Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two and a half years since the last blog post...
I'm great at this blogging malarkey.

What the hell have I done in that time? :S

48hrs from now, I'm going to be on stage with Specimen A in room 2 at Fabric.
Doesn't feel real yet. I doubt it will before soundcheck.
I'll be there to engineer, not perform or anything so glamorous, but it's still very exciting to be part of the process.
24hrs after that, I'll be scratching with Introducing, somewhere in Ladbroke Grove.

So, I've written a sum total of no music in the last 30 months. That wasn't /exactly/ the plan.
My studio gets slowly upgraded (mostly as a side-effect of work), and I have an increasing feeling of guilt when I go into my studio... which has, basically, everything you could ever ask for in a studio. It gets switched on when I want to build a TDM version of a plugin. Either that or HalfLife 2 is calling... the sound effects are great through a pair of reference-calibrated Genelec 1030s. Man. When I think of the kids who're doing nothing but write beats, and would kill for a pro setup, I feel seriously bad. Better not think about that then eh?

Some history... For those of your breakspeople who don't know, there was once a time when Oli FarTooLoud, Specimen A crew and myself all lived ten minutes walk from each other. This was right at the start. I was working with Oli FarTooLoud when we wrote Get Into It in our spare time after work, many years ago. I think I can probably take the credit for introducing Oli to Phil Spec-A. 6 months ago, Phil and I lived essentially opposite each other. Oli moved away... probably a year ago, and I miss him a lot. Sadly he doesn't find himself out this way much any more. Oli and I wrote Blackout not long before he left.

That DnB thing that was getting signed to hospital got unsigned, picked up by another label,
put in a queue, and then forgotten about, which is a bit of a shame, but hey. Phil is so busy with Specimen A projects that he doesn't get time to collab any more. We used to spend a lot of time hacking out DnB, and there was a phase where we did some housey bits! We started a dubstep project with Apex from NZ, which I fear I may have managed to stall through my continual failure to finish tunes.

I can't sleep.
I've played some cool clubs before, but Fabric has always seemed like the pinnacle to me.
One thing I've figured out is that by the time you're playing big clubs, there's no-one around you who doesn't believe you that you are. I can still remember being, like 20, and having gigs, and people actually not believing it. Now, if I tell someone I'm playing X, Y or Z, no-one would question it. I think it's probably a factor of who stays around you, and who doesn't.

It's kinda tough this feeling like I should be doing something, or staying on a level with my friends. Once upon a time, /I'd/ pass tips on to /them/... those days are looong gone.
On the other hand, I've seen how hard they've worked, and what they've had to go through to achieve the success that they have. I desperately hope that Phil gets best newcomer at breakspoll. No-one deserves it more than he does. He's put so much in.

This is probably the exact point where I fail. Phil and Oli are dedicated to what they do all day long. All day long, I sit around making gear for them to use. Wrong focus, I guess.

So, here I go again, committing more of my rambling to the eternal bowels of the internet.
Who knows when the next blog post will be?
Maybe never?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Err... ok.

What's been going on 'round this way... a few things actually.

Phil Spec-A and I have a 12 signed to Medschool records.
I've already seen one of the sides tear stuff up... and the other side is even grimier.
That'll be early next year, or so I'm told, look for Multiply / Voodoo by CodeZero+Specimen A

Did a remix for MJ Cole... as you do. Probably the most exciting thing that's EVER happened to me! Out on Prolific records, "Bad Boy"... and best of all: MY REMIX IS ON THE SAME SIDE AS HIS ORIGINAL!! I'm a bit excited. Test pressings came through the other day. I'm going to frame it.

DJ Kali has moved in; I'm importing fresh talent from the USA to strengthen the UK DnB scene, y'see.

My studio is looking super lovely right now. Quasi-paternal pride is forcing me to blab about my new SaffireLEs and my ISA430 mk2 with digital card. The rack is looking real nice now, and I CAN hear the difference my SaffireLE is making.

Got a new job working for Sonalksis - you can read all about my work (if you're an audio geek) at sonalksisdev.blogspot.com, or at www.sonalksis.com. New job is totally great!

Finally got my own copy of "The Volterra and Wiener Theories of Nonlinear Systems" through the post this morning... my life is complete now. I feel much better about my life.

