It’s Been A Long Time Gone

I’m hearing David Crosby crooning the lyrics in my head as I sit at my little desk here in Martin’s Brugge Hotel. I haven’t posted here (my more politically-minded rants and social commentary blog) for some time (May 15 was the last) because I’m not at all in that mindset at the moment. I’m traveling and taking the break I so need and haven’t made time for in the past five years. This feeling of freedom, doing what one wishes from day to day, walking miles through various cities and landscapes, and watching for one’s safety as bicycles careen around corners and through alleyways, along canals, and across streets.  My head is always looking up because beyond the amazing rooftops and spires which can keep me preoccupied for hours,  there are actual CLOUDS here that are filled with water ready to dump at any minute.  I forgot what that feels like since my drought-ridden home drops no rain. I no longer feel the need to rant (at least for 21 more days!) so this blog shall be temporarily hijacked into the further recesses of my brain processing places, memories, and subjecting my poor readers to invariants under the conjugation map on G.

The hemming and hawing of another has just hit my last nerve. This is one of the reasons why I originally planned to travel alone, but have added a companion for a time in the midst of travel in Belgium.  That addition now bears the weight of someone who “cannot connect to the mothership” and shows every sign through vacillating short breaths of indignation.  I, on the other hand, try my best to just move on when something doesn’t work here.  There is far too much to look at and do than make constant repairs to the small spaceship in my hand that refuses to connect to the world.  Be Here Now. I breathe in.  Be here now.  I breathe out.

Alas, there are some excellent things to see and do and I’m in the heart of the center of Brugge at the moment.  I keep hearing the glorious bells of the Belfort tower.  Time to go and collect them as I pack my handy Zoom H4N along with the small windscreen. Perhaps I will stop for an afternoon beer.  After all, it’s 4:05p!

Ghent lit up last night in charming Ghent  Ghent_Lights on Canal

Try UAudioU as well for more pleasures of my travel. If you seek more politics and social commentary, I’ll be back in July and just might lay one or two out here before then.  After all, Italy and Spain are “next stops”.

All photos c.2015 Hugh Lovell

About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I started teaching full-time in 2009 and am tenured. My career as an audio engineer spans 32-years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassette 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991 leaving a regular shift there in 2010 due to the teaching schedule. The club and its staff are like family. I owned and operated a live sound production company since 1989 (ending officially in 2017) called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST141). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. In addition to teaching, I am a writer. I have several blogs and have written many screenplays since 2007 producing a few of them into short films. In 2020, the craziest year and decade of any of our lives, I am starting a book project titled, "Abra, the Imaginarian." Outside Affiliations: - former Co-Director of SoundGirls - current member of Audio Engineering Society and on the SF Chapter Planning Committee - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - past Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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