On US soil today, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m over 3600 miles away, myself, from the place that began as home this year in New York, but ready to celebrate a day off anyway as I take in Eindhoven’s STRP Festival and prepare for performing on Saturday back in Berlin.
But whether you’re in the US or in one of the many other parts of the world where we count readers, let’s pause to consider what makes us thankful.
I’m immensely thankful to have the opportunity to make music. I find it’s always worth reminding myself of that, and reminding to fight for the time to do it, to keep myself sane. Highlights for me so far in 2011: playing a friend’s grand piano in Brooklyn on a wintry-feeling March day (the samples of which make up the performance Saturday), spending Hurricane Irene jamming on a Mono/Poly with King Britt and Rucyl Mills, firing up Pd and getting lost in granular samples on a gray day in Berlin, assembling a track in Reason or Ableton in a hotel room… these are the sort of moments where, all at once, you find under almost any circumstances you can reclaim your sense of center and happiness, and give everything else clarity.
I’m also, and I don’t get to say this enough, unbelievably thankful for the readers of this site and some of the print projects I do. As a professional writer, writing is not a claimed right, but a privilege granted at the pleasure of your readership. Then, on this site, I get the gift of being able to see the inventions and expressions of people around the world. And yes, even getting criticisms and hearing people argue with what I say is a terrific motivator, one I don’t take for granted, especially when print writing remains largely without feedback. For me as a musician, it’s come to be part of who I am – not only my personal output, but all this input, having the chance to write about what’s happening. It doesn’t conflict with being a musician; it’s an essential element of that process for me.
I’m so grateful, in fact, for these two things, that I feel I can always do more.
And more is coming. I’m thankful that after a lot of work behind the scenes, there are new possibilities that lie ahead to expand upon what CDM does. And yes, as some readers or residents of Berlin have worked out, I’ve personally for the last few weeks been in the capital of Germany and not the city of New York. You may also have met Marsha Vdovin, who came onboard earlier this year as Business Development Manager and who has already moved forward what CDM can do and how it can grow.
Also, as of this morning, delays suffered by our open source MeeBlip project are at last coming to a close, beginning with new shipments of the MeeBlip micro and all-new firmware for all models, available now on GitHub. (We’ll have a full update on the MeeBlip project next week, as everyone gets back from the holiday.)
Most importantly, I’m working now on plans to completely rebuild Create Digital Noise and give readers and like-minded artists the community they deserved, instead of the failed experiment we got. If you’re interested in being part of that conversation, get in touch; otherwise, more on that very soon.
But it’s those things for which I’m thankful that motivate all of this. And I’m thankful, as always, not so much for what lies in the past or somewhere off in the future, but what is halfway-done and in process, partway through the story, which is where I find the really good stuff lies. In that spirit, here’s a documentary that deals with the notion of delivering in beta, and getting things out the door – something that goes as much for music as it does for inventions, I think. (As it happens, director Gabriel Shalom and photo editor/titler Patrizia Kommerell are sitting next to me in a hotel lobby as I write this.)
What are you thankful for? Let us know – or have a look at ten music technologies I gave thanks for last year.