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What’s all this then?

GEV Model 638H Record Player

Why the blog?

Whenever you reboot your website as I recently have, you naturally need to refresh all the carefully written copy it contains. Then if you’re anything like me, you quickly discover how easy it is to completely lose the plot along countless long, deep tangents. Perhaps you disappear down a few of these rabbit holes for days or even weeks at a time. But then like any creative process, you make choices. You cut the fat, resume course, and strongly communicate what’s central.

Nothing particularly groundbreaking there, except that this time I felt a much stronger sense of loss after the final cuts were made. Granted, most of my unused ramblings drifted far from the succinct points that a website needs to make, but that doesn’t necessarily make them irrelevant either. On the contrary, in terms of representing my valuable idiosyncrasies, and in turn, highlighting the competitive advantage of my services, some of the outtakes performed better.

Now believe me, I of all people get it. This is a keyword-searching, elevator-pitch world that we live in. You have to produce short attention span theatre nowadays. But goddammit, sometimes it’s the sum of countless peripheral factors that gives all the color to the middle. Sometimes you have to take a side trip to best view what’s along the main route.

GEV Model 638H Record PlayerGEV Model 638H Record PlayerLabel of Queen's 'News of the World'

For instance, let me take you back for a bit. One of my earliest memories of being alive is as lucid to me as if it were yesterday. I was sitting on the floor of my tiny childhood bedroom, and I was being hypnotized by the pale blue & violet label of Queen’s ‘News of the World’ as it spun above the orange plinth of our portable GE record player. I was probably 2 or 3 years old (no joke, see figure 1). The record was my older brother’s, the player might have been my parents’, but the transcendent experience I had with those sounds and the resulting drive for profound connection, those were completely my own.

A little later I remember my brother demonstrating how a phonograph worked with a rolled-up paper cone and a thumbtack. He joined the two into a makeshift gramophone that could amplify the music from a record mechanically. No electricity required. Well, I was positively transfixed. It was so ghostly and enchanting to distinctly hear those familiar sounds (albeit faintly) with nothing at work beyond what I could observe right before my eyes. No electronic components hidden away inside a mysterious enclosure, just simple things. Materials that us kids had handy. Well it was a rush of bewilderment that has never left me. I remember wanting to somehow squeeze down into the groove of that LP to explore it like a climber in a slot canyon.

Figure 1: Brief excerpt from a cassette that my late mother gave me, labeled “July, 1978”. I would have been two and a half years old. She was coaxing me into singing for the tape, accompanying myself on ukelele. Although I was not particularly cooperating, I did provide a few recognizable bits. Incidentally, this is probably my earliest recorded musical performance. (At least I hope so.)

Today, although the experiments and the equipment are much more elaborate, the same compulsions persist, and they stem from the same fascinated state. Music by itself is more than enough to stand me transfixed and stunned drooling, but the study of its nature has always held rewards beyond this already priceless gift. It’s the unshakable sense that such investigation provides a commensurate understanding of our very universe.

And it’s in that spirit that this new blog is dedicated. While the rest of my website dutifully holds down the SEO-friendly core of my message, this section can be a disorderly playground for any ‘meta’ rumination I wish. From philosophical rants to technical adventures, it will be an open journal for any share-worthy notes too long-form for the vaunted social media, but still chewable enough to encourage my own spontaneity. My hope is that it will convey more than merely what I do and much more of the reasons why.

So here’s to those scenic backroads. Yell if you wanna’ pull over.

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