This is an article I wrote about cutting out computers, slowly but surely.
There are 2 big changed I am making in my life, and they coincide.
I will attempting to live as computer-free an existance as possible. Just to clarify I define computer as in Personal Computer, as in my Macbook.
I will actually stop faffing around talking about it and start making some music.
Both of these things are very exciting for me. Here’s the game plan for both of them:
- Most people, including myself, use computers for, predominantly 3 things: Internet/Communication; Text/”Office tools” and “Digital Media” (this can be subdivided… alot; though I would say this mainly comprises music (playback and creation) and Digital Photography).
For most of the time, this plan is to make my computer as redundant AS POSSIBLE but not to actually remove it from my life entirely. However, I plan to, at some point, attempt a whole month without using my computer AT ALL!!! Just to see if I can do it.
Here’s briefly, how I plan to rid my life of the need for computers for the things I mention above:
Text - I won’t be required to write any essays for the for-see-able future. In terms of my creative writing, I have tried using some of the best tools in the business (Pages/TextEdit wasn’t cutting it so I got Scrivener [www.literatureandlatte.com]) and found that I feel most comfortable with, that’s right, a pen and a notebook.
Anyway, Anthony Johnstone wrote this article (anthonyjohnstone.com/gtw) about writing without computers and, taking inspiration from it, I have proceeded to buy myself lots of folders.
Photography - I won’t cut this completely, especially as I am beginning to explore the realm of video (including stop motion) but I am making a switch, gradually over to Black and White 35mm Film. It’s a pain in the ass, it’s slow, it’s expensive but bloody hell, is it so much more satisfying than digital photography.
Internet/Communication - I haven’t figured this bit out yet. I think it will involve writing lots of letters. I have however deleted a lot of my “Web 2.0 presence” including my personal myspace and left various other sites.
Music - in terms of playback; I have CDs still; but creation is the tricky one. I rely entirely on my Mac and Logic (a “Digital Audio Workstation”) for recording. By recording, I don’t just mean full quality, awesome, studio production; I mean I rely on it for sketches too.
And I am sick of it - I am sick of worrying about channel strips and bit depths and sampling rates and MIDI and SMPTE timecodes and the rest of it. I have found that working in Logic gets me out of the creative mindframe and into the technical mindframe.
Inspired by the fact that Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (an amazing album by the way) was recorded on a VERY simplistic set-up, I have got a dictaphone and a Fostex MR-8 MkII, or in laymans terms: BIG-BLACK-BOX-WITH-FLASHING-LIGHTS-THAT-RECORDS-STUFF. It’s designed for musicians with little or no idea what they are doing technically, or, in my case, people who know what they are doing, but choosing to ignore it.
In getting this I am ignoring the very good advice of proper music production people who know what they are doing.
(Oh yeah, I’m also getting a new microphone - one that is widely reputed to be very good, and is actually designed for recording instruments… unlike my £25 Glorified-Kariokee mic that I have been using to mic up my acoustic guitar).
Oh yeah, and I’m also getting an Irish Whistle (I plan to join forces with Jenny the moment she gets her Ukele - we will be an unstoppable musical force to be reckoned with!!!)
- Right, so I have my dictaphone, and I have some very cool deliberately not-fancy equipment in the post. Now I just need to make music. I think I will be mainly recording sketches some of which I may release online, I may make a CD, I may just leave them as sketches and then put then into a live context.
Well ladies and gentlemen, it finally happened - I went to a promoter, and asked for a gig. Yes, I know it’s a lot to take in, but I feel like I need to get back onto the gigging circuit. I am starting small, I asked for a VERY short set, but I think there is a good chance I will get one.
Anyway - fingers crossed I will be playing the Route Cafe in Woking next month (I think it’s on the 24th). If I’m not playing, then you should go anyway - because it’s a really nice atmosphere and there’s good acoustic music happening there (not to mention lots of very lovely people!)
So yes - no longer shall you hear ABOUT me making music, BUT YOU SHALL HEAR MY MUSIC (only if you want to of course…)
It feels very good to think of making music again, not as something that happened in the post, not as something I do on the side, but as a living breathing part of my life.
That will be all for now. I shall keep you posted.
Love and Peace
OOH, P.S. - Go to last.fm/music/The+Arachne+Co … hout+Names and download my electronic… thing I made last summer.
OOOOH!!! P.P.S. Go to youtube.com/watch?v=Yr09fYxQXMU&feature=user - this girl is amazing!!!