G4 Startup

Yesterday I went to my studio to work on a new piece. At 86 beats per minute it is the slowest piece, so far, and quite romantic, I find. It took me about fifteen or twenty minutes to get the old G4 Mac to start up. I hate that startup button on the old Mac towers, always have. There is no positive feedback as to what’s happening… I pushed the button and nothing happened, then I had to move around the dust-free box the computer is housed in, open the back door, and remove the power cable from the back. That resets the power button. Replug the cable, close the door, open the front, push the power button… repeat…

After a while the computer finally started up. I am coaxing life, and indeed music album after music album, out of a classic old piece of computing hardware. 2004!! That’s ancient! Then again I am becoming a classic, or vintage, myself…

Perhaps the failure to start up is related to the internal battery, which is there to keep time while the computer is turned off, having no power left. Each time the computer does start up I have to enter the current time and date, as the computer defaults to some date in the last century… I ordered a new battery, which is supposed to arrive tomorrow, so I’ll wait to panic until after I install the new battery. Perhaps the start up issue will be resolved with a new battery. I don’t know what I can do if it doesn’t…

I worked on the piece and hummed a few melodies to myself. I find humming is often a great way to find a melody, as opposed to playing the guitar right away. This way I can usually discover melodies that are simpler and more memorable.

In the recording room I played the melody on my guitar, then played a second, different, melody that seemed to materialize. Back in the control room I listened to the first melody, then the second. I wasn’t in love with either option, though. After a while an idea came to me, the possibility of using both melodies. I set up a separate track for the second melody and panned the two guitar melodies, one slightly to the left and the other slightly to the right. Now it might become a dialog. I removed sections from each melody so that the melody switched back and forth between the guitars. Now there was something. I listened to it for a long time, enjoying the new melody.

This afternoon I will go back to the studio to hear whether the melody/melodies hold up. To be continued…

Classic Mac Sound

That’s my studio computer, on the left, a 2002 Macintosh. Every album released on SSRI was recorded on that machine, a total of fourteen albums I think. At this point my phone probably has a faster processor…

That computer keeps humming though and I am currently recording album number fifteen on it. Since 2002 technology has changed so much, and updating everything became such a daunting task, that it was much easier to keep working with this old beast. And perhaps I even love working with an ancient computer. It reminds me that ideas are more important than gear.

Jon suggested that I write “Classic Macintosh Sound” on the inside cover of the new album. It was a joke because computers don’t actually have a sound. The sound is determined by the file type and the digital to analog converter, which is usually not handled by the computer itself. It’s funny and I might do it. :-)

Monday Geese

On Saturday morning three inches of snow lay wet and heavy on the table outside, but by the afternoon all had melted. My brother came by and told of wrestling equipment during the snowstorm on Friday, rather large machines called Reformers used in Pilates training that had arrived unexpectedly. I especially enjoyed his description of the sounds around his new Pilates studio:

From my left neighbor I can sometimes hear Yoga-chanting, in the back I hear “Dropping in” and then whosh-whosh (((a room with a half-pipe, dedicated to teaching skating))) and on the right is an aikido studio with people screaming and large bodies falling to the ground…

Yes, I will have to bring my 722 recorder and some microphones to Stefan’s new Pilates studio to record the sounds when I go training there!!!

Poem of the day via Weekly Words of Wisdom:

The Wild Geese
Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
– Wendell Berry

My laptop came back from Apple this morning, repaired and empty. I do like the AppleCare service. And thanks to SuperDuper (((the most important software for your Macintosh!))), I have the computer already loaded with all of the junk I need. Unfortunately now I can’t use the Peak Pro application because their stupid authorization is foiled by the fact that it does not recognize the new logicboard. We should sell music this way… the whole world would go crazy!!! No, you can’t play that song, your authorizartion has expired. You have to send us an email and request a new authorization.

The result is that there won’t be Monday music, but hopefully there will be Tuesday music!

Did you know that Federico Garcia Lorca wrote two poems entitled Canción de Jinete?

One is called Canción de Jinete (1860). What does 1860 stand for?

Canción de Jinete(1860) Song of the Rider(1860)

En la luna negra In the black moon
de los bandoleros, of the highwaymen
cantan las espuelas. the spurs sing.
Caballito negro Little black horse
¿Dónde llevas tu jinete muerto? Where are you taking your dead rider?
…Las duras espuelas …The hard spurs
del bandido inmóvil of the motionless bandit
que perdió las riendas. who lost his reins.
Caballito frío. Little cold horse.
¡Qué perfume de flor de cuchillo! What a scent of knife-blossom!
En la luna negra, In the black moon
sangraba el costado bled the mountain-side
de Sierra Morena. of Sierra Morena.

You can find the rest here. The other poem by the same name can be found here. This is a wonderful line:

¡Qué perfume de flor de cuchillo! What a scent of knife-blossom!

What a scent of knife-flower!

You know already that this is the poem that inspired me to name the band Luna Negra, yes?