I often don't know what I'm talking about.
followed tags: 27
followed domains: 5
badges given: 5 of 17
member for: 2214 days
Also, this paragraph from Stanislaw Lem's book Fiasco, which I'm reading at the moment:
- They would land, but first turn the Hermes into a comet. Out of valves in the hull that opened along the sides came a foam from tanks; inflated by injections of gas, the foam surrounded the entire vessel with a large cocoon of irregular, hardened bubbles. The Hermes, like a pit in a fruit, lay in a spongy mass of globules. Even from up close it looked like an elongated chunk of rock covered with craters. The burst bubbles made the surface resemble the crust of an asteroid bombarded for centuries by dust clouds and meteors. The drive, indispensable, would be the tail of the comet, which, as it approached the perihelion, would always be directed away from the sun, an illusion created by the drive deflectors. A precise spectral analysis would have revealed, of course, a pulse and composition of gases not found in any comet. But nothing could be done about that.
- Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.
I live by this quote.
I've got all my own kayaking gear now. I got to try it out on my first class III rapids the other day and it was blast. We did a 10k trip down a river which started with some gentle features and then built up as it went on. It was great to navigate the extended runs and feel all the things I've been practicing really come into effect. Bouncing up and down on waves, going down drops, and having to paddle to avoid real danger really gave me some excitement that I'd been lacking in my life. Also, it's awesome when a big wave splashes you in the face. I used to do a lot of board sports in my teens and feeling that rush again was like the embrace of an old friend.
For scale, a picture of me entering the top of it:
I just got a raise at work. I'm transitioning into a new position which entails a lot more responsibility and direct communication with the customers. That's something I've shunned in the past, but I thought I'd take it as opportunity to grow. It's a 3 month trial and still the same hours, so we'll see how that goes.
Taking the entirety of December off from everything was definitely a great idea. Though it came about through necessity as I'd forgotten to take any holiday this year so I had to use it all up. I took a step back from my music during that time too and it's really helped me come back with a refreshed perspective in what I want to achieve.
- You're in Los Angeles and it's cold. Your warmest garment is a hoodie. Fortunately it's not too cold for a hoodie, especially when you've ridden 38 miles today because they closed the path somewhere new (leading to a three mile double-back) and because you met a buddy for pizza and now that he's got a fully loaded Tesla 3 there's no room for a bike in his ride (leading to 4 miles out of the way). Unfortunately the homeless think it's cold and so they're burning garbage and tires so now you smell like campfire.
Zork's bleakest timeline.
I've got some beans that seem to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
where everything was as fresh
As a red baked bean
Now and then when I see her face
She takes my beans to that frozen place
And if I'd stare too long
I'd probably break down and cry
oh, sweet beans of mine
I don't have any experience of working in film, so all I can do is try to understand this through my own frame of reference. In this case, that is mixing a piece of music. I know kleinbl00 has plenty of experience there too, so maybe he can confirm or deny my understanding.
I'm far from a master mixing engineer, but what I've learnt over the last few years is that the mixdown process is greater than the sum or its parts. It hundreds of little changes that, in isolation, don't seem to make that much difference.
For example, you could:
- Add a compressor to make sure the volume of a vocal performance stays consistent
- Add some subtle timed delay to a snare drum to give it a greater sense of power
- Setup sidechain compression between the kick and the bass so that they're not fighting for space in the mix
As a composer, it's very easy to look at those things and think: "none of that stuff is stuff I care about". I care about the arrangement, melodic themes, and chord progressions. They're the big, important things. What difference is a bit of EQ going to make? If the listener is focusing on the vocal compression then there's something more seriously wrong with the music.
But if at the end of the mixdown process you reverse all those tiny adjustments, suddenly you're greeted with a significantly more confusing and harder to understand piece of music. Yes, a lot of the changes can seem almost subliminal and inconsequential to the average ear. But add enough of those subtleties up and suddenly it's not so subtle. And ignoring them all results in less comprehensible and immersive experience for the audience. That's why there's a professional their who can sense those things making those changes.
Nice. Let us know it tastes!
My dad is a big whiskey drinker and has managed to attune my palate to it over the years. I still owe him for his birthday and father's day, so with it coming up for Christmas I'm looking to get him something nice. Currently looking at Ardberg Corryvreckan or perhaps some Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
I got him this last year. It was quite enjoyable.
Kayaking is going well. Since my last Pubski update I've attained a foundation safety/rescue certification and also learnt to roll. The mechanics of rolling a kayak all add up to a surprisingly effortless move if you do them correctly, though it can take a while to wrap your head around them all. Being upside down underwater probably has something to do with that.
I've ridden my first grade 1/2 rapids and started really feeling the purpose of all the strokes and moves I've practiced on flat. Reading a river is a challenging but fascinating task. It puts into perspective how you can be effectively 'blind' to all sorts of potentially vital information if you don't know what you're looking for or at. I'm currently looking into buying my own kayak and gear now.
Music is a mixed bag. I've been getting piano lessons for a year now and gone from grade 1 to 5 in that time. I'm pretty happy with that progress and looking forward to improving more. Taking the formal approach to learning piano has also improved my self-taught guitar playing as well. I'll post a piano video sometime soon.
On the other hand, I feel in a bit of plateau with my composition. Earlier this year, I was really challenging myself to write complex material. Exotic scales, key changes, time signature changes, long arrangements, etc. This approach, whilst teaching me a lot, resulted in the music sounding a bit contrived. It definitely had a vibe of trying too hard. It didn't sound like anyone thing or person; it had this weird vague identity to it. Not to mention that it's draining to constantly filter and force my ideas through a criteria of complexity and novelty. It definitely burnt me out.
In reaction to this, I spent the last couple of months being less judgemental in this sense and writing stuff that comes more naturally to me. This has undoubtedly resulted in more solid music and it's gotten good reactions. But at the same time, it's left me feeling somewhat unchallenged, like i'm just going through the motions. Still, getting there, gradually. This shit takes a long time and I've worked harder at it this year than any year previous. So I can find motivation from that.