Vonology is available in vinyl, CD, as digital downloads on Bandcamp. All purchases include a digital copy of my 2020 University of Chicago dissertation “‘Will You Still Be Mine?’: Memory, Place, Race and Jazz on Chicago’s South Side”.

All cover design by Jamie Breiwick of B Side Graphics.

Front cover art by Jamie Breiwick

Back cover

Liner notes by Neil Tesser

Von Freeman’s natal horoscope by Brian Allemana of Soulrise Astrology

Astrological texts by Brian Allemana

What does it take to create beauty out of pain? I’ve known my share of grief. Sometimes I get lost in the emotion, brooding on a painfully tempting sorrow, until a voice in me says STOP — and I listen. I pick up my instrument and I channel that firm, untarnished voice into an invisible musical body that envelops your ears, reaches into your heart and reminds you that the same sweet voice, as unique as you, is also in you. 

To my young cats, yeah you, my horses: If you can’t look inward and beyond, hear the muse speaking, singing, dancing, and know yourself as but a servant, then I’ll send you back, kick you in the guts to remind you where music starts. Put aside your desires and be willing to suffer anything to create something beautiful. Do this and you can share my stage. 

The music has ended for the night, the bar’s closed, and the patrons have left. Loneliness returns and I reach for any distraction that will ease the pain. I circle around my need for others and my fear of being too vulnerable. So I come back to the music. What else can transcend this pained and harsh world that I feel so acutely as if the world is my own body?

I secure myself by taking up the role I’ve been given and play it without compromise. And there I find the key — to play it. To play heartbreak, remorse, joy, love, loss, all the colors of darkness and light. Through my time-crafted instrument, my body’s longtime companion, I screech my pained yearnings and giggle my delights. I give the depth and intensity that is in me a form and expression through the improvised play of music, so that you can feel it too.