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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hitting the ground running...

And we're back in.  Vacation was great, adjusting to the new work schedule has been smoother than I had imagined, and I just saw one of my favorite artists in concert at the Beacon Theater.  Tori Amos.  I could just die it was so good.  But we'll get to that.  Also, I just met with a new voice over coach for a consultation and I have good feelings about the future.

Every night now, I try to get myself into bed around 9:30 - 10:00pm and I wake up at 5:30am.  I spent my vacation sort of slowly acclimating myself to the schedule, because, let's face it, mountain sunrises in NC are worth waking up for.  That and everyone in the house was going to bed around 10pm anyway.  By the 1st of August, upon my return I had absolutely no problem getting up and going to work and surviving through the day without feeling tired.

Another aspect of my routine has changed as well, now that the Brooklyn Yogaworks studio is open.  A much shorter ride to class for starters but also, taking all evening classes has totally flipped my days on their side.  Now, I'm working first, then doing VO gigs, depending on the availability of auditions, and then going to yoga, eating dinner and going to sleep.

I'm looking forward to seeing how I'll manage the next music gig but now my focus has shifted back to VO until that comes along.  I mentioned an agent I was waiting to speak with only briefly a few weeks back, but didn't elaborate.  What happened was, right before my vacation, I got in touch with him and got some advice and pointers from him.  While it was mildly discouraging, I did glean a lot from the conversation and made sure I walked away from it with some clear direction for my next steps.  I pulled a few names from him of coaches I should work with, classes I should take.

So, I picked one that I researched pretty heavily and who had worked with Jane Lynch before and ultimately reached out to her after I was settled back in post vacation.  The consultation was yesterday and it went really well.  I went in there expecting to get torn apart because, after all, I'm well aware that there's something I'm lacking.  After speaking with the agent, it came clear that it's obvious to anyone in the business who hears my demo that I need more acting training.

I did not get torn apart however and in fact, had a lot of fun with the new coach.  She had me fill out paper work and whatnot and then we chatted a tiny bit about what I've done and she told me she can already hear what it is I need to work on.  So she stood me in front of a condenser mic hooked up to her iPad and threw some copy at me and I just dug in.  Her direction was not uncommon but something about the way she explained things made it sink in so much more quickly and before I knew it I was really nailing the copy, and incorporating all her directions with ease.  I think that impressed her and, as we were finishing up, talk turned to all the agents she'd like me to meet once we get working.  So I signed up for a package deal and a handful of coaching sessions over the course of the next month and a half, even marking my calendar for a day when one of these agents is going to be there specifically to listen to her other students.

Psyched doesn't even begin to describe it.  But, oh yeah, Tori was amazing.  And the Beacon Theater was an amazing venue.  She played only two songs off the new album and the rest were scattered from just about every other album, with a heavy selection from Little Earthquakes and From the Choirgirl Hotel.  I'd always heard about how her concerts are like a religious experience for some.  This crowd was no different.  The were appropriately boisterous during the wild parts but they always shut the f*ck up immediately after their outbursts because they, like me, wanted to hear every single note she sang.  For me, I was just on the edge of my seat listening, overcome with glee when she'd break into a favorite song of mine.  I've always found her melodies and vocalizations hauntingly beautiful.  A favorite moment from the show was her closing with Hey Jupiter.  Listen to the song, especially the part where she vocalizes at the end of the chorus in "oohs."  I almost cried it was so beautiful.  And just her up there singing and banging on her Bösendorfer alternately swiveling around to the keyboard behind her (at one point it was an organ they wheeled out during a changeover), sometimes playing both at the same time (she had a microphone at each instrument and would sustain a note at the end of the line as she switched mics to hilarious effect), occasionally slamming the lid back on the piano for emphasis (and scaring the shit out of most of us when she'd do it).  She even busted out a cover set in the middle of the show, including Faith by George Michael, Blue Jeans by Lana del Ray and Wicked Games by Chris Isaak.  Add a four song encore and I was satisfied.  One of the best concerts I've seen in my life.

