Back to work today after a week off. Part of that time the Randoms spent in a lovely cabin on Orcas Island. I made recordings, including multitrack instrumental+sample pieces; field recordings from the deck overlooking (overhearing?) a little bay full of birds and lapping sounds, breezes, planes and ferry engines; and recordings from my trusty Grundig SW/AM/FM/VHF receiver. Not exactly communing with nature was I. Well, that’s not correct. I was communing with nature in my own way! I managed to work several field & radio recordings into my multitrack pieces, which totaled 9 in all. That makes 70 tracks I have in the hopper, awaiting whatever is next for them. Some could use additional material, and some could use re-mixing for balance. But a lot of them are ready to go into an album or four. Lately I’ve been putting all my current candidate tracks in a big shuffle on Winamp. It helps me to get familiar with what actually start out as very alien pieces to me. The way I construct most of my music means I end up with surprising results. I guess that’s why it’s “experimental” music. I need to listen to them quite a few times before I feel they are really “mine” and can give them titles besides “MAST0009″ or “MIXST014″ y’know.
Wow! The Giants won their wild card game in Pittsburgh last night, 8-0. I hadn’t really considered postseason a possibility after SF’s struggles most of the season after their hot start. They kind of stumbled into the year-end dance. But they sure didn’t look like stumblers last night! Four-hit shutout by Mad Bum, plus a grand slam by Brandon Crawford. Brandon Belt also got in on the RBI action with 3. So it’s on to Washington, DC, for a series against the Nationals starting Friday. I don’t know what the odds are, but nobody should write San Francisco off just yet!
It’s fall, and I’m liking the shorter days and the cooler temperatures. More rain, please.
I took last Friday off and gave myself a 3 day weekend. I treated it like a vacation and quickly lost the normal forced rhythm of sleep/wake. I puttered and worked on projects when I felt like it, and took naps when I felt like it, which was often. Four hours awake, 1 hour napping, 2 hours awake, 20 minutes napping, etc., randomly, seemingly. But it felt good.
I made field recordings and laid down some music tracks and painted space money and hung out with kitties. Sunday was Swarm, and LaunchPad played very well, we thought. Mrs. Random made an excellent Swarm dinner, and we were all happy. Now the 3 day vacation is receding in the past, and I’m in the middle of a work week.
Yesterday I picked up our newly repaired and cleaned Marantz cassette deck. Very exciting. I brought it home and put on an old tape of Pink Floyd’s Meddle, recorded from a housemate’s well worn vinyl years ago. Later I played a Thelonious Monk cassette, probably recorded from a library cd years ago. Arrrrr! The cassette is a perfect format in many ways. I’m glad there has been a resurgence of late among little indie labels, but the glory days are certainly gone. I keep functional cassette decks around because I love playing my cassettes, and I have hundreds. Same with record players. I have hundreds of vinyl records and I love to play them. I never bought into the idea of ripping my analog music to digital, except when I want to do something particular with it on the computer, like podcasting or sampling, etc. I’d rather keep working machines that can play the original media. Anyway there’s something satisfying about putting a record on the turntable and listening to the needle hit the groove–and plunking a cassette into the player and pressing play and hearing that tape hiss start after the leader runs through. There’s a unique physicality to the actions and sensations of playing analog recorded music. But with a computer or smart phone, playing music is pretty much like doing anything else. Type on keyboard or swipe on screen. So what, big deal. (But still, you’ll have to pry my mp3s and my Spotify premium account from my cold dead hands, haha.)