In Preparation

I haven’t done much by way of painting and decorating in the last few years, much preferring – and it being a much better idea – to get professionals in. But in my time I’ve done a bit and after some pretty slapdash early efforts I gradually learned that preparation is the key to getting such jobs done well.

You’ve got to make sure that the knots in wood are sealed, the holes in walls are filled; that lining paper’s properly put up, undercoat and/or sealer applied; that everything’s properly in place before you get to that final coat, that unrolling of the wallpaper. It’s not just that it makes things easier; in the end it’s the only way that makes sense and the only way that’ll produce a decent result.

Of course the same thing applies to anything you want to do properly. So for the past month or so I’ve been very much involved in Prepping Things. The VdGG tour will very soon be upon us and anything that can be sorted out in advance, both from my personal point of view and from the group’s, will help to make the upcoming work simpler, better and (hopefully) surprising only in a good way. If I/we go into it unprepared then any surprises might be a tad unpleasant….

Some of this is the paddling away below the water which we hope will produce a serene passage across the surface. Some, as always, involves looking at technical challenges as well as musical ones and searching for decent solutions to any problems raised. A lot of it is, as ever, is just to do with visualising what may be about to come.

In turn, the fact that I’ve been engaged in this pre-VdGG stuff has somewhat taken me away from the album that I’m meant to be making! (Well actually I’m making a couple simultaneously as it happens but of that there’ll be more, later, when things are further advanced.) Additionally, my mind’s been rather turned towards the technical end of recording, for the first time in a long while. All will doubtless work out in due course but put simply I’m considering doing something which I’ve always cautioned against, guarded against, in the past – changing hardware in mid-project.

I’ve been running fundamentally the same system for more than a decade now and sooner or later I’ll have to make a shift, particularly with a view to downsizing things at some point in the relatively near future. Suddenly it seems that this *might* be the moment to take the plunge into some new kit.

It’s a big decision though, so a degree of chin-stroking and spreadsheet bashing is going on. Interesting times.

And all, as I say, in preparation: once I’ve made my decisions I hope to blast through the actual work of writing/recording/finishing with ease, speed and precision…on a well-prepped foundation.