Steve Ball Diary
Monday August 18
Tuesday August 19
Wednesday August 20
Thursday August 21
Friday August 22
Saturday August 23
Sunday August 24
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Monday August 25
Tuesday August 26
Wednesday August 27
Thursday August 28
Friday August 29
Saturday August 30
Sunday August 31
There have been at least three significant occasions in my life when I knew within less than a second of meeting someone that they would have an inevitable and unquestionable impact on and interaction with the course of my life.
The first (RF) was on November 11, 1981 in Carbondale, Illinois.
The second (DG) was on June 21st, 1986 in Charles Town West Virginia.
The third (JL) happened at a bogus Seattle waterfront party a few short weeks ago.
I don't claim to be psychic or possess any special or unusual 'powers.' But, that said, there is some part of me that can somehow 'see' certain things about the future. It's almost as if the future already exists, and it occasionally opens a small peep hole through which fuzzy shapes, colors, paths, and designs can be seen. And some times the shapes aren't so fuzzy; they're actually quick clear.
A few of the songs from the up-coming SB Box Set were "delivered" through these kinds of 'peep holes' -- that is, it is almost as if the song already existed, and within about a 1 minute window, the lyrics, music, melodies are delivered on a silver platter.
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The most recent of these recent 'meetings' is now manifesting it self almost exactly as I had seen from the first unpleasant nano-second of meeting this person.
As a result, just in time for this CD project to be shipped off to manufacturing, many things are set to completely unravel in the next few weeks -- and the repercussions are becoming clearer.
Not easier, just clearer.
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'Big' projects require a kind of patience that is very different than the granular patience required to, say, wait for a bus or for a computer to reboot. Big projects require the PM to hold a pattern for months on end while remaining flexible so that new and/or better opportunities may be recognized and adopted into the plan, even if they contradict or apparently conflict with the original vision.
Even the stillness and patience required to sit on the floor for 40 minutes or practice for an hour pale in comparison to that required to build huge buildings, pave 3000 mile highways, or harvest a forest of redwoods. By comparison, writing, arranging and recording 45 songs feels like a drop in the bucket.
Attended a goodbye party for RobinAv today in the MS home and saw some old friends and co-workers including about-to-retire UI-meister ScottBer, and the very first Rifff PM, JonC.
Evening: spent most of the evening installing WinXP on Pauline and Socco's former WinME machine. One of the big reasons there is an intense push to 'simplify' the modern OS is that all MS employees have friends and/or relative who operate under the assumption that relative at MS = free tech support for life.
This myth must be destroyed.
Will this energy and cash that I've put into this project ever flow back?
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Improvisation is much like recording: one minute, mundane life is trudging by and all is equally mundane and unimportant. The next minute, the red light is on and every stroke, noise, gesture, pause, breath, note, phrase, idea, thought, or inspiration takes on 'real' and lasting significance.
What if the red light were always on? Who's to say it isn't?
This is old news to my close friends, but for the record, I'll say it again: I am no longer interested in playing long strings of static, pre-memorized notes. I am interested in real time musical 'conversations' and harmony between musicians.
Post-show, I peeled away (and miss Chris showing up to debut Dean's new ACE 'tango'?) Not much for socializing lately.
Wonder why? (not.)
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This marks the completion of 'Level 6' for this project, a significant milestone. Now, a waiting game begins.
From experience, I know there will be errors, typos, changes, hiccups, delays, confusions, and misunderstandings that will turn this into a long, painful process. But the really hard part is over.
And now the really really hard part begins.
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In this case, I take some comfort in the idea that perhaps the gratification may someday, somewhere, experienced by others. Inspirations along these lines come from observing Nick Drake, Van Gogh, Buckminster Fuller, Jonatha Brooke.
BTW, I'm not suggesting that my work falls into the heights represented by the work of ND, VVG, BF, JB. But it is clear that music does have the ability to generate, transmit, or release pockets of energy long after the musician has left the studio or stage.
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This is not a complaint or accusation, just an observation.
Reminds me of a sort of "what have you done for me lately" sentiment that sometimes undermines shallow relationships.
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More on this 'weed' thing soon.
Some spring cleaning and trips to goodwill, messy stuff. But good to purge the unnecessary and clean out some cobwebs.
Obvious thought of the day: whether we know it our not, whether we count them or not, our days are numbered.
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