31.5.11

Thab

I always thought the idea of reverse psychology was something of a myth. Tonight I found that it really isn't. A quick scene between my daughter and myself.

Me: Time for your bath.
Daughter: I'm not going to have a bath.
Me: Yes you are.
Daughter: No! I DON'T WANT TO HAVE A BATH!

Five minutes later...

Me: You're not having a bath tonight.
Daughter: What?
Me: In fact I'm not going to let you have a bath.
Daughter: But... I want a bath.
Me: No. No chance.
Daughter: I WANT A BATH!

Of course, she's not even four yet, but still I see this as a victory for the now very much proved reverse psychology.

21.5.11

fret

I read this today. It made me think, yet again, about the differences between fretted and fretless basses (goodbye all those of you who don't care). I know what the advantages and disadvantages are to each instrument but I'm convinced it's not a simple as 'fretted basses are easier to play' and 'fretlesses are great to play sliding notes on.'

Hmmm. I'll get back to you on this.

16.5.11

Drugs and Flapjack

Yesterday at the day job things happened that left me drained. After work I drove off to record another track with the trio but spent the first few hours trying to rescue some files of music from a previous week’s session. The system used didn’t want to give up the tracks without a fight, but we got them in the end. These piano, guitar and bass parts will form part of a song for the new Spingere album.

Then, we started work on the latest song to be recorded. This is a piece with so much space in it we should have hired a conductor. Time moved on and it became apparent that we weren’t going to get a good take. So, we settled for a ‘reference’ take, to make it easier to pick up next time and called it a (late) night.

I drove home and felt the combination of a stressful day, hard work and a small helping of frustration. The drive home lasted about 40 minutes so I put on ‘Drugs’ by Talking Heads and most of the Holon album by Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin. Somehow, through the wonders of music, this kept me focussed and awake enough to get home safely.

This morning, my daughter woke me up by walking into my room and announcing, “I want to make flapjack because I’ve had enough sleep.” So, now I’m ok once again.

10.5.11

Knee - A quick cautionary tale.

For many years I did yoga. A practice I greatly enjoyed and got many benefits from (improved health, better concentration, a memory of someone farting loudly in a room full of lycra-clad ladies). Then, a few years ago I decided to take up running. Within a month I had injured my knee, making running and yoga impossible.

Recently, the knee seemed to have healed and I’ve been planning a return to regular yoga sessions. Last week though, just before a recording session I was sitting cross-legged on a chair. My guitarist friend said, “I wish I could sit in the lotus position like that.”
“Oh no,” I stupidly replied, “this isn’t the lotus position. I’ll show you.” And then I tucked my legs under each other in full lotus style.

What followed was a couple of seconds of warm smugness that I could demonstrate said position and bathe in the admiration of my pal, followed by searing pain and the feeling that I might need a team of medics to untangle my legs.

This could be seen as a lesson in humility, a warning about limitations or just a sign that middle aged people shouldn’t muck about with silly, bendy leg postures unless they’re Sting.

6.5.11

Nice and straightforward


After some pizza, coffee and doughnuts the guitarist, piano player and I looked over the music and agreed this was a tune that shouldn’t hold too many surprises. I even heard myself saying, “Oh, this looks nice and straightforward.”

Before recording a note we agreed to play through the sections, make notes on dynamics, strange chord inversions and places most likely to cause a disaster.

That done we played through the song a few times and then hit the red button.

I don’t know if it was the late hour, or the false sense of security but this turned out to be a song that didn’t want to be recorded. We had agreed we didn’t want multiple versions of songs which would then be comped together to make a perfect track. The band philosophy was ‘play it right, straight to tape.’ We did this, but much later in the evening; just before (I suspect) we lost the ability to play it at all anymore.

Next week, we’ll listen back and see if it really worked.