There are other things on the horizon that I'll keep secret for now but I will mention that I have already secured my hotel reservation for Costa Dulce for next February, the real start of my trip planning.  For now, even though I don't work until 10am, I think I'm going to drift off to sleep and dream of being a voice over god.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Of labor.  Lots of labor. Lots of fruit.  I just came home to a shipment of wine from Naked Wines.  Joined, used the $100 voucher they reel you in with and now I have more wine than rack.  It's kind of a nice feeling.  I could get used to it.  My cup runneth over...quite literally.

So life is full and love is real.  Things that I've spent my short life on are starting to come to fruition.  But there is still work to be done.  Not now though.  Dear god.  Remember how I was saying I wouldn't have a day off for 50 days straight?  Between the rush of freelance hours at my two part time jobs, the film score and three VO gigs, I didn't stop except to take the day to go to a wedding on Long Island and a few days off to host a friend who might end up rooming with me in the fall.  But it's coming to an end a little sooner than I'd thought.  CNN wants to cover with staff before freelancers now so I end my streak early, as of this Saturday, but I'm not too terribly fussed about it. Heck, CNN has already secured me for another weekend morning in August.

But this week, not just wine but money came flowing in. Paid from a VO gig and all three jobs plus a bonus from NY1, a rather unexpected bonus that came with a raise. F*ck yeah.  Oh what a feeling.  And soon I get to take a vacation to see my family and when this film score is done in less than a week (I confidently predict), I will be getting the final payment from that.

This film score I've slaved so diligently over for the past month and a half.  I love scoring comedy, I've found.  When I can make it work.  I got thinking about process the other day while watching a video on YouTube the other day with Mark Isham, composer on such films as Crash, Point Break, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and The Mechanic.  He was talking about his process and I got thinking about how mine tends to differ with each director and their personal style.  I've worked with some directors who couldn't care less what I wrote and are tickled with anything I send them, and, while offering little direction, just let me have free reign.  Others are very particular, going so far as to ask me to emulate a rhythm they have in their head.  Others let me do my thing but only after we've discussed in detail where the music should go...then they come in and say they want me to move this note or that note or change this chord or that.  I can't decide which method I like best.  I think a huge part of me is just so damn giddy to have this work that I dive in and do whatever they tell me (within reason, of course).

Mark Isham talks in this clip about how his method works.

What stands out to me is that he asks that directors just leave him alone for 2-3 weeks.  I do enjoy that when they let me have free reign to just come up with my ideas in a vacuum.  At the same time, though, sitting down with a director and hearing what their notions about the film and each individual scene when they wrote and shot it is immensely helpful.  The director I was working with on this film, "True Love," will do that but he also will ask me what I think about certain scenes...not just what music I think should go where but things like, "did this certain emotion or plot detail come across," "did you follow this scene," "can you tell what this character's motivation is."  And he will listen to my input.  These are the moments when the director can tell me something very specific about what he needs the music to do but I can also listen for something that he may not be explicitly saying and derive an understanding of the scene that's totally my own and may take the scene to a whole new place.

I love what Isham says at about 4 minutes in about finding that one scene that "defines the overriding communication of the film" and just starting from there.  It's a brilliant idea, even just when writing a composition.  To start where you'd like the piece to peak and work up to that.  To know where it's going first.  In a way, it's a bit like rocket science.  You have to decide where you want your rocket to go first and then do the math to figure out how much fuel you need and how much acceleration you need to refine your trajectory and hit your target, be it the moon or the ISS, or low Earth orbit.  

In a short film, it's a little different because all the exposition, character development and resolution happens in such a short amount of time that you may not have enough time to really flesh out any thematic material in such a cinematic way but there is definitely still an arc.  Wow, arc = parabola, trajectory...this metaphor of rocket science and film scoring is a pretty good one.  I think I'll stick with it for a bit.

