The Loudness War is unabated. The collateral damage cannot be calculated.Sound is fundamental to the individual and social pursuit of culture. The Loudness War reduces Shakespeare to a Fantastic Four comic book, Beethoven to an iPhone ring tone. It decimates the vocabulary of sound. It wipes away its grammar with a flood of slang and impoverished lingo. I choose to not participate.
I have faith in the future and, in particular, the future of sound reproduction technology and software. I will not pass on to the future clipped and distorted content. I have in my possession every note, every buzz that Pere Ubu committed to tape or to digital media since 1975. It has fallen to me to be the janitor, the custodian of a magnificent edifice of many chambers whose walls are etched and embellshed with hopes, dreams and visions. I can only hope that I am up to the task.
Paul Hamann is gone. His efforts conserved the Pere Ubu legacy. The time we had together I used wisely, studying his work, observing his techniques, learning as an acolyte in the presence of a Master. I believe that I have acquired the technology and software necessary for the task of stepping into the void. Most important, though, was the acquisition of wisdom. The scraps I have absorbed are sufficient.
There are engineers I trust. When circumstance and, more importantly, finance allows, I have engaged them. Finance is meager The bulk of the work must fall to me.
The end of my life is in sight. Not imminent, I hope, but coming on like a dark train spreading sparks and smoke across the geography of vision. Every day I work in the edifice, patching leaks, repairing and preserving. My shortcomings are legion. My will is singular and focused. Recently I died twice. It is said that only the will to live kept me alive. I am here and I am working. I do the coding. I do the engineering. I do the html. I do the conservation and preservation, the collection and organization. I troubleshoot the software problems of our customers. The indomitable Communex works with me all the hours, guarding my health and clearing the road ahead. Her work with associated visual media is grounded, vital and complemented by the sporadic reappearance of John 'Johnny Dromette' Thompson. The edifice stands. Stunning picture postcards of that edifice and its chambers, printed carefully with attention to detail and integrity, can be purchased at this site. That is my ambition. It is humble but achievable. A magnificent, scholarly coffee table book might be preferable but is beyond our means and vision. I yearn for an award, serious recognition, a plaque to put on the wall. Something that says, 'Well done - you have stayed the course.' Won't happen. That's not Pere Ubu anyway. Pere Ubu is a unique road side stop to be stumbled on by chance and accident, explored with enthusiasm, and then left behind to be recalled forevermore with joy. That is my will.