Multitasking And My New Studio

While I was playing the guitar and downloading some stuff I read this article about the problem of multitasking. And… yes, I already know I have a real problem with multitasking. Like most of us, I do it too much instead of concentrating on doing one thing at a time.

It may be something that’s been exacerbated everywhere by mobile phones and other modern distractions, but I spent most of my life having to multitask, because it was absolutely essential in my old career of pathology lab science. I had to spin plates* hour after hour, day after day, year after year. Even before the ever-increasing modern curse and horror of downsizing staff and upsizing workload, I had to be able to do lots of things at once – things that were literally a matter of life and death. And I still have nightmares about it… always about not having enough time to do everything.

So even today, after being out pathology for four years, I still feel like I have to be doing several things at once, and at the same time thinking about half a dozen other things that need done!
 
And I’ll bet it’s the same in most jobs. What about yours?
 
I love it when I do actually let go and focus on something. It happens when I’m recording or playing music… but not all the time. I might still be checking emails and Facebook every five minutes, on a bad day. However, on those days when I really get into it I can focus for hours on end and those are the days when I achieve something.
 
Or reading a book – something I don’t allow myself enough time for any more – but that can absorb me enough to stop thinking about other things. The problem is that I expect the book to absorb me, rather than me absorbing the book – you know what I mean? If the book isn’t riveting enough I’m likely to put it down rather than put the effort into it. It shouldn’t be like that because that reduces the act of reading to mere entertainment.
 
Anyway, it’s interesting that this article came up in my emails today because, on the very day that my new studio here in Tasmania is finally up and running (yeah!) I had already been thinking that I now need to actually get down to making music again. My fingers can hardly even work the guitar! I’d better get them back up to speed before my new Dean Boca electric 12-string guitar arrives from DW Music in Canberra! 🙂

* If you don’t know what plate spinning is, you’re too young to have watched old-fashioned variety shows on TV.  Check out this clip from The Ed Sullivan Show.

New studio, new gear, new songs… [Newsletter 5th Jan 2008]

Hi friends!

Edirol M-16DX Digital Mixer and Audio Interface
Edirol M-16DX

First of all, thanks to all of you for subscribing to my newsletter… it’s very much appreciated!

It’s been a very busy few months since my last one. I’ve moved house and with that and setting up the home in general and also my new home studio, and getting the yard organised, and also starting a new job, I’m afraid music has been on the back burner for a while.

The new studio has turned out really well, though. It’s very effectively soundproofed so I can make a racket at all hours without disturbing anyone. And I’ve splashed out on a new digital interface, the Edirol M-16DX, which is about a hundred steps up from my previous Soundblaster Live game soundcard that I recorded on. I’m hoping to piece together a new and improved drum kit and actually purchase some non-broken cymbals, so you should notice a difference in the drum sounds on the new tunes.

I’m now ready to record some new songs. Some of the titles are “Can’t Try Hard Enough”, “The Truth”, “The Sun, The Moon, The Stars”, “27 Kinds Of Tears” and “The Spirit Is Willing”.

Cheers ~ DC

PS: I bought a cheapo mail-order violin ($40!) last week to make some noises with. Another good reason to have a soundproofed room. Here’s a prehistoric photo of me pretending to play a violin… that’s my good friends Rodney Cordner to my right and John Montgomery to my left.

Rodney Cordner, DC Cardwell, John Montgomery c.1981
Rod Cordner, me and Mont around 1981 at Rod’s place.

What’s Happening In My Life?

My first newsletter, from 8th October 2007

Well, here it is: the first DC Cardwell Newsletter. Thanks so much for reading it – I really appreciate your interest in my music.

I don’t want this to be simply a duplication of stuff you can read elsewhere. On the other hand, it’s also aimed at those of you who don’t hang around Myspace or Facebook, so I do want to keep you up to date with what’s happening with my music.

MySpace Tom in the 50s
MySpace Tom in the 50s

Well, I’m still in the day job, in case some of you who know me from way back are wondering what on earth has happened. But a few years ago I started writing some songs and singing them myself, a bit of a departure for me. I seriously thought no-one would ever hear them, and in fact, even my own family didn’t hear them until relatively recently. However, I’d heard a lot about Myspace and decided to sign up for an account there, and pretty quickly I got fed up explaining to even newer people who its founder Tom Anderson was. I’d say “Tom Is Everybody’s Friend”, and of course, that’s just asking to be a song title. So one day when I was off work sick (really!) I recorded the song. I don’t think I’ve ever written and recorded another song so quickly and carelessly. I put it up on Myspace and suddenly found that people liked it, and they liked my other songs too.

And if you’re wondering why I’m not “David Cardwell” anymore, it’s simply because there are already more well-known “David Cardwell”s than you might imagine, and I didn’t want to have to compete with them on Google. Try searching for “David Cardwell”. Now search for “DC Cardwell”. See?

So if it ooks impressive, it’s really not. I’m still a medical scientist, still only play music for fun, and I still haven’t made a dollar out of my songs – I’ve sold a few mp3s on Martian Music but still haven’t recouped my sign-up fee! Nothing would make me happier than to be able to give up the day job (I’ve never liked it), but at my age, it’s probably not going to happen. But it has been an absolute joy to be able to make music and have people around the world listen to it and appreciate it! That, in itself, is success!