Anyway, the way I scored this film was by sitting down with the director and talking about the individual scenes and, since it's comedy, there were a lot of moments of parody where the score was highly instrumental (no pun intended) in getting the laugh.  The pivotal sort of "characters are changing" moments, were all kind of compressed into a montage scene that I scored with a techno dance beat that incorporated some distorted guitar that built in layers until the scene ended.

There was a little bit of talk about making the whole cohesive in some way between the underscore, the main title theme and all the bits of electronic dance-y pop music that sort of would take you out of the moment to get a laugh and remind you that it was a comedy.  Ultimately though, the only real cohesion was between the title theme and the underscore in a few of the scenes.  The rest of the score ended up being pop and rock influenced styles that in some other, more commercial films, may have been covered by source music or other licensed pre-recorded tracks. But it all works and I'm pretty happy with it.

Tomorrow I record a violin player friend of mine and push the final mixes through by next week. It's great to be working like this again.  And it's so great to have a vacation on the horizon.  For now, I need to, you guessed it, get some sleep.  More soon!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Planning ahead...

I really like to plan ahead.  It's just something I do.  Which is why I'm taking a break at the mid point of my work on this film score, to do a little Nicaragua planning for February 2015.  Going to the Apoyo Lodge I stayed at last time on the last night, ending the trip at Costa Dulce but then, hiking a volcano in the middle somewhere.

Hiking up a volcano sounds completely crazy, but don't worry it's an extinct one.  This has been the centerpiece of this trip from its inception, when a co worker heard me talking about my last trip to Nicaragua and told me about this island in Lake Nicaragua called Ometepe that I should go to. The island consists of two volcanoes, one active, one extinct, joined buy a narrow isthmus, covered in coffee plantations and ancient petroglyphs and accessible only by ferry from San Jorge or Granada. Putting this crazy adventure in the middle of my trip and being able to get rides to and from the ferry dock from people I already know in Nicaragua (our hosts at both the Apoyo Lodge and Costa Dulce) seemed like the best idea.  But, the Apoyo Lodge is booked through the 24th, a day after I had hoped to arrive, then there's a one day gap before another group is considering booking it.  This wouldn't be a big deal except I'm trying to align my trip with something.  I want to wind up at Costa Dulce on the 27th or the 28th when a friend may be there.

Going to the volcano island straight from the airport in Managua is not an option.  It's too far and there are too many modes of transportation required (cab-ferry-bike-feet).   But going to the crater lake for just one day before going to the volcano island defeats the purpose almost.  Another reason for starting there this time is that we didn't get but half a day and one night there the last time...and that wasn't nearly enough time for such a gorgeous locale.

I mean, papaya trees on the property, a resident yoga instructor, a beautiful outdoor yoga platform and a 23,000 year old crater lake in which you can float in an inner tube.  How can I miss out on that? 

So, in typing this out, I realized what makes the most sense is to start my trip on the 24th, the one day that Apoyo is free and stay there one night, travel to Ometepe the next day, spend the same amount of days there as I was going to originally, then go to Costa Dulce, arriving there on the 27th or 28th, spend 3 nights there and then go back to Apoyo and spend 2 more nights.  

Perhaps.  I have to write the Apoyo people a few months from now closer to the dates to see if anything has changed.  And see if I can even stay there on the last few days of my trip.  I still need to type an email to the hotel on Ometepe that I've zeroed in on, though, so there's yet more planning to be done.  

Anyhow, this and budgeting for the trip has gotten me excited about my little light at the end of the tunnel.  Sure there's fun to be had between now and then, summer weather to be enjoyed, other trips to take.  But it's nice to have the thought of going back and having another adventure to tide me over until then.  And to help me with bracing myself for all the work that's ahead. A month and a half more of CNN, still working at truTV, the current film score and all the other potential projects coming up.   

