22 May 2004

"Air Conditioned Days and Nights" May 20, 2004

Today I am constantly thirsty though at times my busyness keeps me from realizing I it. Almost four hours were taken up this morning in the studio editing the background band sounds in between the singing from the lead vocal mic. Find the last vocal sound on each line, zoom in to hundredths of a second to find a dead silent piece of the wave form, put a break in that spot, and zoom back out to do the same to the beginning of the next phrase hoping that drum fill and cymbal crash coming up isn't actually DURING the vocal. All that and then I must test the track by itself (soloed) to make sure no syllables have been lost or that it doesn't sound edited. Finally I listen back to the section with he whole mix (band). Lots of mouse clicking and dragging, keyboard shifting, and spacing to stop/start the song.

In all that it's easy to loose track of time and reality. Slowly everything is only a click, drag, and cut away. You begin to relate double clicking with say running and dragging speedily with flying. Now all of it seems in reach. [Kind of how one feels getting older relating to buying large appliances ... but that's another rant.] This is the same as what happens when I am falling asleep. Whatever object my brain ends up focusing on suddenly morphs into another completely unrelated, except in my "in between sleep" world where shapes and colors are the same thing and often the movement of the shapes communicate some piece of information to me. Of course if I realize in the midst of the strange occurrence just how little sense it all makes, I usually wake up momentarily freaked out and then sad that this wondrous experience has disintegrated.

There are people whose every-day awake lives are filled with this kind of mixing of senses, meanings, and emotions: Synesthetes. My friend Megan bought me a book about synesthetes a few years ago for Christmas after we heard a segment on NPR concerning the author and the "condition." I thought "Wow, maybe this explains why my mind works so differently...." Apparently, as children our senses are very intermixed to the extent that a particular color has a particular smell, or a certain letter has a permanent color. As we grow up our brain's "beef-up" with a kind of fatty tissue to better conduct brain activity while the brain severs (or more exclusifies) some cell connections and others getting all new "adult" connections. This explains the maturation character and thinking skills in teenages/young adults. Many of the connections severed, it seems, are the ones the synesthetes maintain, keeping them somehow able to access the ever colorful wonderland of childhood and still be fully functional and often very creative adults.

Still, I am fairly certain I don't fall into this category as often what triggers my euphoric moments involve repetitions: a fan "whurring", the taps of computer commands, the fact that most of my day is spent in air conditioned / temperature controlled environments, or even hearing the same part of a song over and over again in my head or the studio. When I snapped out of my editting zombie state I was overcome by thirst as if I had just pushed my body to it's brink. Two-thirds of the 16oz bottled water raced down my throat in one long gulp. And it felt so good! Had all the double-clicking actually fooled my feeble mind into believing I'd actually just run a race? Who knows. Though here I've been writing all this (on paper first) with my pen clicking it all the while and again, I am parched.

Here's to the miracle of water.

info from: BLUE CATS AND CHARTREUSE KITTENS by Patricia Lynne Duffy
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on National Public Radio
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