Priorities, Focus

29 Jul 2019

Dog Days

Summer is definitely here. After seemingly taking its time to heat up, it feels like the it went from generally cool to generally hot AF overnight. Fortunately, it hasn’t been unbearably hot, it’s held just a wee bit South of that. The days slide into weeks all the same. How can we be on the cusp of August? It feels like our little girl was born only a couple weeks ago (she’s 2 months old now!). That leads nicely into the next segment…

Challenge of Challenges

First, a little history. Our first child was a pretty laid back baby, all things considered. Apart from short naps, he grew and developed without much fuss. At least, that’s what other people tell me. I still think he offered his own set of challenges, especially for a first-timer. When the little girl was born, plenty of folks were quick to remind us not to expect such smooth sailing this time around. It’s time to knock on all the wood within arm’s reach because the little one has been the best little baby. Shockingly, she’s even more laid back than the First. She started sleeping longer stints around 6 weeks, and even goes through the night at times. I think we learned a trick or two from the First, but some of it has to be the baby, right? She’s been so good that it’s making the first major hurdle seem very daunting. As Dad, one of the jobs that I have is working with the baby on bottle feeding. Not only does it give Mommy a break, it also allows me to have some quality time with the little one. After a reasonably smooth start, the real fireworks began at the end of week one, and through week two, where we are right now. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say there’s been lots of crying, and not all of it by the little one. There have been little flashes of progress, but it’s been tough sledding, as they say. It’s been a challenge (struggle?), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I won’t quit on things that are important to me. When it comes to my family, there is nothing more important, so I am determined to make it work. I may stumble along the way, but I will get there. Today, I can say that we’re on the verge of a breakthrough. After trying different bottles, different times of the day, different burping techniques and so on, I read a few articles that my wife sent me and got to work. It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, but I think I learned a couple things tonight that should help me build on today’s success. I hope that by the next time I write a blog post, I’ll be able to report on that success. Cross your fingers!

Octatrack for Airports

No blog post would be complete without an update on my musical hobby. Despite the general lack of free time, I feel like I’ve actually been decently productive in this arena lately. The ideas have been flowing a little bit, and it’s been a lot of fun. In the last post, I mentioned a sort of half-time project using the Digitone. Well, I got around to recording it and here it is:

As is often the case, I can definitely take this idea farther, possibly even fleshing it out into a full song. What usually happens, though, is that once I get a recording done, I’m on to the next project. The title of this section kinda gives it away, but the idea from my latest project stems from this vlog by good ole Chris Randall at Audio Damage:

After the briefest synopsis of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, he goes into a tutorial on how to replicate the technique for composing a song like those on Music for Airports using modern gear. That got me thinking that I could probably do something very much like this using the Octatrack. After a quick dry run one night, while the idea was still fresh in my head, I confirmed to myself that it was indeed possible. Last weekend, I laid down the main structure for one track and I’m really excited about it. I still have some tweaking & fine tuning to do, but I’m pleased with how quickly I’ve been able to go from idea to output. To me, that signals a huge leap in facility with the Octatrack. If you asked me a year ago, I would’ve laughed at that concept. Exciting times as I’m furiously filling pages in my Octatrack idea notebook. I think I have enough of a framework for this project to develop it into something like a tribute EP / album. I think I can put together four different tracks stemming from the same technique of sparsely filled (long) loops. I also have an idea as to how I want to record it and share it. Stay tuned, gang.