Week 97: The dampness
I’m writing this late again because I was out at LRUG last night.
The vegan burger menu of the late, lamented Full Nelson is back at its sibling (or perhaps parent) venue, the Waiting Room. We went down to test them out on Thursday, and they were just as good as I remembered. I still mourn the vibe of the Full Nelson in its 2019 heyday, but the Waiting Room is pretty good too.
On a gloriously sunny day I cycled up to Hackney on Friday for lunch and a good chat with Tim (an old colleague from a project a few years ago) and Paul.
On my way back, I picked up my order of electrolytic capacitors from the RS counter in Bermondsey. It’s very convenient that, of their handful of physical locations, one is a short walk or cycle away, because it lets me buy small quantities of components without having to worry about delivery charges.
The capacitors were to fix a defective Korg 05R/W synthesiser module that I found cheap on eBay, described accurately as being “Physically in great condition, but all outputs produce a distorted sound.” After a bit of squinting at the schematic and reading some forums, I guessed that the problem was likely to be the two large capacitors across the power rails. That turned out to be exactly correct.
Sanshinkai practice on Saturday was well attended. I think people have now recovered from the strain of putting on Okinawa Day.
We watched Park Chan-wook’s latest film Decision to Leave (헤어질 결심) on Sunday. Everyone seems to like it and I agree. Watch it if you can.
Somehow, despite being busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I managed to find time to record a piece for the Disquiet Junto. Because I was in a hurry, I made it in about an hour and a half from start to finish, and I think that was actually helpful. Someone said that they liked the minimalism of it. It’s certainly easier to be minimalist when you don’t have time to make it more complicated.
The assignment was to Make music in 5/8, 6/8, and 7/8 time signatures. This was an inspiring prompt for me. I enjoy the interplay of different time signatures on top of each other, and I already had an idea of where I wanted to start.
I used my Elektron Model:Cycles because it’s a quick scratchpad for ideas and flexible with meter, letting you play sequences of different lengths simultaneously. I started off with an arpeggio alternating between 6/8 and 7/8, then added a chime in 6/8 (at half speed, so 12/8 or 6/4 perhaps), a bassline in 5/8, and some percussion in 7/8. I copied the patterns, removing different elements, and assembled them all into a short arrangement that I hastily recorded.
I saw a link to a piece in the Guardian from 2007, which asked, “Will MySpace ever lose its monopoly?“. It seems an absurd question in retrospect, but the answer is a hopeful one: every walled garden eventually falls into desuetude.
How damp is England in November? Very. The seeds in the bird feeder in the garden are sprouting green shoots.
I’m coming down with a cold, and I’m not at all happy about it.