Tag Archives: writing

Improvisation

I had a brief improvisation last night on my virus. I was just programming a patch when this sort of ambient pad piece started flowing out of my fingers. In my head, I could hear a machine loop and drums and a sort of drone off the modular..maybe a simple pulsing bass sound to push it forward..but my audience of one only heard the one part.

“I like that. It gives me images in my mind.” she said.

If only she could hear the piece as I do. What images would it draw?

Labor of Love

I started recording the audio elements to the track I’d been improvising around. The capture went well, but I am having some trouble structuring. I’ve *kind of* got an intro…kind of…but not really, and I don’t know what to do in the body. The impove I did with J the other night sounded *really* good…but I just can’t get back to that sound.

Part of the reason I am having issues, I think, is also that my speakers are poorly placed. I don’t know how to improve that much given the layout of the room I am in. One nice thing in my old space was that the PC was centered which made recording and mixing easy. I need to figure out a better way to lay things out for mixing. I almost need a separate set of speackers for mix and compose. That is just so expensive though…

The important thing, though, is that I am engaging in the process of recording and arranging. I haven’t gone to that step with a track in a long while, and it is extrenely important to keep engaged in it. Even if progress is painfully slow, at least it’s there.

So never stop – Keep moving – Breathe….

The Well

For the past two years, I have found it impossible to write (music or words). Months would pass and I wouldn’t even look at my gear, or I’d turn it on and just spend time mucking about the internet instead.

Now…Its like an unbeatable force pullling me. I have to write. I *have to*. I have things in my head…lots of things…and I need to get them out. My well is full again.

So how did I go from having an empty well to a full one? What was it that triggered the the floodgates to open and replenish me?

Honestly, I have no fucking clue. It is a complete mystery why I had nothing in my head and now its full. The way it happened, you’d think aliens abducted me and uploaded these thoughts and ideas right into my brain. One day, I woke up and they were just *there*.

I wish I knew how it happens. It happened when I wrote ‘Dust‘. Out of no where, I was compelled to write and to do so at th exclusion of everything else. It was a drive that I had. I had something in my head, and I needed to get it out or my head would explode Scanners style all over the living room. What triggers it, I don’t think I will ever know.

But why isn’t important anyway. What is important is that I have a full well to draw on for the first time in a long while. I need to respect that gift by using it and not squandering it. This means some difficulties for the people around me as I become a moody bastard and lock myself in my studio for long hours. It means my mind may not always be ‘in it’ when we are discussing other things. It means that sometimes, I may be late to appointments becuase I had an idea that just had to come out RIGHT FUCKING NOW. It means that I must write, record and release this album I have within me. I must. If not, I risk running the well dry and having nothing to show for it.

 

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.

Writing

I’ve been assembling the gear and arranging it so that I could start in earnest the process of writing a follow up to 2012’s ‘Dust’.  I am glad to say that I think I am now ‘there’ as far as the cast of characters I am going to use to produce this album.  For all of my fellow gear nerds, this will be my core tool set:

  • Eurorack Modular System (of course)
  • Virus TI2 Polar Dark Star
  • DSI Pro2
  • Elektron A4, Octatrack and Analog Rytm
  • Korg KronosX

I will, of course, be bringing in other tools from my storage closet as I feel the need.  My first track that I am writing now is using the Akai MPC1000 through a mess of pedals (Korg SDD3000, Rodeck Restyler, Eventide ModFactor) and that’s turning out well.  I like this concept of core devices and rotating in and out the extras.  It makes the setup more manageable.

So writing has begun…and I will post about my concepts soon.  Time to get to it.