I can’t think of a better way to start my new blog than by posting one of my favorite essays I’ve written to date: an editor’s letter for the project Barry Uhl released last winter. I was fortunate enough to not only serve as editor for the written portion of the project, but I also assisted him in managing the creative elements of the release as well. It was fun, fulfilling, and wound up being the touchstone for me to move into a whole new phase of my creative life. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. ❤
To know Barry Uhl is to know a profound interconnectedness. Our most obvious example is his current project, and what begs me to be sitting down in an attempt to describe him in the first place: the illustrations, stories, and soundtrack known as An Account Of The Happenings At Wretched Knob.
Conceptualized after one of those lightning-bolt conversations with a coworker in Jackson Hole, Wyoming almost eight years ago, Wretched Knob is a snapshot into the world according to Barry. The project was birthed as one piece: an album with a book of stories and illustrations, with no separation between. Like lost moments deep in the stacks of incredible albums, happening upon the shiniest gem in the dustiest bin, Wretched Knob is an experience; one laden with dark landscapes and a lush narrative on an XTC-steeped baroque-pop fringe.
Barry should know his deck of cards by now, and he does: he grew up leaning into the music scene, first in Aberdeen, then Seattle; earned a music composition degree in his college years, and eventually got turned on to Gorey and expanded the tack he’d always had for illustration as a young adult. His personal catalog is vast, having put in his ten thousand hours under several disciplines, and spends time these days as a full-time artist, working on a bevy of his own projects and touring with Damien Jurado as part of his live ensemble. Read more