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Arthur Wesley Dow: The Clam House (circa 1892)

"This so-far mythical future house concert …"

Much of my effort to resurrect my SetList of songs probably qualifies as inner work. Not to go all nineties on anybody, when the publishing world gorged in The Inner Work of pretty nearly everything, the inner work of performing even my simple tunes proves daunting. The inner world, my inner world, refuses to cleanly translate into outer mediums and contexts. Feelings repeatedly fail to pass the explicit test. Meanings steadfastly remain mysterious. Even hearing what I'm singing proves complicated and seems best amended with microphone, headphones, and a confusing array of software filters.

I've been failing to learn the software through which I filter my voice for twenty-some years and I feel no closer to figuring it out than when I started.
It hasn't helped that periodic new releases reconfigure the user interface, rendering it ever more complicated when it was altogether too complicated to begin with. It features layers upon layers, each mysteriously accessed through invisible switches. An inadvertent click often opens up an alternate universe featuring buttons and sliders of non-obvious purpose. I might aspire to produce a clean reproduction, but clean's never an option. I might be able to make my voice sound like it's on a Broadway stage, but I cannot find the place where I make it sound like I'm in my little studio, singing.

The interface between out here and in there seems particularly confusing, and I suspect that it would be baffling regardless of the quality of the user interface, the Innerface. It must straddle two complete and essentially independent universes, not just different worlds, each with its own rules and traditions. Nothing very compelling insists that I plumb my inner depths to achieve any outward performance. I just suspect that I must plumb those depths, perhaps because I always have. I must sit, then, in my own shadow, before my own questionable judgement and work through the inevitable complications, all the time wondering what my voice must sound like to others. The capture and playback features of my Innerface remain non-obvious, mysterious. I'm still at the stage where I can barely listen let alone hear.

They say that music works as an expression. It's a ridiculous one, with the guitar accompanying the caterwauling. It's compounded tradition. I imagine my forebears playing, finding respite from the worst of it, carrying forward feelings the old world elicited, inner-driven. Me, resurrecting something very similar, carrying forward something inner, something perhaps never created to really live out here. It's just visiting, never to set up permanent residence, a house guest for supper. This so-far mythical future house concert will come from there, stay a while, then recede back into ether, no software in the universe having captured its passing. I'm just coaxing it out.

©2022 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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