They bring back lots of good memories.
Today there was a meet up in London to celebrate the life of the bassist Mick Karn who sadly died last month.
I would have really liked to have gone along, but it was sadly impossible. I’ve been thinking about him and his music for days, but I can’t seem to listen to anything by him. I don’t know why, but every time I see one of his tracks come up I skip it.
I’m considering having a serious Mick Karn listening session soon. I think it might be something I really need to do.
Martyn was an amazing musician. I only have one of his albums, but I I love some of the tracks on it, and it is very special indeed. Today in 2005 he died.
I didn’t know him. I only exchanged emails with him once but his music is and was amazing and unique.
If you want to know more about his work then look here.
If my Grandfather were alive today he would be 100 years old today. I miss him. He was an amazing man. A tinkerer and maker. A wizard with electronics and always creating amazing little gadgets.
When I was little he made me a toy police car made out of old tin cans and bits of tape machines. It was amazing and I played with it for years.
So today I remember my wonderful Grandpa and think of all the good time we had together. Oh, and you might wonder what the picture is? Well, it was his pencil tin, where he kept technical drawing pencils and a set of compasses and the like. It reminds me of him.
Having spent a lot of time listening to my old material it has made me wonder whether I should re-work some of it. The sad thing is that much of the material was recorded using a fairly beaten up old X15 four track recorder and included multiple tape bounces which never adds much but noise.
I’m sure I could do a better job now, but is it healthy to go backwards like that?
I’m not sure at the moment. It all needs a bit more thought.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m currently going through a process of moving all my old cassettes to digital. It will take a long, long, long, time. I assure you.
But part of the process is listening to music I haven’t heard in years. Mostly things I’ve recorded myself, some great, some terrible, some embarrassing, and all enjoyable in one way or another.
It is a good reminder of why I love music, why I love the creative process. A reminder that software and hardware are just tools for doing something creative and should be looked at as that.
I think it can be really easy to get lost in tools you’re using to the point where you focus so much on what the tool can do and can’t do that you forget what it is you’re trying to achieve. That’s the danger and listening to my old stuff made with simple hardware and usually no software at all made me realise that perhaps I need to think long and hard about where my music is going, or more importantly the fact that it isn’t going anywhere at the moment.
I’ve been clearing out old tapes, and when I say old I mean old. Some of the tapes are of my own music so I’ve been converting a few tracks to digital and finding songs that I’d completely forgotten about.
Sadly, one tape seems to have decided to give up and of course it had to be one which had lots of long forgotten treasure (for me anyway).
There’s only one thing for it. I’m going to have to open it up and see if I can splice the tape together, and I haven’t done that for years!
I decided to start digitising my huge collection of old cassettes. A daunting task. I’ve been putting off doing it for years. Really years and years.
But it needs doing. I started off with a tape of a load of bands that I put on in the nineties at an open mic type event in South London that I used to run once a month.
It is fantastic to listen to some of these bands and their songs again. Songs that have been forgotten by most of the people that heard them.
I don’t even know most of the people who played at those gigs. I wish I hadn’t lost touch, but it is a fact of life that we move on and people drift and do different things and stop being in bands. A shame, but that’s the way it is.
I suppose in a way listening to all this old stuff is a way of reliving the past, but there’s nothing terribly wrong with that. Also you start to remember why some of those songs never got anywhere!
It’s fun to do, and who knows if I’ll get through all of those tapes?