take a breath

I’ve been making more of an effort to pay attention to breathing. Call it mindfulness, deep relaxation, meditation – whatever it is, I’m finding how powerful and impactful it can be on my daily life. It sounds so simple, since breathing is an involuntary function. But it’s not simple, and I’m finding how important it can be during my day to take small pauses for intentional breathing as opposed to short, pressured breathing that can creep in and serve as a backdrop and vehicle for stress. I’ve casually read about the science of why the focus on breathing makes a measurable difference, but my own experience is enough for me.

This preamble really exists to plug an event happening tonight – Aquifer of the Ducts by James Allister Sprang. Tonight, James shares a 40 minute, multi chapter work that incorporates tape loops, modular synths, and sound design. It’s meant to be absorbed as a complete meditative experience.

James called me to mix and master his piece. I always try to tap into that “creative flow” while working, but for this project, I truly made an effort to monitor my breathing and physical response while working. If a change I made elicited a measurable response for me, I kept it. It’s not unlike mixing non-ambient music, but with the absence of traditional melody, harmony, and structure, keeping tabs on my response became my main measurement of how the mix was shaping up.

Aquifer of the Ducts premieres tonight. If you, like me, feel like you need a collective breath and break from anything and everything going on right now, tune in.

Nerdy tech indulgence: for most of the mix, I would automate several parameters. These could include volume, filters opening and closing, resonance, etc. For a few of the automation tracks, I spelled the word “aquifer” while handwriting the data points into the software.