I'm currently going through a funny spell with writing music... I need to stop for a little bit and think. I'll get back on it soon. In the meantime, I've a collab with DJ Switch floating around, and I'm mixing Addiction's new stuff, which is GREAT!

I'll blog some more when I can think of more stuff to talk about.
I should probably update my myspace tunes too...


Monday, July 17, 2006

M-Audio Trigger Finger.

A shot of pure hiphop directly into your vein.
You need it.

The competitor product, the Korg Microcontrol is pink. What's that about?
The Trigger Finger has a mounting fixture on the bottom which screws into a mic stand. Genius.

You need the pads. You need the pads. You need the pads.
What's going on on planet CodeZero?

This blog post is long overdue. Really it should have been several blog postings, but I've been busy actually doing things, rather than blogging them. It's 4am and far too hot to sleep, so you get a blog posting! Unlucky.

Life. I got a new job. I now code plugins all day, which is sick. I am very very pleased. Finally I can do my filthy DSP thing all day, and make toys for making things sound sick, and someone will pay me for it. It's too good to be true at the moment. The lads at my new company decided that working in the UK in an office was a rubbish idea, so they sailed away. I'm off to Alicante for a business meeting in about 36hrs. Canary islands in a few weeks. I'm working from home, which is nice, because I get to sleep in LATE, and work when I feel like it, and take time out to recover when I need to. Creative / deep-technical work is so much easier to actually do when you can control your own time. I'm in paradise already, and I'm doing maintennance. Working on new projects is going to send me to new levels of ecstasy. I'm pleased.

I'm tidying my life up, and this includes my lifestyle. Yes, I am working funny hours, and no, this is really not the first time I've been up doing things at 4am recently. So, it needs to balance out. I am going running, with the support of a super-nice friend, and I'm trying to keep my diet healthy. Also trying to save up some money, so I can do things which require investment, should the need arise. Even my room is tidier.

I have fine-tuned my studio setup to three cables. I have a USB connector, which gives me my control surface, keyboards, sound modules, synths, samplers (the joys of usb-midi!) and mouse and keys, plus a Firewire connector to a SaffireLE, and then a monitor cable. Everything is ready patched into the desk.

I was heavily involved with SaffireLE, and whilst it's not the most IO-crazy unit, it sounds better than anything else I've heard period, and it has the right amount of IO for me. I was very firmly in the "Convertors make NO difference" camp- but there's a clear audible difference between the DACs on my Delta and my SaffireLE. I've decided that the LE really stands for Listening Experience. In fairness, all this stuff is just for monitoring. I think I'll learn to fly long before I mix analogue, and my record path is now courtesy of my delicious new ISA430mk2 with digital card, which delivers SPDIF straight to my SaffireLE. I have a 2nd pre that hooks up to the spare IP on the digital card, and now I can record whatever I like whenever. Vocal + Guitar simultaneously through decent pres. Yay! It's nice. I'm rambling.

In other news, I've just achieved probably my only musical ambition in life. I've remixed my favourite producer, and I'm on the same 12" as him. MJ Cole's new tune "Bad Boy" on Prolific should come complete with a CodeZero remix. He liked it. I still can't believe it. So... I have to find a new ambition. Platinum selling album? Give me some time... this may get messy...

What else is news? Tunes with SpecimenA are getting a little bit of recognition, which is exciting. It's great to hear tunes we've worked on played at Swerve. Last time I was there, Switch dropped Recollections, and it filled the floor. That waa great.

Musically, I need to do something more useful with myself. I'm still not sure I bring enough to the table. I feel like I'm still too reminiscent of other artists - people whos music I like. I'm still digesting drum'n'bass and making drum'n'bass. I need to bring in something fresh and original. It has been suggested several times that I lock myself in a room for two weeks, and not listen to any d'n'b... and I'd like to, but I have collaboration projects on the go, and they need attention.

Soon come: new Addiction tune (which I am mixing), new tune with Specimen A, and lots of new bits with Kali.

I'm going to try and sleep again. Love to you all. Peace.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Did you know I have a blog?
Well, if you're reading this, you do now.

Wonder what I write about on my blog? Well, you can find out here.

Today I have mostly been listening to Dwele and Al Green.
It's been good.

