by The StiKman
Once upon a time I was a young “The.”
I knew the muse was knocking at my attic door.
“Knock! Knock! Knock!”
“What’s that?” You might think I wondered.
But I didn’t wonder.
Actually, that was the first thing I ever felt sure about.
I KNEW what that was.
I knew it was
That’s what religious folks term it.
I then sought corroboration. I asked others:
Do you hear music, and stories in your head that you’ve never heard before?
Do you see pictures and movies likewise?
Many answered in the negative.
But some answered in the affirmative.
I joined a band.
After a while I asked if we might play something I had discovered.
I was told that what I wanted to play was stupid and useless.
I figured I needed to learn some crafts.
I learned to notate music, draw in perspective and conjugate a sentence.
I sought out professional artists, cinematographers, and musicians and asked them about the sources of their works.
I received as many answers as subjects that I canvassed.
Some professed to mathematical equations to structure their work, while others claimed their work just “happened.”
I discovered I wasn’t great at math, but I learned about mathematical relationships in music.
What if I am some sort of radio receiver, which is tuned into a frequency where the muse broadcasts? On one hand, it might be interpreted as egotistical by some, that the muse would choose me for such an honor.
On another hand, it may remove a lot of the credit that might be assigned to me for thinking this stuff up, if I’m just picking it up on some (cheap?) flesh radio.
Perhaps “I” have little to do with it. I determined that my studies helped me to better tune in my “reception.”
At first, before I went to music college, I didn’t recognize some of the rhythms that were offered.
I mistranscribed some compound time and polyrythms.
Eventually I grew more confident in recognizing a variety of forms. Sound and recording engineers seemed part of a secret conspiracy to ignore my questions.
To further better communication with theses misanthropes, I began to learn about audio from my associate, Rance.
Then, at his suggestion, I took a couple of audio recording courses with John Barsotti at San Francisco State College.
I vowed that if I ever learned a functional understanding of this stuff I wouldn’t hide it from other composers and musicians, or roll my eyes dismissively at them, or reply to them with incomprehensible jargon.
It turned out, that I took to it more than I had hoped or suspected.
My original goal was to better communicate with sound tech, but the result was that I became a bit of a tech myself !
Other human-muse-radios-in-need sought me out.
When they came to me I wanted to help them in the way I had needed help. I would crawl into their essence and help to make a recording in the way they would make it, if they only had my production skills.
I didn’t need (as some producers need) to turn other’s work towards my vision.
(I was already working on what I believed to be the purest expression of that!)
Today, 30 years later, as I write this, I’m producing the music of a band.