Yesterday we brought an entire banker's box full of music CDs to Angelo's, a used CD and vinyl place not far from the railroad museum. I had expected to be offered $2 for each of perhaps forty of our CDs for a total of $80, the unpurchased CDs to go to Arc Thrift. My wife had been expecting a yield of $60. I caught the phone call from Angelo's subsequent to their having gone through the entire box in order to decide what they could and could not sell in their store. In this phone call I was told that they would offer us $12.50 for just some of the CDs. I told them to forget it, that we would donate the entire lot to Arc Thrift.
On the way to Angelo's to pick up the bankers box of rejected CDs my wife and I speculated about which CDs they wanted to buy from us. We concluded that it had to be either the twenty year set of Billboard Top Ten pop hits, or the dozen or so CDs containing the most important works of the most important classical music composers. Evalyn rejected the idea that they would want the classical music CDs. She was 100% sure that they were offering us $12.50 for the twenty Billboard Top Ten CDs. I was only 50% sure and ... drum roll please ... Evalyn was correcct. (She is allowed to advise me, and I often take her advice. She is not allowed to control me. For the rest of my life I will make the decisions about things that affect me directly. I want all the good input I can get, but the decisions are now and forever will be mine. That big red DIVORCE button is under my right thumb and I will not shrink from using it if I think this is the only way to get what I want.)
I have no quarrel with Angelo's. I'm sure they offered what they saw as a fair price for what they saw as the only salable part of this extensive CD collection which, except for the Billboard and classical stuff, was largely blues-oriented. On our way to Arc I had a moment of clarity. I realized that this was the Universe's way of telling me not to part with the Billboard or classical CDs. In conversation with Evalyn I realized why. I had been viewing the collection from the viewpoint of whether I liked the music enough to play it again sometime in the future. In reality the correct answer is whether I will need the music for professional purposes -- as reference material for algorithm development.
That's right, folks. A test of whether I've done my job is whether my software can compose sequels to a) Billboard Top Ten hits, and b) important Classical pieces. I'm that arrogant to believe that c) it can be done and that d) I will be the person to do it.
Why me? I don't know. ... ... Er ... ... Actually, I do know. Apparently I'm the only person on the planet who combines all the needed technical and musical skills in one person. But this begs the question. Can it be that all of my life till now has been leading up to this project? Has been training for this project? Has been preparing me for the incredible ordeal that lies ahead? Apparently so
You see, folks, this time I'm going to work alone. There will be no employees, and no assistants apart from my wife, who is going along wit this only because she has no realistic other choice. When I get into the project I will be working 16x7x365. It is going to drive me crazy -- I know this -- but it is one of the prices I must pay for the privilege of being allowed to commune so closely with The Muse. The project may also cost me my marriage -- heck, it already almost has.
What will I do when I'm done? When the technology has been developed? Frankly, I will probably have to sell it to someone. I have no desire to learn human interface programming but that's going to be needed if everyday producer wannabe's are to make effective use of the algorithms. I will build a text based system. Someone else will have to replace the text based stuff with a genuine GUI.
The art, and the writing, are simply ways for me to avoid having to seek venture capital funding for the project. Just as I don't want to be responsible for anyone else in a professional sense, so do I not want anyone controlling me in that same sense. Maintaining my independence is more important to me than anything, including the music project.
You see, if I don't dt then, eventually, someone else will. I think that person is fifty years away so I don't feel in competition with him or her. And anyway the competition may already exist -- PreSonus. I will learn more when I attend a workshop in three days that will be devoted to the very package I already bought. Again, if they've beaten me to the punch, I will simply become their largest dealer by virtue of selling a product that the vendor doesn't know how to sell.