Has the day been good? Well, there's not been much of it... slept most of the day.
Got back from Germany last night, and went straight to Fabric for some DnB love.
Got home afterwards and slept a lot.

Germany... Frankfurt Musikmesse ... big trade-show where all the companies in the business show off what they're working on, and what's coming next.
Anything worth mentioning? Not really. Nothing earth shattering.
Was anyone showing anything that's going to change the face of music making? No.
People rehash their old stuff so they can squeeze a few more coins from their old ideas. Exciting.
If something is going to revolutionise music, I'm guessing that it's not going to come from a big (low-innovation) company that shows at Musikmesse. Cynical? Perhaps.
People are doing good stuff to integrate the process, and that's great, because it will save me three cables, and make my studio a tiny bit tidier. How exciting.
Does that change my life?
Does that make me feel different about making music?

No. Not really.

The technical / engineering side of musicmaking is pretty much wrapped up. A computer with a sequencer does everything now. Sure, there'll be interesting effects that make stuff sound different for a while, maybe some new bit of kit which gives us a fresh way of glueing things together... But that's not exactly magic.

Bob Moog. Legend.
Because he made a synthesizer and it sounded fat?
Because he made a synthesizer which humans can interact with in a way that feels right.
Something that lets you express yourself in an intuitive way.
Other examples: Hammond B3 tonewheel organ, Fender Rhodes organ, guitars, pianos. Trumpets.
Things that put you right there in the driving seat, and tell you to express yourself in the most direct way you can bring yourself to.

Everything worth having is two inches outside of your comfort zone.

Give me something to play with that hurts me, but makes me feel.
I've played with a lot of synthesizers. How many am I proud to own? Not many.
The Access Virus is great, because it's wired up right, and it makes the noises that your emotions ask you for.
I ought to buy one, but it's still not as exciting to me as a rhodes.
When the rhodes talks, I listen. It puts it simple for me, so I can understand it.

MPC2000. There are new versions. Great. It's 16 drum pads, wired up to a sampler, in a box.
The MPC has changed the world, because it's perfect for what it does.
With an MPC you can cut up a beat, and play something new in a very easy way.
I can set up the sensitivity so that I have to hit the pads so hard my fingers bruise, to get the big angry sound I want.
That feels intuitive. I can put a sample on a pad that's far away from where my hand is, so it takes longer to hit it. I'll hit that sample late every time, and it will swing for me.

Every hiphop producer in the world owns an MPC.
It doesn't sound magic. It just works right.

There's no magic sound effect. No box you can buy that will make your music sound better.
If something in your studio offends you, throw it out.
Your studio is your special place, where you can go, and be yourself, and make music just for you.
It's your quiet place which you fill with sounds that mean something to you.
If something actively disagrees with you, throw it out.
But don't fill it with crap. Don't buy this or that because someone else uses it.
They use it because it says something to them.
If it doesn't say something to you, loud and clear, sell it on.
Let someone who will love it love it.

Your studio is you.

Your studio is just for you.

Once upon a time, there were big studios, filled with kit, designed to satisfy arbitrary clients.
The equipment was used by engineers, not musicians.

If you're a musician, why line up a rack of boxes that don't mean anything to you?

Talking to people recently, making music is sounding like a construction job.
Engineering is a construction job. Take this music, build a record.
But where's the sex, soul and love in it all?

People leave loveless relationships.
You will leave your loveless studio.
Don't build your way out of your own studio.

Studios are different places now.
Your studio probably ought to be part of your home.
It's for making music.
The kit you need for engineering is just a bit of software. Get the software. Forget about it.

The kit you need for making music is a different story.
Fill your studio with things that mean something to you.
Even if you don't, eventually the studio itself will mean something to you; you'll fall in love with a working studio. It's inevitable.

A lot of people don't get it. I don't completely get it. But I think I have a clue.
Making music because you think it will make you cool is stupid.
It won't.
You're in the harshest game in the world.
You will be criticised.
Until you write music that says something; that says something about you, or something you feel, or something you want to say, you're just doing a construction job.

When you put things together that resonate with you; when a groove or a vibe is drawing you in, you're there.
You're telling people about the shape of your soul.

When I listen to music, I want to hear someone expressing something about themselves.
Follow this logic:
Music not made by a human would be worthless, because music is a form of human expression.
So express!

