The Production Notebook: The First Entry, Power Supply, and Mark Bly

This is the first entry to the Production Notebook, so called with the utmost respect to Mark Bly.  Bly is one of a handful of people who have transformed Western dramaturgy in the last 50 years, and I can’t help but to think had I had the opportunity to study with him sooner, I wouldn’t be quite so disillusioned with the theatre and the graduate school experience.  The Production Notebooks (Volumes 1 and 2) are essential reading not only for dramaturgs, but anyone making a career in theatre.

My Production Notebook, on the other hand, is essentially a record of the futility of trying to make progress on Hijacking Your Fiction during my month-long vacation.

This first entry is late, and the evidence of said futility is already piling up.  I was quite fortunate to have been given a computer (thanks, Kittenita), a massive upgrade to the laptop I had been working on for the previous five years, which is now my Internet computer.  In the land of cheap computer parts, I was able to do a couple upgrades (4 gigs of RAM, a new Samsung DVD/CD drive and Firewire ports, installed, for about $100.  I spent the next three days setting the computer up to my liking, installing software, organizing, and transferring data from my laptop and various hard drives. 

Three days.

Then everything shut down.  And it wouldn’t start up again.

After a loud and curse-filled rampage which certainly disturbed my roommates, I settled down enough to come to the conclusion that, based on the computer’s behavior, the most likely culprit was the power supply.  The next day I took the computer in, again, and found that it was indeed the power supply.  My bank account a bit lighter, everything seems to be working again.  I also found it to be a good excuse to buy another external backup drive, to be used exclusively with the new computer.

I spent a good part of Tuesday finishing my setup, and now that everything is ready to go, the last thing I want to do is look at another computer screen.  One might ask why I’m writing this now.  Well, if I don’t do it now, it may not get done.  And rest assured, when I am finished I will be getting out of my flat for a while, probably to Sukkara, a cafe that makes the best organic soy chai I’ve ever had, and my favorite place to go in Seoul when I’m stressed.  My time will not be entirely wasted, as I tend to get a decent amount of lyric writing done there.

In other news, my Korg Prophecy finally arrived from the US last Friday.  As stated in the previous post, I had it shipped via FedEx for fast and safe delivery, only to have it caught up in customs for a week.  I also made a final decision on studio monitors, and decided on the KRK RP-6 due to budget, size constraints, and the fact that they are the same monitors I was using in the US (John, I hope you’re enjoying them) so they will take the least amount of getting used to.  But I’m not done spending money yet:  Due to the size of my desk (and the size of my room) I will require speaker stands for proper monitor placement, and I need a mic stand as well.  The speaker stands can wait, but the mic stand will be necessary soon if all goes to plan.

Hijacking Your Fiction

The first album from AllThisIsMeaningless is a long time coming – five years, and arguably as many as eight or nine, the approximate age of the oldest song on the album, “Gate 36.”

The album will be made available in multiple formats.  CDs will be available in extremely limited quantities, and only after I am certain I have the money for them.  These will most likely be duplicated (CDR) rather than replicated in order to save costs.  I am doing this with a heavy heart, for though I love having a physical product, I hear the death knell for the CD.  I hear the beloved format I grew up with gasping its last breaths. 

I will be pushing downloads, some of which I will make available for free.  However, I am encouraging everyone to purchase custom USB drives, which will contain the complete album as well as numerous extras:  album artwork, extensive liner notes, remixes, tracks that didn’t make the cut, acoustic versions of tracks, and hopefully video.  I further hope that those of you who love me enough to buy it will also love me enough to share it with friends who are broke or have something against supporting poor musicians.   My goal here is publicity over financial gain.

In addition, as an advocate of paying for access rather than product, purchases of the USB drive will come first access to all songs and remixes for the following year (I may make it two years), as well as bonus content and preview mixes for the album after Hijacking Your Fiction, which I’ve already begun (I haven’t quite worked out the logistics of any of this yet).  The USBs will be more expensive than the CDs, but will be sold at minimal profit (likely no more than one or two dollars over cost, depending on the cost – I deserve something for my work and if you share it with friends maybe you can have them make donations toward your purchase).

