We had our first day back at classes today, which was lovely if long. We prepared a bunch of material for the Globetown project which launches tomorrow at Morpeth- the secondary school we are all working together at. Paul, one of the two tutors leading this project (the other is his wife, Sig) really wanted a rock sound so he sent Nick back to Sundial to get his electric guitar and I volunteered the electric bass that I have been teaching myself how to play these last two weeks. So even though I don't totally know what I am doing yet, I played electric bass all day.
Frankly- I feel about 145% cooler playing the electric bass, it has a certain flair.
So I was able to keep up with everything we were doing- I found the notes easily and had Paul show me a couple of things during the break regarding my left hand technique. It turns out that in order to get the sound to be short and spicatto it is easier and more effective to lift your left hand rather than to try and dampen it with your right hand- at least in the context that we were working today- so that was really helpful to figure out. Anyhow the electric bass is a success except that I haven't played that quickly, that loudly, for that long before and now I have blisters on all of my right hand fingers. In different places too, because I'm using a different part of the pad of my fingers from what I use on the upright. I blister easily, so this is not really a big deal- probably a good thing I wont be playing for 5 days though.
The other thing that is making it difficult to type is that was I was opening the door to the basement computer/tv room, a perpendicular door was flung open and my right hand was caught between the two. So, ow. Fortunately the bar was still open so I got a big bag of ice. I'm kind of hoping for a nice bruise, I haven't had any really spectacular bruises in a while. I'm about due for one.
The reason today was so long was that we had another MAPmaking project meeting, but this time the Royal College of Art students came to us. These meeting continue to be remarkably inefficiently led, so I spend a lot of time mentally editing the directors' spiels and reorganizing the running order of the meeting. But since there was so much random down time during the meeting it did give me a fair amount of time to meet and talk to a bunch of the artists as well as some of the other musicians I hadn't met yet.
The theme for MAPmaking is climate change and equator countries which lends itself to depression. Not being one for depression, my perception of the various videos we have watched so far (both the presentation about climate change at the last meeting and the various art works presented today) have led me to feel quite frustrated at the defeatist/alarmist sort of attitudes I was sensing. I brought this up at the end of the meeting with one of the artists and we talked about how all sorts of bad things are probably going to happen (one of the works was about a country in the Pacific that is going to be under water completely in 50 years) and we don't really have any control over that so focusing on those things really doesn't help. What does help is focusing on what we can do- perhaps all of this catastrophic weather will pull disparate peoples together to work for a common cause, or we can figure out how to relocate the 11,000 people living on Atlantis (I don't remember the actual name of the country) to another island so that even though their home will be gone (it will be, we can't do anything about that) at least certain aspects of their way of life can be preserved and paralleled.
This isn't terribly coherent yet, probably it is a good thing that I am thinking about it. Interesting meeting in any case.
I'm off to India tomorrow! See you in five days!