You're a human. You're Deep. Complex. Tainted. Vulnerable. Secure. Confident. Insecure. Powerful. Weak.
You experience things I can't.
Tell me about them, and I'll listen.

Tell me how cool you are, and you can go screw yourself. I don't care. I can already tell you feel that way from your style of dress. Shut up.

I like music about love. Not gushy romantic stuff; that's often too obvious.
Give me something interesting.

Realise that no item of studio equipment is enough to make your music making better.
It's all inside your head.
Some things will help you express yourself more directly. See my list above. Write your own list.
Anyone who wants to talk to me about A/D or D/A convertors is on my hitlist. They'll all be dead soon, after I bury them under printouts of meaningless and irrelevant specifications.
Did any of your favourite musicians care about convertors specifications?
Try and hold an argument with me about latency. Watch me fail to care.
You wanna discuss floating point vs fixed point processing?

How about we discuss something relevant instead?
What happened to your first true love?
Have you ever rushed into something too quickly? Did you regret it? Did it turn out good?
When you're on your own, what do you think about?
Are you spiritual?
Do you think that religion teaches you how to love properly?

A quote, from The Manual / KLF:
"So why don't all songs sound the same? Why are some artists great, write dozens of classics that move you to tears, say it like it's never been said before, make you laugh, dance, blow your mind, fall in love, take to the streets and riot? Well, it's because although the chords, notes, harmonies, beats and words have all been used before their own
soul shines through; their personality demands attention. This doesn't just come via the great vocalist or virtuoso instrumentalist. The Techno sound of Detroit, the most totally linear programmed music ever, lacking any human musicianship in its execution reeks of sweat, sex and desire. The creators of that music just press a few buttons and
out comes - a million years of pain and lust.

We await the day with relish that somebody dares to make a dance record that consists of nothing more than an electronically programmed bass drum beat that continues playing the fours monotonously for eight minutes. Then, when somebody else brings one out using exactly the same bass drum sound and at the same beats per minute (B.P.M.), we will all
be able to tell which is the best, which inspires the dance floor to fill the fastest, which has the most sex and the most soul. There is no doubt, one will be better than the other. What we are basically saying is, if you have anything in you, anything unique, what others might term as originality, it will come through whatever the component parts used in your future Number One are made up from."

Friday, February 24, 2006

Back in black

... well, more of a grey colour really.

Wow. I haven't posted anything in ages. Ouch.
As is invariably the case when you have different passwords for anything, and no one coherent naming scheme, I spent a good half an hour trying to figure out what my username+password were. Spent ages trying to figure out what email address I'd used. They build up in number, don't they? I now have only six active email addresses. The word 'only' in that sentence frightens me somewhat.

Anyways, so what's going on in my weird musical world?
First release came out in January. That was positive. Love the label, love all the guys.
Funkatech recordings is set to succeed; there's a lot of drive, determination, and just raw positivity behind it.
That rates as a good foundation in my book. Nuschool breaks is a great scene, because it's full of really nice people.

Another release is on its way. One side is finished, the other side isn't. That'll be very exciting when it goes out. I really like the tune. It's got some attitude. The flipside scares me... because it's creepy and sinister.
The tune is a DnB collab with Phil / Specimen A. We keep finding ourselves getting actually creeped out by it.
It's so creepy it might have to go elsewhere, and we'll write another tune for the flip. We shall see what the label thinks of it.

Phil and I are currently following an idea.
We seem to have arrived with a clear set of musical and technical influences, and we're just pursuing the idea to see where it goes. New tunes roll out, along this vibe, and it's great fun. We're getting very positive responses to the results!

I am liking my studio a lot at the moment. There's nothing quite like the pride you feel for a studio you've built yourself when you're really pleased with the results you're getting out of it. I am Very content with my mixes at the moment, and I keep getting told that my choice of sounds is improving. Getting to a stage where I can create the sounds in my head.
That last sentence might sound mental, but what it means is that when you have an idea for how something should sound, you can actually start somewhere, and process the signal until you have something that reconciles with your original idea. It's the alternative to searching endlessly for that 'perfect sound'. I've spent too long doing that, and it doesn't get you anywhere.

Some people can do the whole sample librarian / archivist thing. I guess it's more the crate digging mentality.
Personally, I don't have the gift... I usually feel like I need to be "making music", and i'm adverse to spending time learning what samples I have and where they are.

