Friday, March 07, 2008
Don't Just Do Something, Stand There
I wish I had a comfortable and well-equipped place where I could set up a group of musicians and record them. It would also be pretty cool if I had a way of getting that recording onto the public airwaves.
Hmmm...well, I have a radio show already and I just finished re-wiring the music studio at the radio station, so that much is taken care of- I even have a pair of enthusiastic volunteer trainees, so it's now become a classroom as well as a studio, which is good because I'd like for other DJs to have live music skills too.
So, cool. I gots me some students to put the learnin' on.
I can get them to do all the stuff that I don't want to do (which is everything) and I get to take all the credit.
(Actually, I really like one of my vols. The other one is this guy.)
Next step: find a band.
Over the last few years, I've become increasingly enchanted by Celtic and Irish music in all it's forms, but I know shamefully little about it- it would be great if I could find a group of musicians who not only played such music, but were also well-versed in it's lore and traditions- enter my real-life friend Schlep!
Schlep put me in contact with a band called Poisoned Dwarf, a group which fit my needs exactly. If you like this sort of thing, check out their website (that means you, Sling), you will find that they are quite good and also have a great attitude towards the music they perform. I think it will be a great session. (Props to Schlep for the tip!)
Beyond my personal interest in the music, there is also a practical reason for me wanting to host an Irish folk group: the variety of instruments!
They have strings ( bowed and plucked), woodwinds, percussion, pipes and voices- this gives me a chance to demonstrate different microphones and proper mic techniques to my assistants.
I love teaching mic technique. I really do.
What a great deal: The band gets a free studio recording with guaranteed radio play and promotion, I get exactly the kind of group I need in order to teach my 'class' and I get to produce a kick-ass radio programme for my own show. As a bonus, I get to learn about music at the same time that I'm imparting my voluminous sonic wisdom to my volunteers. Tradition and technology, the cycle of preserving and sharing knowledge... man, it's pretty fuckin' Zen if you ask me. Even the terms used while recording reflect this: signal flow; balance; unity gain;harmonics;equalization...ahhh, I love it!
And ya know what?
Nobody was gonna fix that studio for me.
A band wasn't just going to magically appear.
My friends aren't gonna learn about sound by just looking at quiescent audio gear.
I have to do these things myself and I'm glad I'm doing them because it beats the hell out of sitting around and feeling sorry for myself.
Today it has been 30 months since my last alcoholic drink. In that time I've lost my grandmother, my cousin and three jobs; I wrecked my car, went on bad dates and have suffered almost every form of rejection that a man can suffer and I still haven't had a drink! That may not sound like much to you, but it means everything to me.
So, if you are imbibing an adult beverage at the moment, have an extra one for me. My drinking days are done, but I'm not done toasting: here's to making stuff happen!