muted tones

january 07

this entry is from january 07. click here for more information about the curator, and to hear the finished work if it's available.

TJ Tambellini is an audio genius.

january 29th, 2007

So this friend of mine saw a special on Nova about the magnetosphere. Apparently, every ___ years the electrical field holding our planet in relative harmony needs to flip. North becomes South; inside is outside. A big flip was scheduled to happen this new year, and I think the normal magnetic tension we’ve come to trust somehow just, well, broke. My people and I have had an exceptionally rough start to the year, even cosmically rough. Machines have broken in inexplicable ways. Everyone is breaking up, moving around. I got an eviction call in the middle of the night. Strong people are really sick. The ground is quaking, lightbulbs flicker.

The whole theory has since been debunked by some smart, sciency folks, but I’m glad to blame my late start on something external and omnipotent. Earlier this month I took a spontaneous, all-night, solo drive to Columbia, South Carolina to help care for these troubles, these people. Bruce, the Subaruce, became a whirring practice space that night, and I pulled a lot of mental pieces together [see above]. The concepts I’d been mulling took on more notes over different chords during that ride. Still, by mid-month nothing had been recorded.

I hope some grade-school kids read this and blame missed homework on the magnetosphere, which is exactly what I’m doing. Excuses aside, this has become a two-week project. Let’s pretend that I’m just getting started; here’s why I’m a little anxious:

1. I don’t understand technology, particularly the recording and amplifying types. And the computer type. For that matter, the mobile phone type, too, but I’m learning a lot about the first two for this project. TJ Tambellini is an audio genius. He can make things work that shouldn’t and teaches me the basics so graciously.

2. Despite the late start, I wasn’t able to avoid the anvil of ambition that falls on me with this sort of thing.

3. Influences and inner-ear tunes are hard to escape, even for a minute. I’m deciphering which parts are core, inescapable, and which parts are peripheral, remote. When I hear a folk-rock-pop line or progression, what should I do with it? Part of me wants to glorify it; part of me wants to exploit it. Part of me wants to toss it.

4. Not only did I write and arrange all of this, I shortsightedly thought it would be easier to play all the parts. True, we musicians tend to be unreliable and scheduling a quick recording session, nearly impossible. Still, the music would be richer and so much nicer with friends playing the parts.

Enough, enough. Let’s hear what sounds the next few days bring.


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