A couple Sundays ago, I was praying that Nik would give me a “sign” that he was still around.. After Church I went to the Studio and turned on the master switch. All the faders on the mix board started going up and down in random directions on their own, for almost a minute before there was a loud audio spike through the master channel of the board — like a scream through the system. Then the right half of the board died.
“No!!” I screamed, “Nik, couldn’t you just flicker the lights or thrown something across the room!??”
I broke down and started crying. My promise to Nik on his last day on earth was that I would finish producing and mixing his pieces. Nik’s music is complex. It requires all 96 channels — and now 48 were gone — along with the analog inputs. This meant I could not mix Nik’s music, cannot record anything new, no keyboards, vocals or guitars on projects. Plus, the other half of the board that still works is in a complex network that actually cannot be rerouted without changing the internal cards, disconnecting its link to and from the computer which is required for recording and mixing. If that sounds too technical, well, how about this: “It’s friggin broke, and I can’t mix Nik’s music, or finish his projects without fixing all this. Aargh.”
It appears this has gotten more complicated than simply starting where he left off. This week, I ventured into the snake pit behind the board, pulled 48 cables out of the back of the board, meticulously labeled them so I can take it to be repaired.
This picture doesn’t do justice to the “Snake Pit” of cables below my feet as I squeezed between the wall and the mix board, after climbing over the narrow ledge on the side.
“Nik, why did you leave?” “You were supposed to get well and come home! Why did you have to die? Besides — what about all this work you want me to finish.” I realized that railing at the Universe is not going to change all that or make me feel better. Fixing the studio will help me complete what Nik started, and create a lasting legacy for Nik’s genius in his amazing musical landscapes. That’s why I am starting the Nik Green Legacy Fund, which I also hope will become something bigger – having his pieces performed by dance troupes, as part of performance workshops, along with some Away Team songs in that mix which were going to be part of our next road tour adventure. Nik and I were talking about that just days before he left this earth.
And it’s not just the mixing console. There had been a lot of things Nik didn’t tell me about the Studio, like, the Kurzweil keyboard is broken, the hard drive for the computer used to mix to — is broken. A mic is broken. In the past year, rather than mention it, probably because it would cost money to fix everything, Nik found ways to “work around” the broken things, so he could keep writing and working on his album. I left him alone to go at it, and assumed that all was basically ok in that department. This is not to mention broken software. I cannot reinstall a particular crucial piece of software because the software installer thinks the new Mac OS is actually 10.5 or lower. That’s an argument I cannot seem to win. “It’s not 10.5 or lower, it’s 10.10.3!!” The software still insists it’s 10.5 or lower.
I still believe Nik is everywhere; but he cannot answer all the questions, or maybe he can….?
If you’re planning on leaving this earth anytime soon, please make sure you leave a good set of instructions to whomever is going to pick up the pieces. I didn’t believe Nik was going to die March 13th. He was going to leave the hospital the next day to go into rehabilitation to get strong again. It was MRSA he contracted in the hospital that is listed on the top of the death certificate. Life is short, unpredictable. What do you want to leave behind? Who do you want to influence? Do you want your epitaph to read, “I surfed the Internet well, and posted a lot on FaceBook”? Nik has volumes of amazing music I hope you all will someday hear, and highly skilled dancers and musicians will perform it. Beginning with the Memorial on June 7th!