Fabio gave me a shout-out on Radio1 last week. That was ace. It's nice when that sort of thing happens.

I was humbled the other day to learn about a project a friend of mine is working on. It has a genuine deep context, incredible musicianship and engineering, and a Message! Stuff like that does wonders to put into perspective everything I do, as being on a lower tier. One day, with enough experience under my belt, with a clear plan, and full of confidence, I hope to walk that path.

Anyways, enough random mumblings.

I'll write something again soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A little excitement...

Finished a tune this evening. Will be handing it to the label boss who requested it on friday night.
Should be exciting.

As ever, we'll see what happens when it happens, but you may find yourself shaking your assets to it sometime soon.
It's had rave audience reaction so far.

Fingers crossed.
This website rocks.

No really, it really really does.
You can edit the HTML for the pages!
How cool is that!
So, I've removed all the annoying stuff, like links and profile.
Lean, clean and mean!

Niceone blogspot!
My thoughts about why sampling is the best thing you can do.

First, a confession.
I used to have a real hard time using samples.
Found it really tricky.
I should make a distinction between samples as in hits (which we'll call hits or multisamples) and samples as in great big chunks of someone else's music.
Hits and multisamples used to be the only thing I used. That, plus anything recorded especially for the track.
To this day, virtually everything comes out of the sampler. It just affords that degree of control that you can't give up.
Why use a synth, when you can set the oscillators, and just multisample the tone?!
But I used to have a real hard time using samples from elsewhere.
Lifting a chunk off another record felt... well... wrong.
When working with breaks, I always used to slice them VERY fine... so they became hits...
Everything got played in; into a sampler, via some hits or multisamples, and back out as music.

But a few things happened, that have "changed my life"...

It started with breaks. Someone I collaborate with stopped my whilst I was slicing up a break. He told me not to desecrate the thing, and insisted that I cut it -just- at the kick and snares. So I did. Then into the sampler it went.
And suddenly, programming breaks was FUN! and EXCITING! and sounded GREAT!
It was like I had entered a whole new WORLD of beats!
I'd not be surprised if you could actually hear the transition in my tunes.

That made an impact... and this is the start of the sample lengths increasing...
Another day, another tune, another collaborator.
Usually, after laying down some beats, I play things in.
I'll admit it. I'm one of these wussies who grabs a Rhodes sound, and jams jazz chords.
That's just the way I am.

After a slap on the wrists, I stopped, and my collaborator suggested we trawl through some sample cds.
Which we did.
And we found a LOVELY rhodes loop... (ironic?) ...which we pasted into the track.
Then we found some more samples... flute lick, guitar licks, and pasted them in.
And it sounded AMAZING!
The rhodes loop actually got played in live later on, so the sample doesn't remain... (ironic?) ...but the other samples do.

So, I'm having all these positive experiences, where, rather than arbitrarily picking a key, and building structures onto it, we find sounds that sound great, and paste them in - letting them define the tone and the key.

All this has an effect on me, as you can probably gather.
More and more stuff starts to get samply.

So, as per usual, I start thinking about it.

Why do samples sound good? Why does your track sound better with samples?
I work with some dangerously talented musicians. It's DEFINITELY not a failing on their part.
It's something else.
There's something actively GOOD about samples.

I started listening to heavily sample-based music.
There IS. There's something ABOUT the fact that it's samples...

... samples are MAGIC!!!

But why?

Well, it's my blog, so you get my theory :)

Samples are good for a number of reasons.

1) They're musically limiting
2) Divergence
3) Metamusical construction

1) They are musically limiting. You only have so many samples. Typically, only a few thousand hours (end to end)... and even though you'll probably never manage to listen through all your samples, there's still only a finite number. Of the ones that you'll listen to whilst working on a track, there probably aren't all that many. And you're not being innovative when choosing a sample... you're just answering the question "does this sound good over what I already have?". To add a layer to a track, you not only have to innovate something you find interesting, or that fills a gap, you also need to be listening to it in another way, which is to decide whether it really does benefit the track, and complement the groove. That's two difficult things at a time. With a sample, you only have one difficult thing to do.

