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Drawing in Pen

by Nature's Neighbor

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    This deluxe edition Drawing in Pen CD is a 3 panel fold out with a matte finish that comes in a protective shrink wrap. It contains the disc and a seven page booklet filled with illustrations by Cheer Zhao, album credits and an essay written by Mike Walker which provides extra background information and insight on the album's creation. Originally released by TaiDuo Music in 2017.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Drawing in Pen via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 11 Nature's Neighbor releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Glass Album, Michael & The Whale [SINGLE], Live in Shimane, Walking Around, YM&TP Mk2, O t h e r s i d e, Wind City Airport, Ur, and 3 more. , and , .

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i'd like to draw a picture please Don't mess up the mixture i'm going full chameleon whats that up on the ceiling? i'd like to know now who the fuck was that dude? man, life is such a crapshoot i'm wearing full regalia what did they try to sell ya? i'd like to know what are you looking for? where is your destiny? i want to see the world, take me with you i can't get out if there's a way i'd like to know i'm stuck inside the wired looking for Lain, i'm tired i saw her last Tuesday she flew off like a blue jay
day 72 i can't tell you how many times we've been through the same conversation please lay off the juice breaks your concentration 6 more times than 2 i can't take it 3 miles underground lies a military base we haven't found constantly we're searching ray cats glowing green what i wouldn't give to see a flowing stream i can make it understand you're mine you're the only human being left to find there aint no one else around this place for miles you can run but it may take you quite a while to escape me day 1005 i'm the only of my unit to survive had to bury all my brothers in the san far from home out in a foreign godless land please forgive me i'm in endless night been so long it seems i've lost all track of time only way to see my path is by the moon have a feeling that my journeys ending soon end transmission
我在这里走啊走 看看世界什么样 形形色色的人们 都和我擦肩而过 我走了长长的路 无论刮风或下雨 认识的人没很多 聊得来的有几个 一路上笑过哭过 疯疯癫癫不停休 爱人朋友在左右 喝点小酒真开心 早起海边看日出 傍晚阳台看星星 爬到山顶吹吹风 潜水听鱼儿说话 做我喜欢的事 听我喜欢的歌 生活可以很简单 丢掉不要的报复 带上轻松好心情 就可以出发上路 我在这里走啊走 看看世界什么样 形形色色的人们 都和我擦肩而过 做我喜欢的事 听我喜欢的歌
Djinn 02:59
another one i'm back again with another one up in the sky there's another son seems like you're blind so i brought it up get out of town when the thunder comes the rain and flood come to smother ya leave you with wounds to recover from out in the mud with the blood and guts there's no hesitation when the guillotine comes down pray for preservation but we choose to revel in the flashing lights and sounds savor the sensation another one something is coming and i wonder what ca't you hear the screams come from under us can't shake the feeling that somethings up ghost on the ceiling like what the fuck gnashing its teeth on some bubblegum burning the plebs at the country club now is the time you should up and run get up and run there's no hesitation when the guillotine comes down pray for preservation but we choose to revel in the flashing lights and sounds savor the sensation
Bursting 03:42
山海经 03:44
又东三十里遇见奇珍怪兽 我食下不死草与之搏斗 顿时力大无穷战胜它 西王母听闻我的聪慧勇敢 派青鸟请我来瑶池做客 赏美景 乐无穷 上西昆山看黄帝蚩尤之战 风雨交错女魃助战止水 她耗尽神力无法回天 我请求皇帝赐她赤水安家 与世无争不饶人间凡事 神北行 无雨下 神北行 无雨下 宵明烛光神容颜绝世无双 灵光照亮四方 夸父追太阳喝光了黄河水 身体变成山 应龙杀蚩尤人间兴云覆雨 所到处有生命 凤鸟如出现德顺仁义在身 天下会太平
Mr. Tophat 02:35
bulldozer, God's soldiers be kamikaze pilots be drifting dead sprits with eyes so violent somewhere there's no air just dead staring empty spaces i really don't care to go see those places to tell the truth i never saw them no one knows them when they're gone when I was so young i was haunted by a creature but as i grew older it lost its features to tell the truth i never saw him no one knows him he is gone
Opens up his notebook upon a mountain top in mid spring 105 melodies in his head but he's thinking now of one thing Panama sky on his mind fine.. but he knows now that he must go somewhere in time where the shorelines high and cosmic melodies flow Mediamonster held up in a basement or in a parking lot in Pilsen another day is but another song sometimes and he's written About A Million in a world so fast will they just look past? will they all remember us? but for Terrill Mast i know its a fact they will hear the cry of the Mediamonster home i will go
see the world just like a movie then turn off the tv and you'll find how time makes you re-align step back watch the others moving and they seem dead but they never tell me why why won't they tell me? its true that i once knew you well but now you're only what they breath and me.. well i'm not what you might see wonder why we would want this soul destroyed is the world our toy now? can we understand that its in our hands? something bigger than the voice inside me calls takes me by the hand a shows me why why they won't tell me they want it all but i'm the only one thats here right now so i breath and be but i'm not where you might see


