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.
Sam Sam makes her cartoon debut in Boink Boink Basement!, our latest offering from artist J.B.
We think she fits right on with the myriad other fascinating elements in this surreal drawing. And snoopervising is one of the things she does best in creative settings, as can be seen in this previous post.
I have been spending a lot of time at the main software-development and video workstation of late. As we have seen before, Sam Sam loves to drop by and say hi.
She seems to really like the open shelves as much as I do.
As one can see, cat decor abounds in the studio. But we also have some other items on display in these shelves.
On the left (of course) is a Bernie Sanders action figure, made by Brooklyn-based FCTRY, as well as a signed card from the 1990s when we still just Vermont’s representative. And to the right of Bernie is our Lego recording studio.
The studio is from a series of Lego kits specifically aimed at young women, and I loved the idea of having a “studio in the studio.” It’s great the engineer is a woman, but we thought it needed one more addition.
Yes, that’s a little Lego black cat! A tribute to Luna, whom we still miss dearly. 💜
Apparently, even Lego cats shed. But our life-size studio tends to be entropy-prone as well, especially before and after live shows. It definitely needs another clean-up…but first we have a lot of creative projects ahead this weekend. We hope you all have a happy and productive weekend as well.
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.
After several days of cold, wet, dreary weather, we finally have sunshine again. Not that we can really complain compared to our friends on the east coast after the recent storm. Sam Sam enjoys looking out the windows, though she hasn’t shown the same interest in venturing outside as Luna did.
I like the contrast of angular lines against Sam Sam’s natural shape in this one. One can see more of this geometric contrast in this pose on the stairs.
It’s a treat to capture such an image. But we also enjoy the everyday antics, such as Sam Sam’s patented “Scratch and roll.” It’s her way of currying favor.
It’s always a good day with Sam Sam. We hope you have a wonderful day, too.
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.
You can hear her sweet but demanding voice, and see how our little girl spends a typical afternoon. It’s a pretty envious existence if I say so myself 😺. One can also see her rather unique way of walking up and down stairs.
It’s been a slow recovery from our latest bout of this year’s influenza and “NAMMthrax,” but we are getting there slowly. Indeed, I have been well enough to spend more time working in the studio again. Of course, if I am in the studio there is a good chance Sam Sam will be there, too.
It’s always a delight to have her around. I think she is getting used to all the weird electronic sounds just as Luna did. As a more social cat, I think she mostly just enjoys being near the action. I do sometimes feel guilty when she gets comfy under the main console and I want to use the Nord. It’s a studio musician’s version of the cat-in-lap dilemma.
We are going to move forward with some video and music work today, as body and energy permit. We are also doing our part for today’s mass ritual here in the United States with our Superb Owl.
We hope you all have an enjoyable day, however you chose to fill it!
The new year has brought plague and pestilence to CatSynth HQ, as I succumbed to the current vaccine-resistant strain of the flu. It’s been mostly bed rest since Wednesday, but fortunately, I have Sam Sam nearby.
She has been affectionate and attentive, more so than usual. I suspect that is also due to my having started working in an office again after being home with her for most of December. That’s a story for another time. In the meantime, we are enjoying one another’s company, even if I am low on energy and sometimes a bit delirious. Here is a closeup of her.
In a way, the illness and rest have extended the period of solitude and introspection from the last weeks of 2017, which I do not mind at all. It’s given me more time to think about the vague ideas and plans that I have for this year, though it postpones getting started on any execution. On the negative side, I had to cancel a gig today in Sacramento, extending what I call the “Sacramento Curse” where every planned show in that city since the beginning of 2014 has been missed for one reason or another (the first and most dramatic being one that was canceled due to a massive fire near the venue – fortunately, no one was hurt and the venue was fine afterwards). It has also slowed down activity that requires looking at screens for prolonged periods. I made an exception to get this post out.
Lying down and letting one’s mind wander with a slight fever does lead to interesting thoughts. A different experience from The Disintegration of Thought during periods of health, but interesting nonetheless. Some are complete nonsense, but others are consistent with introspection and what it takes to try and be happy and healthy in these challenging times. The roles of fear and caution are part of that internal dialog, as well as creativity in general. Perhaps I will have more to say about them as I return to health, perhaps not.