Diary of a deviant musician ep 1

… in which I attempt to account publicly for professing on occasion to be a 'musician' or 'songwriter' or 'performer'.  How can this be when I go for weeks without performing, months without writing songs and years between albums?  Is it just wishful thinking, an affectation or a bid for false popularity?

Well, no. I'm a well-intentioned one of all these things. It's just that I get sidetracked. So this will be an attempt to diarise my actual work on these things, my deviations (hence the title) from my stated intentions and, I hope, my successes in the hope that there will be some.  It may amuse you and you're welcome to mock, or to say 'that's me too'.

So here I am in May 2011 with a band of friends, about to do a gig at a charity night/party. And at the same time wanting to push forward with the plan to record songs I've never recorded. I listed a few weeks ago songs that are probably not band songs, but which deserve a shot at the light. There were about 20, written mostly in the last ten years. Putting a bunch of the ones I'd already worked on together for a friend last week I realised I may have the ingredients of an album – a Norman Lamont album not a band album: about seven songs that seem to sit well together, the recordings of which are not too excruciating for me to listen to, and which, being a mere seven, make a package that isn't too long. Most albums now are way too long.

Music-making for me is a late evening thing – after 8, till I feel the Sleep Signal at about 11. And that's a few nights a week only. Many things, from family matters, to 'V' or some such dip-into TV or a phone call can easily sabotage. So I have maybe a good 2 hours. 

Usually the first hour is taken up with 'Why isn't Cubase/FL Studio/my guitar/my PC doing what it's supposed to?' or with ' I'll just check my email before I start.' or with ' I can't find xxx on this damn computer''.  Which is where we find ourselves tonight.  Having moved two hard drives into a new computer with a fast new exciting companion, and having moved to Windows 7, what used to be a comprehensible file structure is now chaos.  Cubase and FL files are all over the shop. I could move them into one sensible structure, but I know from previous experience it can cause Cubase files in particular to not work, causing aforementioned distraction number one.

I'll leave it there for tonight, but not before giving myself a challenge. I shall produce said Norman Lamont solo album by the end of August.  Or I will stop altogether. Just stop. And I'll keep up this diary, since tonight it's helped me escape from actually doing anything.

1 thought on “Diary of a deviant musician ep 1”

  1. Finding the time to work on musical projects as a hobby is tricky. If you have working, career, domestic and family responsibilities then fitting in music can appear to be a more selfish indulgence than serial golf or long periods of binge drinking. There simply isn’t enough time so you day dream about being alone in some rancid bedsit in Brooklyn, working out your songs, polishing and memorising them and actually liking them enough – it seems a far away (naive and unrealistic) aspiration. We’ve spent the last three weeks trying to write and demo 5 or 6 songs for a recording weekend next month. In truth our total time on the project in those three weeks has been about three complete hours, an hour of which was figuring out how to email sound files from the ipad. Invariably the first take has to do (unless the washing machine explodes somewhere in the background)… then there’s the actual recording process and the design for the cover, ha ha!

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