a (soundproof) room of one’s own

July 24, 2012

as much as I like my flatmates, trying to record in this flat is driving me crazy. up the wall. up the thin, creaky, let-every-single-noise-and-conversation-and-most-of-the-cold-in wall. I swear my window is an amplification device. I can hear quiet conversations my neighbours are having. Every passing car is audible. Raucous birdsong is certainly audible. And that’s outside. Inside, I can hear every single squeak of the pipes as soon as someone even touches a tap.

And then there’s my microphone. If I can hear it, my microphone can pick it up much, much clearer.

The number of times I have stopped mid-record and wailed at the ceiling cannot be counted (more than five, less than twenty). The number of times I have decided not to record because it’s just not possible and then climbed into bed in a fit of exhaustion and despair are more numerous than that (more than fifteen, less than… fifty). The number of times I have sat in my creaky chair and boiled with agonised irritation are actually innumerable. I now have signs on my door that express my frustration: there is a large RECORDING sign, a “BUSYbutinterruptifthehouseisonfire” sign, a “mildly busy, but hey, what’s up?”* sign and then, “If you disturb me, I will try to kill you“.

Rude, but honest (although I’ve left my Special Breadknife downstairs). It’s also making me more and more antisocial; I spend barely any time with people now because I’m too busy trying to snatch moments of recording time when my flatmates aren’t home, or I’m sleeping in order to prepare for 2am recording sessions. Or recover from 2am recording sessions. Or recover from 2am throes of frustration at not getting anything done because the whole frikkin’ house I live in refuses to let me. ALL FATES CONSPIRE AGAINST ME!!!!!! WOE IS MY LIFE AND ALACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!! ALLLLLLL WOE IZ MINE!!!!!!111!one!!eleventyone!!!!!1!!!!

Honestly, though, if I haven’t formed stomach ulcers already and skyrocketed my blood pressure, I’m well on my way to doing it. This is terrible. And if you think I’m complaining, you should hear what I’m not saying.

My poor flatmates. I must be the grouchiest person ever. Admittedly, I know it’s not their fault they live and breathe and move about in the same house as me, and I know there’s no chance in hell I’m getting that gorramawful loudmouthed chip-chipping bird to shut its moronic loudspeaker beak (or: loudsbeaker), short of finding and lobbing cats at the tree it’s in; and I am fully aware that short of packing up and moving out, I cannot change how creaky the ceiling is and how many cracking sounds the window makes. There has to be a way to soundproof my room in a non-permanent fashion. I am looking up rented studio spaces online right now. Maybe I should just give up songwriting. Maybe I should just throw myself off a gorram cliff in a glorified tantrum. Maybe I should combust in an implosion of incensed pique. Oh man, it’s an excellent word, pique.

Now excuse me; I’m going to go climb into bed and sleep for the next couple of hours so I can wake up at midnight and hopefully get some recording done.

 

 

*Okay, an explanation: I did make these signs in a fit of aforementioned frustration and I am somewhat antisocial anyway, particularly when I’m concentrating on things. But the reason why there’s no ‘hi, I’m totally free! come and chat!’ sign is because if I feel like that, I’m usually downstairs. Chatting. Or my door is open, in which case it’s tantamount to an invitation (our flat has a complex code re: Who Is Home At The Moment, consisting of the language of doors and their positions and whether lights can be seen from underneath these doors and whether someone’s shoes or bag are in their usual at-home places and how hot the water in the kettle happens to be. I’m quite serious). So I’m not quite the brusque misanthrope yet, although all this is starting to make me think longingly of soundproof huts in the wilderness. The within-internet-range wilderness. The- you know what, screw the wilderness; this is making me think of heavily soundproofed one-bedroom apartments smack bang in the middle of the city.

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One Response to “a (soundproof) room of one’s own”

  1. Peta-Maria Says:

    wow. the number of exclamation marks alone is enough to tell me that something is seriously irritating you. don’t give up recording Val.


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