Thursday, 26 September 2013

Audacity to make "music"

When I was growing up (as opposed to growing out) I loved the work of William Blake and fancied that when I was older I could get stoned and write poetry like his. I later found that I had no need of drugs, they only hinder your motivation and thought processes and I am quite strange and creative enough without them. As a teenager I listened to music that would be called Progressive Rock now. I remember that one of my desired careers was to become a "degenerate musician." I can laugh at myself and my dreams, but I think that people shouldn't give up on their ambitions, no matter how old they are, or how distracted they are by the other needs and choices of their lives.

Here is a YouTube clip of the band Van der Graaf Generator, the music which moves me most. It was integral part of my teenage years. I used to come home from school and turn it  up very, very loud. Van der Graaf Generator supported Jimmy Hendrix and they are still a major touring and recording band. (Very respected in Germany, Russia, Italy and South America - we Anglos can be so conservative) This is from a live recording in 1970, when they were so young, but they are still making music now. I saw the band live in 1976 at Saarbr├╝cken, Germany and saw Peter Hammill solo many years later.

The driving force of the group, the singer/poet/musician, Peter Hammill creates the supreme fusion of words and sounds. His voice is superbly versatile and his lyrics and music, whether dark or joyous, match each other in a way I have not found in any other songs. To me it is really exciting, but I understand that a lot of reasonable people can’t bear the complexity, depth of feeling and discordance in Van der Graaf Generator music. It’s not pretty! If you were looking for the complete opposite to elevator music this has got to be it - at times it is heavier than the heaviest metal, rougher than punk or more soaring and soulful than a choir or an opera. The fact that I attempt karaoke with Peter Hammill’s words and music has got to be a sign of my mental instability, but I love it.

Back to relative sanity, Nette... I have been making noises, rapping, singing and mixing them with Audacity to create a background track for my Anime Studio animation, "I'm not a budgie." Stuff the fact that my voice is untrained and wobbly and that this is only the second time I have tried to use Audacity,  a free open source digital audio editor and recording computer software application, to make my own soundtrack. I went ahead with it anyway. They way I can tell whether I have finished any artwork I do, is just by getting to the point where I can't think of any changes I want to make. Apart from the coarseness of the sound and recording which is an accurate reflection of myself, I think this piece of "music" is finished. Here it is.

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