Ten years ago, back in July 2011, we transitioned from a website called Mystic Music Archive to PortFire here. The Mystic Music Archive was a repository we created for some local Mystic and New London, Connecticut music from the 80s, 90s, and new releases.
To progress beyond just music – to expand to all the diverse artists inspiring us – we moved all of the albums and songs over to a new site – named PortFire after “the fuze or torch that lights rockets and fireworks” (yeah, a bit ambitious!) – and aimed to also begin including photography, writing, visual arts (especially collage), and new music from beyond just southeastern Connecticut.
We organized and worked to expand PortFire as a free zone for artists to post their recent work, following the DIY ethos of Hozomeen Press and other zines like Root of Twinkle from the 80s and 90s; but our campaign to expand eventually fell flat and only a few dedicated artists, especially Michelle Gemma, and Ellery Twining, published prodigiously to our free platform.
As an architect and editor of PortFire, I certainly wasn’t aggressive nor charismatic enough to smartly ‘market’ PortFire: no ads, no fees, not interested in profits, no baiting for page views, no social media strategies, no gimmicks – just not interested in any of that – which is perhaps to our detriment in many ways – arts and artists benefit from publicity. So please let us know if you have any ideas for us publicizing ourselves in a better way.
We exist for fellow artists to publish and speak and react to each other’s work, so we inspire each other and push each other’s art forward.
We will definitely keep running this site for the artists producing new work and publishing here (I still hope to rejoin those ranks!), as well as to host older music and zines for those who are curious, nostalgic, or want to hear the beautiful 17 Relics, Seratonin, or Low–Beam (and more!) – over ten fabulous independent bands can be found under the Music tab at the top of our site.
So, it really is hard to believe it has been ten years – while reminiscing and looking through the site this past week, I was surprised to rediscover the amount of inspiring content here – check out the right side of our main page, the Artist Collections, Tags, Search Bar, Archives in the lower right, and just feel free to explore – and thank you all so much for contributing and checking in over all these years –
If you’d like to publish your work here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the first post that PortFire ever put up, to test the new site, about ten years ago – enjoy!
Found an old file with all the lyrics I wrote with the band Seratonin.
Not for the first time, I was volunteered for good reason out of the band, and they blossomed into Low Beam —
I treasure the lyrics and songs from that early 2000 era.
First up is the most poptastic track on the LP:
She turns hypnotic trancelike
He wants the sonic dreamlife
She hits that disco jukebox
She turns him round so latenight
yeah, it’s a fine time
yes, it’s the finest on top
yeah, it’s a fine time
so why did you mess It all up?
She gets so cardinal baby
He gets that blast so crazy
She gets all sonik trancelike
She turns him right round round round
He wakes up cold and lonesome
She isn’t there to hold him
He scrapes them bits of nothing
He prays and hopes for something
You’re my skullcrusher
crush it up….
harder to hear
or distracted more
by the background and frequencies
i never paid much attention
and i lost my distance
vision in grade four –
it was the perfect yet unaccepted
excuse to the chalkboard of the annoyed mrs. hoyt
for my serial inattention
now it is close –
holding the text askance
arms length, puzzled
embarrassing my teen as the room looks over –
my cellphone flashlight is robust
so i will just ask
what do i usually get
and get that –
because ease and comfort
my new amuse bouche
i am the exile, the dreamer,
i am the ghost who blesses the slumber of your sleep.
i am the autumnal draft which crosses your pillow in the night.
little spacey, i am the skeleton who sleeps in your closet,
i am the turner of the doorknob in the dark.
i drift beneath the celestial sphere, and i find you.
we meet there, behind the black of bleakest soul,
when eden whispers her sweet mysteries
and the moon droops beneath the stars –
we meet behind this balcony to heaven,
deep down inside this dream,
deep down inside your sigh
our spirits dance,
and we are dazzled to love
(composed in 1993)
A repost from Retro Bitch
The impressions of human desire are often left upon objects of their devotion or on the paths leading to where a sense of peace or pleasure can be found; i.e. the worn frets on a favorite guitar; the finger-smoothed ivory keys on an old piano; the “secret path” in the forest blazed by decades of children that’s been “a secret path” to other children for over 100 years.
By Cat DeSpira