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      Song of the Year   12/01/18

      The Song of the Year contests (one for open format and one for 1+1) are currently running in Song Contests. It's easy to vote - just let me know your selections by the end of Saturday 20th!
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A "Zen nut" reviews Zen In The Art Of Mixing

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In The Daily Adventures of Mixerman we found a person of great wit and intelligence outlining the real-life adversities surrounding a bidding war band. The band is chock-full of issues, and if, you've ever been a part of a real production then, this book becomes so hilarious that you just can't put it down.

Fast-Forward. Zen In The Art Of Mixing, the second offering by Mixerman is a completely different ballgame. There are a lot of books available on the subject of mixing. Most of them tend to be rather dry, and technical, this is not the case with Zen And The Art Of Mixing. Zen teaches us the elusive technique of no-technique. Puzzling? Yes, isn't it wonderful?!

I found Zen quite some time ago or, rather Zen found me. Since the age of Nine I have practiced One form of the martial arts or another. I became aware of this mystical source of power early in life. There is a "zone" which people seek, a place where they do what they do without thinking about doing it. This "place" is Zen. You cannot seek Zen and find Zen. Your desire to find it will absolutely overcome your efforts, and leave you beyond frustration. This is a process which you must go through if you seek Zen, just remember, you must seek Zen without seeking Zen. Sound like fun? Learning to mix is like learning the sword. When you first begin, you want the very best sword you can afford thinking this will give you an (pardon the pun) edge but, it will not give you anything but, a fine sword which you are not capable of wielding yet. This reminds me quite a lot of the gear chase. Tell you what, you take your million dollar katana. I will give a plain and ordinary katana to the smiling old Japanese swordsman. Who do you think is going to win? It is the very same with gear. Give a pile of the best gear in the world to a newbie, and give Mixerman an MBox and I will put all of my money on Mixerman every time because, I understand what I understand. Skill will be victorious in the sword contest, and it will win this mixing contest as well, MBox be damned!

So, I've read quite a lot of reviews of this very fine book. Some say this is a boring book. Yeah? Sell your gear, sorry, you do not need it. A lot of people complain that the book is slow getting started, that the First chapter is slow and boring. Again, sell your gear, you are wasting your time. The First chapter is freaking invaluable! In this so-called slow starting, boring chapter, Mixerman lends you the education that you need to make records but, I know, you want to hurry, and get to the paint-by-numbers section. Well, it's not here! There are no shortcuts to the art which you seek. The more you seek, the longer it takes to find. Fact is, you will never find it by seeking it because, it shall simply continue to run away from you, and no, you will never be fast enough to catch Zen by chasing it. You must learn to "sit still." You must learn how to evade thought, and to rely only upon your instincts, to trust only your instincts, you must become decisive in an extraordinary manner(CONFIDENCE IS NOT EGO). No book will take you here, not even this excellent book. Mixerman can open the door for you but, as is said in Zen, you must enter by yourself.

Mixerman slices through all of the bull**** and gets to the crux of the biscuit, the song! Oh my! What a revelation! Next he mentions another magical ingredient, the performance! Spectacular! Mixerman places his great talents below both the song, and the performance of the song, and this is how I for One understand (and notice I didn't say I know) that Mixerman is all of that and a bag of chips.

You can read this book and gain a wealth of understanding or, you can read the book, and get nothing from reading it. This will not be the fault of Mixerman. If you think this book is boring, you are chasing Zen, and you will probably never find it.

Zen is a lot like love. Try to grasp love and it'll slip right through your fingers like water will. Open your hand and love will rest gently within your palm like a butterfly sitting peacefully upon a rock. Be like this butterfly or, be like the water but, never be the hand which grasps at nothing. Above all, LISTEN...LISTEN...and then, LISTEN some more. If you still don't get it after all of this listening, then, SELL YOUR GEAR.

If you tuned into this book looking for a gear fest well...

Zen is passed down through stories. There is a story I'd like to tell all of you. Maybe you'll understand if I do...

There was once a boy who desired to become a great swordsman. He took his blade and sought out the old man who was said to be a master of the sword. Upon finding the man he asked the question;

Master, my father is very sick and I must take care of him so, if I practice day and night how long will it take to learn the sword?

About Twenty years.

But, master, if I work even harder, never resting, how long will it take?

About Forty years.

Mixing is the same. Chase it if you will but, you will never find what you seek by seeking it. Sound preposterous? That's Zen!

Listen to the music. Allow the music to instruct you. Abandon technique. Sit in the sweet spot like a butterfly sitting on a little pile of mud and you'll be getting somewhere. Sound crazy? Good, that's ZEN! Now stay there!

Zen is like the water in a goldfish bowl. It surrounds the goldfish, and yet, the goldfish know anything of the water. When they need a little water, they use a little water. When they need a lot of water, they use a lot of water but, the goldfish never once thinks about the water, it simply lives within it. Zen is the same as the water in the goldfish bowl. The goldfish is enveloped by the water in which it lives. We are enveloped by Zen.

Only "she" who understands and removes "her" shoes can ever find the burning bush :)

Ten-Thousand Kudos Mixerman.


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