Weekly Head Voices #209: Blogging like it's 2009

Figure 1: Surprise sun in the second half of a rainy run

Figure 1: Surprise sun in the second half of a rainy run

Two days ago, as I pressed the “publish” button on WHV #208 (well, it’s actually more me doing the t d C-c C-e H H shortcut key sequence in Emacs, but OK), I knew that #209 was going to be a problem.

Although the past week, from Monday November 2 to Sunday November 8, certainly had its share of events quite important to me, none of them are fit for publication, and none of the concomitant observations can be abstracted concretely enough (yes, I see what I did there :) to appear here.

Searching for Balance 014 in 2020

So I considered either postponing a week, or perhaps just mentioning the fact that Joris Voorn released, on November 6, a brand new album with tracks and mixes, this time the collection titled “GU43: Joris Voorn, Rotterdam”.

(Thank you TPN for again bringing this musical gift under my attention.)

This new release is an important event to me, because I have been wondering for quite a number of years now if we’d ever be graced by a spiritual follow-up to Voorn’s Balance 014.

You see, if my life in 2009 had had a soundtrack, Balance 014 would be it.

It was an important part of the flavour of that whole sweet year, and to a certain extent also of that of the year after that.

Let’s jump back there for a spell:

My 2009 year mix

2009 was the year of my first mini-sabbatical, a month-long academic visit to the University of Magdeburg.

That period in my memory is enveloped in the warm fuzzies, for the largest part thanks to the lovely people I had the privilege of sharing a bit of life with there in the spring.

I don’t think the comparative visualization tool I started working on as main goal of the sabbatical ever led to anything directly. I do regret that the abbreviation I came up with, namely “CoMedI”, for “Compare Medical Images”, did not see any further use.

Anyways, I remember a number of multi-hour train trips between Delft, Magdeburg, Berlin and elsewhere, almost always with Balance 014 on my headphones.

2009 was also the year of:

I left by far the most relevant year 2009 event for last:

2009 was also the birth of the Weekly Head Voices, shortly after the Lowlands festival of that year, which coincidentally was a positively ridiculous amount of fun.

So, GU#43 this year leads me, via Balance 014, all the way back to the origin of the WHV in the year 2009.

Did you notice the number of this edition of the WHV?

Entirely coincidentally, it’s 209!

Tangent: A life without notes

It’s quite shocking how little I have in my notes (or anywhere for that matter) about that year.

After quite some digging, I finally discovered where I kept my notes then: I was going through my google docs phase (HEY IT WAS REALLY SHINY!), with bunches of draft blog posts imported from another much-loved but long-dead google product called google notebook.

For the past few years now, I have journals of almost every single day, and I can find any of them pretty quickly.

It feels strange, perhaps even a little scary, trying to page back into 2009, and finding only a few google docs, backed-up photos from the Nokia E71 I used then, a few blog posts, and what I could extract from my own imperfect wetware.

Thank you Joris

So, is GU43 the spiritual successor I’ve been waiting for?

No dreamy brain, of course it isn’t.

What would that even mean, for a favourite artist’s new work to be a spiritual successor of a particular previous work?

Thanks to my memories of 2009 and its music and its feelings pleasantly echoing over the years in some subset of the trillions of synapses in my head, I had imagined that this new work, the successor, might be able to bring those feelings back to life, magically.

It can’t.

The musical echoes of Balance 014 can certainly be heard in GU43, inevitably transmitted through the hands of the artist, but this is a new soundtrack waiting for new adventures.

Memory neurons fire pleasantly, until they are repurposed for new experiences, forever forgetting their history.

I am grateful for the music, both for remembering, and for forgetting.