to enjoy a tranquil week with the family and the children. to disconnect totally from internet and any electronic device (except my headphones, where i have all my recent recordings, to listen again and again, to decide whether i publish them my next cd or not. so if i finish it some day!)
she is premiering next week in berlin!! her struggling face is glued in the walls of this city of the fallen wall. she just came less than 2 years ago to berlin… damm! she doesn’t stop making production after production… i remember i saw for the first time to this non-stop dancer in madrid, when we were around 20 years old. even then she was dancing with one of the best dance companies in spain. she never admits it, she doesn’t like to recognize she is one of the few… no one of all the dancers that were around in madrid at that time, has worked so much. and now… being 40 years old! she’s going to dance stravinsky’s “rite of the spring” with sasha waltz company next weeks… and “romeo and juliet” next year!! eres grande maureen, eres grande!
i am recording again. i found the strength to face it for the umpteenth time, trying to find what is missing from all the recordings i made these past 20 months… this has to be the definitive. i know why i fear this… everyday i have to face, not only my limitations as a cellist, my limitations as a sound engineer, as a producer and composser. being aware of how little i know! that i am almost 40 years old, and there’s no time for me to learn to do it much better than this… it hurts! but at least i have the talent of being a stubborn. if i continue like this, i will finish it.
i will finsih it.
i will finish it.
in 1970 marcel broodthaers asks a cat what it thinks about certain paintings of the 20th century.
poet and visual artist (for the blind people, just “artist”) he wrote a beautiful preface for his first exhibition in 1964:
“i, too, wondered whether I could not sell something and succeed in life. for some time I had been no good at anything. i am forty years old… finally the idea of inventing something insincere finally crossed my mind and i set to work straightaway…”
here is one of the big loves of my life:
with you, my dear macbook black 12”, i made the first recording of ecce cello, together we toured 8 different countries, edited more than 40 videos, did our first animation in 2D (hundreds of rendering hours!), 10 theatrical performances written in your keys, countless posters and covers for cds or dvds, with you i designed my first website… 1700 ecce cello cds burned and printed from your tripes. fuck! with this little black i used to go out to stage running 7 different programs at the same time (ableton live, max/msp, parallels + led’s editor, 4 iPhones and wiimotes connected via bluetooth, and modul8) and it didn’t collapse once, we even won the prize to “most innovative performance” in 2009 against companies with 3 macbook pro and two dedicated technicians, do you remember??!!
also so much porn has been played in your screen… dirty!
one year ago i upgraded it with 6 gb ram and a sd hard drive, it was like a rocket. but times has changed, after 7 years i had to upgrade my equipment, and i did deserve it! i bought the equipment of my dreams. i know production companies with 3 people that have produced the half i have in these last years with my little black. i always will have a place in my heart for this little beast.
where does my music belong to? one month ago i was playing at fusion, one of the most alternative/affordable festivals in europe, but past week i was playing at fondation maeght, one of the most exclusive and rich places in the blue coast. i feel proud of it, but still makes me confused. maybe the right answer is “where do i feel more comfortable?”. obviously, wherever they appreciate my work (in terms of love, but also in terms of offering good technical facilities, and paying what is worth! for man does not live by bread alone). we’ll see, it’s been 8 months that i don’t play in the street, yesterday i was trembling just to think to go back to the streets… i don’t even know, how is that i could do it every day, during these last 3 years.
that’s ecce cello. i am working hard to take that luggage all around the world. it’s not being an easy task, but easy is not tasty. as long as there are small achievements every year, making efforts is the right and the most enjoyable thing. patience luggage, patience… soon you won’t be able to recognize all airport labels on you.
everything is ready, finally. 3 weeks of 12 hours day in front of my computer, building a hole new performing system for my live show in france this friday. there were days in which i was really afraid, there were so many layers and layers of information, of buttons that start chain reactions that start chain reactions that start chain reactions… how was i supposed to recall everything… there are at least 20 steps that i have to follow in right order just before performing… and do in it at home has nothing to do with doing it 10 minutes before the audience comes in.
sometimes i think i get so crazily complicated with my tools, because i am delaying the meeting with the creative act, i delay facing the void, with the technical complications. but i think this time i will rule over the beast. we’ll see. (i also think about… do i make better music because of this system?? of course not…). i am exhausted.
the buttons of my sleepless nights
i know that when i’m nervous, and i have before me an important performance, i get distracted myself with buttons and technology. on one hand i‘m like a child playing a game, i have lots of fun. but on the other i make my life turn around getting a button to do determined and decidedly improbable stupid task. and eventually this becomes totally sick.
i have been already two weeks on designing a whole new system for my next concert in france. from controllers, and different ways of interacting with them, to new hooks for the ipad on my instrument.
i have decided to stop making music with iphones and ipads, and use them just as controllers, i have decided to come back to the computer. after 5 years making music with iosdevices, i must admit they are not yet prepared for excelency. the problem with computers, is that everything becomes 100 times more complex, and instead of making music, you end up devoted to build the instrument with wich you will make music. but when will i finish it??!!
i still hope this is the definitive, that i will find the final system, the sound, the implementation, the balance that will save me from the void. i have also decided to change the type of music I make. give it a twist. stop being friendly. i do not need anymore to make music get a fucking coin on the street!
i started recording my new cd recording in January 2013. I dedicated at least 5 months full day job to produce it. one moth ago I had finally all tracks one after another, as they were going to be in the cd, all of them prepared for mastering. I listened to the music for the first time out of the studio, in my bike with the headphones. the result was katastrophal. I decided to cancel everything. I won’t release this shit. only 3 or 4 pieces will remain from the original 15. so now I am redefining all my approach to music and composition. I have to find a new sound, this fake classical semi-virtuous loop thing I have been doing ’till now is simply dead. it hurts, but I must continue ahead, I am afraid there might not be something else than what I did, but I must take the risk and give it a try, my next concert in france will be a good opportunity for it. hopefully I have still some money left, and I can focus and spend 10 hours day playing and experimenting.
something inside of me (hope) tells me I will succeed in this struggle, but something outside (despair) shows me I won’t, that I will end up my days working in pizza delivering.
if you want to go directly to the music, go to minute 3:50.
this is one of the most beautiful and bestial musics i’ve ever played, dedicated to one of the subjects that has ruled my life since i have use of reason.
since i realized of the power of new mobile devices, i totally switched from the complexity and infinite layering of performing with computers, to the simplicity of mobile devices. it’s been almost 5 years that i totally substituted computers for them in my live performances… over stage there’s never confusion. turn them on, and they work. but yesterday i decided to go back. somehow, i think, despite fast evolution and efforts of the app’s developers, that there’s a general lack of quality. also the limitations of the mobile devices –that were at the beginning an advantage– are putting the fences too close and tight. i am going to give it a try to ableton and max/msp again.
always that i am nervous i use technology to distract myself from the important matters. i hope this time it’s not this way.
it really takes me great efforts to get concentrated. 6 months ago i started to put each 20 minutes, so i could concentrate in a given subject (like studying cello vibrato), but without feeling that an endless time of tedious actions was ahead of me. then i realized there’s something called “pomodoro technique” which proposes periods of 25 minutes of work, followed by little pauses of 5 minutes. ahá.