Monday, November 03, 2008

persistence interruptus

I've had persistent enthusiasm deficiency for posting songs lately. While this has often happened when I've lagged behind in the job of transcribing the songs from their handwritten notebooks, in this case I have a small backlog of transcribed songs. I've been disinclined even to open the posting interface.

At the point when I'm actually taking more time to write something completely new here as a substitute for transcribing another song I have to wonder if there is something more complicated than ordinary, periodic disinterest and procrastination that comes with any long-range project.

Maybe not. Certainly I think about stopping altogether sometimes. There is a strange difference between this electronic "publication" experiment and doing the original writing of the songs, which I did not expect to be seen or heard by anyone (even less so after the band I was playing with succumbed to attrition and I stopped home recording) - and I rarely presented actual material to anyone, even friends - though I think I spoke to people about the song of the day project in the abstract a fair amount.

The ostensible function of the fairly secret blog was to get the material digital, fungible, searchable. Despite its theoretical availability I didn't expect it to be read much. But with one thing and another at least a few hundred people have been exposed to this and I don't believe anyone is reading it regularly.

This seems like a relevant observation especially as I am turning out more of this material as we speak (literally, like I wrote a song in the midst of composing this post) and I have to ask myself why. Recording seems like too much trouble (and I have zero budget set aside for it) and I'm not doing anything to actively solicit collaboration. I haven't thought seriously about trying to form a band in 9 or 10 years. I certainly don't see the Cosmodemonic Music Group ringing me up to request any of these odd little ditties for one of their mass produced chanteuses. I could say I gave it the old college try. It's not like it was a callow effort: I've written a song for every day for three and a half years (despite recent blog infrequency I've been more or less dutiful in cranking out new daily verses).

I breezed past the song count on the original project somewhat less than a year ago and felt I'd gotten my second wind up, but now, a third of the way into the second (only second!) of a putative ten (ten!) thousands, I'm wondering if I'm hitting a heretofore unglimpsed plateau of creative juice. The writing lately is dull, brief and arduous. And though I may feel differently later (it's certainly happened before) at the moment it seems to me that the material, that is to say the issue, is not very good. It's hard medicine to test the stuff of my persistence with.

A story went around a short while ago about a broom shop in Tokyo that had stayed open since 1972 without serving a single patron. The implication being I guess that someone had unlocked, set out stock and sat stolidly behind a counter for 36 years (financed, one presumes, by some small inheritance or disinterested kin). It turned out to be an easily debunked hoax, of course, but there is something interesting about the inclination to think of it as something potentially true... the proprietor of such a shop would clearly be mad but there seems the possibility that this particular kind of madman (or -woman) could really exist. The projected span of Ten Thousand Nights, the second iteration of the song of the day project, is a little less than 27 and a half years. Of course, at current rates I'd have to live to be about 130 to hope to get the whole thing online. But setting that aside, as a mission (even one that is far from full time) it does strike me just this moment as a trifle quixotic.

More songs later maybe.

P.S. Google's dictionary doesn't know how to spell "searchable". WTF Google?

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here
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