Provincial Letters

Far from the mad crowds of the city, Blaise Pascal passed comment on the strange behaviour of this urban contemporaries in his Provincial Letters. The connection between them and this blog is somewhat tenuous.

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Location: Grimsby, N E Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

My star sign in Superstition. And I didn't believe in reincarnation last time, either. The only thing I can't tolerate is intolerance. I am a fanatical ant-fanaticist. I am bigotted only where bigots are concerned. I am a fundamentalist atheist. I'm proud to be a product of evolution; I know it in my genes.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Posted @ 22:00Recording Alone I

WARNING: This post is probably a bit of self-indulgent whining. Sorry.

I'm in the process of recording a new song. It's nearly finished. The trouble is, it's a very lonely and, I sometimes think, self-indulgent process. Compared to doing it in a studio with other musicians and recording people, it smacks a little of masturbation — not that I've anything against masturbation; it is, after all, as Woody Allen once observed, "sex with someone you love". The real trouble is all the fiddling you have to do and all the fiddling you think you ought to do. What I mean is...

You start out with all the best intentions, particularly about not taking forever over what should be a relatively simple task. After all, you read about how, say, The Band had the luxury of spending 2 days in the studio rehearsing and recording The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and you realise that you've taken considerably more than 2 days; fantastically more than 2 days; excessively more than 2 days. That's not luxury, that's indulgence.

And then, by the time you've listened to it 5,000-or-so times, it becomes absolutely impossible to judge how it will sound to someone listening to it for the first time. Will it sound like someone massaging their own ego (another, appropriate, euphemism for masturbation)? Will it sound like just another lame rant of angst? Is the tune as good as you think? Will anyone spot the slightly dodgy attack on the bass string in the last chorus? Why does my voice always sound like I've got a cold? Have I still got a cold? Why don't I just go out for a beer instead? Why did I go out for a beer instead? Should I talk about it and bore the pants off people? Why did I talk about it and bore the pants off people? Am I boring the pants off people now?

All of which will, I hope, not come as a surprise to any of my loyal readers who've attempted such projects. But it still doesn't answer any of the questions.

Of course there's still the problem of the neighbours hearing you sing — apparently unaccompanied — the second verse 47 times with liberal, loud and frequent swearings after every faux pas and mumbled enunciation. I'm glad I haven't got neighbours who do it.


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