October 27, 2008
Delineated, in all directions.
Ten days is a long time to be away from my desk. Largely because I really enjoy sitting here. My studio could be titled, “Mission: Control Freak.” Absolute Nirvana for a creative, geeky gal like me for whom simultaneous multitasking engaging all corners of the brain is an Olympic event. The space in which I spend the bulk of my hours is a personal tidepool filled with artifacts that will define my little existence long after I no longer exist, if only for the short period of time before none of the stuff in this room exists, either.
Against the wall on the left, a fine upright piano laden with too many score pads, mechanical pencils and, most importantly, erasers. The place of bad starts to many pieces and initial sketches of a few decent ones. To the right of that, facing the center wall, is the belly of the beast: my digital workstation, replete with three large LCD monitors offering 57 glorious inches of visual real estate, fully consumed with arrays of slick-looking software windows vying for my attention, all hovering over an 88-note keyboard controller, which hovers over the Big Powerful Computer and some outboard rack gear. The place of utter sonic manipulation, when the humans and cats in my life refuse to allow me to manipulate them. And to the right of all that lies my sizable desk, snugly tucked under a picture window and by a glass door overlooking the woods and the deer and the birds and the water that glistens through the trees as the sun sparkles. This is the place where I sit as I type these blogellas to you and where I sit as I size and upload the photos I want to share here and where I sit when I scratch my head and wonder just which snippet of my music might accompany my thoughts and images. It’s the place where the bulk of my administrative, left-brain tasks are fulfilled: email correspondence, score copying and printing, order fulfillment, web presence updating, internet shopping and as much idle web surfing and time wasting as possible. In fact, the tighter the deadline, the more finely honed my expert procrastination techniques become. Brilliant.
The fourth wall, to the right of all the aforementioned, simply backs my various guitars and hand drums, which in turn are backed by a large and magnificent oil painting that spans the length of the room, a gift to me from a very close family member who is the talented and deeply loved artist. Its intense, jeweled blues, teals and greens abstractly depict a natural world not unlike the one a few inches away on the other side of the glass door. I am surrounded by visual peace.
Were I living on the island from which I just returned, I would decline to describe the general contents of my studio for fear that I might be rapidly relieved of them by a less than devoted but remarkably attentive blog reader. Not that anything I’ve mentioned is worth terribly much nor would be particularly useful to normal, non-music scribbling humans. But here on this bridgeless island, the prospect of such unplanned charity is somewhat laughable since you really can’t fit much on a 6-seat airplane, and the long wait in the ferry line usually leads to an embarrassingly deflating moment when the sheriff calmly walks up to the suspect’s car, knocks on the window, and invites them to, uh, step outside the vehicle. It’s happened here. And it’s hilarious. Some folks really earn their Darwin Award.
Direction and delineation. Facing north, I begin new pieces. Facing east, I bring them to life via technology. Facing south, I get them out into the world. And facing west, I breathe and meditate for a moment as I take in the stunning colors and shapes of the painting, and by doing so, allow my spirit to turn once again to the right and begin my own creative process all over again. I’m in my swivel chair. Swiveling. And I’m happy to be home.