Portents and Auspices

Rob Brezsny has this to say, directly to me:

A bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc wine from 1947 sold for $304,000. Three bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1869 went for $233,000 apiece. The mystique about aged wine provokes crazy behavior like that. But here’s a more mundane fact: Most wine deteriorates with age, and should be sold within a few years of being bottled. I’m thinking about these things as I meditate on your long-term future, Sagittarius. My guess is that your current labor of love will reach full maturity in the next 18 to 20 months. This will be a time to bring all your concentration and ingenuity to bear on making it as good as it can be. By September of 2017, you will have ripened it as much as it can be ripened.

And frankly, I like this. That I’ve finally begun writing music again seems to frame the above rather neatly.

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Music Personality Quiz

I worked through this A/B test earlier, comparing a series of pairs musical excerpts. I didn’t know what the test was specifically reaching for until I got to the end so I was a bit stumped sometimes in that I’d get pairs of tracks both of which I disliked and pairs of that both intrigued me.

And this is the result I got:

You are quite a knowledgeable person who has an interest in the arts. Although you respect tradition, you will also happily try out new things from time to time. You have a wide spread of interests, both mainstream and unconventional. Others view you as an interesting but not alternative type of person. Overall, you are a reasonably tolerant individual.

It’s important to you that you complete the tasks that you begin. You are reasonably well organised but you’re probably not excessively tidy. You can be impulsive at times but you also recognise that you can’t always live for the moment. You follow rules and can be relied upon much of the time. You work towards goals but don’t strive for perfection.

You’re not really an extravert. But nor are you a typical introvert. You’re quite easy going. Extraverts need other people to recharge their batteries, introverts need time alone – you’re a bit of both. You’re able to immerse yourself into social situations quite easily, but you’re also quite happy with your own company. At times you will seek excitement and at other times you will happily stay home by yourself.

Soft hearted and sympathetic, you see the best in people and trust others easily. You avoid conflict and tend to agree with others in order to keep the peace. Helpful, honest and direct, others see you as warm and caring. You are a good team player who cooperates well.

You tend to become stressed pretty easily and will focus on the worst possible outcome in any situation. You are highly sensitive and easily upset. You see danger where others usually don’t and can be quite shy. You don’t like to wait for things and may have a quick temper. You worry about things you have said and done, and can be hard on yourself. The problems in the world make you sad.

The quiz/test is available here: https://slm.tunehog.com/start/main

So here’s a thought.

If I get two days off a week and one of those days is a week day, what’s to stop me from going through the large sheaf of song ideas I have written down and recording one of those songs on that day?

Really, what’s to stop me?

Is it too late for a New Year’s Resolution or is it the perfect time?

Notes on the inevitable.

They’re one of those things, as men, we “don’t think about”.  Mirrors.  Especially bathroom mirrors.  We’re trained to use them only to check our ties are straight (so that’s once a year for me), to check for food stuck in our teeth and to avoid injuries while shaving.

The story we hear from women (well to be honest, it’s mostly regurgitated quotes from “women’s” magazines and the like, not from any of the women I actually know in real life. Strange, that.) is that mirrors are there to be avoided. That they’re evil and to look into one is to have yourself transported to centre stage on the Jeremy Kyle show, naked, in front of a howling audience. You must never catch your reflection in the eye.

I was thinking about that today while wondering if I could be bothered shaving.  I couldn’t be bothered, as it turns out, but I thought about looking in the mirror. I thought about peering into that awful reflection.

So once, when I was 39, I did.

And it seems that I now have double the number of grey hairs in my beard than I did before I last shaved in June.  Is this what the panic is about?  Is this the terrible promise of the mirror?  Maybe this is the slowly encroaching horror of the looking glass, and I’m being turned to stone one beard hair at a time.  Class.  Maybe by the time I’m 60 I will have a beard made entirely from stone.  People will come from miles around to see it.  I’ll be a famous local attraction.
But they’d better not look in my mirror.

Gears Also Mesh

It’s funny how one person’s new musical experiment can repeat someone else’s old one.

I’ve just listened a new piece which seems almost identical in premise to a piece I composed about fifteen years ago. I suppose it just goes to show that, in music anyway, nothing matters more than context and personal development.

My piece had very specific and personal beginnings and marked a turning point in my development as a player and as a musician.  It built on everything I’d achieved up to that point and I could not have created it without the experience I’d collected. I needed to write and perform that experiment, and I have no reason to believe this piece I’m listening to is any different for its author.

From the recent archives…

First read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11659122
A man is accused of flashing at a 15 year old in a clothes shop.  He was denied bail.

Now read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11658279
A man is charged with raping a woman twice.  He is granted bail.

So much is badly wrong with our justice system.

From the recent archives…

First read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11659122
A man is accused of flashing at a 15 year old in a clothes shop.  He was denied bail.

Now read this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11658279
A man is charged with raping a woman twice.  He is granted bail.

So much is badly wrong with our justice system.