Archive for October, 2009

17. Ghosts and Fivers

October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe’en.

Ghost Town right click and ‘save as’


16. Carnival

October 30, 2009

I’ve truly discovered the pure hell of recording acoustic guitar. What an interminable pain. I suppose a live room and an expensive mic would help…

In hindsight, I should have recorded this differently. The notion is to write music for live performance: simply a backing with me playing guitar and singing. Quite an obvious idea I suppose. Anyway, I recorded this as I would if I were in a studio, but that is not its purpose. Instead I should have prepared the backing, and recorded, with an open room mic, the playback and me performing along, as one would in a genuine live setting. Next time.

N’e’fin’ right click and ‘save as’

Well well.

15. Words About Words

October 29, 2009

I’ve stopped feeling sad. It was never a great issue, but I note it with interest. Not sure exactly when the last time I felt sad was… I guess I’m over a hump (makes me think of Peep Show: “Our wedding, The Hump!”). Instead it is replaced by a nagging boredom and trembling impatience. Haha, that’s an exaggeration. Occasionally I think, “Cannae blody waiut tae ge’ oota here”.

I’ve decided not to address the electro-pop issue. If I wanna make electro-pop, then I’m damned well gonna make electro-pop, and let that be the end of it. Here is today’s manifest toil:

Farmers’ Market Martyrs right click and ‘save as’

On Sunday I will be moving into a shed at the end of the garden. People are coming to stay here (MY hermitage), it is a holiday home after all, from Sunday until Friday. I checked to see whether or no the extension cable reaches from the house to the shed. It does, as luck would have it. Actually, I have been regarding this usurpation with some trepidation, but for some reason this confirmation of distance has done something to soothe my concerns. Anyway, as of Sunday, I will be broadcasting from a shed on the cliff edge.

Aww, well, cheer-e’o then!

14. Farmer

October 28, 2009

This is the first day I haven’t left the house. There’s no significance behind it, it just never happened for whatever reason. It has run pretty much the same as all the other days so far. There is an undeniable monotony here, which sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not all that bad. Occasionally frustrating, I’m filled with a desire to do more fun things. It is a quiet life.

Work followed a pattern that is becoming ever more lucid. It is growing insipid. I did try a different approach today, though I ended up reverting to comfort of this emerging formula. I think a part of it is this awareness of a desire (or perhaps stronger: a responsibility) to post a finished, rounded piece of work each day. Having found an effective method leaves me less willing to experiment, for fear I might produce codswallop.

Grane right click and ‘save as’


13. Blocks and Blocks

October 27, 2009

I had another one of those blasted dreams about breaking isolation last night. Turns out I was sharing a room with three others and having a whale of a time. Of course, dismay when I realise what I’ve done, and then reverberating relief upon in dream understanding.

I am running out of things to say. Nothing much happens here. I’ve not been easily getting bored though.

Here is today’s stuff, it’s a bit rushed thanks to changing my mind at lunchtime.

Heroes Of Might And Magic right click and ‘save as’

I feel my work is becoming formulaic. What do you think? I suppose it is an undeniable risk, perhaps even likelihood, in pushing through creative block and working to such a rigid structure. Though I’ve not really had much creative block.


12. Saving Daylight

October 26, 2009

Yesterday was a peaceful day. I did everything slowly, including, and most importantly, getting out of bed.

Work seemed to be going ok today until about 3 o’clock when I decided I didn’t like what I had been working on, and decided to start afresh. I ran over to 6 o’clock, but still, it must be some kind of record: wrote and recorded this track in three hours.

Johnny Write right click and ‘save as’

I’m not sure why I’m recording as much electro-pop as I am, it just seems to be what I want to work on at the moment. I feel like I should be fighting it in order to diversify at least a little, but I know I shouldn’t.


