18 October 2008

I should have learned to bang them drums

I have been a bit quieter than normal for the last few days as I have been bunkering down, hiding from the recession, and trying to make a few tunes.

My Omnichord arrived at the start of the week, and truly it is everything I could have wished for and more. My current set-up involves using a Tenori-On for rhythm and assorted blips and bleeps, and running the Omnichord through a Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad to enrich the sound with a little bit of flanging and delay, strumming along to my hearts content. It is all surprisingly satisfying.

Yesterday was quite a day for visitors, with my youngest sister in town from London pitching business to prospective new clients. She's an environmental consultant (yay!) whose super green-ness makes up for the carbon crater my air travel has caused this year so that collectively our family can still pretend we're part of the solution, not problem. Unfortunately one of her major clients was a large Icelandic business and given the fact they're having difficulty in importing enough food to feed themselves right now I don't think the environment is still as high on their agenda as it was twelve months ago. Oops. Thankfully her spirits are still high, and it was really good catching up - something that I do not do enough with my family, much to my more-than-occasional chagrin.

As she was leaving were were joined by a good friend who usually resides in the Netherlands, but like me has tired of corporate life in a tech multinational and has thrown it all in to become a snowboard instructor in Canada (less like me). She re-entered the real world just over two weeks ago, and our conversation had the air of an AA meting - "Hi, I'm Unkie Dave (Hi Unkie Dave) and I'm Underemployed. It's been six months since my last Powerpoint presentation". I think there is definitely a niche for a support group for ex-Web business leaders.

I introduced her to the delights that are the Tenori-On and Omnichord, and was more than a little embarrassed at the speed with which she picked both up; yes, they are designed to be playable in minutes, but those minutes seemed noticeably shorter for her than for me. Sensing my shame, she tried to make it better by explaining that music is all about maths, and as an engineer the logic of chords speaks to her. Also, she achieved at least Grade 5 in music in school, which helped.

The Very Understanding Girlfriend's brother just dropped round as I am writing this, and in less than two minutes he is making better sounding tunes on the Omnichord than I have after five days practice. He is also a professional pianist, with a Rhodes Mark 1 in his flat. Which helps.

"You just caught me on a playing week", he said, thinking that it would ease my pain***. It doesn't.

I think I am going to ban talented people from my house. They're just not welcome here.

*must fight the urge to launch new web 2.0 social network to monetize this niche**

** As the Very Understanding Girlfriend just commented, the fact that Firefox's spellchecker recognises the word 'monetize' tells you everything you need to know about Web 2.0

*** Yes, I am live-blogging my humiliation. I need to get out more.


At 10:59 am, Blogger Snag Breac said...

Thanks Unkie Dave!
Your blog is hilarious! apart from the bits I can't understand about monetizing thingys!
lots of love


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