Every so often, for varying reasons, I find myself wading in the digital depths of my archive. Usually it is because I’m moving one set of recordings I’ve made in the past into the latest software I’m using so that I don’t encounter any digital redundancy further down the line.

Recently, I’ve been stuck in the year 2000 and the recordings I made that year that ended up on a set called “Touched by the King”. The notable thing about these recordings is that half of the master tracks were lost when a CD-R I used to back them up failed and so I can never modernise half the album. This saddens me somewhat but also teaches me a lesson not to trust any kind of media and to keep backups: many backups.

As there’s currently a publishing promotion on at CDBABY, I thought it would be nice to create a nice clean finalised copy of these recordings as I have done recently for “Now Here” and “It’s About Time” and publish them via that service.

This has been “fun” in only that I get the chance to balk at those recordings and wonder “why did I do that?” and “how did I get that to work?”. For one of the tracks, the main file was lost and I spent a morning constructing a lead guitar line out of its component parts (as I’d obviously and unusually recorded the solo in sections, rather than in my usual one take) and so it ended up being a bit like stitching together a digital audio patchwork quilt. It gave me a headache! And then there’s the alternate takes to contend with. Was it the first bass take or the second? Why didn’t I use these wah-wah guitar parts? Why did I put that other section? Oh well, I suppose it keeps me off the streets.

Then there was the matter of the artwork. At the time, I created a piece of digital artwork from the visualiser of a digital audio player called WinAMP. It was a little digital splash and I copied it and flipped it to turn that splash into a star. I also collated some other digital shapes created by the WinAMP music visualiser (which was making these shapes from the actual audio of the album – how meta!) for use on the back and inside covers.

However, whether it was by design or a more deliberate guiding hand, the artwork ending up mimicking or parodying the album sleeve “The ConstruKction of Light” by King Crimson. I don’t remember how I got there, but I definitely know I was inspired more by the WinAMP visualiser and its pretty shapes and patterns than me directly trying to copy the sleeve – if that makes any sense. Memories are hazy, but ever since the bullying and sabotaging of that band and its management, I’ve wanted to distance myself from the imagery and so today, I dumped that artwork for a new image, taking the tarot as inspiration.

Lazy and simple – just like me!

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