Category Archives: concepts

Resistance is futile

For as long as computers have been a part of music studios, I’ve resisted using them. I don’t know why that is, given my otherwise great relationship with machines. I used to love writing using hardware sequencers, samplers, drum machines….and keeping the computer in a different corner for when I needed to e-mail the band about practice.

Eventually, because it became pretty much impossible *not* to use a computer in the studio, I got one. I can’t say I’ve really regretted it, but I’ve never really embraced it, either. I’ve let it be my tape machine, editor and recorder, but I still prefer to have a room full of synthesizers and even hardware samplers (I will always have a hardware MPC of some flavor in my studio) than to let it all be in the box.

It’s kind of ridiculous if I really think through it. Most of my hardware synthesizers have cheap and easy software equivalents. In many cases, I actually *own* those equivalents, but just don’t use them as much as their real-world counterparts.

This is undoubtedly some sort of psychological thing for me. Making music, being a more ‘physical’ activity, I prefer to be able to physically touch and interact with my instruments in 3d meat space. It feels better touching a ‘real’ instrument instead of mousing about on a virtual one.

In the name of personal grown and exploration, I’m attempting to embrace the computer more in my workflow. I’ve been tempted to sell off large parts of my hardware and *force* that issue…but that’s probably not a very wise idea.

I’m working on a little project now, and I’m going to make it interesting for myself by pushing myself to use a stack of software to get it done. I know, I know…I’m way behind and many of you have been doing that forever. But I’m an old guy with a psychological block against using software. Time I got over that.

Inspirations

I have this thing I do where I want to find ways to get everyone I know involved in my music projects. Already, the new album involves sounds that my son and I recorded and some sounds my dog made. In the past, Ive gotten friends to dub vocals over tracks or to send me sounds from their environment (yes, L, your cat is going to be on my album). I have one track, though…the first that I’ve started writing since choosing my album’s theme, which is giving me the urge to invite everyone to the party.

I started this one about a week go now. I think it’s going to be the second song on the final release…it has that feel anyway. The intro is right for it. It’s definitely not the starter, but something to follow it. Interestingly, I have words for this one which are half my own and half those of someone I recently met (call her J). I was inspired to write my half for someone I’ve known for a while (E). J read the words I posted to a forum I am a member of and replied in the comments with an extension of her own. It’s an intersting situation to be sure. One of the reasons I posted in the first place was because of J’s encouragement to continue my writing.

I’ve texted to J and asked if she would possibly read her piece and let me record it. I am considering reading my part and (for the first time ever) letting my voice appear on one of my recordings. I have a feeling Ill take one listen to my vox and find someone else to do them, but for this particular track, it will be important to have a strong male vox to contrast the female. I think J’s voice will work well, though the voice someone speaks does not always translate well to recording even when care is taken. I think it would be OK. I’d like at least one of our voices to appear on the recording.

I am hoping to possibly get E involved as well. She has been present for some of my meditational performances, and I’d like to incorporate one of her meditation chants into my recording (perhaps not on this song, but certainly on this album).

And then also there is asking A to get involved by possibly doing some photography work. I have a cover in mind for the album and I am definitely not equipted to capture it properly. I’d also need 3 models, and another pair of friends immediately sprung to mind along with E. I don’t know why, but for a guy who likes to make solo albums, I sure do seem to want to have a lot of collaboration.

Really, though, this goes with the theme of the album. All of these people, via some mechansim or other, have crossed paths into my life right at a time when I am starting to (finally) feel the urgency of creation in myself again. Through our interactions we have become entangled particles floating through this current moment.

I am not someone who believes that things happen for a reason. An ‘reason’ or ‘fate’ is simply that part of our brains that wants there to be patterns finding them. I will say, however, that I am grateful for the cast of people who have entered my life recently. With everything that’s going on (and those that need to will know what I am talking about) I am damn lucky to have find that web of entanglements to help keep me afloat. Without them I’d be as dark matter – adrift and invisible.

Maybe my choice of title and theme should not seem so mysterious to me after all?

Entangled

The universe is 14.5 billion years old.   Of those years, we each get, at most 100.  Most of us significantly less.

Does that make us insignificant?
No.  It makes us each precious and rare.  And more….
Picture the entirety of spacetime as a geometric object, with one dimensional axis representing time.  Each of us is the owner of one small slice of that object.
Imagine your thin slice.  The past to one side and the future to the other. Even in it’s full extent, it is nothing in context of all of space time.
Now, picture the slice of someone significant to you.   Put it next to yours and look at the points where it overlaps and interconnects.
Now add someone important to them…and to them…and so on.
Now add the slices of the people you have less important interactions.  Watch it fill out.
All of our slices are bound by infinitesimal points of intersection.  These intersections are even more fleeting and insignificant in the grand continuum.
But that makes them the most important thing in all of it.
Each of our moments together..each of our interactions…Sharing a cup of coffee, playing with our children, kissing a lover, paying for a magazine at a news stand…all of these are absolutely rare events in the universe.  And the odds that any two conscious entities should share one of these small intersections..well, the odds are against it.
So every moment truly is precious and special. Every interaction is important.  It took 14.5 billion years, and a trillion happy accidents to lead to you and that other having that moment of intersection.  And in the grand continuum, you will be forever entangled.