As you know, I was using a small rehearsal space for bands as my office/studio.
I loved my studio. It was my little empire, a place nobody else could go without my letting them in. It was a crammed, ugly little space (as most band rehearsal studios tend to be) without any windows, but I loved my studio. I was safe there. It’s been almost 2 years since I started renting that space.
The problem was that my studio was 6 miles away from home. When the weather was nice, I biked there. It took me about 25 minutes one way, it was a good exercise. But during winter, I take the bus. Which is a bit more stressful, because the bus came once every half an hour. It’s often late, but obviously I don’t know until I get there.
To top it off, this year they’re doing constructions for Light Rail on University Avenue. It’s about to be shut down for the winter, but for a week or so in November it took me a full hour to get home.
The week before Thanksgiving, I was downstairs in our basement, and the thought occurred to me. I should set up my studio here.
Now, my wife has been asking ever since we bought our house this spring — why don’t you work from home? And every time she did, I’d say, no, I don’t have a place for me to work at home. By that, I was referring to my sacred little space — the privacy of having a detached, personal room, where I can belt out some Guns n Roses tunes (which I cannot sing) without care as to what others would think. I needed that safe space.
Plus, we were going to use the basement more — we have an old gas fireplace there that, amazingly, puts out NO heat. And our central heat has no ducts coming out there, strangely enough. So we planned to replace the fireplace with one that emitted actual warmth.
But, over the course of this year we decided to spend the money on insulating the house properly first. It’s partially because we didn’t use our basement very much, although it’s fully finished. We don’t need that space right now.
The basement isn’t getting used.
That thought, and the fact that it took a full hour to get home, must have really settled in. I loved my studio, but here was an empty space at home, where I didn’t have to spend one precious hour each day getting to/from, and I didn’t have to pay additional rent.
So over Thanksgiving I brought it up to my wife, who pretty much welcomed the idea with open arms. I moved my essentials that Sunday to basement and tried working from there the next week. Sure, I can’t turn up the volume as loud when I was playing music — but I could still listen to music with my beloved speakers. I didn’t miss the privacy very much, in fact, I sort of liked being there because kids would actually come down and play in the basement. It’s a little distracting, but not as much as I feared — and I enjoyed having them around.
So this last weekend I rented a moving truck and moved everything back home. I originally was going to move on Sunday but in came Minnesota winter with a bucket full of snow, so at the last minute I switched to Saturday and made the move.
The funny thing is, there was nothing heavy to move that day. The heaviest equipment I own was my guitar amp and that was already moved. My desk and my sound insulation boards are bulky but not heavy.
But I lightly twisted my ankle while moving by landing on it funny, and I hurt my back after that because I was moving things around while compensating for my painful ankle.
Which is funny because I also hurt my back when I moved in to that studio 2 years ago.
I didn’t have any reason to break my back, I wasn’t carrying anything heavy, nor did I feel overtly stressed about moving. I was sort of surprised myself by how quickly this move went from conception to execution, but still.
But it seems that moving a studio is destined to be a back-breaking experience for me.
It’s really fine, really. A couple of days spent working from bed really isn’t a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.
But the next time I move, I’m going to see if I can do it without breaking my back.