I am not a nostalgic person. Call me an optimist, unsentimental, whatever. I just prefer to look forward.
But this is the one week of year where I catch myself looking back at where I have been, the people who have come through here, the noises we have made, the relationships I have, how I can be better for the next 11 years, etc.
You see, today (April 21st) marks the 11th anniversary of the first session here. So this week often leads me the down rabbit hole of self-reflection. Aside from the overwhelming amount gratitude I have for the people continue to come to Handwritten and trust me with their audio, it has also led me to a bit of a self evaluation on the skills that are important for me to have as I continue to work with you and your noise.
You will notice that none of them are musical. YOU are the straw that stir the musical drink. What the f— does that mean? I don’t know, just that you certainly can count on me to never pick up a guitar and say, “What if we rewrote the bridge?”. Yuck, my skin crawls at the thought of such intrusion. Anyways, here is what I came up with when I thought, “What am I at my most effective?”
I find it much easier to be wildly creative when things are clean, organized, and easy to find. Hopefully you will too. We should be able to go from the idea of something to the execution of it in very little time. Being organized enables that connection.
Plus, the whole mad scientist vibe with gear strewn everywhere is just cool for pictures. There is very little cool about tripping over shit every four steps and not being able to find an appropriate power supply.
Can we get things sounding as they should in a short amount of time? Can we have a small conversation that makes a big difference? Can you tell me an idea and I convert it to audio? Are our sessions forward moving? Yes.
I never lose sight that time spent here is also money spent here. I know that we have to be efficient in the way that we make records, chase down ideas, communicate, order pizza, mix audio, and do virtually everything else.
One of the more important things I can be for you is understanding. Do I see what you are going through across the course of a session? Can I relate to it on a human level? Can I do something in response to make the session go smoother? Again, the answer to all those is yes. The answer needs to be yes.
If you have read any of these, you know my feelings about how no two sessions are the same. Each has its own peaks and valleys. I would like to think my ability to relate to what you are going through and acting accordingly can make those valleys both shallow and brief.
Can I hear the possibility in a recording? Can I provide the framework of an idea that is an appropriate extension of your creativity? Can we find some new sonic ground? Can we make a record that sounds innovative?
We are all attempting to make records that are unique- and us pushing at the edges of what we think recordings can be is a good way to find just that.
G.A.F. (Giving a F—)
Hopefully the most differentiating factor of working on audio here is that I really just try and give you everything you deserve on both a human and professional level. I understand how important these recordings are to you- and I know how much trust it takes for you to bring them here. That humbles me every single day here and has for 11 years. The best of this process is the feeling that we are all pulling just as hard on the same rope.
Anyways, I hope that was insightful, informative, entertaining, etc. It has been a pleasure helping you all make recordings for 11 years. Onward we go.