Voice over is on a bit of a hiatus, or maybe just a lull, while I figure out things.  I let my membership to Voice123.com lapse and may not subscribe again for a while, so I won't be doing as many auditions.  I'm waiting to hear back from an agent though...and man I hate talking about that because it's probably nothing and I don't want to get my hopes up.  I had a co worker here at NY1 in Creative Services send my demo on to a few agents in the city and only one got back to him, so far, just saying that he wanted to give him some feedback on my voice.   Whatever that means.  

At any rate, I have a wedding to go to tomorrow so I'm going to actually take an entire day where I don't do any work on anything.  Which is cool because I was thinking I'd need it, what with all the extra freelance work at CNN and truTV, and then this came up.  A friend of mine from the college days was planning on going to our friend's wedding out on Long Island and asked to stay with me in the days leading up to it and asked if I wanted to go, too.  So I managed to get the day off from CNN and bought myself a suit.   I'm not looking forward to traveling back from Long Island late at night...nor am I looking forward to wearing a suit in hot weather.  But I do want to look good.  

Not much else to report tonight.  Just wanted to get all that out.  Maybe I'll have some insight into my writing process on the next blog.  For now though, I'm just going to enjoy a too short weekend and an old friend's wedding.   

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A freelancer's dream...

When I let three weeks go by without posting, you can assume I'm busy, which is a good thing. When you're a freelancer, like me, you gotta take all the work you can get.  I'm working full time nights at NY1, Monday through Friday, both Saturday and Sunday nights at CNN until the end of July, still picking up two shifts a week at truTV in the mornings before NY1 on Tuesday and Thursday.  This makes it so that, save for taking next Saturday off to attend a friend's wedding out on Long Island, I'll be working for the next 50 days straight.  On top of all of that, I've picked up three and a half voice over gigs in the past month (the half gig was a pickup that I recorded from home for a book promo...they decided they wanted me to say the author's name in the spot) and I'm also scoring a short comedy/drama.  So, yeah.  Lots to do. 

It's summer solstice today, though, and I'm missing all kinds of fun stuff because I'm working.  Not the least of which is the weather (oh my god) but also the yoga in Times Square and the Mermaid Parade and I'm sure there's several live concerts happening around the city, some of which my friends are playing in.  But, I'm missing all of it.  I probably have said this every summer since I moved here, but there is way too much going on in the city every summer to do everything anyway, whether I'm working or not, even if I just stuck to the things that sound particularly awesome.  I guess this just proves that I'll never get sick of living here...I just have to keep my ear to the ground so that if I am able to attend something, I actually know about it in time to make plans to go.

Sure, there's always next summer for most of this stuff.  Though, it still does bum me out a little that, whenever I remember that Celebrate Brooklyn concerts at the Prospect Park Band Shell are a thing, I realize that the few artists that I would go see, fall on days that I can't go.  It's like this every summer.  I mean, I always try to make it to at least one and I usually succeed, but last year, because I work nights, I wasn't able to make any because I didn't find out about the one concert I could make in time to get enough friends interested in going with me.  This year, St. Vincent is playing on August 9th and, while I'm just getting into them, I going to make it a point to go.  It's one of the first weekends I'm going to have off again. 

Summer shenanigans aside, it is nice to have a foot in so many different places and to be getting so much work.  For one thing, it's given me the faith that I can one day quit full time work and be totally devoted to both sides of this career of mine.  Of course, cautiously optimistic is always the way to go.  But add on top of the gigs I am getting, the fact that I'm getting a lot of attention for my VO and music work and have been quoting people for projects just as often as I am booking them.  Granted, at least one of those was a friend asking.  But still.  It's definitely a good thing if my name is out there. 

