After weeks spent unravelling admin hiccups and writing lectures, I have given myself a research day.
The old computer, shiny-face, had been tucked away behind the rocking horse and it came downstairs to be rebooted, minus the internet which crashes it instantly.
I had to check an interview which seemed to end in mid-air; fast-forwarding through an interesting gabble and then rewinding, I realised that some words work the same backwards as they do forwards.
I'm now editing the interview.
I have been massively helped in this project by Sarah, who has done most of the transcriptions, but also a bit by her sister Maria and the Offsprogs.
This is interview 16 of 25; it needs to be tidied up and that's a heavy concentration job.
I'm taking a coffee break.
I had been worried about whether these interviews were interesting enough, but they bloody are; I have spoken or written to 27 female pop music producers/engineers over the past five years, nearly all of whom produce/engineer for other people rather than being self-producers (which is where people often reach a bit of a gender dead end). They have fantastic stories to tell.
I have missed out on some interview opportunities, and some people simply haven't responded to my requests; but why should they? This is a private job that is less about stars than creativity and skill, especially, I think, for women.
I have also written a supporting essay which I'm trying to edit down from 30,000 words, which covers all sorts of issues to do with the way the oral histories relate to some more theoretical issues. This has been a complete labour of love, undertaken with very little funding. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that it is a labour of politics, because that is what has driven it all; and maybe also a labour of sound, because of course it has a bearing on what we listen to.
I need four days to finish it all off; there is a pile of media cuttings on the kitchen floor which need to be integrated, and a pile of computer files, same thing.
When will I get four days? Christmas, of course. Goodbye social life, hello numb legs from sitting at the table writing for hours. But I am so close to the finishing-post that it is really exciting.
After presenting the research at various conferences, I have started to publish small parts and to do interviews about it, so I will post those here as they appear.
Coffee drunk: back to work.