I found that the problem I’ve been tackling, which is to boost the volume of our new song, could be solved by redoing the mixdown. But it’ll take a few more months to complete. I feel reluctant to tell my partner that I need more time to complete the song. I thought about an extreme. What if I were the only human on this planet? If there were no one else besides me, I would redo by taking as much time as I want until I reach my satisfaction. Time is relative like happiness and bears meaning simply in relation to others. Come to think of it, our new song is written just about it. While I’ve been working on it, I ignored what I had written myself. So, I decided to go back to the mixdown. Considering the song’s theme, it was destined to take time…
I have two different personalities inside myself. They’re in stark contrast with each other and that often confuses me. I know fame and money would do no good and I try to live only in order to make good music, nothing else. But my other self always wants to live in Monaco and own a Formula One team. It sneers at my way of living and makes me feel miserable. I vividly remember the moment this other self was born inside me. It was when I was in the second grade. Until then, I hadn’t talked to anyone but my family members, all through the years of kindergarten and the first grade at elementary school. To me, people outside my family were all evil and stupid. I despised them for some reason, and ignored them, as I didn’t want to be one of them. As a result, my social life as a child was atrocious. Because of my attitude, other kids constantly picked on me, slandered and bad-mouthed. I was always alone and loathed school so much that I couldn’t sleep every night of schooldays. I sensed that I couldn’t live like this any longer. I was about to be broken like a machine with no lubricant, and couldn’t stand it anymore. I knew the way to make my life easier was to become one of them. After long deliberation, I came to a decision, and my other self was born. I started talking to people, laughing with them, playing with them, by enduring the foolishness. I became popular and my school life turned into a less nightmare although my true self was very unhappy. Now I’ve grown up and chosen to live as my true self. Still, my other half disturbs me once in a while by craving fame and money. Am I really sure that other self isn’t my true self? What if the other self is true me…?
I’ve been working for mastering of our new song for some time now. I still can’t get it up to my satisfaction though, after using everything I’ve got. I successfully made the sound itself exactly what I’d wanted. The only problem is the volume. I tried countless compressors and limiters, read a book on the subject and looked it up around on the Internet with no luck. Our song stays in low volume compared to other CDs. The other day, I found mastering software that many engineers regard as an ultimate volume booster. It looked attractive, but it was quite pricey. It was my decision whether I bought it or took our song to a studio engineer. I just wanted to try the software and go through with the mastering so badly. I decided to try to the best of my ability and then, after it became certain that I couldn’t, turn to a professional. I bought the software. Now, the road to a goal is one, only the ending will be either the software or the studio. I’ve known that completing a song takes time, but music also can be a money pit…
I checked out the hotel on the last day of my trip to the western region of Japan, flew from Kansai Airport and took an airport bus to the station where I would catch a bullet train heading home. When I finished a late lunch near the station, I noticed there had been voice mail from my mother on my cell phone. My parents had declined to meet me the day before when I was going to visit them who live in the western Japan. I thought the voice mail was about lame excuses to hide the fact that they didn’t want to see me, and called her back although my phone’s battery was extremely low.
I started sarcastically, “It was a pity that we couldn’t meet yesterday although it was a once-a-year opportunity, wasn’t it?” to hear her made-up excuse. Then, she replied, “Huh? Yesterday?” sounding like she had already forgotten about it. And she continued on as if it wasn’t important at all. What she wanted to tell me was why my parents had run away from their condo where my sister had begun to live with them, which I had learned also the day before as a surprise.
According to my mother, my parents had prepared an envelope that contained ten thousand dollars for me for a tax avoidance reason. They were going to hand it to me if I visited them because they didn’t know my bank account number to wire it. They had put the envelope on the Buddhist alter of their home. When my sister found it, she got into frenzy and began to hit my father, shouting, “Get out of this condo!” As her violence didn’t stop, they ran away with almost nothing but the clothes they wore. They had stayed at a hotel for a few days and moved in a short-term rental apartment that my sister later traced. As they wouldn’t let her in, she scratched my father’s car, broke his bicycle, torn window screens and put garbage at the door. They had been moving from one place to another for three weeks because she found them each time and repeated her harassment. They were still looking for another apartment to escape from my sister. As if to sum up, my mother said to me, “We couldn’t get back to our home where the envelope that had money we were going to give you sit. Your sister stole your money.”
I had heard about some abuse my parents have been inflicted from my sister when my mother called me a month ago and told me that she was in hell. But I hadn’t known things have gotten even worse like this. Although I just learned all her miseries, only one thing seized my mind – ten thousand dollars. It triggered something in me and my eyes turned dollar signs like a cartoon. I swiftly responded her that it happened because they had prepared it in cash and that I would give her my bank account number not to repeat this in the future. I was desperately trying to retrieve the ten thousand dollars. I thought they might wire it again once they got my bank account number. By then, my cell phone’s electrical voice had uttered ‘Low Battery’ and ‘Charge Now’ for several times over my mother’s lamenting. I told her to get a piece of paper and a pen immediately and started the names of my bank and its branch. She was getting them so awfully slowly that I suspected she did it intentionally. After a painful wait, I started the number. But right before the first digit came out of my mouth, my phone went dead.
