When I shared the sad news about Damian’s passing with Randy Greif, he emailed me this and asked me to share it.
I don’t remember the exact circumstances I first met Damian… it was more than a couple of decades ago, during his days with Points of Friction and the beginning of his releases on cassette under the name of Agog.
I do remember how impressed I was with both his audio work and his elaborate packaging (which were works of art unto themselves).
When he showed me his collages, I immediately knew that I would love to have some on the covers of my own releases, and was happy and honored that he agreed to allow that. I used two of them that were already in existence for the covers of Bacteria and Gravity (the LP on RRR) and Shadowtraders (the cassette on my own label). For the cover of the Fragment 56 CD (which Dan Burke collaborated on), I got to watch alongside of Damian as it was pieced to together especially for the release. He was so meticulous, creating a beautiful image I was quite proud to have.
Damian’s own cassette releases stood out from the crowd with their attention to detail and subtlety. I was regularly asking him when the next would come out, but he explained that it took him well over a year, as he would endlessly be re-working it– not one to be satisfied with his own work easily. His attention, of course, was apparent when listening to his amazing work. We talked about collaborating on a project, and finally got around to it. Damian brought to my place strange and lovely instruments he put together to get unique sounds. I remember one was a type of auto-harp, but played with the blades of a small, hand-held electric fan. (Beautiful!)
We recorded several hours of improvising onto DAT, and the results were often more than intriguing. The idea was to edit that and re-mix it for a release, but sadly, we each got distracted with other events in our lives and we never got around to it.
The last time I ran into Damian was a few years back at Amoeba Records after a Nurse With Wound performance. He seemed energetic and enthusiastic, and we once again talked about getting together to do some music. Like so many casual plans, it fell by the wayside for a later time. Now there’s no more “later time”. I think I’ll dig up that old DAT and give it a listen. Maybe it’s time to edit and remix it, but without Damian’s input it certainly won’t be the same.