And for the piece de la resistance: I found the finished versions of those two book promos I voiced online.  Check them out on youtube.com:

I'll have more to update soon with the film score.  It's been coming along nicely though and the director has liked most of my initial ideas.  We're still in the writing phase but I'm nearly done with that and will soon move on to mixing and finalizing everything.  In the meantime, it's also nice to see that it's totally possible for me to work three jobs, get three voice over gigs and still find time to write music. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Change your attitude...

Slap the snooze bar, decide to get up anyway, pants, shirt, scrambled eggs, toast, green tea, pack lunch, shower, shave, train.  If only going to sleep was as easy for me as waking up.  Again, last night, I was up until past 3am, all because I decided to stop at a friend's bar after work even despite the fact that the trains were not cooperating and I ultimately ended up having to get a cab from the Financial District (not an easy task) which promptly got stuck behind a garbage truck for 10 minutes.  So naturally, I stayed out a little later than intended. 

As I've mentioned previously, I've been trying to overhaul my nighttime routine, get in bed and sleeping sooner, but I just like unwinding too much.  I was never good at being systematic about going to bed and sometimes when I get home I want to write or read articles or drink wine, and otherwise enjoy the space that I pay rent to basically sleep in.  It's healing in a way, too, to be able to spend a certain number of my waking hours not working or commuting. 

Part of it, too, is that I can't just say, "okay, go to sleep now," and actually fall asleep.  It's no surprise really. My mind is pretty busy these days regardless of how much I've gotten to unwind, full of thoughts about what just happened and the day ahead.  And when one of those thoughts is "I need to be going to sleep soon," it makes it that much harder to actually do the thing. 

I have my methods, though, when I start to realize that I'm in danger of tossing and turning for hours.  The first thing is to relax.  I know.  Sounds obvious but so many times I've been trying to sleep and noticed myself tensed up, trying not to move, trying not to scratch every itch, trying to ignore the fact that I need to eat something/drink something/go to the bathroom.  All I need to do in these situations is just lie on my back and breathe for a few minutes straight, sometimes pretending I'm at the end of a yoga class doing Savasana (Maybe even get up and eat something/drink something/go to the bathroom).

The next thing is to shut out that "oh shit, I need to get to sleep soon" thought, so I try to let my mind wander toward any thought but that.  Not in a "don't think about sleep," kind of way, though, because sleep is the first thing anyone would think of when told not to think about sleep.  No, I just daydream.  I try to imagine positive thoughts, like me getting an award or scoring a really fantastic gig.  Or getting my ass back to Nicaragua to the beach.  Any rich imagery that can completely fill my head and leave no room for stressing about getting to sleep.  Because when I stress about it, that results in the opposite effect.  I'm wide awake.

Lastly, if I really can't go to sleep, I just go ahead and deal with the thoughts about what tomorrow's going to be like.  Big deal if I'm tired tomorrow.  I'll just come home and be tired enough to drop right off to sleep.  That usually does it.  Letting go of results.  I'm going to sound very Buddhist here but I'm okay with that.  One of my yoga teachers uttered this gem on the morning that we heard that Maya Angelou had passed:

I'm sure the Buddha said something similar as well.  There are two aspects to this.  I was thinking about a lot of the things I've been going through and how just letting go of results can do wonders in terms of changing your perspective about whatever it is.  When I was going through my depression about 10 years ago (wow, 10 years ago?), thoughts like this basically saved me and turned my life around.  How easy it can be to spiral down into a pit of despair over something when if you just stopped and said, "well let me look at this another way," you could reverse everything and get back to square one.

I'm finding that every time I get discouraged about any aspect of my career, whether I'm just bummed I didn't get an audition or I am full on berating myself for sucking so bad at something, I can back up a few steps and say to myself that it's not nearly as bad as I'm painting it.  In fact, it might not even be bad at all.  And then, I'm free to look at it however I want.  I just accept my situation and move forward from there.  It's already 3am, I'm already going to be tired tomorrow, there's nothing I can do about that part of so I might as well change my attitude.  I didn't get that VO gig, it's probably not saying anything about the quality of my audition, they were just looking for something else.  I'm still on the right track. 