Finally, I’m considering working out something with cassettes – perhaps if you send me a cassette (any cassette, really, though I’d prefer not to use one that is a copyrighted recording from an existing label) and return postage, I’ll simply record the entire album onto your cassette.  This will be time consuming, and nearly free, so I will not guarantee quality, fidelity, or even that a song won’t be cut off mid-way as the first side of the tape ends (If this happens, I’ll do my best to continue on the second side as close to that point in the song as possible).

In Google news, I’ve noticed that AllThisIsMeaningless can be difficult to find.  A year ago, as long as one entered the name as one word it would show up.  But now Google is too smart for you and it separates the words unless you tell it you specifically want to search for AllThisIsMeaningless as one word.

AllThisIsMeaningless is a deeply personal project, and I want this blog to reflect that.  I also intend to make greater efforts toward updating my other sites and to personally reply to everyone that takes the time to comment (something that has been incredibly easy thus far).  This site will also receive an overhaul.

Ultimately, it is about the music.  I only hope the music is worthy of your ears.

More updates should follow soon.

Transitional Phases

My lack of communication (and musical production) can be said, in short, to be on account of yet another transitional phase.  I am currently a bit displaced, having no place of my own to work on music, an appropriate continuation of a year that has thus far has been no less than trying.  In times of great emotional distress, my music suffers.  I wish I could say that I was able to capture the negative energy and turn it into great art, but my mental capacity must be somewhat intact in order to keep it from sounding unsinspired at best, and akin to high school poetry at worst (“The dagger looms above me, I await death,” something like that – any teens out there wishing for a bit of publicity, feel free to submit your work chronicling your agonizing life, as I could use a proper example).  I have gone so far recently as to consider giving up music altogether, but to paraphrase a friend, I don’t dare give it up entirely because it is too much a part of me.  So in spite of it all the album is coming together (at least in my head and in parts actual composition and recording) as a result not only of an emotionally exhausting 2010, but also the sum of experiences over the last several years.  Unfortunately, the earliest I will be able to continue work on Hijacking Your Fiction, and this is hopeful thinking, is November, after my less than triumphant return to the Far East.

Live, or curl up and die on rat-stink kitchen linoleum.

A few changes and notes:

The promised full interview with Culture Shock Lewis will not go up anytime soon, if ever.  At this point it has been over a year and a lot has changed.  I may refer to it on occasion, however, if it suits me to do so, and I may post portions of the interview or restate certain ideas when appropriate.  Although much of what I said remains true, it simply feels dated.  If he feels up to it, perhaps it is time for another go?

I may occasionally post commentary on other musicians, albums and genres as a matter of interest.

I may post production notes, technological bits, software impressions, thoughts on music theory and musicology, and other things I experience or read of audial interest.

More complete album news is coming next, as well as future plans for all things AllThisIsMeaningless.

Address to My Abandoned Fans

Perhaps it is folly to assume I ever had anything of a fanbase to begin with…

Nonetheless, it is time to begin anew.  The last several months have taken their toll (as will be partially explained soon), and as a result I have done little musically, which translates to zero blog time.  Now, however, John (aka MusiM) has somehow pushed me back here and I’ve agreed to a bi-weekly post – monthly being too infrequent, and weekly not giving the perfectionist in me time to be at least moderately satisfied with my words (I have several posts that never got finished which are now irrelevant as a result of obsessive vocabulary and syntax rearrangement symptomatic of a persistent fear of being misunderstood).  I’m hoping that bi-weekly will give me enough time to make each post satisfactory while not giving perfectionism enough time to blossom fully.

Assuming I still have readers and/or listeners, I’ve not abandoned you – I just got a bit lost.  Consider this post one.