Hmm. It kinda feels like it. I have ended up with 9 finished tracks, 4 that need development, and several dead in the water. Today is officially my last day of tinkering before I need to end the process.
What have I learned from this process? Well I have to say I have a new appreciation for my studio back at home. I guess home is really what you are used to. I miss my monitor speakers, my dual screens, my instant coffee and salad sandwich lunches.I miss the luxury of being able to phone home whenever I need to, and jumping in my car and going wherever I want.
But I digress…. the question was “What have I learned from this process?” I learned that the creative spark in me is still there. Like many things that drift back into the past, and become nostalgic, my creative past was not as cut and dried as I have chosen to remember. Some things were different. I had more time for ‘doodling’ on the piano, I had no demands placed on me by clients and mortgage lenders, and the joy of making music was still fresh.
The advantages I have this time around are many. I have a powerful tool in music production. I can realise my compositions immediately. This is something which I had only just begun to use in 95, and the technology was only teething at the time too. I have a work ethic and discipline which I didn’t have back then. My album back then was a whim…….a passionate whim, but a whim nonetheless. I only worked on it when I had that unquenchable urge to do it.
So listening back over the 9 finished songs, am I happy? Umm I’ll get back to you. Often my pieces grow on me.
We went to a lecture at Janelia Farm in Washington while we were there. It was about the brain and how it processes information. Actually it was more about how to trick the brain by manipulating things that the brain ‘takes for granted’. The reason I bring this up, is that one of the demonstrations was relevant to me. The lecturer played some audio of a woman speaking, but then looped one of the sentences about 5 times. The sentence was not unusual, he could have chosen any sentence to loop. He then played the whole sequence again. When the sentence came that we had heard multiple times, it sounded almost sing-song. Our brains remembered the cadences in which the women had spoken and it was now familiar. As music producers, we count on this phenomena all the time. It’s called a hook, or it’s called a chorus. We count on the fact that almost anything can work if it is repeatable. My improv teacher in college always said…and I paraphrase….”If you make a mistake in your solo, repeat the same mistake three more times and it is no longer a mistake”. Again we are just familiarizing everyone with our idea.
I mention this lecture and concept, because this is what happens with my music. I will eventually hear it with fresh ears, and let the piece familiarize me with it’s cadences and melodies. It’s only then that I can honestly know if I am happy.
I have 40 mins of music, and I have listened to it all in fast and annoying repetition. There are already a couple of instruments I am going to change before I burn them to CD. And I dreamt last night of an excellent addition to one of them.
I have picked up 2 TV jingles last week, and with some luck I might have them sorted out today too.
My wife’s exhibition is tomorrow, and today the space is being prepped for it. She has her last class today and I know that will be a massive relief for her. Our time here is flying. And in one week we are flying out of here.
I have mixed feelings about this. I am not a great fan of the long haul flights, especially when they don’t provide us with the distraction of personal movie screens etc. That’s what we get for buying cheaparse tickets. If our living conditions were better I think we might both feel even less of a desire to pack and leave. Then of course there is our bunny.
I will think fondly about this time when I look back, and I hope my wife will too.