Lots of people want to tell you that this or that is not possible, or they want you to look at the reality of a situation and not get your hopes up.  "There are so many people doing what you're trying to do," "There's so much competition," "Just don't get ahead of yourself."  Well intentioned stuff, for sure...or maybe not.  I think people just get so mired in negativity, they forget to dream about what's possible.  And they forget that you should never let something like a negative thought stop you from acting on something anyway.   Why would I not try?  How else would I know if I could do it or not? By listening to my negative thoughts that are probably not even grounded in reality?  Of course not.

Anyway, that having been said, I also had to change my attitude about the inordinate number of hours I'll be working so that I don't go insane thinking ahead to how overworked I could potentially be in a few weeks time.  This past weekend, I was supposed to re-train both Saturday and Sunday nights at CNN but, upon getting there on Saturday and talking with my co worker, we both deemed it unnecessary for me to even stay too late that night.  So I left at 8, went out with friends and then decided to make Sunday a day to just relax and enjoy the weather.  Yoga, gluten free pizza, gluten free cupcake, East Village community gardens and a quick drink with a friend before cooking dinner, watching Cosmos (doing a tiny bit of work on the film score) and then heading to Barbes to watch Stephan Wrembel.  All around a great afternoon and evening.  And now, after this Thursday which I have off, I'm probably going to be working about 50 days straight on top of scoring a film and trying to get more VO work.  Don't worry, though. I'm not going to burnout.  Tim Daoust doesn't burn out. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Killing procrastination and thinking about trips...

I learned something today.  I can overestimate the scope of a task.  But I can also bypass my own thinking.  At the start of this week, I had a semi impromptu guest and, rather than worry that I wasn't going to have enough time to do what I said I would do on this project, I just hung out with my friend who I hadn't seen in over a year and got very little sleep.  A few days later, when she left, I started to panic that I was behind schedule and assumed I wouldn't get done half of what I said I would in the time I had left.

To clarify, I told the filmmaker I'd be able to get him some samples by the end of the week of a beat that he wanted for one scene and a piano theme that we discussed the tone of during our spotting session on Sunday afternoon.  Having shunned my work for the first three days of this week (somewhat shunned...I did a good bit of work on the beat while I was at work a few nights in a row and did come up with something that I like), I started to panic a little.  I knew I'd need the piano to work on the theme and wouldn't be able to actually sit down and play it without waking up my cousin until this afternoon.  I even tried to use my keyboard and listen in headphones the other night but, as I mentioned, it's a little messed up right now.  I said to myself, "well, I guess I'll just tell him I won't be done by the end of the week and push it back a few days." After all I'd have the weekend to catch up.

I was pleasantly surprised, though, to realize that I could come up with something of a theme for this film in the limited amount of time I had just today.  And I was able to stretch my ideas to cover some of the underscore in one of the first scenes while working on it more tonight.  So, boom.  I just surprised myself.

And you know how?  I just got started instead of letting myself get overwhelmed with the weight of what I still had left to do.  I just sat down at the piano and started playing.  And god, it felt good.

Now, I can relax a little.  Maybe have a glass of wine when I get home and put my feet up.   The rest of the weekend I'll spend mixing the beat that I wrote for the other scene.  But that can wait until I'm at home and have my monitors and headphones at my disposal.

Earlier tonight, in my down time, I started to look at flights to Nicaragua for next year since I decided on my dates.  Even found one for $378 round trip (although it leaves from Newark International and includes an overnight stay, each way, in Miami).  I figured out that it would still be cheaper, especially if I took the path to Newark Penn Station and the shuttle to the airport from there in lieu of taking a cab or a car service.  The hotels in Miami would add to the cost though and probably make that itinerary ultimately no better than the next option I saw which also left from Newark but returned to JFK and had no overnight layover.  That one was $550.  I've been keeping all this in a Google doc along with my planned itinerary.  Apoyo Crater Lake, then the island of Ometepe and finally Costa Dulce for one last night.

