Brain Attack Music

A true story of stroke survival

Break On Through (To The Other Side)

Given my appalling levels of post-stroke fatigue, the actual writing of this music is extremely difficult.  If struck with a musical idea, in order to ‘get it down, man’, I must climb the stairs to the spare room, where my antiquated home recording studio is located.  I must now remove all the dust covers from the equipment, power up my 2002 vintage PC, turn on all the gear, open up the software, open up a new Project in the software, check everything is working OK (sometimes it isn’t, so I embark on a fault-finding mission) and – oh, what was that idea again?  How did it go?  Er . . . oh, damn . . .

All of this faffing around tends to stifle the creative muse.  Immediate, it ain’t.

To cut a long story very short, I now have my old software (Windows Vista vintage) installed on my Windows 10 laptop (it’s not supposed to be compatible with Windows 10, but it works fine).  I have diddy 25 note mini-keyboard connected to the laptop so, when inspiration strikes, I can pop into the dining room where my laptop ‘lives’ and have the idea down in less than a minute.  Basic tuff, no fancy synthesizers so the sounds are a bit limited, but it’s simple to do.  At a later stage, I can simply copy the project files onto an external hard drive and load up to my studio PC for the proper sound design, finishing touches and sprinkle of pixie dust!

However, as things stand at the moment, I can use my limited energy to start getting some basic ideas down, scope out song arrangements and structures (intros, verses, choruses, instrumentation, melodies, etc, etc).  I’m not too concerned about the individual sounds as they can be firmed up at ‘Mission Control’ (my main studio).  This is analogous to an artist.  Currently, I am sketching out ideas for paintings in a pencil outline.  These can be altered easily using an eraser, or simply thrown away.  I keep the ones I like (maybe roughly colouring some in) and, at a later stage, I can paint the final picture, when I have the energy and capacity to flesh out the sketches into fully formed paintings.

That’s the theory, anyhow!

Until the next time,


“Made the scene, day to day, week to week, hour to hour”.