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.

  • Really wanted to check out STRP this year (I live in Eindhoven), but my daughter is just 3 weeks old now and my wife's family is flying over from New York this Friday to visit for a few weeks, so life is keeping me from some of the things I'd like to do.

    And that's fine, because in the end it is my family that I'm most thankful for anyway.

    I am also really thankful that I've somehow been able to keep rekkerd running for another year.

  • eMBee

    Can't forget to be thankful for a really great blog…. technology without info is just a bunch of stuff. Thanks Peter.

    (Hope you find some turkey doner in Berlin today…)

  • Bob Bell

    Well thank you for the site Peter, I really do look forward to seeing new stuff on here and wouldn't have half the plans I do if it wasn't for this place. And yeah, time is a bitch!

  • Despite being in the Thanksgiving-less UK I feel I should jump on here and say a huge thank you to the massive community of music-makers, software-makers, tutorial-makers and bloggers who have over the past three years taken me from using Cool Edit Pro to make synthesisers by stretching acoustic guitar recordings and birdsong because I couldn't afford a hardware synth and didn't know what MIDI was to finding hundreds of likeminded people and discovering a huge range of fantastic techniques and tools that compliment rather than replace what I was already doing.

    Thanks to this blog, links from it and the almost always helpful comments I've discovered Processing (which I now use in my website work and also to make OSC-linked visuals for another life-changing community-inspired choice, Bidule), the peerless Renoise, my beloved Livid Code, an inspirational sample library of bee sounds, Unity3D and hundreds of other tricks, tools, composition ideas and more. Along with countless amazing musicians and people.

    I'd love to jump deep into Create Digital Noise soon (I registered but forgot to really do anything with it) or help out if you need any volunteer website people as I feel I really need to give as much as I can give back to the amazing community I've discovered through places such as this.

  • I'm thankful for being plugged into this site =)

    I'm also thankful for freesound.org. A ton of gems in there.

    I also noticed that the last track of that video had a sample I've been toying around with for about a year, some old sample from a kung fu movie… I believe I found that on freesound.org, awesome to hear it in that awesome track at the end 🙂

  • I'm thankful to be living in this age when a computer is accessible and able to perform such a wide range of functions.

  • Fascinating news that you've moved to Berlin, Peter. Curious about the story of why and how you moved. Am aware that you don't ordinarily discuss such things here.

    Since many people in Shreveport enjoyed the MSPS New Music Fest (Tim Hecker, Mark Fell, others) I'm going to post the Berlin streaming link with hopes that we can continue our explorations.

    And here's to your adventure.

  • Bob Bell

    Oh, and just got round to watching the video. Very, VERY interesting. And that Pauk tune…wow :-O

  • sad I can't hear tonight in Berlin, but I'm sure there's a lot more coming!