Process 3: Music Making
I ended up realizing a production goal that year. I digitized and organized my entire back catalogue that year, beginning with those tapes, and including all my 4-tracks, work tapes, DATs, Sound FX, Loops and Samples.
Recording became an activity organized from a single hard drive, and with an incremental back up process takign place every night. Musically, it saved my life to see all of my work in a context that was free of judgment.
PROCESS: “I am source.”
A paragraph about my work process,
all music and source resident.
This work was produced using two hand-held recorders.
The difference in timing is accounted for by the variations in playback speeds on the individual recorders, when the two recordings are laid side by side.
Additional variations were produced by varying the speaker’s location in relation to the two recorders.
It took 7 years to figure out how I wanted to make music again. What it boiled down to was, I wanted making music to be easy, and free of a lengthy accounting or “clean-up” phase.
I also resented how I’d cornered myself using MIDI prior to 1993 — I was afraid of picking up an instrument and creating a work that could never be replicated.
I had studio envy — the idea that no matter what I was about to record, someone would later challenge the technical quality of the recording: if I’d used cassette, I should have used DAT. If I’d used DAT, I should have used a better mic and recording environment. Basically, I felt like I could never win. Not enough bass. Not enough high-end.
So MIDI had becoem this sterile, anabolic environment where the information was contained inside of boxes; and music was still an activity outside of my grasp.
Between 1993 and 2000, I recorded every musical idea on a cassette tape using a dictaphone.
I did my best to put dates on the cassettes when I’d finish them, although by the October of 2000, I had 88 C-90s, filled front and back with junk, musical snatches, amusing phone messages, personal journal entries, creative direction for the creative agency I was starting up, KaChing, as well as Day For Night, and ultimately, roughly no idea of where any of it was meant to go, except usually for the month immediately following completion of any one tape, after which all knowledge would fade into the recent past.
It was an interesting case of creating overwhelm – the quiet before the storm.