2) Divergence. You've nicked a sample from somewhere. Probably a finished, mastered recording. In terms of production, it sounds nothing like the rest of your track. It's EQed differently, the dynamics are different, blah blah blah. But, you're going to tweak it up, and make it fit with your track's mixdown. Suddenly, you have to twist the thing so it sits with elements that its never had to sit with before. Interesting. You're implicitly going to get an interesting sound, because you're working a finished product in amongst raw elements.

3) Metamusical construction. This is dance music, right? We're modern. We're postmodern. We're trendy. We wear suit jackets to go out clubbing. Well, maybe not. But anyway, we are doing something which is essentially about -building- music, not writing it. We're -building- something for the dancefloor. Working with hits and multisamples, you're composing. You have the same tools that a composer does, just with a little more control. You want a violin, click under 'V'. You work with /samples/, and you've given up control over the minutiae. You can't rejig the timing of one element of a sample. It's impossible. Even if it were possible, it would be the wrong thing to do. You would destroy the character of the sample. But you're not just being musical now, you're being metamusical. You write tunes by bolting together things that will have the desired effect. Welcome to samples. Find something that will do the damage, partner it will the relevant elements, and you're done. Giving up control is as powerful a musical tool as gaining extra control.

So. Samples are fantastic. If you are the way that I was, do everything you can to get over it. It's holding you back from the sheer joy of metamusicality, which is a celebration of both music and nomenclature ;)
Yet another quasi-philosophical rant about music.

Well, you're used to them by now if you've read the page before.

Yes you are.

So, now that I have it, I can offer a little explanation as to why I have so much pseudo-philosophical nonsense to spout. Then I'll talk some more nonsense.

So, everything is a learning curve, right?
And there's no upper limit to the curve. With some things the curve shallows, some things it steepens.
However, some people are further up the curve than you.
So lets talk about music. If you want to write music, and you want to write GOOD music, then you need to be quite far up the curve. You need to know what you're doing. Writing something that sounds like you know what you're doing, is one thing. Writing something that's a hit is far harder still.

I want to write really really good music. And I'm not naive enough to believe that "all i need is this, that and the other, and then i just need to sit and experiment until I get it". Bullshit. Equipment won't give you talent. Experimentation won't teach any secrets within a short period of time. Experience moves you up the curve. And hard work. The two are good friends.
I need to compete with people who have ten years more experience writing music than I do.
I can't buy, steal or imitate that experience. So, what I have to do is attempt to make the experience that I do get, as valuable as possible. I need to learn from everything I do, and I need to learn well.

Also, making music is fundamentally about listening to music.
If you disagree with me on this, then you're wrong, and your music sucks, and it always will.

So, it makes sense that one has to listen to music, listen to their own music, analyse what's going on, extrapolate from that as far as possible, reason about it, and form ideas.
This seems to me to be a natural way to accelerate movement up the learning curve.
It feels like a natural extension of 'doing your homework' and 'self-assessment' when studying anything else.

So, that's the why.
Define a Cup.

Go on.

... WRONG!

Y'see, what you forgot to mention is that a cup doesn't actually have to retain the fluid for any particular amount of time... at least, according to the KFC definition.

Yes. My life is grimey. I went to KFC. Bought a cup of something fizzy. It tasted horrible. I left it on a desk. For a day. Ok, so maybe it was two days. And then noticed that it was no longer full. Had I been the victim of crap-tasting-fizzy-beverage thieves? No. The beverage was to be found on the desk. In a puddle. Where it had passed through the paper that forms the cup, and had chosen its exit. Onto my desk.

Wow. Nice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Why I like blogging so much.

I'm on a roll. One long post deserves another, eh?

I want to jabber about why I like blogging so much. Why it feels so cathartic.
And I will.

And that's precisely why I like it so much.
Blogging allows my selfish side to escape, gorge itself with self-indulgence, and return to its repressed corner of my brain, fully satisfied.

I can write whatever I like, and I do, and that makes me happy!

Treating people with respect has, as one of its key tenets, having respect for other people's opinions and viewpoints.
I believe in treating people with respect. So that means that sometimes in conversation, you have to defer to someone else's opinion. And you have to stop talking about whatever it was that you were so excited to talk about, and listen to what they have to say. That's great; it's not really conversation if one person does all the talking. A conversation won't go anywhere without that principle - that both people are listening and reacting to each other's comments.

