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I am colorful and reasonable, a daring darling. Ideas thrive and spring from here, and I hope that my mind and heart will no longer contradict each other, as they are spun from the same loom that kicks, rolls, and rumbles in energy's basement. If I say I know what I'm doing, it's because creativity's heat has affected my zero tolerance for failure -- and, believe me, that's all good. I will not sit still; my mind will not rest. To do less is to bring thumb and finger against flame and wick, so I stay fulfilled with whatever occupies me now and enjoy the thrill of accomplishment, because

The MFA program in Creative Writing at Northwestern University is an excellent program, and I couldn't be a happier student there, workshopping my fiction stories and helping others with theirs—a profound and eye-opening process to say the least.

So far, my studies have led to a few successes: A book review is published on the university's online literary journal TriQuarterly at www.triquarterly.org (see Reviews in the right sidebar at TQO). As well, I have an upcoming interview in TQO with renowned Chicana writer and poet Ana Castillo, who will also be teaching a quarter-long memoir workshop at NU in the fall of 2013. Ana has recently published my photo essay called Frozen Branches on her online zine, La Tolteca, which can be viewed here.


If you'd like to listen to my ambient/melodic musical compositions, then let me welcome you to Theory of Ours, my new musical epithet and invention. The name comes from a statement made by a famous physicist about quarks and string theories. I'm not sure if I'm aiming for any concrete direction musically or technically; I just intuitively follow my senses and do what feels right in response to a glimmer or an impression of each idea that strikes a bell, if you will. I have this, but there's also older, harder stuff you can find below from my album Pendulum, with the lyrics on the right. Hope you like what you hear.

Note: Please wait a few minutes for the Quicktime audio files to show up and cache in your browser's window. All rights reserved. Copyright 2013 Ignatius Valentine Aloysius

"Were I to Comply" [3:14] is a sudden inspiration, a stripped down ambient composition and experiment in Logic Studio. And I'm on a MacBook Pro with 8G RAM. In general, I use an iRig set up for my guitar, although the DAW provides several good choices of effects, delays, and samplers for keyboard, voice, guitars, and other instruments. The iRig isn't altogether perfect because I must use an additional noise gate and compression to limit the noise coming out of it. But the noise can aid in the ambient process and add a good touch to the overall composition. Go grab your headphones and enjoy.

"The Path - Poem 1" [7:52] is part of four musical poems I meant to release as an EP but haven't arrived there yet. But here they are in their original unmastered state. At the center is something that emulates a real sitar, although each piece is a purely software generated arrangement.

"The Path - Poem 2" [3:26]

"The Path - Poem 3" [8:40]

"The Path - Poem 4" [3:36]

GRAND & STATE: Other Compositional Experiments

This is a new venture into dimensional guitars that I envision containing more, heavier ripping tones, ambient drones, and washes but with a definite musical and lyrical cast, something to imprint on the memory as a recognizable melody or song.

"6Anomaly6" [3:52] dredges the subterranean floor of my consciousness. It is full of pathos and patient expressiveness, although I'm not sure if it makes me happy or sad. You be the judge. The guitar leads, shadowed by a soulful delay.

"Encomium" [2:40]

"Chagoimegon" [6:10]

PENDULUM the album

I'm putting up a few songs here from my album Pendulum. A little while back I went on the road as a songwriter with a really good drummer and sound engineer. This is a different work; it may be viewed as hard and punchy, although the songs are there first and foremost. I wrote the material furiously in a span of two weeks and recorded the songs direct to DAT at The Metro nightclub on Clark Street in Chicago. We were done in just a few takes that afternoon and after days of rehearsals in a rented space in the Ravenswood neighborhood. This was a 2-man band; we didn't have a bass player. I strung my guitars differently and split my sound, running it to a Marshall stack on one side and an Ampeg bass rack on the other. Used gear, nothing new, nothing fancy. Of course, I had my trusted '86 American Stratocaster.

I was informed by my radio promoter in NYC that a few college radio stations were playing a couple of tracks from Pendulum and helped to put these songs in the top thirty college radio airplay circuit. I booked gigs and toured a handful of US cities on the basis of this airplay, going all the way as far as Berkeley and San Diego in a used dog-grooming van named Fuzzies. Frankly, I don't recall ever hearing my song on the radio while I was on the road, so there went that wish. Anyway, hope you like these tracks.