released March 8, 2017


written, performed & recorded by Nature's Neighbor

mixed by Seth Engel & Mike Walker

** except for Bursting which was mixed by Terrill Mast **

Grandpa Bay Recordings 2017


Mike Walker - zhong ruan, baby sitar, mandolin, melodica, synths, sampler, percussion, piano, guitars, bass, lyrics & vocals

Terrill Mast - taal tarang tabla, melodica, piano, percussion, synths, sampler, bells, lyrics & vocals

Cheer Zhao - lyrics & vocals

Seth Engel - percussion & sampler

Kota Omae - hand percussion


album art by Cheer Zhao & Mike Walker

mastered by Seth Engel


** 'Proxy 1' features a drum sample from the 2014 Terrill Mast track 'Drugs' which is a cover of the ZXO song of the same name. The song was originally written, recorded and released by Ryan Brewer **




After recording Pidji with Seth at the Owlrey and Minbal studios I really wanted to make a laptop album again. I wanted to go away from the live band sound that was so prominent on Pidji and go for something a little more abstract for the next one.

Upon returning from China, Cheer and I moved up to Lakeview and for the first time in 5 years I was living in the north side of Chicago. I set up a small recording station in our studio apartment with one USB condenser mic, acoustic guitar, a MIDI keyboard and a laptop. It was overly simple but I enjoyed the freedom of being able to record on my own again uninhibited by studio schedules.

After Brandon returned from a trip to Hong Kong he moved into an apartment in Edgewater and I would often visit him there as he worked on mixing his album “Ennui Heart.” He taught me a new technique that proved to be they key to unlocking the direction this album would eventually take.

Brandon showed me how to use the EXS24 sampler which allowed me to morph the pitch and speed of any sampled sound with my MIDI controller. A few days later I went out to Irving Park with my Zoom to get some field recordings. I recorded the sounds of logs, leaves, stones, insects and metal objects. After recording these sounds I returned home and made a rhythm track out of the samples using the technique Brandon had shown me. I wrote all of track nine track in 3 hours that day and decided that all the songs on the album should be written using this sample based approach. I would gather strange and raw samples from my immediate environment and then use them to create the core of each new track. The end result is an album full of strange and warped sounds but also mundane every-day sounds.

After a few more songs had started to develop I found myself getting stuck. This was usually the point where I would go over to Terrill's apartment and he would help to further form the tracks. But because he was no longer living in Chicago I did not know what to do until I realized that Terrill and I could still write songs together long distance via email. I sent him a few tracks and luckily he loved them and started adding his own layering to them which greatly enriched the sound of this album. I was glad that we were still able to write together even though we couldn’t pass at the laptop back and forth like before. After he left Chicago it became painfully clear to me just how important of a collaborator he is to me personally. I found myself obsessively listening to his 2012 album "Flash Fiction" while making this album. Song number eight is dedicated to him.

Cheer was interested in collaborating with me on this album as well, finding the home recording approach much more comfortable. She was reading a book about ancient Chinese mythology and contributed some wonderful lyrics in Mandarin that described some of these mythological characters and their adventures. Her vocal performances on this album are particularly strong.

The end result is an album with a far smaller cast of collaborators that is shorter in length but equally as vibrant in its instrumentation and overall effect as Lifa and Pidji. More importantly, I proved to myself that I could make a really good album on my own with just a laptop and a few instruments.



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Nature's Neighbor Kyoto, Japan

Nature's Neighbor is the project of song-writer Mike Walker and his friends.

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