I’ve never really owned a fish tank. Yet, I find analogies to them all the time. The buffers they set up seem so ripe for metaphor.

Here I use a fishtank analogy for a new piece of music equipment: I just got this foot pedal MIDI controller. As soon as I connected it, the whole system went out of whack, just like adding a new fish to an established tank. It’s not always the fish that’s to blame, but something that is associated with it. Here, I had to troubleshoot about five different things until I realized a faulty cable was to blame.

Now I’m in the stage of learning to use it. The buffers and paths of working music through need to be reworked to accommodate the new equipment. So now, the fishtank is in my head in a way. It’s kind of big and cramped, but – meh – I’ll get used to it. But, in all seriousness, fishtanks can’t fit in heads.

First, when I started playing piano, it took years to become comfortable enough to perform with confidence. When I introduced the electronic component, I don’t think I was up to par until several years later again. I added a hand MIDI controller – again it took time to adapt, but this time only months. Now I’ve added a foot controller.

I think the lesson is that less is more. However, I think fish would argue against this in terms of water volume. But, then again, fish can’t talk.