I felt quite chilly because the timing was so precise that it didn’t seem coincident. I also felt ten thousand dollars were slipping through my fingers. I looked around for pay phones to finish the number, but couldn’t find one. I came home by bullet train, recharged my cell phone, and called back my parents. Both of them didn’t answer. I called them again the next day. My father answered this time with the same vacant voice as I heard on the phone during the trip. He told me that he couldn’t talk with me now as he was in the real estate agent’s office for another apartment hunting to hide from my sister. He sounded completely absent-minded and made me feel uncertain. My mother came up to the phone and told me their effort would be in vain anyway since my sister would eventually find out their new place somehow. I offered that I would find an apartment for them around where I live if they didn’t bother it would be 500 miles away from where they are now. It was when my mother burst into tears again. “Will YOU help me? Really?”, she bawled, as if she couldn’t believe my words.
After I hung up the phone without telling her my bank account number, I finally came to my senses. My dollar signs tumbled down from my eyes and my reason returned. My mother is, has always been, a liar. She tells any kind of lies from big to small to anyone. She also has set her mind to make me unhappy in every possible way. She has wielded countless tactics for that purpose. The marked example was when the music label my partner and I started finally got on track after strenuous years. When she noticed our beginning of success, she offered financial support to back me up. I foolishly trusted her because she was my mother. My partner and I moved to a bigger office and hired more staffs. Shortly after that, she tried to take over our business by threatening to stop financial aid unless we handed over the profit. I realized that she had offered money in the first place to crush our business, but it was too late. Our label suffered heavy losses and damage with her sudden finance withdrawal. Thinking back my bitter experiences of many years, it has been proven that she never does anything good for me and she never hopes my well-being. It’s totally a blue dahlia that she would give me any money. I almost took in her ‘ten thousand dollars’ this time and was stupid enough to be about to tell her my bank account number.
I wonder why I keep being fooled by my mother after all those years from childhood. My mother has never been forgiven for what she did and things have increasingly gotten worse around her year after year. I may wish somewhere in my mind that she is finally brought back to her sense and cleans up her act. Then she becomes a better person and someday she accepts me and loves me. Probably those vain hopes are my weakness on which my mother plays with her lies. Or more simply, like mother like daughter, I’m as greedy as my mother, that’s why I easily fall for her…
An artist who has a contract with a major record company generally has a deadline for work. Due to the cost of studio use and the promotion schedule, they often need to finish recording in a couple of weeks. Sometimes, it requires compromise and the work results in what they didn’t want. I, on the other hand, have no contract, no obligation, no bind. I’ve been working on the current song for seven years now, including two years of recording. These years have been the happiest time in my life, with contentment from work. I’m in an ideal position to pursue my music as much as I want, so to speak. I always wonder why people don’t live like this. Of course, if they do, fame and money is almost certainly hopeless as is my case. I have no contract, no fame, no money, and call it ideal. Maybe I’m beginning to become a nutcase…
My sister always wanted to be a writer but she has settled for being a local government employee. In a dream I had the other night, my sister said, “I haven’t written anything because I dread that my work won’t sell.” And I replied, “Even if it sold, you would dread that your next work wouldn’t sell while people around you expect a great deal. So, you dread anyway whether it sells or not.” I woke up and was marveled at what I said in there. In my real life, I’ve never thought that way while I’m craving success in my music career where nothing has sold. I heard my subconscious talk in the dream. That made me think. If I dread either way, it’s meaningless to be disappointed at myself who is still an unknown or to be impatient to make a hit. In fact, too many artists with a big hit got caught by alcohol or drugs and died young. As an artist, it’s ideal to create music at my own pace without any pressure and hold on. Having said that, I can’t shake off a stupid desire to make a big hit and show off at a high school reunion in front of my old friends who ended up housewives…
I shopped at the discount supermarket that I’d recently noticed its
existence again. Their usual prices are at the level of special sale
prices at other supermarket. They also have their private brand at even
lower prices for beer, noodles and wine. Meat is cheaper than the
half-price one at other stores. I get the meat there with further
discounts because of the imminent expiration date, so that the price is
unbelievable for meat. It’s open 24 hours and I can go there any time I
want without worrying about its closing time. It’s a perfect place to
shop for me if not one particular thing –the music played in the store.
They play Japanese hit songs annoyingly loudly. Their problems are they
sound like a patchwork of fragments from hit songs of U.S. that were
popular ten years ago. Their lyrics are particularly horrible with
childishness. I try not to listen to them but it’s loud enough to beat
any defense like earplugs or portable music devices. I don’t want to be
contaminated, so I have to leave the store quickly each time. Being
unable to enjoy shopping leisurely is the catch of this otherwise great
store. The low price always has its reasons…
from Tumblr https://hidemiwoods.tumblr.com/post/186129153926