Greetings from Liberty, on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, where the ridge runner meets the flat lander. With the sun shining, the hollow out back is coming more into focus as the leaves fall, and we nudge closer to winter. I have not performed a live show since mid-March other than two virtual streaming concerts, which were loads of fun, getting to play with fiddler and friend, Craig Eastman. Like the farmer, I am hopeful; hopeful that live music performance will once again be a part of our daily bread (and butter.)
Over the course of this pandemic break, new songs have been written, and several recorded, with the hopes of a new record sometime next year. If you’re in need of hearing a song about the pandemic, there’s one on my latest record, The Craig Demos, a song called, “In Times Like These.” There’s also a video. Have a listen and a look.
Writing songs has been my favorite go-to place since I was fourteen, but I have taken a few artistic detours along the way. My business card says, Billy Kemp-Song and Music Maker. This year so far I have written or co-written at least ten new songs.
In September my Mac Pro desktop computer decided to take a vacation, without warning. It would not boot up. Yes, my Mac is an oldie but a goodie. For you Mac users, I am using El Capitan OS. My cheese-grating Mac was born in late 2009. The issue was a heatsink rivet that broke loose and was trying to escape the tower. He didn’t have an exit plan. Lost and confused, missing his safe space, the rivet wouldn’t pop back into place on his own. I, however, could look on Duck Duck Go and find a YouTube video on how to bring him back home. I ordered another rivet and casing from China, took his temperature when he arrived, and then called a Mac specialist.
After several visits with Tom, the Mac specialist, the rivet was in place with the realization that, there’s no place like home. Tom added some more Ram and a faster CPU. The decision was a bit like deciding whether or not to do a repair one more time on a car that’s ten years old, with an odometer past 100,000 miles. I didn’t agree with the price tag for a new, or even a one owner, Mac Pro desktop.
There were a couple of days with Tom doing his repair work, while I sat and played his midi keyboard in the headphone world. We talked about music, vitamins, mushrooms, pesto and music composition. Tom is a composer. When he asked me which sound libraries I liked to use, I mentioned the two that I have in my computer, East West Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestral and various UVI workstation keyboards and percussion.
He suggested I check out Spitfire Audio, one that he uses regularly. He steered me towards their Labs virtual instrument library, which is free. After getting my computer repaired, I was ready to hang out with free. After downloading the sounds, it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any artistic detours in a while. I had recently contacted Maryland Public Television about writing some music for them and thought, maybe I should remind myself how to write music for moving images, which I had done many years behind these middle Tennessee days.
Now I needed a moving image to try these new free sounds. So I searched in my ten year old Mac Pro and found an animation I had done years ago. Perfect. It wasn’t too long, very up-tempo and upbeat. Just the ticket for an artistic detour.
The animation is a shape shifting, mono chromatic, short.
I hope you enjoy it.
It is called, Shape Shifiting on Pea Ridge.
Pea Ridge is the name of the ridge we live on.
Here’s wishing everyone all good things…