So that's what I do.  I think waaaaay ahead.  I've always been that way.  Even as a kid.  When I knew we were going to the beach, even though it was months away, I would always be asking my parents about it.  "What floor are we staying on? What are we going to do when we're there?" Etc. Etc. I probably annoyed them a little.  But I was always eager and still am.  Besides, there are benefits to being so into planning things.  First it helps build excitement and also, see cheap plane tickets above. I'm also tracking them using this site: www.yapta.com.  Get into it if you haven't.  It will alert you when the price of your tickets drops so you can buy them at the cheapest possible price.  Hurray for penny pinching as well.

That said, I need to get out of here.  Wine awaits.  Weekend awaits.  Music and fun awaits.  Also work but we'll get to that.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The rules of troubleshooting...

Just a quick one before I head to bed.  Yeah, I did it.  I opted to try and work late at night instead of working on changing my bed time routine.  The crappy thing is that I might have been productive if I hadn't needed to troubleshoot some problems first.

I was about to sit down and tinker with some piano ideas using my MIDI controller through Logic and one of my piano samplers but the stupid M Audio Axiom keyboard that I use has this problem where, all of a sudden, when you turn it on, two notes (usually an augmented fourth apart, i.e. C and F#) just don't work.  So, before, I had found that all you had to do was just turn the thing off hold down the offending keys and then turn it back on and hold them down for 30 seconds.  Okay, so a lot of trial and error and reading forums led to that and I'm still not even sure if what I did was what worked to fix it or if it fixed itself or if some random hit of the keys jostled the electronics and put something back in place.  It's ineffable.  Because this time around it's A and D# that aren't working and my fix that I was so proud of is not working either.

I needed a win tonight so, I shifted gears (all while still sipping my glass of wine) and started to work on a hunch about what was wrong with my looping software Mobius.  This is going to become one of my favorite rules of troubleshooting: "Ask yourself what has changed since the problem started."

Duh.  I got a new audio interface about a month or so ago and hadn't yet tried it out with my guitar setup and, over the past few days, I was tinkering a little and noticed a problem with Mobius.  Usually the screen will animate, so you know what state it's in, whether recording, overdubbing, playing back etc. But this time around when I'd tap the buttons on my pedal, it would move and freeze and only when you interacted with the program again, whether clicking on the screen somewhere or tapping another button, would it actually update.

So this is a problem when you're performing because you want to know what's going on and what state it's in, and whether the pedal tap you just executed actually did anything.

But, when I had that eureka moment about the change in my audio interface, I decided to try the old audio interface out.  Sure enough, it worked fine.  Well, sort of.  It worked fine as a standalone but I usually use it in MainStage, Apple's live performance software that allows me to add all kinds of effects and have multiple channels that I can mix live.  In MainStage it was having the same problem.  So I had to tinker more and I think I've found a workaround but I have to test it more.  I basically have to go through a series of weird steps to get it to work correctly, which is frustrating enough but then add in that normally, I have to turn things on in a certain order and sometimes have to restart the computer so that one piece of software will recognize all the bits of hardware I have plugged in.

So, anyway, I feel somewhat accomplished tonight but it's all still underscored by the fact that my jobs are still coming so few and far between that when I go to dive into my work and dust off certain programs and pieces of hardware, I realize that I almost always have to fix some problem before I can even get started.    That is pretty frustrating.  All I wanted to do tonight was play some keyboard and riff a little.  Now I have to wait until Friday morning/afternoon when I can bang on my piano and think something up.

Happily, said piano was most recently banged on by the inimitable Crystal Bright just this morning before she left, showing me a new piece of hers.  Perhaps she will have imbued it with some of her creative energy.

Before I forget though, here's a little riff that I was toying with the other day and put up on SoundCloud.  Enjoy!