…. and when it takes off it becomes impossible to catch up.
My absence from posting for a while had valid reasons. First and foremost, my mother was admitted to the hospital with some sort of viral infection that was of great concern given her age. Within hours, as the treatments were being formulated planned, the virus dissipated, her fever broke and she began to eat again and regain her strength and alertness. She is back at her senior residence and, though there is extra care in place, she is showing amazing actual proof of her resilience. While I was confident that her care was the very best possible, the situation weighed on my mind and my ability to concentrate on my usual ‘front office’ duties.
Of course, the ‘front office’ can only function when everything (including me) is working as it should be. A few months ago I became aware of a website based in Russia that was streaming/ offering for free download the music from my videos. Google alerts sent me an update that my name and the word ‘guitar’ were being promoted on the world-wide web. As I didn’t post this or engage in any direct action for this to appear I clicked on the link. An entire website opened before me with a myriad of free music downloads (in three resolutions no less). It turns out someone grabbed the audio tracks for most of my video files, re-engineered them in low, medium and high resolution (!) and posted them for free download. I traced the website owner back to an email address and sent a terse message. He/she/it replied in Russian which translated into ‘Can you prove you own them?’ My Google-translated reply was ‘Yes – I have legal documents’ gained a reply to the effect of ‘I can take some down’. I did reply with an extensive list — to this day they are still out there. Truth be told, I do not make a lot of money from downloads so I am losing very little. Also, the audio from the videos is not the best quality to begin with. After consideration, I decided it wasn’t worth hassling via Google Translate and figured it could actually expand my visibility. So the pirated tracks remain….
Just about two weeks ago I decided to upgrade my website with some tweaks and new photos, etc. Imagine my surprise when I discovered pages missing — I clicked on links to pages I had installed months before only to find they no longer existed! Small wonder my booking efforts were coming up short. I suspect now that the site was hacked, links to videos grabbed and the pages deleted. Why? How in heck can I know? Perhaps it’s the Mount Everest syndrome (because someone can do it and it’s there). I immediately changed my passwords and uploaded my backups, then did the intended tweaking to bring things up to speed.
Now website checking is a scheduled event, like the watchman doing rounds. I did issue an apology via the website and in all follow-ups to bookers and festival programmers.
Of course, the sessions for my solo recording project Balance continue, albeit with a freeform schedule. In fact, this is not a bad thing — my usual exaggerated attention to every detail that takes place right after the recording session is buffered and minimized. After two or three weeks I don’t recall every scratch and squeak and buzzed note that stood out at the time of the recording. So far, I am very pleased with the tracks that are in the (virtual) can.
Well, there is more to come — in fact, I’ll post again in a few days to update everyone on some gigs, new material and other things. So sorry to be away for a while — I only compose and post something when I am focused and want to communicate. I never rave and rant……
Thanks! I’ll be back soon.