Theo Verelst Diary Page

Latest: 24 April 1999

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes familiy, christianity, and othercheats. The simple reason is that it may well by that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of mymaterials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as manyreferences to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changinga iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called uponusto respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

Previous Diary Entries

Got myself a guitar, an acoustic one, in fact a similar very hard to work on but seriously loud and expressive c&w steel string. The kind I've annoyed my fingers with in the past, but at that at least can do some serious blues and fingerpicking int he acoustic era. Simply put the electric ones I wanted to test my amp and multi-purpose synthesizer units with were above current budget, thugh of course I miked it, and presto even some hendrix licks sound ok, as long as I play along, that is. Otherwise it's boring... I've seen Rory Block ('loving wiskey', though she could teach a variation of blues styles) play the kind till bleeding, and imagine why (because its heavy). Sounds great, though, in fact 'crossroad blues' is one of my favorites I tried to learn from her album. Guitars often frustrated me, because I know all the cords, the notes, even the sounds, but not at all the way a guitar undersands them. I know C G D A E, F, Bb in serious camp-fire chords, and E  Can do Em7 and Am7, too. In fact I can trick just about every chord by just using the 4 upper strings and shifting frets, but it's hard to grasp those barre (pointing finger over the whole neck) chords, though I (very slowly) can do some. Whished I could get my keyboard fingers to do that tricj better. Ah, and I do know my major and minor (blues) scales with some searching, and some even reasonably fast.

All this is a guitar limitation, on 'everything with keys' I do every used-in-999-out-of-a-1000-songs chord in all of the 12 (piano) keys , most of the time with my eyes closed and without too much effort: major, minor, 7th, m7, sus, 5,6,9,10 b/#, augmented, dimished, and combi's (including bass notes at 1,3,5,7, and as 9th (nice as pedal)). A repeated 5th is nice (I mean a significant portion of  fifth circle as a 12 note chord, or 4th for that matter, though I only now those 2 and the whole note equal distance scales by heart), too, and of course the minor 5+ 7 transgression types. In pop add a 9 and 0 or maybe even two in the figures.

While writing this its fun to think about some necessary additions that Bach blessed (?) us with: equally tempered scales, otherwise the amount of cords would not be nearly as maneagable, or even enummerable, every key would have its own. Lucky singers and violin players. Or unlucky ones. Though to do, I experimented with my TX802s' (A multitimbral Yamaha DX7 II) microtuned scales somewhta only to find that indeed some blues and gospel stull indeed sounds better with for instance dorian scale matched tuning, but its a lot of hassle. Maybe when you you don't have the somewhat spartan and stringent rule that even on a synthesizer I play every song in its original or performance convenient key, it works when you set up a controller to swith between scales, for instance one for the 1,4 and 5th , or in jazz for the 2 5 and 1 scales (and than dorian frigilian, eolean, and whatever-ean scales, I forgot the greek, here)
and play in a regular key, say C, it can be pulled of in a workeable way. I never got to use microtunings other than equally tempered ones more than as a try, thogh its nice the thing could do it. Scientifically admissable profi equipment, like that. Seriously, a good pitch bend controller (everybody knows that has to be a wheel, of course) can do miracles as well, it can do tuning, flat and sharp (blues) bends, and of course the real juicy 'ordinary' guitar pitch bends as well., with some practice (just set it to a small interval, say a semitone, and do all the necessary bends for each note, that's the way I know my blues bends on 3th and 5th (and some others) as well, as automated bends.

Never hurt me to decide NEVER to pitch shift a synth or organ keyboard, imagine that I'd have to admit I can't play along with a tape in F sharp just because I have to do it on piano... Makes good practice, and good jazz preparation, too, in fact.

Why all this? Because I like it, basically, and because it seems ok to make clear what makes me tick, musically. The knowledge I gathered in quite a short while when I built my own keyboard in highschool never failed thus far, and its fun to see what variations are possible with a relatively small arsenal of melodic and harmonic material. The amount of 1's and zero's on a CD haven't been tried in even nearly all possible variations yet, not even the audibly different ones (homework computation I did some time ago), and the variations would take are very long (much longer than several  life-times) tim eto listen to. Not even counting that I still like to listen to Abba songs I must have heard literaly hundreds of times, thats a lot of of  listening pleasure potential. Role in computers, sequencers, recordable cd, etc.

I've never gotten around to become fluent in score reading. As a graduation present from university I was given a serious score reading book set from members of one of the band projects I was in, and in fact I did about 3/4 real serious (as daily discipline) of te first of the two books, which I think were conservatory level, but than I got entangled too much in other things. I do KNOW every note though, mind you. Every note, every flag, duration, most of the additional stuff as well, but it takes me ages to play a serious piano piece. I mean a whole afternoon for one page type of ages. had my sequencer for that. In fact when I wanted to play Bach and other classical pieces in highschool (probably not unmotivated by a girlfriend that wanted to play quatre main organ pieces) it was a major motivation to write a sequencer myself, that allowed score-based-entry of musical pieces. The fun was (but that was a project on its own) that en passant I programmed a incredibly archaic trs-80 computer (1.8 MHz Z80 processor, 48 KILO bytes of main memory, after expansion) to actually play the music, too, as wave sequenced 8 bit samples made by additive synthesis (fourier synthesis for the synthy freaks). Later on, for he same reason I built my own MIDI interface to drive my first commercial synth: a Korg poly-800, that I could now use to play 4 or even 8 note chords, too. Imagine the trs-80 screen had a stunning graphics resolution of 48x127 dots... It worked, though.

All that being pretty far from the essence of making things sound right, fuck, rock or even fusion (though not a verb). Having just a cheap guitar and getting somethings right that people that only had such a device got right all their lives is a different matter. There are good challenges in music, such as reducing all notes in time and chord sense to an absolute minimum and get things to groove then, if possible of all, that is, of course. Or play a pop or rock song using the essentials that make it realy work the way it should (nice with abba and other wel made pop songs on piano) without resorting to obvioud effects. And of course get a grove to rock and funk at the same time without collapsing, and than to freak , anyhow., but i'm pushing things here.

I was kind of fun that on of the girls that undoubtably was one of the major supporters of the choice to present me with a sight reading book in fact played keyboard as well, and that I in a band environment never realy missed the fact that I don't sight read well at all. I must mention that I do read chords as hard as they come, though, gimme the chords and I play'em, no problem. Anyhow she wasn't the type I needed to impress, though I liked her for some time, and I don't think she grasped the idea that making music for me needed to counter my scientific and mathematical occupations, and that therefore Josette was very much closer to the essence of things by simply making things work and sing in a way that got people asking for more instead of wondering wether the scores were up to the music.

I think about all this because I feel like band playing again, and in fact that was one of the major motivations for me for years, apart from the people in it, and even a major motivation as well to want to be in san Fransisco area, though I realize that's arguable.

Home work (got to do pcb design for tri-amping the PA, I'm not going to do that by hand wire-ing, and get my balloons new and upgraded radio control parts, and ear practice or simply enjoy some real music).

I did some pictures of Dave Salle in 'het stedelijk', Amsterdams' modern art musuem and some visiting artists, which I'l probably sqeeze into the ais web site I made, and some recents picts as well, including one remote controlled balloon getting stuck about 4 stories high, last week...