To bring you right up to date, my family and I have built a new home, in a suburb of Melbourne called Langwarrin, not far from Frankston where we live right now. It’s almost finished and we’ll be moving in sometime before Christmas.

DC in his new home recording studio, Oct 2007
DC in his new home recording studio, Oct 2007

THE BAD NEWS: I’ll be really busy for the next few months, as you can imagine, and probably won’t have time to write or record any new songs.

THE GOOD NEWS: Our new house incorporates a small (one room) soundproofed recording studio! Yeah! It will still have the same paltry recording gear in it, at least to begin with, but if the soundproofing is as effective as I hope it is, I should be able to make lots of noise more easily without annoying the rest of the family and the neighbours quite so much. Bear in mind that the rooms I recorded in up until now have been upstairs in a wood-framed house and so I have had to try and record extremely quietly, except for when I did the drum parts, at which time half of Frankston could have heard me. The other advantage will be that I can keep my gear set up and ready to use when inspiration strikes!

This photo is not exactly exciting, but in future newsletters I’ll include pictures of it as it starts to look like home. I hope to add to my gear to some extent as time goes by – with a proper audio interface for my computer and a better drum kit high on the list of priorities, but don’t expect a huge mixing desk – it’s not Abbey Road, just a small room, and I don’t really need a lot of inputs.

WHERE CAN YOU HEAR MY MUSIC?

MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/dccardwell [Yes, my MySpace page is still there as of 2012!]
I’ve already mentioned MySpace, which most of you are probably familiar with. This is where I first started to get some attention for my music, and really, let’s face it, right up to the present time just about my whole virtual “career” exists there! You don’t actually have to be a member to view my profile and listen to my songs there, in fact I think you can even read my blog without signing in. However you can’t send me messages, comments or friend requests or see my photos (big loss). On the other hand, it’s very easy to sign up if you can’t live without any of those features.

But if you dig around MySpace profile a little bit you’ll find all kinds of interesting things. It would be pointless to go into them here, so all I can say is, check it out!

If you want to help me out there, sending bulletins, comments, blogs and messages with some of my ReverbNation “widgets” would be fantastic. You can find a couple right on my MySpace page. Bulletins are probably one of the best things, as they go to a large number of people. Give them a catchy title. Repost some of my bulletins that you think might appeal to your friends. Also, you can put a widget on your profile. Mentioning me in groups or forums, or really anywhere, would also be good. Be creative! If you don’t know how to do this kind of stuff, ask me and I’ll help you out. My greatest weapon is you guys spreading the word around!

As well as MySpace, I’ve put some of my songs up on various sites over the last while but I haven’t really had time to “work” them the way I have with MySpace. Some of them could use input from my fans to give me a higher profile.

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/dccardwell
That’s the site which hosts this newsletter. Again, you can view my profile there without becoming a member. However, I highly recommend it for musicians because of the widgets and the FanReach system, which is how I run this newsletter. [Not any more – as of 2012 I’ve switched to Fanbridge] You can also sign up as a “fan”, and add me and other artists as your favourites. (I’d love you to do that!)

GARAGEBAND: http://www.garageband.com/artist/dccardwell/ [dead link]
This site is supposed to be good for the system whereby other people review your music and you can make it into contests and up charts. The catch is, to be eligible for entry to these you have to review a certain number of other artists’ tracks. I’ve started to do that but haven’t got around to doing enough reviews to gain entry to the charts… someday!

TRIPLE J UNEARTHED: www.triplejunearthed.com/dccardwell
An Australian site associated with the national radio station Triple J. Signing up here and writing a review of my songs would be cool.

NEIL YOUNG’S LIVING WITH WAR SITE: www.neilyoung.com/lwwtoday/lwwsongspage.html
This is a page which Neil Young set up as part of his neilyoung.com site, where he posts songs that are in some way related to questions of the war in Iraq in particular, and also war and peace in general. My song Peace And Love actually reached No. 3 there at one point, when I was actively encouraging people to go and click on it there, but now it has dropped down to number cough cough! Speaking of Peace And Love, did I ever tell you why I wrote it? My friend Tony told me that Ringo Starr uses the phrase “Peace And Love” all the time on his website, so he said I should write a song of that title and maybe Ringo would cover it. So I did. Of course, I haven’t the slightest clue how to get Ringo to pay any attention to a song of mine, and even if I did, I don’t exactly think it’s the kind of jolly singalong anthem that Tony had in mind!

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/DCCardwellsMusic
Videos… and more to follow presently!

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/dccardwell
I was amazed to find that you can add a few of my songs to the iLike application in FaceBook! I think it’s because they’re on Garageband and they automatically get linked across. So if you’re on FaceBook you can easily dedicate my songs to people or add them to any of your message or wall posts. Please feel free – it all helps! [“iLike” never really took off, did it, but Facebook did, and so did “like”… it’s now the best place to share my music – 2012 DC]

~ DC

[2012 note – for places to buy my music (and Marjorie’s) go straight to madcarrecords.com]