Downloaded the latest version of FL Studio last night. I was lucky enough to register this when it was a small and cheap application called Fruity Loops, and get lifetime free updates. It’s grown into a very impressive music studio product. The trouble is it takes a lot of learning. Plague can do incredible things with it, in seconds. I struggle and forget. The typical pattern is: he shows me something; I experiment with it and unlock more of its promise; I try to apply it to a particular purpose or a particular piece I’m working on; immediately I find I need to know something else and can’t get it working. By that time Plague’s unavailable or I feel bad about bothering him again. I have a good manual but it presupposes you know what you’re after. The other approach , of course, which works, is to forget about applying it to existing musical ideas and go where it leads. That way you can come up with something new. But I always wish I knew more about this beast.

Caught the tail end of a programme on 9/11 conspiracy theories. I missed the argument but the conclusion – that the real story is one of incompetence and human error – seems more plausible to me, always has, although I agree there’s something appealing and satisfying about the conspiracy theory: that it feels better to have your prejudices confirmed and an enemy to hate than to share in the messy world of cockup and buck-passing. Maybe that’s why I can’t completely reject the consipiracy notion, while remaining deeply suspicious of it.

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