light bulb goes “ping”

I tend to think of myself as having Summer SAD, since the combination of heat and humidity and bright sunlight can make me wig out. But, having just read someone saying their anxiety and depression are at their most troublesome in winter made me recall that, late winter through the earliest part of spring can be a little rough too.

Being aware of these things can help a lot.

Putting it in perspective, I think I’m doing pretty well compared to last year at this time. A few episodes of getting overly wound up, a bit of a lull in my creative drive (often overcome just by turning on the synth gear, patching and listening). But no feeling trapped, or under siege, or super-frustrated. And a few things to be pleased about, no matter the outcome.

Such as: I started working on a set for the Sonic Sound Synthesis weekly show hosted by The Neon Hospice. (It’ll probably be a couple of months before it airs.)

I started reading Monolithic Undertow by Harry Sword, a book about drone music in all its forms and cultures. It’s pretty fascinating so far, and I am finding a bit of inspiration in it. It even seems relatively balanced about its claims of the psychoactive power of drone or assumptions about ancient cultures (though I’m still keeping grains of salt on standby).

I tend to not be that deeply into more strict, static drone, but prefer some interplay between stasis and change. But then a lot of the music referenced here is also not 45 minutes with no texture or rhythm, either, and a lot of music that people describe as “drone” sounds nothing at all like a drone to me.

The term “drone” is a bit like “ambient” — it had a precise meaning but it got applied in wider umbrella fashion, for lack of a better word which can encompass a set that shares some general characteristics, but not the key characteristic that defines the term.

I would say that the set of characteristics for “drone” is even more nebulous… but then, there’s some music categorized as “dark ambient” which strike me as some kind of slow sludgy doom metal. Kind of a similar mood I guess…?

I have been thinking about gear again (of course). I’m confident now that I want to replace my Shelves and A-110-4 with a Xaoc Odessa — in fact, I’m probably not going to wait for May 1 after all.

After that, there’s more uncertainty and several possible paths — more later as it develops, as Cecil Palmer of Night Vale Community Radio would say.