"Fried the Motherboard" [4:11]

"Possum in the Amp" [3:58]

"Tremble" [5:03]

"Punjab" [4:59]

"Flash" [4:44]

"The World Changers" [4:06]

"Aftershock" [3:38]

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I'm talking about teaching, of course. Each day the learning curve grows steeper as I impart what I know to students willing to absorb my thorough instruction. I teach basic to advanced levels of Flash (with actionscript 3), InDesign (Adobe certified), Illustrator, Photoshop, InCopy, Quark, and Print Production. As well, CSS, Joomla, Wordpress, and Dreamweaver. I'm an experienced, patient and attentive trainer; I work with individuals and groups that do not exceed twelve students in each class. This gives me the ability to assist everyone, and that's important to me. I show then tell. It's a win/win situation.

WHAT STUDENTS SAY ABOUT MY TEACHING STYLE: "Fabulous class and instructor. I could not be happier. Thank you so much. I will be back!" ~Julie S. (Illustrator) § "Ignatius was a great instructor and very attentive to the needs, pace, etc. of the class. Great first day for me." ~Kim K. (InDesign) § "Ignatius is an extremely knowledgeable and courteous instructor. Kudos!" ~Steven B. (InDesign) § "Class left me wanting to learn more." ~Johnny V. (Quark) § "The instructor was great! Very knowledgable-- I learned a lot! ~Holly W. (Print Production) § "Absolutely!" ~Paula S. (Flash) §

Learn on-site or in a virtual classroom using a broadband connection. Email me here.

2013 Update:
I have been teaching more regularly at The Chicago Portfolio School and find that to be a lot of fun. Although my Flash and Actionscript training has dropped off altogether in recent months, Adobe's Creative Print Suite (now CS6) is the big draw with students, who are grouped as Art Directors/Designers and Writers. You can visit the school by clicking on the link here.


Lyrics from the album PENDULUM (See audio files on the left).
Ignatius: Vocals, guitars and bass (rigged)
Greg Campbell: Drums, Indian ankle bells
All songs written by Ignatius. Copyright 2013 Ignatius Valentine Aloysius
New Millennium Records. Rock Right Music ASCAP

Recorded live to 2-Track DAT at The Metro, Chicago (Thanks to Joe Shanahan.)
Engineer: Jeff Nelson
Mastered by Reza Ebrahimi at Acme Recording, Chicago

Fried the Motherboard
Sea urchin sensation, dancing on my screen, so unbecoming. I'm certain, it's curtains for silicone spleen. What timing! Maybe tomorrow, it's going to get better. Must save the software, save the software, save the software. So complex, regardless, but it had to be me, I worry. I'm bumming. Who can fix it? I really don't need this, oh no! In such a hurry, always a hurry, to catch the deadline. Fried the motherboard, fried the motherboard, fried the motherboard. In such a hurry, always a hurry, to catch the deadline. Fried the motherboard, fried the motherboard, fried the motherboard.

Possum in the Amp (Instrumental)

This is not a daytime illusion, not a nighttime discussion, just a little distilled companion. Fighting anonymity, where nobody sees nobody. This is no drug-induced hallucination. Is there a kind heart in your house to help, we tremble. Is there an open door to your conscience, we tremble. We tremble, tremble in the wind. Chip away the rock, chip away the rock. Instill some faith in this system. Oh, so glad you have your job then. Name one good reason to elect them.

Deal the cards one by one, to build a house with that you can't call your own. Live by law, pay your dues, and hope the constitution works for you. We came here, made this place, even put the armor on. Have a starter, to plant a country, poor leaders composted. Now rewrite history, now rewrite history. The house is full, fit to burst, so sorry that you must stand with us opposed. Deal the cards, one by one, to build a house with that you won't call your own.

Please don't be late, I've got to get you to the daycare on time. My cup of coffee waits, 9 am punch-in fills every floor. 2-Ton flash, strangle my world. I go down. Fall so fast, through open sky. Concrete covers me at last, I sleep. You felt it, too. So many hands reach in to find me. Who shook the tree? Run and hide, but look out for falling seeds.

The World Changers
Your mean little war still lingers on. Abraham and Muhammad must know that's wrong. Angry eyes burn holes in the pages of your prophecies. If you want peace, you have to talk. Call off your troops, and stop all human rights abuses. The world changers meet to save us all. They dare to change the course of history encumbered. The world changers talk. Restlessness still abounds in your legacy. The pendulum swings back and forth, it favors no one. Thunder roars over your own troubled landscapes. If you want peace, you have to talk. Call off your troops, and stop all human rights abuses.

You struck the kid, jammed the gun between the eyes. Just doing your job. Got in the car, and stopped to eat. Had a cigarette. In a movie scene. Push a button from remote. The TVs on, shows violence. A six-year old says he can watch. Only this is real, just check your pulse. Only this is real, only this is real, check your pulse, this is violence. This is real, only this is real, check your pulse, too much violence.