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.

My Photo
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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Posted @ 11:57RSRLS

Deftly — and quietly — avoiding any explanation for the month-long gap in the mind-expanding content presented here…

I have mentioned the existence of RSRLS before (and elsewhere), but I feel it necessary to amplify [pun? — I think not] my thoughts and experience of this distressing — and common — condition.

What is RSRLS?

The condition known as RSRLS (Recording Studio Red Light Syndrome) afflicts normally competent musical performers when they are placed in a enclosed space near any form of recording equipment and the "record" button is pressed. Usually this entails the illumination of a special light (usually red) indicating that recording is taking place. In such circumstances the musical performer manifests symptoms of extreme incompetence and loses all abilities to operate their chosen musical instrument and string a coherent sentence together. It matters little that the performer is usually comfortable (or, at least, not too uncomfortable) exercising their skill in public, in front of several (or, even, tens of several) people — sometimes, even in front of strangers. It also matters little that the recording environment is opperated solely by themselves or only by friends and supporters. Immediately that light goes on (and, experiments have shown, the light doesn't even have to be visible — or even exist — to the performer for the syndrome to manifest) the performer turns into a lump of gibbering jelly.

What are the symptoms?

The primary symptom of RSRLS is an immediate loss of all the learnt motor skills associated with operating one's chosen musical instrument: a guitar becomes a plank of wood with jangly bits of metal attached; a piano becomes a box filled with strangely shaped wooden effigies; accordions become leather bags attached to screaming insects; and banjos become, well, banjos.

Normally simple actions involving the instrument (such as knowing what it's actually for and knowing how to hold it) become almost impossible, whilst all memory of the tune or song to be recorded flees, seemingly forever, from the performer's mind. If required to sing, the performer will instantly be transformed into a native speaker of gibberish with an incomprehensible regional accent. The performer will, however, be able to play the piece perfectly, once the recording light goes off.

Is there a cure?

The simple answer is "No". The more complicated answer is also nearly "No": "No, but…"; as in "No, but drinking beer whislt recording makes you feel better, even though the end result is still the same". The most complicated answer to this question involves differential equations, quantum mechanics and the vaguely illegal consumption of mind-altering substances, but essentially boils down to "No".

What can you do?

If you want to help RSRLS sufferers, the best thing you can do is buy them a drink in the pub and ask them to talk about something else, because listening to stories about RSRLS can be very, very, very boring.


Post a Comment

<< Home