Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: January 2006

>I’ve had the most spiritual experience. My colleague, Jurgen Simpson, loaned me the DVD “MOOG”, a documentary by Hans Fjellestad. I probably can’t describe it in a short piece of text, but even the first few seconds of the film made me realise that I’m part of it. Thanks!
Just so you know it…
Back in late 60’s and early 70’s, I was a musician on technical education moving towards becoming a fighter pilot. In 1972 I met my (now) wife. Over the first couple of years I taught her how to solder, carry heavy equipment, etc. In 1973 I completed my final year project, which wasn’t really due until 1975 but due to that I wanted both a music and engineering part of my degree transcript, I had to do it that way. Anyhow, in the 60’s and 70’s, I could not afford (and neither could/would my parents) to by a Moog synthesizer. I built something that worked at least as well myself. I composed a piece of music for it, Radiata Mortificata. For my music part of my degree, this was it. For my engineering part, that was it.
I’ve just realised, watching the Moog Movie, what makes the difference. It’s all the digital crap. A Theremin is probably the most direct instrument, apart from a violin. When digital electronics were introduced, they’ve slowed down the responsiveness of the instruments. Bloody MIDI, etc (sorry!). The Prophet V was OK, as it was a beautiful hybrid solving the problem of indeterminable tuning fixed by bits and bytes and the beauty of analogue audio and expression. After that, it’s been downhill.
Also,, watching the movie it dawned on me what my role has been. I’m a modder – the guy to makes modifications. In the early days of my own business, I used to get a lot of Moogs to be fixed or tuned. After a couple of years, the nightmare of all synths turned up – the PolyMoog. After many late nights in the lab, one day Greg Fitzpatrick called and asked if I’d like to work with him on Sequential Circuits (Prohpet, hey!). I said yes. After that, very few Moogs turned up. On the other hand, I did design and build probably the first pitch wheel ever on a Hammond B3 (for Bernt in Totta’s Blues Band). All throughout this time, musicians walked into my lab, begging to have this or that fixed, but more common this or that functionality added. To quote Dan Helgesen “I’d like a control THERE that makes it go WHOOOEEEE!”
It’s a long time ago now. Still, watching Bob Moog, makes me think that it’s time to come back to the essentials, and, to consider how we can connect the human spirit to sound and music in novel ways. There’s still time….

>Last night, the Bootleggin Band played at a wedding in Castleoaks in Castleconnell. Great gig.
Rumour has it that the band will appear shortly in a pub in Annacotty, probably on Thursdays.

>Did anybody consider that the bin Laden tape might have been “design by the CIA? That would be a nice and scary conspiracy story…

>I saw the Prime Time on RTE1 today. Why do they do TV programs so shallow? Chomsky was great. He must be pretty smart as he agrees with what I think 😉

>A couple of weeks ago, Digiweb offered wireless boradband in my area. Horay! I put in an order immediatly. As I live, eat and sleep on-line, I decided to charge it to work. A purchase order have been issued, check sent, but so far no sign of Digiweb… I phoned them to firm up on installation date, but the incompetent eegit at the call center “knew nothing”. That’s not a good start of a new relation.

>It’s been a good day, despite my backlog is just too extensive. One thing at the time…
It’s now about a week since my last headache. It’s really strange how cluster headaches, or Horton’s headache, can just hit you like it’ll be the end of your life, and then suddenly dissapear again. I can feel “shadows” of all the pain, but suddenly I dare to live again.
I noted at the Irish Contemporary Music Centre in Dublin now have our Softday listning on-line. Great!
I’ve written a letter to my mum, in Swedish. Great!
I have several good books to read. Great!

>For the last couple of days, I’ve only had one Horton headache attack per day. I’ve started to work again, a few hours per day. I’ve also started to read again, which is wonderful. Since just before Xmas, I’ve hardly appreciated music, food, or anything. But now, it seems I’m slowly getting my life back again.

>Today, I’ve had a day without pain. This is the first pain-free day since before Xmas. I’m totally exhausted after days of pain and medication, but I’m determined to get back to life again.