The Cost of DIY

Milton Busker is primarily a one-man operation. There are many reasons for this; I have a pretty specific idea of what I want to sound like. I don’t have a schedule flexible enough to accommodate regular rehearsals. The only competing priorities I need to juggle are my own. I don’t have to worry about paying anyone. No one suggests that I throw in more dance songs to please the crowd. Hell, there doesn’t even need to be a crowd. The whole list is quite extensive and perhaps I will compile it one day. Probably not though, because in all honesty it makes me sound like a DoucheTron 5000. The point is when it comes to music I usually work alone.

But naturally there are some things about working alone that kinda suck. Other people add spontaneity and different perspectives that can deepen and expand my original idea. They can push me forward and force me to go places that I wouldn’t have thought to go on my own. They can compensate for my deficiencies. They can provide cover when things go spectacularly wrong.

But I work alone.

This extends to other aspects like the business side of things. I am responsible for sales, marketing, and finance. I am my own producer and recording engineer, and that’s where I’m really headed with this.

Something has gone pretty wrong. For the past two years I’ve been slowly amassing a collection of songs in order to release a full album. No magnum opus or anything like that. I’m not out to create a masterpiece, I just want to share with anyone who’s interested in listening (and maybe daydream that A LOT of people are interested). I record onto my personal computer and thought I had taken the necessary steps to keep that data safe – keep the OS and the data separate; run regular backups. And when one of the hard drives started failing I called up HP and had them send a new one and a technician. I ran a backup before he came to do the work. I didn’t keep any of my recordings on the drive being replaced so I felt pretty good about everything.

But they erased my hard drive. The one with the backup on it. The one with all of the pictures of my family. The one with my entire iTunes collection (with many recordings that no longer have the source material).

And they erased my recordings. The ten songs that I was planning to release this fall as a full length album entitled “You Are What You Pretend to Be”. They still needed some final mixing tweaks. The bass was too heavy in one track. The backup vocal on another was just a bit flat.

I was even going to get it professionally mastered. But now it’s not there.

I am a barely contained ball of rage and despair right now, but there is some hope. My hard drive is now with a forensic specialist and it’s possible that some of the data may be retrieved. Perhaps even a lot of the data will be retrieved. But not all of the data will be retrieved and I will need to reevaluate the plans I had just a few days ago.

Maybe this is a good thing, right? Hemingway lost all his manuscripts before he was successful and it allowed him to rid his work of dead ends that he couldn’t stop himself from going down. Maybe I had a lot of stuff that needed to be purged so that I could create something even better.

Shit, did I just compare myself with Hemingway? What a jerk.