Well, sometimes I want to get on my soapbox and just ramble to anyone who will listen.
I have strong opinions, because I think about things a lot. This much is probably obvious.
But, often, on subjects where I have strong opinions, it would be disrespectful to voice them.
This is an important thing to live with. You might have a strong opinion, but don't offend people with it.

I was at a gathering this weekend, where a comment was made on the theme of religion, which was both patronising and insulting. I felt a near incandescent rage as a result. It would have been inappropriate for me to strike the person who made the comment, but far less inappropriate than actually making the comment was.
People should consider that their beliefs and opinions are just that: theirs. Evangelising is disgraceful.
I do appreciate that people have a right to express themselves. But treating people with respect can involve waiving that right.

But here, if I felt the desire to, I could make comments perhaps almost as inappropriate as the one I received which deeply offended both myself and a close family friend.

I like to think that I'm mature enough to realise when I'm saying something which is either a lie or based on a very naive foundation, and I hope that I'd stop myself. At least I can postedit text when the realisation hits.
But here, I control the topic.
Here, I can render my position in as much detail as I wish, focussing on whatever aspects take my fancy.

Here, I can say whatever I like.

And that feels great.

Well, I've not blogged in a little while, so this evening, I'm going to treat myself with a little self-indulgence. And, of course, that means that the blogspot servers will have a load more pseudo-philosophical ramblings to deal with.

I've been thinking about possibilities - not particular things that are possible, but more generally the concept.
So, first, I think I should try and define a possibility. I think a possibility is something that might happen. I think that it's different from a goal. Goals can be accomplished - they're tasks which you can achieve with enough directed effort.
Possibilities are things that you do, or don't want to have happen - but I think the key is that they involve other people in intangible ways.

Getting signed to a record label is a goal. If you want to get signed to a record label, starting from scratch, there is a set path that you can walk - it involves developing an adequately mature musical perspective, an understanding of what the record label is in business to do, and developing the skills to produce material which the label will distribute. Really, unless you go out of your way to upset someone (which is always a... possibility), you can get things sorted.

Possibilities are more infirm.
Possibilities involve other people in ways that you cannot predict.
Neuro-linguistic programmers (Derren Brown, anyone?) will tell you that you can control people in the same way that you can control anything else. Well, perhaps you can, but that's not a viewpoint I subscribe to. Even if it is possible, for any practical situation, that degree of cold heartless manipulation of a person is just not feasible. [Perhaps I'm letting slip here that I find the whole concept a little distasteful.]

Possibilities are hopes and dreams. If they were definitely attainable, they would be goals.
That promotion is most likely a possibility rather than a goal - unless you can build a scenario whereby it has to happen, or force a hand, you're not in charge.

And there's the point. Possibilities relate to eventualities where you are not in charge; you might be half in charge, but you don't hold the deciding vote. And as long as you cannot cast the deciding vote, it remains a possibility.

Possibilities... do they offer more potential for happiness than goals?
Goals lead to self-satisfaction - the knowledge that you have accomplished something, irrespective of how much outside help is involved.
Possibilities lead to externally derived happiness. The knowledge that someone else wants to validate your existence, you as a person.

Goals offer less potential heartbreak than possibilities. If you don't succeed in your goal, it's because you uncover some level of complexity that leads you to realise that it's not a goal; just a possibility. Or, it's because you've given up.
Possibilities offer the potential to blow up on you without your involvement.

Staying signed to that record label is a possibility. Once you've got involved with the people, it all changes.

I work for my goals. I'm realistic about how much effort I need to put in, and if I'm serious about wanting something, I put the time in to get it.
However, there's a possibility in my life right now, which prompts me to write.
It has the potential to offer me an incomparable level of happiness; far more than any goal I can strive for - because, of course, it originates externally.
But, it's just a possibility. Hopefully this writing won't influence the balance one way or the other. But there is no set path I can follow to predetermine the outcome. I am aware of this fact.
And I am more than a little scared. Most of my time, I work to pursue goals. I know what my returns will be, and it gives me great satisfaction to achieve things. There is little risk in my day-to-day drive forwards.
Perhaps I'm unfamiliar with risk - perhaps everyone is?
But I'm scared, and I think I've justified why.