2.26.2009

You ain't no Casanova



A crazy person on the L train mumbled the following statement to another rider, and I was lucky enough to overhear:
Man, you gots to learn yo' math-a-matics, 'cuz you ain't no Casanova.
Words of wisdom, to be sure. In fact, later that evening, in his address to the joint session of Congress, Obama said:
And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training... dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.
It's basically two different approaches to saying the same thing. That's right, America -- you ain't no Casanova.

Above: Lake Michigan, as seen from Loyola.

2.10.2009

Thoughts on the process



I've been having an exceptionally difficult time writing lately. More specifically, it's been problematic trying to translate the barrage of noise in my head into anything more tangible. I can't really tell which is worse -- having no ideas or having a ton of ideas, none of which are shouting loudly enough to get the proper attention.

I've tried to write this post (and many others) a number of times, but I genuinely worry about this blog becoming a diary of artistic and personal meltdown. It's also exceptionally hard to communicate about creative struggles and internal processes and so forth without sounding, well, angst-y. I suppose it's always going to be hard to not come across as angst-y when you're a homeless (only technically) chronic depressive in the midst of artistic crisis. It's a shame, really. I've got quite a good sense of humor about it all.

No matter the medium, I tend to start working from fragments that seem interesting to me -- an interesting sound or tone that I play around with until there's a song; a color in a photograph that inspires a piece of design; a phrase that appears in my head while driving that becomes the foundation for a chorus. I don't like thinking about what a piece is about until the end of the process, if not well after it is completed. The best work I've done has been that which pours out of me without much active thinking until its time for editing. Lately, I seem to be thinking the opposite way: wanting to create something about X, about Y. I suppose for some people, that's the right way to work. Nice and linear. For me, I find it is stifling. It means I find myself upset when I can't find a sound that feels like X, a phrase that sums up Y. I'm pretty solidly an abstract-random. Linear rarely works for me.

Ultimately, I have to remember to keep my eyes open. I've got to find interesting haystacks, rather than hoping there's needles in the one I happen to be near -- especially since I have a fear of needles.

Unrelated: The image above was taken a few minutes ago, while I was sitting on the front steps of my friends' house. It's nice to be able to sit outside without needing the warmth of a wool pea coat.

I know I just posted an M83 track, but this one also seems appropriate.


"Teen Angst" by M83

2.04.2009

A new little fragment



Above: a little winter wonderland on Super Bowl Sunday. Below: a little fragment of noise, complete with guitar tracked through the USB microphone that comes with the Rock Band game. I'm recording demos by any means necessary at the moment. I miss my ProTools set-up.