August 8, 2014

I checked the pedalboard’s operations one last time. This, now, will be Pedalboard 4. Like Pedalboard 3, it’s temporary and mutable – able to adapt to the requirements of a particular sound project. Pedalboards 1 and 2 are, in contrast, fixed for the foreseeable future:

Pedalboard 1 (2013): Distortion

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Pedalboard 2 (2014): Modulation

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Pedalboard 3 (2014)

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It’s incumbent upon the sound artist to have knowledge of and authority over not only the aesthetic, theory, conceptualization, and craft of their practice but also the technology. As far as possible, one must learn to be one’s own technician.

The main task of the day was to draw up a plan for a more structured self-education in music theory and practice. In principle, it needs to be realistic, challenging, varied, comprehensive, and fulfilling for head, hands, and heart (together). Ideally, it should also be, in part, something which I can carry around in the mind throughout the day:

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By the end of the afternoon, I had in place an intelligent and progressive regime for practising that can be incorporated into the background of my professional life. I also committed myself to the following sensible and enabling maxims:

  • Remember: the practise is the practice
  • Avoid mindless repetition and unfocussed noodling
  • Attend first to what you cannot do
  • Cultivate attentive listening
  • Study on a daily basis
  • Test yourself
  • Discern underlying principles
  • Practice and theory are like your hands on the guitar; they must operate together, always
  • Be aware of your posture
  • Be suspicious of your strengths
  • Know your ignorance
  • Love the task.

In the evening, I returned to the sound sample of the Japanese high-school orchestra that my younger son had procured for me, finalised the mix down, and composed the cover and artwork notes in readiness for tomorrow’s launch:

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