10. One Quarter

October 24, 2009

One quarter through! When I regard the passage of time thus, it feels somehow easier. Indeed, when I think how quickly these ten days have passed, it is easy to think that at its end, the retreat will have elapsed in the blink of an eye.

Struggled massively with work today. Eventually I gave up and recorded an old song. It feels like a bit of a failure, even though this was something I had promised to allow myself to fall back on in case of a lack of muse. But now I think: “This is no way to push through creative struggle! This was not the intention: to give up so easily!”. And quite right too. Never mind, tomorrow is a day off, a chance to recoup my (lost?) creativity. Here is what I recorded this afternoon:

Sippy right click and ‘save as’

It seems a good point to remind you all to leave me lots of lovely comments/criticism/thoughts. I’m worried that having not done so up to now has jeopardised potential feedback!

Right, so, bu-bye!

9. Intruder

October 23, 2009

This morning at 6, whilst still in my warm bed, I imagined someone in the house saying “hello” questingly. It was the kind of imagining which leaves you uncertain as to whether or not you really heard something. I wrestled with concern for a while. Was it someone come to stay? Perhaps and audacious burglar? I allowed my rational mind to let me sleep again. I had two vivid dreams, one seemed somehow significant, but I’m not sure why.

In the dream I got up in the morning and there was a man skulking about the house. He had come in at 6 and had waited to ask if I wanted any plumbing done. He was a strange and pathetic man. His name was Gareth. He was very suspect. First I checked to see that he hadn’t nicked anything, then demanded he give me his contact details. That was it.

More electro-pop:

Starbuck’s right click and ‘save as’

The workroom / living room got very hot today. The weather was spectacular.

I have noticed a distinct pattern to happiness and sadness. Happy by day, sad by night. My first thought was that it came and went with the light, but I think it’s more to do with keeping busy.

8. Tunafish

October 22, 2009

I returned to the task of trying to build a sort of intuitive performance tool. The idea with this one is to provide a constantly moving and progressing quality. It samples what you play and randomly plays back sequences, refreshing what it’s doing every 32 bars and overlapping by 16 bars. Here is one of my experiments with it:

The English right click and ‘save as’

I feel I am getting closer to an idea of what exactly I am trying to create here. These programs have been difficult because I haven’t fully formed exactly how this program works. I want it to be able to fake intelligence and sensitivity to what is being played into it. I want it to behave as an accompanying musician or something. I am struggling with it.

Today I was in a much lighter mood. I threw stones at the sea, ate my lunch out in the sun, got out of bed on time and generally had a nice day. I was very involved in my work today, but I find I have started to take a different view of it. It is verging on becoming a chore, but I somehow don’t feel it will.

There is something strange about the goal I have set of producing my five (minutes of music) a day (hoho). I count down the time until I have to have finished the piece and I pressurise myself. If I find I have finished early, I am very reluctant to go on working. I mustn’t let my strictness slacken here: I am worried that, if I do, I will deliberately rush my work to finish early and reward myself with time off. The potential of my work would suffer greatly if that were the case.

Ok. Bye now.

7. A Whole Week

October 21, 2009

It seems remarkable that it feels neither shorter nor longer than the week it has almost been, these kind of things always leave one with a distorted sense of duration. Perhaps it is the sheer span of time I have to consider its passing. At midnight I will have been without contact for 168 hours. I can’t pretend to not be missing it, though I hasten to add that I am by no stretch unhappy.

I think I had a slight fever last night, I dreamt vividly and woke sweaty in the dark. I don’t feel unwell in the least, which is nice. I dreamt of breaking the isolation again, was in inconsolable despair and then woke to grinning relief.

Today’s work was fine. I did more with sample editing. It seems pertinent to mention some artists who do interesting work in a similar vein: The Books, Secret Mommy and Fridge spring to mind. I think I was a bit careless, rushed a bit and didn’t concern myself too much with what I was trying to create. Still, here it is:

Blames right click and ‘save as’

Right, well that’s me just away to my dinner then.