It’s well over a year since I last wrote anything in here, and so much has happened. I just haven’t felt the need to sit down and write about it. After all, I’m not writing my life story, and I post inane spur of the moment drivel on Twitter anyway. If my life was in any way extraordinary, then of course I’d write about it. I’m just your average blind trans woman just living my life.
With that said, here’s just a quick update.
I am now a married woman. I married my beautiful wife Louise last year, on the 9th of July. It was the best day of my life.
I appreciate that I am extremely privileged to be living in a time and country where same sex marriages are legally recognised. Also, the fact that our closest family and friends were there was so special to us, and not everyone has that.
I could go on and on about it, describing the day in excruciating detail even though some of it is just a happy blur now. But that helps nobody.
I will just say that our dresses were stunning, the ceremony was wonderful and I will never forget it as long as I live. I also have an audio recording of the whole thing.
I have gotten back into music production in a big way. It’s something I’ve dabbled with on and off for many years, but I was never happy with the tools I was using or the results. I’m not the best keyboard player around, so consequently I’d be quick to beat myself up about that fact.
Recently however, I have started to sort myself out. A huge boost to my confidence was hearing people who I’d class to be amazing musicians claiming that they’re not. This brought home the fact that we all have our own strengths and weaknesses. I realised this before, but I’d think that my weaknesses were weaker than anyone else’s.
As for what I was using, I replaced my ancient pc with a brand new one, as that was one of the main sources of frustration for me. You’d only have to look at it funny to have it fall over backwards, and there was I, asking it to run software synths and the like.
With this new one, nothing I ask it to do is too much for it. It is also totally silent as it doesn’t have any fans in and uses solid state drives for storage. How they can keep a machine this powerful cool without using fans is completely beyond me.
Also, last year, something amazing happened that has in my opinion completely revolutionised how blind people gain access to music production software.
Native Instruments, the company behind Kontakt, Massive and several other fantastic products has added text-to-speech support to their Komplete Kontrol line of MIDI controllers.
In a nutshell, Komplete Kontrol ties all their products in their Komplete line together, and allows you to play and control it all as though they were all parts of a ridiculously powerful music workstation. Like a Korg Kronos on steroids if you had to use a computer to run it all on.
The upshot of NI adding speech to all this is that blind people are now able to use all these amazing software instruments in the same way as anyone who’s sighted.
There have been other attempts to make this all work in the past. As brilliant as these solutions are, it was all hacked together by 3rd parties as it seemed that none of the actual developers would ever be interested in making their software accessible.
Now that Native instruments have come on board, it is I think an absolute game changer.
It is by no means perfect. At the time of writing, we only have access to whichever parameters have been assigned to the knobs on the Komplete Kontrol Keyboard which isn’t everything. Also, None of the GUIs are accessible. But it’s a huge step in the right direction.
Armed with all this and my slowly improving confidence, I have started to post the random things I create to SoundCloud, one of which is embedded below.
I have gone on enough already, so until the next time I feel like posting anything, which could be in another couple of years, Take care.
Love the now Mrs Goldfinch