Monthly Archives: June 2006

Speed Bumps

Last night, I stayed home. I do that on occasion, and last night was such an occasion. Mostly watched TV; it’s becoming my new hobby of late. Something tells me rigging up a ghetto antenna for my TV tuner card was a bad mistake. Let’s watch my productivity drop, shall we?

After a few hours or so, I got bored. Decided to open up my installation of Acid Pro 4; first time in over a year. Loaded up and listened to some of the rhythm loops I built, loaded up some songs, watched them play. One of those songs was “Tripoli” (those of you who’ve heard it will know what I’m talking about). As it played, I decided that it was finally time to attend to it, fix a few problems that cropped up during my migration from Acid Music 3.0 to Acid Pro 4, most of which involved editing and repair of volume and pan envelopes. I had a chunk of work to do, but I got it done. Even tweaked the mix while I was at it.

At the end, I started wondering to myself why I ever quit, why I stopped writing music, why I folded up the keyboard and stashed it away, why I let Glass Door rot. It’s good stuff, and it’s fun to do, at times it’s really fun. So what’s the problem?

Frustration, really.

Got tired of a lot of the technology. Seems funny that the impediment to hammering out a melody, a lead, a bassline, and a rhythm is high technology. Funny, that. No matter what kind of software I was using, it did little but stand in my way. The very tools I used made my work of creating music that much harder.

Actually, the problem I have is a little deeper than the tools I use. While there is space for improvement in that regard, I think what’s really at issue is the high cost of creation. It takes a lot of energy, determination, focus to get it all out, put it down, and make it work. Damn the polishing. Damn the fine-tuning. Just get it out and create it from nothing. It involves the whole of my attention and a lot of energy.

Music, programing, writing. If there’s the least little distraction, the whole effort is wasted – nothing gets done. I need to be alone. Need to be disconnected. No IRC. No IM. No people talking. No girls walking by. Which means no coffeeshops during the creation process. But that’s a problem, isn’t it? It is.

The work of editing, polishing, revising – that requires not as much attention. I still need to pay attention, but I can afford to function among distractions. It’s then OK to clean up code, manipulate volume envelopes, fix grammar. It’s already been put out there. But the initial challenge of creation and its requirement, the abolition of the environment, is the hardest part. If I could do that, then I can build the world.