It’s been a stressful few weeks for us at CatSynth. Not bad per se, just stressful. During times like this, I often lie down to reduce psychic entropy and practice disintegration of thought. And Sam Sam is often lying down next to me.
Like most cats, Sam Sam is quite good at napping. One might even say she is an “expert sleeper”, but that might cause confusion with one of the modular-synth manufacturers we sometimes feature. She does have her own unique way of curling up, though, pull her tail close to her head and sometimes even grabbing it with her paw. It’s adorable, and it never fails to make me smile.
She enjoys the soft blankets, either the burgundy or gray. But she almost always chooses the same corner of the bed. This is not surprising, as all of us at CatSynth are creatures of habit.
We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. For us, it will be a bit stressful once again, but with very focused study and practice on both the technological and musical fronts. But I will do my best to keep Sam Sam’s example in mind as I work through it. We can learn much from our cats!
It looks like we have a new neighbor at CatSynth!
We have been noticing a new feline presence around CatSynth HQ, through sounds and bits of motion. But this is the first time we saw him/her on the patio ledge. It’s a little tuxedo cat, like Sam Sam.
This cat presumably lives in one of the apartments just beyond our patio. We often see him sitting on the ledge behind this glass-brick window.
As one might imagine, Sam Sam is rather curious about this new cat outside her windows.
She is a bit anxious and agitated by the cat’s presence, and often jumps up on this sideboard and even the window ledge above! Her is always fully fluffed during these encounters. I suspect she is feeling both intrigued and territorial at the same time. (We have already started clearing off the most fragile items and tchotchkes from the glass table).
We hope you have a great weekend. And we’d love to hear about adventures your cats have with their feline neighbors 😺
Sam Sam has her usual spots, but sometimes she sits down in unexpected places. For example, yesterday she entered “kitty loaf” mode in front of an overflow shelf just outside the studio that continued several old E-MU modules.
The E-MU Orbit, Carnival and Classic Keys are all variants of the first generation Proteus. The Orbit, in particular, was iconic in its time, but all rather obsolete now. I do still use my Proteus 2000 module (a Vintage Pro with Mo’Phatt and Beat Garden expansion ROMS) quite often – you never know when you might need a few lines of Mellotron flute or strings or a classic highly-filter-swept drum loop. There are other ways to get these musical elements, but the P2K remains quick and accessible. The Morpheus also still has a place of honor in the studio.
Both of these later-generation E-MU instruments had more to offer, especially the z-plane filters that the Morpheus took to the extreme. These days, I do find myself experimenting with the Morpheus Eurorack module from Rossum Electro-Music more than the old E-MU box, which is just the z-plane filter with CV-controlled parameters. Even after using it extensively in recent shows, I still have a lot to learn and practice with it.
When we’re not up in the studio, Sam Sam enjoys spending time on the living room rug and perfecting her patented “scratch-and-roll” move.
I have too many photos of her in this pose now, it’s just hard to resist. Of course, what she wants is not a photo, but pets and then brushing. I am more than happy to oblige.
Sometimes Sam Sam ends up in CatSynth pics of her own, as when she recently got up to explore the redesigned studio space. She is fascinated by the new decorative shelves as well as the narrow band between the video/office corner and the modular synth.
Perhaps she is picking up some scents on the modular case from our recent live performances.
I have been having a lot of fun in the studio lately, especially making videos and exploring our synthesizer collection in greater depth. I really should be working on some more formal compositions, but it seems I am in more of experimenting and exploratory mood at the moment. I have also, unfortunately, been battling insomnia. It ebbs and flows, and on the worst night (about a week ago), I decided to sit up for a while and play with the Roland JP-08 boutique synth.
The size is actually ideal for playing in bed late at night. I spent some time exploring the architecture (it’s basically a Jupiter 8 with a few extensions) and came up with some new and unusual patches. We hope to share them with you in an upcoming CatSynth TV.
Sam Sam wants to play! And who can resist such an entreaty 😻
Sam Sam is a rather gregarious and playful cat, so this ritual plays out several times a day. And I am happy to indulge. The rug in the middle of the main section of CatSynth HQ is one of her favorite spots overall, and she spends a lot of time here rolling around, playing with her favorite toys, and getting brushed. Clearly, this pose in the photo below suggests she wants to be brushed (again).
On her back, you can see some of her many unique black patches, including on her paws, the back of her legs, and her “goatee” on her chin.
We hope you are enjoying your Sunday as much as Sam Sam is.
Sam Sam has decided that the space under the studio console is an excellent napping spot.
This is where the Nord Stage lives when not gigging, and my main Pro Tools HDX station for music recording and CatSynth TV post-production. I am loath to move her when I find her there, so I usually just wait a little bit. After all, even napping cats rarely stay in one place for long.
If the studio looks a bit messy and chaotic, that is because it is. Between gigging, travel, and probably too much gear, it has been hard to keep in order during the second half of the year. The latest dismantling was for my recent performance at VAMP, which came before I had replaced everything from my New York trip. The Nord keyboard usually makes it back in place quickly, sometimes it takes the ever-expanding collection of synths a little while longer. Hopefully in the next few quieter weeks will get it organized and better than ever…
It’s a lovely Sunday morning, so it seems like a good time to check in with Sam Sam. Above we see her helping with our Highway ☆ app for iOS.
“This sock toy is mine!”
Something is interesting outside on the patio.
Sam Sam hopes you have a great day, too.
Sam Sam continues to adjust to life at CatSynth HQ and charm us in the process. She is very sweet and loves affection and conversation. And she is spending more and more of her time out and about with us.
She does still find the stairs and balcony an interesting concept, but she is getting more used to that, too.
Sam Sam is getting a bit more comfortable in her new home. She was out and about this morning, and quite talkative.
These photos show her very expressive eyes.
I really should take the tags out of that shoe. And yes, there are shoes all over CatSynth HQ.