Ghosts in the machine
My hard drives are riddled with ghosts.
Ever since it became apparent that the computers with which I’d previously saddled with solely cranking out the occasional analysis paper or sheet music score could be tricked into making music – without my even needing to talk to another living soul! – I started conning myself into believing that therein lay the key to throwing myself into a compositional solitude, a hidden den of trial and error crafting, where all would be revealed in finding my voice and from which I would later emerge like a petty illusionist, a fully formed artist, a musician. And through all those headphone-aided expeditions, left in its wake an enormous glut of audio detritus, broken artifacts left over from overzealous digging, spent candy wrappers, fresh ideas left in the sun too long until they grew a bit of fuzz and became destined for the compost bin, yet I kept copying and saving and moving these stupid little files, perhaps as a sad conciliatory gesture in memory of all the “good” stuff that had over time disappeared by accident or out of frustration or just forgetting.
The efforts pretty much fizzled out by 2004, which says a lot about the success of the plan to clarify and distill any sense of a musical vision. Big shock, in retrospect. Who would have thought that working in a closet (literally) would eventually lead to creative atrophy, revealing a personal weakness that I am not some brilliantly driven, self-contained perpetual music machine, but instead, like some lame ficus left neglected in a just-too-shady corner, my work only grows if it’s apparent, tended to in the open. In the end, though, I find I want to get back to it, this composing thing, whatever that means these days. With that in mind, we’re going to try the opposite route this time: A completely public presentation of my pathetic attempt to get back on the bus and start cranking out some fine art product.
Thereby, this site will serve as a venue for that reentry into the world of creating music. Hopefully, this flipside approach of transparent, work-in-progress reflection, unapologetic and unembarrassed will lead to a better understanding of why there’s something nagging me to make music along with some gentle clues on what said music actually sounds like, and why, and how…
[audio:01-the chestnut lounge.mp3]