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MY ROMANCE WITH SUSTAIN...

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

And another week draws to a close. Seems that one week hardly begins before it's over. The year rushes on with so much still to do, especially with regard to my 70th birthday event in Leeds on the 1st of December. I'm in a kind of panic about it already when I contemplate all the detailed content that has to be put in place to create the appropriate atmosphere. Videos to make, artwork to create, a three disc album to put together, two live sets to sort out, etc, etc...


I'm definitely making a rod for my own back by still continuing the process of writing and recording more material for the triple disc 'Auditoria' album than I actually need. Working on track 53 at the moment: A song entitled 'My Shadow Cast By Midnight Moon.' It's very simple in its chord structure but complex in its layers of sound and rich textural twists and turns. Will try to mix the song tomorrow, though I think it will prove challenging to balance all its elements to create the right perspective.


Went to Gear4Music today to buy the new TC Electronic company's 'Aeon' sustainer for guitar. It works on the same principle as an E-bow but has a different shape and claims to be more powerful. I was curious to see what the differences might be.


Well, it's too late to take it back now, but I have to say I'm somewhat disappointed with it. Ergonomically, it's a little more ungainly to apply to the strings than an E-bow (because of its vertical shape). The sound also seems harsher and doesn't always kick in as quickly as the E-bow. It's trickier to get it started. Nor does it sound as smooth and sweet as the E-bow does, so, as I said, I'm somewhat disappointed and perhaps I've wasted the £60 odd pounds that I paid for it...I don't like dismissing companies who try to improve on things, but I'm afraid this endeavour doesn't really do it for me.


Amazingly, I'm still using one of the very first E-Bows I bought, back in the 1970s when I was with Be Bop Deluxe. I bought it in the USA before they were available in Britain. These are the old chrome finished ones without the more recent on and off switch, (which I find less satisfactory because you have to engage the switch before using the device.) The old chrome ones are literally 'pick up and go', no need to think about switches, just put it to the strings and it kicks in and sustains automatically. The TC 'Aeon' has an on and off switch too, and I feel this impedes a quick and spontaneous use of the device.


In many ways, Greg Heet, (the E-Bow's inventor,) got it right first time around. I'm astonished that the 1970s version I'm using on my recordings and live performances still continues to work perfectly, despite the 40 odd years that have flown by since I first used it. I'm sorry to seem so dismissive of the TC Electronic version, but at least I gave it a try.


Going over to Wakefield tomorrow to visit my mum. The usual shopping duties.


Emi and I ate out at a pub in the village tonight. Good to get a break from the house routine now and then.


Now I'm going to take a moment or two to assess the new track...




© Bill Nelson 2020

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