The prospect of recording my voice initially filled me with dread! How can I possibly find the words to fill a whole CD? My voice and I first had to become reacquainted, I set a date with my diary to start the process on Friday, anticipating with confidence that it would be ticked off after a short period of time! The equipment kindly lent to me was complicated to get to grips with, but I reminded myself that everything new always starts out on this same path. Like a school girl trying not to laugh at the sound of my voice with my earphones snugly fitted over my head meant that I couldn’t get escape from the constancy of me!! I tried to set up the small stand and the microphone on the kitchen table but the recording didn’t hit the required sound level, moving to the bedroom I meticulously rigged it up around my bed and set too with my first meditation, body orientation, making sure I felt warm and comfortable……why didn’t I listen to my meditation teacher reminding us that it is a falling awake rather than a falling asleep exercise?! I had got myself so at ease that I was one step away from the land of nod and this reverberated on my recording – voice getting softer and softer, sleepier and sleepier! The recordings also managed to accumulate uncontrollable outside noises rather like an overflowing bin. I thought I lived in a quiet neighbourhood but every sound was registered, I became like an air traffic controller getting familiar with the timings between each aeroplane reaffirming that finding peace in the modern world is a constant challenge.
Plan B came into action, I committed to an early Sunday morning rise thinking that that was a guarantee of silence. I rose at 7:00am and lay down on a mat with a leg cushion under me, my recording equipment under a pile of dvds, a solitary lamp shining brightly on my notes, do all artists start this way?! The recording began, I clumsily tripped over my words, the recording began again, words were spilling out in jumbled format, the recording began yet again, gulp, the recording began, saliva started queuing up like a tailback on the M25. My alarm then started ringing out in the next door room like a child wanting attention, my arm stiff from the enforced stillness.— have I painted a clear enough picture?!
I was uncertain how to overcome these problems the morning’s lack of progress culminating with my neighbour upstairs padding (I am being very polite here!) across her living room oblivious to the recording studio beneath her, then proceeding to open her patio door which had inherited its own unique set of sounds.
The opportunity gone for another day…..
Plan C – The dark mornings, everyone tucked up in bed did not deter me, at 4:30am silence was found including those majestic beasts in the air were asleep. Me, my lamp, my recording machine, my voice.
This became a morning ritual. After the initial awkwardness the flow started and I began to look forward to being with my mat, my lamp and my voice sharing my learnings and observations with that black spongy microphone. I imagined myself on a late night radio show talking to a silent audience and hoped that once these meditations were completed they would provide an anchor for those wishing to reset their compass.
It is now a few months since I first settled down with the computer and a vision and head full of ideas, not forgetting the stream of distractions – welcome and unwelcome, rain stopping recording, wind and stormy weather stopping recording, a running cold, the good and bad interruptions during the festivities, a lack of momentum after the Christmas excesses and finally the relocation of my voice and recording machine to another neighbourhood. A man-made recording studio – actually a friend made recording studio – a cubby hole around his wardrobe of clothes so that the noise could be absorbed, a 1950s style microphone and the microphone attached to grown up size legs. Magic has happened!
Reset your compass 1 and 2 are available to buy at £14.99 for a set of 2 CDS (plus postage and packing) on www.timeouttherapy.co.uk.