I have an addiction of sorts and it's known as complexity. The machine below is a representation of that complexity in that it is difficult beyond belief at times. My "Rubik's Cube" is a Eurorack synthesizer that is built up by myself with over 150 modules sourced from around the globe. This entanglement of elements demands that I learn how to patch over 1100 jacks and modulate over 1000 knobs in a multidimensional configuration where time and voltage adds to the spatial puzzle.
You see I'm 55 years old with no previous musical background regarding how to make the stuff called music, but two years ago I embarked on this fascinating journey into bending my mind trying to learn some basics. This synthesizer operates between -10 volts and +10 volts using sine waves, triangles, saw, and square waves. Time, scales, keys, and elements of music theory are constantly trying to be crammed into my mind, it can be a difficult fit but I persist.
Why am I on this journey? I quit watching television back in 1985 so I could have a richer more experiential life that was being directed by me instead of the influence that comes with witnessing others goings on. Over the years my wife and I taught ourselves 3D graphic design, some coding, have made videos, operated various tech businesses, traveled extensively throughout the United States after having lived in Frankfurt, Germany where I was an artist (of sorts and where I met my wife who is from that city).
Eurorack represented a fascinating puzzle that I felt, if I could just begin to comprehend a fraction of its limitless possibilities, not only would I be delving deeper into the infinite, I'd be helping my brain health along by forcing it to learn new tricks that were far beyond my comfort zone.
So while this should be about Eurorack, it's really about people who are aging to stop taking the easy road and being lax in challenging ourselves. Don't be afraid to fail or embarrass yourself by your own ineptitude. Kids and young adults plow into what us oldies don't like because we get stuck in our ugly routines. We then are like this synthesizer and need someone to patch our mind to another voltage and modulate our complacency until we start to sing a new tune.
One never finds greatness from a position of comfort and countries cannot be great by taking an easy route, we must toil and the first place we should demand that effort is from ourselves. That is what my struggle with Eurorack is teaching me, that and how to make advanced car alarm sounds.