Blight in white satin

The trouble with going off on holiday and finding yourself stranded in a strange home with only what you brought with you to fill the space – is that there is never any music.

There is a radio that picks up BBC Radio 4, and that is all.

This, in theory, is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, I have followed with interest Bill Drummond’s idea of having a period of time without music – a kind of enforced silence to guide you into considering why you do actually need music in your life.

But actually what happens without access to your own record collection is that you find yourself walking around a holiday house in Scotland, looking at the rain, completely unable to get Knights in White Satin out of your head.


Sometime later I realized that I could be playing tunes through the laptop – albeit through the laptops own speakers – so the effect is somewhat like wiring up baked bean cans as speakers.

Nonetheless I managed to crank out some Henry Hall, and had my son padding around the kitchen in his pyjamas saying “hush, hush, hush – here comes the bogeyman” and even went so far as to play around with GarageBand – which goes right against my work ethic of never deploying a piece of software unless it costs – in stores – a handsome three or four figure sum. I managed, by playing around with an oboe sample, a paragraphic EQ and a Dynamics Processor to achieve the ship foghorn effect I have been chasing for a month or so. Whether it will sound as effective when I get it back to the studio is, frankly, unlikely – but it got me out of the hall and away from Knights in White Satin.

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