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21st CENTURY BLUES...

There are times when I, a reasonably optimistic guy, weep in despair at the sorry state of the world. As a young boy in the mid 1950s, the year 2019 seemed far, far away in a distant and magical future. I imagined a world in which harmony and love prevailed, where science would provide the technology to heal us, both physically and mentally, a world where everyone was well educated, informed, self aware and liberal. One, single, united and enlightened world where old-fashioned, outmoded conservatism was a thing of the past. A world where all its citizens would move forward with compassion, openness, tolerance and understanding, a utopian society happily devoid of the nationalistic squabbles and hatreds that seem to divide us today.


And here we are now, actually living in that far future I imagined as a 1950's schoolboy, but what have we got? War and strife in various locations around the world, racial intolerance, brutal, dictatorial regimes, fundamentalist religious intolerances, the rise of nationalist, jingoistic attitudes in many countries, (including the UK,) mass shootings in the USA, teenagers stabbing one another on the streets of London and elsewhere. The spectacle of a once great America crumbling under the so-called 'Presidency' of a bigoted, sly, self-aggrandising crook, whilst here in the UK, we see a country crippled and heading for its own spate of self-harm due to the tragic outcome of the EU referendum.


And whilst on the subject of 'Brexit,' I'm utterly astonished by the incompetence of this government and its resistance to giving us, the people who will suffer the consequences the most, a final say on whether we wish to stay or leave. The (worthless,) argument goes that, two or three year's ago, we had a referendum and that's that. But we were told so many lies about the benefits of leaving the EU and much more information about the truth of post Brexit Britain is now clear. The really democratic thing would be to offer us the choice of a final vote now that we know the facts. And if the leaver's are so sure their side of the argument would win, then what have they got to fear?


I've listened to endless arguments by those who voted us out of the European Union and I find myself throwing my hands up in despair. Many would say that common sense just doesn't seem to operate in the world of the 'Brexiteers', (though lack of foresight certainly appears to.) There is an aggressive, belligerence in their argument that speaks volumes about their overall attitude. Many are, some would say, burdened with a dislike of 'johnny foreigner' and a suspicion and mistrust of anything other than 'great' Britain.


But if leaving the EU continues along present lines, the loss of jobs, certain worker's rights, the loss of EU subsidies to farmers and institutions, rising prices for many European goods in supermarkets and new customs duties imposed on those holidaymakers travelling to France and Spain and Italy, well, it could end up being a 'shot ourselves in the foot' outcome.


And so I despair. The 21st Century blues...


Like a lot of people who are depressed about the state of these things, I try to divert my attention away from it all. I seek solace in little distractions, the most usual being to immerse myself in recording new music. I attempt to create my own, sympathetic and idealised world inside the many albums I've released, a stylised universe of warm, enveloping sound, a sonic cocoon to shelter me until a hopeful butterfly moment arrives.


The upcoming studio refurbishment is another welcome, (I think,) distraction. Another item needed for the update arrived yesterday. The Zoom Tac-8 audio interface. On the way are three more items, the Behringer ADA 82900 Ultragain Pro unit, the 32" 4k monitor screen and the Cubase Pro 10 software. These should be with me by the middle of next week. Then all that remains will be for me to make the biggest single purchase for the new system: the Mac computer, keyboard, mouse and Superdrive disc burner.


Finished mixing the instrumental track that has occupied me these last two days and have laid the foundations for another piece. All on my old system at the moment of course as it will be a little while before I can assemble the new one. I'll miss the old D8B mixing desk when it goes though. I've used these desks since the turn of the Century and they've helped facilitate and record all of the albums I've made since then. But all is change...




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© Bill Nelson 2020

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