Computer and technical problems always seem to manifest themselves at the most inopportune moments for me. Last month I began working on a piece of music for a competition. I was giving myself a good chunk of time to get the composition written, recorded and mixed. When I was just getting ready to start working on mixing the tracks, the faulty wiring in the house decided to strike. Apparently, the previous owner of the house had the brilliant idea to set the wiring in the power outlets backwards. Luckily most of my gear was in a surge protector, leaving a majority of it unharmed. Unfortunately, this event still somehow managed to do damage to my computer’s sound system. With only two weeks before the piece was due, I now had a computer that had no ability to play sound from my computer through any means.
After some troubleshooting and a considerable amount of cursing, I was no closer to finding out what was wrong or what exactly had been damaged. The software was fine, the computer’s memory seemed okay. I had no choice at this point. It was time to take a trip to the local Mac store. Luckily, I still had the computer covered by a warranty, so the repairs were financially covered. However, this still left me without a computer for almost a week at a time when I had a deadline I needed to meet. So the goal of that week became how to continue working without getting overly stressed or losing my mind. The only option available to me at that point was to focus on writing other pieces without my computer.
I’ve mentioned before that I still like to do a portion of my writing at the piano and with the computer out of commission, it was the only way I would be getting any work done. My other projects had taken a back seat with the competition deadline approaching, so this incident shifted my focus whether I liked it or not. I’ve been planning on creating a set of pieces for a solo album for awhile, but I had only set up some general ideas for what I was going to do for certain pieces. Without the mixing project to work on and without the distraction of the internet, I had a much more productive and distraction free environment to work in. By the end of the fifth day without the computer, I had sketched out music for at least three pieces. One for another demo track and the other two for the album. None of these were complete, just early drafts, but it helped me set the building blocks for what I want to do with the rest of the album as well as giving me some new ideas for other pieces.
So in a way my technology problems were a mixed blessing. I was able to work on some new music, without any major distractions, and I was able to keep busy and keep my mind of the competition deadline. Once I had the computer back, I set to work immediately on mixing. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough time to get everything set the way I wanted, but I managed to make the deadline. As of this post I haven’t received any word on the track that I submitted, but I’m hoping that it will be well received. In the meantime, my progress that I made on the rest of my music during this disaster has been a good motivator for me to stay focused on composing for the album. I like what I’ve got so far and I’m excited to keep building and adding to it. I’m also hoping to hear about the results of the competition within the next few weeks. I’ll make sure to post a little more frequently here and if I’m lucky I won’t have any more technology issues for awhile.