story collection Bed
, and the poetry collections Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
and You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am
. He is the founder and editor of the literary press Muumuu House. His work has been translated into 12 languages and he lives in Manhattan.