End of NaBloPoMo 2009: Hooray, I Blew It!

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Not so much.

Not so much.

So, National Blog Posting Month wasn’t exactly a action-packed thrillride adventure, but it’s good to at least feel guilty about not writing every day, so I have some reason to take note of the world around me, and at least think “Hey, I should probably write about that tonight, so I have something for Nablopomo.”  Oh well.  I think I only missed three or four days.  Not too shabby.

Today, during my ride to work, I was listening to something from an EP by Burial, and at the 3min mark of the first of two 9min tracks, I closed my eyes for a moment (I’d been reading Twitter feeds, and for some reason, sitting sideways on the bus was making me a little queasy), and was suddenly and completely taken away, lost in the track.  That hasn’t happened in a long time for me.  Music is something that keeps me motivated when I’m cycling, keeps me sane when I’m overloaded by the maddening crowds, and keeps me focused when I’m at work and there’s too many things going on that threaten to knock me off the task at hand.

But it’s been a while since music just pulled me completely out of what’s going on.  Not even an escape from, but instead an ejection of the moment at hand.  Just gone.  Used to happen when I was making music.  I’d just put together a bunch of noises, and bleeps and bloops and drums and samples and whatever the hell else I happened to have handy and then hit play and started slapping loops together.  I refuse to challenge myself to make another album, not just because I feel let down when I don’t do it, but because it reminds me of why I quit.  Not because we had a new baby in the house.  Not because I started a new job, but because at some point after my second album I actually started to get noticed, and it freaked me out.

Not because of the attention to the music, but because I didn’t know what I was doing, so I felt like such a sham.  I had the NinjaTune label ask if I could spin my own stuff, and I couldn’t so that was out for opening for someone (and I think I would probably just pass out cold if I had to stand up in front of a crowd and play something *I* made, even if most of what I made is just arrangements of sound, and not what I consider composition).  A few months later, I was asked if I could open for a fairly well-known electronic artist in Vancouver, and again said no because I didn’t know how to “play” my stuff live.  That spooked me away from live shows, and then on top of THAT, CBC2’s New Music Canada  (that’s the online component of the stereo wing of Canada’s Broadcasting Corporation) played my least-favourite song from my first album TWICE in as many weeks.

That was all becoming more and more intense, and while it was exciting, it was also scaring the shit out of me, ’cause I kept wondering when the unmarked helicopters of audio engineering were going to show up and take away my mouse so I couldn’t do it any more because I wasn’t a “real” musician.

And then I joined the one-day music group, Immersion Composition Society (Neptune Lodge).  If you can call participating once “joining.”  I mean, I met Tricky once, even shook his hand, does that mean I’m in his band?

The point is to make a brand new piece of audio in a single day, and play it for a group of other folks that evening.  You could do anything you wanted to, using whatever method you wanted, but you had to go from nothing to something in that one day.  It was terrifying, and exhilarating, and inspiring to hear the sorts of amazing weirdness that geniuses like Dave Cheong can come up with in a day.  But mostly, I felt like I failed.  Felt like what they were doing was awesome, and what I was doing was crap.  That everyone had something to say about the other pieces (myself included) and there was discussion and dialogue, and then when it came to what little bits of audio lint I’d scraped together, the collective response was “Huh.  Well.  Next?”

It hurt.  What made it worse was that it’s not like anyone was being a dick or anything, they were just responding with whatever they’d felt, which was, it seems, not much.

Haven’t done a full single track since, and that was almost eight years ago.  Woof.

Back to where I started. Buhbye biker dude.

Back to where I started. Buhbye biker dude.

In other news I shaved off my Movember moustache.  Planned ahead enough to get one last photo before I went two miles up and nuked the place (it’s the only way to be sure), didn’t actually look at whether or not the “before” picture was wildly out of focus before I grabbed the shaver and went crazy on the ‘stache.


Oh well, thanks for reading, and if you’re not someone who’s commented before, drop a line and I’ll add you to my RSS feeds.

Posted on December 1st 2009 in General, Music, People
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