How is it the rain and thunder alway play so perfectly together?
Aside from an absolutely DISASTEROUS hockey game I watched, I spent some time in the studio. I started playing with something yesterday that is evolving in my mind as a long form ambient broadcast. Tentatively titled 'Lethologica', it's got a nice modular noodle with some beats and samples under it. I'd like to do some more sound design for it and load up the Octatrack before I record it. The hard part, as always, will be finding the time to do so. Maybe I need to take a Work From Home day Thursday…
For some reason, playing with the old Ensoniq gear makes me think of early Skinny Puppy records. They were one of the true originals.
In my studio, I have a stack of keyboards and modules I affectionately call ‘The Crap Pile’. These are instruments that I usually acquired on a bargain because someone needed space, needed money, or just wanted to move on to something else. A few of them are deeply sentimental instruments that I don’t use much, but can’t bear to part with (Korg Prophecy, I’m looking you).
Currently, this rig consists of a Yamaha QY700 sequencer (drunk e-bay purchase), Ensoniq ESQ-1 (bargain with a dead battery), Ensoniq EPS16 Plus (bargain curiosity), EMU E6400 (pure sentimentality) and Kurzweil K2600Rs (because sometimes I need to Kurzweil). There are also a few peaces that made their way there from the actively used pile such as my Korg EMX1, Korg Prophecy, Novation UltraNova and my Akai MPC1000.
Looking at that, it’s a pretty damn powerful, if largely antiquated rig. A copy of reason could easily handle *everything* that rig can do and then some (Reason, after all, has a mixer and FX).
Still..I can’t part with it, and I regularly think about setting it up as it’s own Island of Misfit toys. I’ve got enough space in here to keep it all setup. All I’d really need is a MIDI through switch and a mixer and it would be a nice place to go when I want to play in a more limited sand box.
Limitations spawn creativity, they say. I’ve always been more of one for exploration among excess. A change of place wouldn’t hurt. Maybe some real good will spawn out of it.
Part of the reason, I think, that I haven’t been doing as much music writing is simply because my brain has been elsewhere. I’ve also not been blogging so much, which really did help with getting me to finish my first album (Dust).
To get myself back into thinking about music, therefore, I am going to begin blogging again. I am not, however, going to be doing very long blog posts that go into great details about the process or philosophy of anything. Mostly, I’m just going to keep a record of what I am thinking about as far as music goes and taking notes on some of my happy studio discoveries. I’d like to try publishing at least a short piece ever day with soundclips appearing at least once a week (if it’s a music blog, it should have sounds!).
I’d also like to find a good blog authoring tool. I honestly just don’t like the online editor for WordPress. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Testing a new blog writer….
Every year, as the days get shorter, I feel the urge to withdraw. This force compelling me to hunker down in my studio and create. This also happens after I've had my dragon raised out of my control (if you're lucky, Ill tell that story soon). It's a response by the machine in me to reassert itself – shut down emotions, temper your pasions and shrink into self. Let the purely logical guide you for a time. Feel only what you must.
This state has upsides. My creativity surges, I get a lot of work done and I feel accomplished for a time. Unfortunately, it also comes with signficant down.
I sink away from those I care about and who care about me. I hide in my hole. I am distant and unreachable. I feel a million miles away even when I am right there.
I am quick to anger because everything feels like a distraction from internal work that needs to be done. I snap. I bark. I bicker.
I feel overwhelmed by the urge to stay on the path of least resistance. Stay home. Don't go out. Break dates. Avoid social interaction. Listen to the machine.
I've been searching for the solution to this my whole life. None has presented itself.
This morning, I feel it. I feel it deep. That urge to hide. To withdraw. To sink. To fall into the temporary madness of winter and hope for spring. It's like a temporary death, you know. A dark and warm place.
I am writing this because I need help. I need understanding. I need to be open about it in order to confront it and change it. I need people to draw me out and not let me sink…to not let me hide.
I will fight you. I will. 42 years is a long time to live with something. You get to know it and embrace it, and even to think it's 'just how you are'. I can't accept that anymore. I can't do this again.
I'm going to need some help with this. I don't want to sound whiney or needy or anything. I just want to get this out so people understand.