Touching the Intangibles

Hi all! Andy here.

I haven’t been writing much. But of course you know the drill: the fact that I haven’t been writing doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing’s happening. I’ve been doing stuff. I’ve been THINKING.

Of course, it FEELS like nothing’s happening, which is SUPER-frustrating. My only results are a couple crummy drawings and a family of ideas that scatter like cats when I try to get ahold of any one.

When it comes to self-evaluation, I like to see lots of nice, solid, concrete, measurable THINGS. Stuff I can cross off a to-do list. But I’m starting to see that in an undertaking like this one the bigger—and more important—part of the work is in the intangibles.  And much to my surprise, there’s been quite a bit of progress there.

For example, I took a moment to re-read my previous post, and could suddenly see just how far I’ve come. Because I could suddenly see plain as day that I’ve been trying to use someone else’s standards to define my needs.

Here’s how it works: I ask myself things like “why do I need 20+ channels of compression, when I never work in more than 8 tracks?” It sounds clear-headed and minimalistic.

But of course a rhetorical question like that one assumes a LOT. It assumes that compression is something I need. It assumes that I’m going to be using my gear in one particular fashion. It assumes that there’s no joy in complexity. It fails to take into account the possibility that I might just have gear around because I LIKE having gear around.

This studio is going to be MY studio, and if it’s going to be mine, I’M the only one who can make it that way. If tracking down obscure gear is a strength, I don’t want to minimize it, I want to EMPHASIZE it.  “Hide it under a bushel?  NO!  I’m gonna let it shine…”

That’s a pretty abstract bit of work, right there—and not easy work either. What’s more, our whole society is set up to trivialize that kind of work.  I’m fighting decades of social conditioning here.

A few years ago I would have slammed through this whole project in a week and a half. This slower pace feels excruciating. I’ve been incredibly frustrated.

But the thing is, a few years ago I would have pushed the project to a utilitarian level of completion, only to find the myself hamstrung later on due to poorly established parameters at the outset. I’ve been doing things that way most of my life. It doesn’t work and I’m sick of it. This may turn into an ethereal endurance contest, but I’m doing things differently this time.

And hopefully the next entry will have some nice pictures for you to look at.

About andysmash

North Coast punk-rocker/theologian. A good head for gears and an eye on the far horizon. DIY recording artist and frontman for the Rust Belt Hotrods.
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