Well, here goes... everything.
November 4, 2008
For years now, people have been telling me I should have a blog. "You contribute to all kinds of online forums about music, recording technology, and the like. Why not collect all of that in one place, in a blog?"
Well, that's a fair question.
I think what's stopped me before this is that I have tried to restrict my views to mailing lists and forum boards germane to the topic I'm talking about. When I want to talk about artistic or technological matters relating to the Different Skies festivals in Arizona (www.differentskies.com), I post to the Different Skies mailing list. When I want to talk about creative processes relating to experimental music, I post to the SynthSights mailing list (www.synthsights.net). When I want to discuss the Berlin School of electronic music and why so many otherwise sensible people will actually put down a CD of good ambient music and refuse to listen to it because it doesn't sound like it was made in an acid-soaked German studio in 1974, I post to the Beyond EM mailing list. And so on. When people read those forums they are looking for particular information and I try to make sure they get what they're looking for.
By way of contrast, what do people want when they look at a blog? Insights from a particular individual, a glimpse into how that person sees and interacts with the world. Hopefully there's something to think about, something to argue over, something to relate to. The blog becomes a window into a thought process that the reader values. I'm not a particularly modest person, but I find it odd that folks would flock to read what I had to say about anything in particular, for no better reason than that it's me saying it. Without context, what's the point?
So I guess it falls to me to provide context... areas of interest to modern recording musicians who have read Recording Magazine for some or all of the nearly 13 years I've been editing it and writing for it, and who find what I have to say worth reading, whether here or in print. I can build a framework for my views on everything from aardvark connectors* to zymurgy** and all points in between, and hope that people have patience to bear with me as I put up this rickety skeleton and try to lay meat on these dry bones. I have a lot of friends in the many worlds I inhabit or pass through as a tourist, and many of them inspire me with their intelligence, wit, technical knowledge, education, worldliness, healthy skepticism, curiosity, and humor... I plan to talk about a lot of them here when the opportunities present themselves, and I wish I had their qualities as I set forth to fill this blog with stuff worth reading...
But I'm just me. Ph.D. in nuclear physics, retired from active research but with one eye still on the world of science, because science and art are siblings and feed one another in a perfect world; magazine editor, watching the ebb and flow of music technology and the people who make it happen (I adore this industry for its people far more than its boxes, sorry); online vagabond, wandering the Internet forums and the virtual landscape of Second Life in search of truth and beauty, or at least a good recipe for lasagna that doesn't require you to precook the pasta; husband and father, watching his children grow up in a world where miracles of music production are not only possible, but within casual reach every time they sit down at a computer; and first and foremost, recording musician, turning ideas into listenable records to share with the world, making mistakes and learning from them along the way, and sharing what I know with my public.
And you know, maybe that's not such a bad place to start.
*aardvark connector: an adaptor device for mating two mismatched cable types, like an XLR-to-RCA barrel. Thanks to former Recording editor Nick Batzdorf for this term (and also, parenthetically, for getting me hired, back in 1996).
**zymurgy: the practice of making fermented alcoholic beverages. I don't do it myself, but I have friends who do, and live in a town with some mighty fine meaderies and microbreweries, so I appreciate what goes into it... and it's a nice word to find near the end of the dictionary, at least for folks who have never been to Zzyxx, California. (Look it up.)