Storm in a Tea Cup

The thing is, since the (now defunct and stuffed) cats have temporarily put paid to all the cabling in my studio, I have lost the facility to be able to put my ideas through the workflow mill, and hence, the facility to engage with that manner of creative endeavour.  Having a studio / writing room / creative space is such a privilege, but I tend to be one of those people who pines for something for years (like my very own recording studio) and then when they get it, either forget or neglect it, but then really miss it when it’s gone!  There’s some weird psychology going on there, probably as a result of being beaten in Latin class with one of many policeman’s truncheons our beloved teacher used to collect from various forces around the world, proudly displayed in a glass cabinet at the back of the class, to which he would ceremoniously strut, and from which he would ceremoniously select, if one could not correctly conjugate one’s verbs.  Or something.

So the cats all but obliterated the studio and, since then, I have been pining for its reinstallation.  So much so that, whilst making tea for some colleagues at work yesterday, in a desperate bid to do something creative, I found myself tapping the spoon (probably rather annoyingly) on the 4 different mugs arranged before me, and creating a tune.  I quite liked the sound: the way my line-manager’s mug was slightly less tintinnabulous than that of his line-manager, and the fact that the four of them were fairly recognisable musical notes on a B minor scale.  I deduced also that if I was able to play them all simultaneously, I’d have a Bmin chord, with a sus2.  So, I got  the phone out quickly and recorded it.  I did consider asking the good folks who were chatting while waiting for their tea if they wouldn’t mind shutting the fuck up while I made my recording, but I felt that would be rude.  Actually, I’m glad I didn’t as the capture of the exclamation of “oh really” by my line-manager’s line-manager proved to be an interestingly mysterious addition to the ‘ting’ sound once time-stretched, and one which may well (with her permission) become a feature of the finished production.  Back to my desk, import into Logic on the laptop, little bit of processing and hey-presto a tune!  (Or at least a sound effect to enhance a drum beat for an 8 bar loop!).  Who needs Hammonds, guitars, Juno 106s, Akais, etc?  I thought I’d learnt that lesson! (Ok, ok, the song will of course feature Hammond, guitar, bass, synths, etc., so sue me for being a hypocrite.)

Check it out… I’m going to develop it into a song about making tea, with a stylistic nod to a bit of Ska, and also to that wonderful band: Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Naturally, the process which lead to this will also serve as a basis for some lecture content, with a view to getting students to think outside the sugary world of presets and instant ungratification.

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