I have to be up for Arktik Lake Tony seshes in Sydney every Sunday morning starting at 10 AM so I set my alarm for 9.20 AM, 9.30 AM, 9.40 AM and usually get up at 9.39 AM, trying to use up every possible minute of sleep whilst avoiding hearing the damn alarm for a third annoying time. I can’t get to bed before 3 AM, it just doesn’t work and so this morning at 2.30 AM I thought it might be an appropriate time to have a shower, wash my hair, shave. A bit late for all the palaver of a shower when it’s already late and I have to get up but I hadn’t had a chance earlier and if I didn’t do it after all the day’s madness was over, I wouldn’t have a chance when the following day’s madness has started. I think the original idea about late nights and getting up late was that there are no distractions, the buzz of the day doesn’t entice you into its rich fruits, the temptation of light, the draw of coffee shops and the pleasure of (in the case of Porto) walking down ancient streets and pushing your face towards the sun by the river. But what I’ve found is that the lack of interruption means the time to write. If I lived in normal hours I wouldn’t be able to do this, the problem now is the studio, a competitor for my time.
So, I spoke for two and a half hours to Tony and then watched the second half of Liverpool – Cardiff in the FA Cup (3-1). I did Swedish whilst the Six Nations roared on in the background. I had a sesh with Space Summit Jed in Minneapolis at 6 PM and planned to send him a message to ask if he could do it later so I could work longer on something in the studio to share with him. But I sent the message to the wrong person who sent it back to me (thanks Mark) but by then it was too late to change the time. In the meantime, I’d come up with something but I’m still pretty much in practice the programme mode, so I was more concerned with throwing down some simple chords, getting a beat and a tempo, adding a quick bass and seeing where it led me in regards to the skills I need that I don’t have. So that’s when I realised that I’m quite clueless when it comes to recording vocals. That’s my next task – on top of all the others.
I decided that my simple experiments weren’t material to work on with Jed, so I started something new and quickly came up with a simple guitar riff using the wah wah, a foot-tapping drum beat and before you knew it, I was off. Five hours later, I’d constructed, arranged and written a backing track with piano, bass, drums, and guitars. It may sound like a long time but every step of the way was learning a new computer command, or facility that I didn’t know existed before. All this whilst actually trying to write a piece of music for Jed to take away and add his magic – lyrics, melody, vocals. The piece I wrote was simple but engaging, possibly the perfect vehicle with space enough to add another song to the Space Summit repertoire.
I was supposed to have another sesh with Abby and Nick in Philadelphia but they had to postpone because Abby cracked a tooth and had to go to the emergency dentist. I asked if she was insured, she said she was and as they are both PhDs in philosophy I told her ‘thank Kierkegaard‘! I didn’t say anything about pain being a state of mind, and that with logical reasoning, you could argue that teeth as a weapon can suppress any form of pain or fear by reversing the energy of the nerve endings with willpower and general mental strength, especially in relation to man’s struggle with the consciousness and the acceptance that as existence itself is impossible to prove we can therefore present the idea that the dentist feasibly doesn’t exist, so therefore pain is impossible – I think it’s bedtime.