ProgressOctober 11, 2011
Generally, when you’re making a record, the first thing people ask you is, “so, how many tracks have you done, then?” I doubt anyone reading this will have enjoyed a particular book for how many chapters there were in it, and neither have I. ‘How many tracks’ is, for me, quite an abstract concern as regards the progress of a record. But when people ask that, they do so out of genuine interest, though they are without a tangible or realistic method of measurement. They certainly don’t want to ask, “how will your record make people feel?” or something pretentious, like the kind of questions I ask artists, all the time…
So, how best to communicate, about our little recording projects?
Last night, we filled the ballroom with my friends and colleagues, ate a beautiful meal, had a lovely laugh, and then put onto tape the last few pieces of my performance, for my LP. When at one point, my audience rose, to stand around me and form some manner of angelic and wistful Red Army Choir, I felt I may be close to having captured what I would hope to offer, in terms of a reproducible phonograph.
This hasn’t helped us find a socially acceptable nor accurate language, for conveying the progress of a piece of work. Should anyone ask me, just now, “how’s the album coming along, then?” I’d likely only reply, “I love my friends so very much.”
Music is dear to my heart, and art and creativity are essential to our basic well-being. But compared to the very subject matter itself, ie the focus, the love and the terror that inform and demand of us this work, compared to that, the thing can go to hell.