Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group Blues

Iraq Study Group Blues

I've been working with a new tuning on guitar and it's promising but I'm not there, yet.

That has not prevented me, mind you, from posting the results of those modest efforts about a week or so ago ("My Second Mistake").

Earlier today, I'd finished some vexing work and I'd sat down with the notion of feeding the gaping maw of A Year of Songs with a little recording... but I was having a heck of a lot of trouble getting going.

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Every time it seemed like I got a little momentum, I'd stumble over the finger picking or some basic left hand move. And my overall timing was enough to give a listener heart arrhythmia.

I took a quick break and while I was washing my face I had the radio on. I realized that National Public Radio was doing an hour news special on the release of the Iraq Study Group report and I'd meant to listen.

So when I got back to the computer, I clicked on my desk icon for the live Internet stream from my local NPR station. Since the stream is delayed by 20 or 30 seconds, I didn't actually miss anything.

I listened attentively but idly picked up my nearby guitar -- a typical move when I'm listening to public affairs or news on the radio.

When I noticed absently that my playing sounded a lot better now, I decided to pop the radio stream into my headphones and off the speakers so I could record and listen to the news special at the same time. In fact, while I often do, I didn't even put my guitar in the headphones, since it just made it a little harder to hear the radio stream.

I recorded one not quite 3 minute improv and thought it sounded okay -- but found out I couldn't listen to it and pay sufficient attention to the radio to follow the story -- which I was still intent on.

So I put it aside. As I was listening to NPR, I got the itch again and quickly hit the red button, playing for a little under two and a half minutes.

I'd barely paid attention to my playing and it was my perception that it was probably worse than the first. I put it aside too.

When the show was over I listened to the tracks. The first was indeed much, much better than I'd been doing earlier but it was still disappointing. But the second was almost acceptable.

So almost-acceptable that, with the notion that the theoretically interesting back story might just be enough to make it briefly interesting, I've posted it here in today's entry.

If you listen carefully, you'll likely hear the mosquito buzz of the news special in my headphones as I listen to it while improvising the single guitar.

With regard to the story and comprehension (as we used to say in my 7th grade speed reading class)... I'd say I'd get a 90 or better on a tough quiz.

download [ 3.3 mb] 192 kbps
play [broadband]
AYoS radio [broadband]

Internet Archive page for this recording

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