It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Musings From a Formerly Safe Space in 10 Posts, by Ray John Brothers

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:02 PM
link   
After a long night, as I coil up cables, shut down equipment, and wash my coffee cup, I hear a soft jiggle. It’s the ever-problematic handle to the screen door. It’s a person trying to open the screen door. From behind the building. On private property. At 4:30 in the morning.




posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:08 PM
link   
I set up a studio a couple of months ago. It’s not a business. I’m a private person with a minimally exceptional, yet cozy, songwriter studio. My equipment was purchased from craigslist ads and pawnshops. From Goodwills.

I’ve been a home recording hobbyist and amateur songwriter since I was a teenager. A friend’s older brother had a Tascam cassette four-track and after my first experiences making my own music I was ruined for anything else. Everywhere I’ve lived since then, I had a small space in a cluttered corner, moldy basement, musty bedroom, or spider-infested storage shed dedicated to this pursuit.

But the status quo was never in my favor. Always having to sing and play quietly, my recordings betrayed the looming threat of noise complaints, or, as was more commonly the case, the derision of my family, friends, roommates, and neighbors. So when I recently rented a commercial/retail space, it was solely to have a personal playground to produce It’s an Emergency!, a story album chronicling the tale of how one dark night, a bearded boy (who never fit in...anywhere, anywhen) from a backward, nameless place takes a baby step into an unwanted adventure, on which he reluctantly defies danger (he is a jittery ninja), denies self-doubt and uses a poisonous spider he found on the paved roads, combined with a shotgun (stolen by the hunter’s daughter from her father, the hunter) to defeat (in spite of his shaking hands, slippery with sweat, like he ate a sandwich with mayonnaise on the wrong side of the bread) the odious soulthief, Carrotfingers, and finally, to drive off into the sunrise.

Coincidentally, the exclamatory phrase “It’s an Emergency!” is one (of many) commonly deployed excuse(s).
edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:14 PM
link   
I had no idea that I could fit so much meaning into the word “Hey”. Tom Petty was right: even the losers get lucky sometimes. It worked.

The goon fled.
edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:16 PM
link   
I have no expectation that I will make money and every expectation that I will go broke. I could fail utterly and I don’t care. God will tell you: failure, on a grand enough scale, is its own kind of success, and only the Devil himself (and cowards) will try to tell you differently. The Spruce Goose, as monument to this truth, sits in a museum within a days drive from where I sit.



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:17 PM
link   
This is an unlikely place for any sort of studio.

Firstwise, this is a small town. The biggest employers are the lumber mill, the cell-phone battery factory (are they in business still?), and the college. I almost forgot: there is the hospital, too. And the nursing homes. It’s not a poor town by any stretch but it’s not rich, either.

Secondly, the building itself is not an ideal place to record music according to the common knowledge of these things. The walls are of normal (i.e., abominable) noise reduction quality and it has enormous windows facing the street. Since it’s directly on the busiest artery through town—a bus line—my room takes in a lot of noise. Aside from this, it’s irritating that my suite's private doors—a slack-handled hollow-core aluminum door paired with an exterior screen door (the latter of which, in my honest judgement, cannot conceivably have ever been a new object) exiting to the rear exterior of the building—are sometimes difficult to open. The rusty, grinding screen door handle requires a studied touch; it easily gets jammed and I still can’t get it right all the time, even after a couple months.
edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:18 PM
link   
I’m Nightman. Practically always have been. Being Nightman requires social sacrifices and sometimes dealing with other Nightpeople is scary, but being Nightman has one benefit: certain spaces can become more viable for certain uses than they would be for the same purposes during daylight hours. I’m alluding to spaces in which to play, write, and record music, of course.

I share the building with a tax accountant, a payroll service, a hairstylist and a skateboard shop. After my wife and daughter get to bed at home, and well after my fellow tenants have closed up shop and gone home, I wander to the studio, often staying from 9 pm until 5 am. It takes a while, but the buses and trucks stop rumbling and the subwoofers fade off into the distance. I get a peaceful, quiet stretch between one and four o’clock or so every morning. It is a symbiosis that works out well for everyone.



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:19 PM
link   
My high-strung nature forces me to expect a goon behind every door, waiting to smash me over the head with a flower pot. I don’t even feel comfortable at home most of the time. I dislike my wife’s taste in décor and her cooking is usually pretty bad, based on any criteria. I love her still but it’s true. Otherwise, our living space is cramped and it’s hard to get the house quiet without making someone cry in the process. But anyways, my studio is pretty much as perfect a place as any could be. Sure: it’s costly. Sure: it’s not acoustically ideal. The doors are hard to open. But it is mine.

May I dare to say that it is my “safe space”? (I am technically a millennial so it seems appropriate.)

Feel my words, hard as Emerson’s cannonballs: I’m giving myself a safe space for my creative process to unfold naturally. I accept every word I write, every sour note I sing and play: it all leads to something: it’s the natural order of things. Developing this habit is, in itself, a life’s work. But anyways, I treat “The Critic” with indifference. I don’t take crap from myself and I don't give myself crap. Not when I’m in my studio. In doing so, I would be violating my own safe space.

But not quite as badly as when someone tried to break in at 4:30 yesterday, just over 24 hours ago.
edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:20 PM
link   
I ninjastep directly to the tool box, pick up the hammer, then creep toward the door in fighting stance. A cellphone flashlight pierces the cracks in the blinds and, aided by the pale glow of a distant street lamp pissing the light-version of urine, I see the goon’s silhouette. The jiggle stops. An infinite, breathless second is interrupted when the violent collision of goonfoot and screen door bludgeons the twilight silence.



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:20 PM
link   
I’m Nightman and this isn’t my first time on night watch. These things are unfortunately all too common. I’ll resume my music-making once I’m certain it’s safe. I’ve been patiently waiting here all day and night, biding my time in reflection, calming my nerves, drinking coffee, and chewing tobacco. I’ve been locked inside my music room scrutinizing every bump, creak, and gust of wind, my trusty hammer at hand.

I really ought to just get the damn insurance like the wife says.



posted on Jun, 27 2018 @ 12:21 PM
link   
Here’s what I shout: “HEY!” Yeah. Hey.

What I really say is, “I’m at the end of my rope with you goddamn goons always trying to steal my freedom and if you know what’s best for you, keep kicking my door, but if you wanna live you might wanna start paddling your canoe in some other direction because this is my goddamn safe space and if a threat walks through my broken door I am authorized by the wrath of God to restore the safety that this place was built for and I’ll eat a toilet full of my own diarrhea and call it Jello pudding before I watch the goons fly away in my Spruce Goose.”

Fraternally,

Ray John Brothers
edit on 6/27/2018 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



new topics




 
2

log in

join