This evening I travelled over the river to my friend Jamie’s studio to record some tics for Cassetteboy’s Touretteshero theme.
We recorded in four different ways. First I listened to the Touretteshero track through headphones and Jamie recorded the tics that came out in response. It was really odd letting myself tic and willing it to happen, since my instinct is always to suppress them. Out of habit, I found myself cutting tics short if I could.
We did a few takes before we moved on to recording some conversations with Leftwing Idiot. We often have very odd conversations as a result of my tics. They tend to interrupt or take over what I’m saying. Later we played I Spy, I told some Knock, Knock jokes and we discussed celebrity deaths.
Finally, I sat in front of the microphone and looked through a long list of tics. I didn’t try to read them out loud, but just seeing them on the page seemed to trigger the most regular ones without much trouble. Whole new layers of tics emerged that were linked in my mind but had not been said before. This wasn’t something we’d planned to do, but it turned out to be the most interesting method.
I had no idea how the recording session would affect me, but it turned out to be a fascinating experience. There were some moments when I was struggling and my body was completely out of control, but that felt alright because I was with people I trusted and I knew if I got into trouble they’d make sure I was OK.
Enjoyable as it was, it was tiring and I was curious to see which got burnt out first, the tics or me. It turned out to be me. After a few hours the tics were still going strong, but I was struggling so we decided to call it a night. I needed some support afterwards but thankfully I was able to calm down pretty quickly.
As we were heading home we met a man at the bus stop. He’d heard me squawking and said we should record the noises I was making and turn it into music. I was happy to tell him that was exactly what we’d just been doing.
Earlier, Jamie had mentioned how odd it must be for me to be a vessel for all this stuff. That got me thinking about whether or not my Tourettes and me are a single entity. I’ve always felt clear that Tourettes is not part of my personality, but I appreciate that having it will influence me and play a part in shaping my character.
I reached the conclusion that my personality and my Tourettes influence each other all the time, and as a result my tics express themselves in a way that’s unique to me.
So am I a simply a vessel? This would seem to imply two very separate things: the container and its contents. I reckon if I am a vessel I’m one whose contents affect its shape, a bit like a beanbag.