Whitney Houston, the pop diva who ruled the charts in the eighties, died this afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
In recent years, she struggled to maintain her dignity and the power instrument that was her voice. She was recently seen on a gossip web site leaving a club last week, with assistance from a friend and blood dripping down her leg. She was also rumored to be under consideration for a spot on The X Factor as a judge.
My recent chat with Cameron Carpenter wasn’t easy. Not only does he play a form of music I know little about, he didn’t want to talk with me the usual way. He wanted to “Skype.” Maybe you’ve heard of this new-fangled way the kids are conversing with each other these days. I had, but I didn’t think I’d be doing it.
Since my computer is a brick from the Bush Administration, I knew this was going to require some special effort on my part. I’m fortunate to still have leftovers from my failed video production business, so I was fairly certain I could make this work, I just didn’t know how.
Since it was too pathetic to photograph, I’ll explain my set up to you. I stacked eight VHS tapes behind my laptop and placed an old Sony minidv Camera on top of them. After aborted efforts with RCA and SVHS cables, I connected the camera to my Powerbook with an original firewire cable. Since I couldn’t determine how to record the interview, I put a tape in the camera and let it roll. I also put a tape in my 1998 microcassette recorder and activated the Voice Memo app on my iphone as back-up.
It wasn’t a smooth operation, but enough of it worked for me to salvage key moments of our discussion.