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The Plan

Alan Lomax at work.

I am grounded. My travels are on hold. The barely afloat clouds are so fast, towing in the morning's next thunderhead, and they make me think of what's next for me.

I have a plan, you know.

It came to me a year ago. It was originally motivated by money: how can money be made from rammed earth? It is free. That's its biggest problem. Unlike plywood, cement and even adobe, it can't easily be mass-produced and shipped. Thus, industrialists will have no interest in propagating it as a viable form of construction. Then it occurred to me, perhaps its value lies not in its primary purpose as a building material, but in some other quality it possesses.

People living in rammed earth homes talk about the peacefulness of their homes. Street noise is all but eliminated, and the walls seem to absorb even the indoor ambient noise, creating an altogether warm, peaceful environment. That's it then, I will combine my interest in rammed earth with my interest in music and build rammed earth music studios. In fact, I will travel, find local musicians a la Alan Lomax and work with them to build rammed earth studios. Then, we will create albums, and the proceeds of the albums will go back into the artists' communities. The albums will hopefully spread the word on rammed earth, making it a more seriously considered form of construction.

While there is much more to be said on this plan and how it's changed over the year, this blost has taken longer than I intended it would, and the threatening clouds are gone. For now, I must return to laying stones. Feedback is appreciated.

Reader Comments (7)

And this will give me luxury in retirement, HOW?
Love you- good plan. I hope you wrote grants- this is something funders will love.

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMOM


Why limit the serenity of rammed earth to musicians, what of other srtist such as film makers, playwrites. actors, therapists, counselors, clergy etc. Seems to me that anyone seriously seeking a spiritual connection in their life might also benefit from the serenity of rammed earth as you so awesomely describe it. Love, Dad

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdad

Beautiful plan. If you indeed decide to follow in Alan Lomax's footsteps, I hope you will actually keep track of the musicians' names so that the recordings won't simply go on the record for all time under your own name as Lomax's recordings did. I've loved keeping track of your project. Can't wait to hear/see/read how it works out.

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill Williams

Keep on keeping on. Are you training for that marathon?

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUncle Warren

Hey brother,
You know with the eco-industry a booming and people looking for ways to build structures at little to no cost, you should look into how these structures would work in places like New Orleans, which you just visited. Also, I know it may sound nutty, but getting in touch with Brad Pitt's eco-building housing projects. I mean, and think of the musicians in New Orleans, golden! Love ya!

June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Sound like a plan. I wish I could join such project but am too far.
Check this one
It inspired me to research the rammed earth technology.
Be well ))

December 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBoris

Aaron I wish you good earth strong arms and loads of fun.
I like your plan and seing as how I did something similar 20 years ago in the southwest feel akin.
I'm now in Holland building with Earth but no longer using rammed earth. Now Cob and Leicht-Lehm as well as adobe block, pressed block and some strawbale- earthplaser.....
The old body wasn't cut out for rammed earth. If your ever in Holland look me up!



January 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristo

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