Making Decisions, Making Music

06 Apr 2022

Just Keep Making Music

In the time since I last updated, I managed to crank out another tune. It was kinda awesome, as I busted it out in maybe 1 or 2 sessions. That is, it basically took me 2 hours over two days to write the most recent tune. I admit, it’s not extremely complex, but it incorporates elements from 3 different machines (A4, TD-3 and the modular palette). It blends familiar sounds (analog drums and an acid bassline) with new and funky sounds from the modular palette. With each new song, I gain a little more experience and get a little better at mixing. At least, I think I do! The other main update is that the album won’t be released in 2022. I checked in with the record label owner and they told me that their release schedule for 2022 got filled up surprisingly quickly. The label owner and I talked through my progress and the sort of support they can offer, as well as timing. I am pencilled in for a February 2023 release, and I am to check in with them this Fall with all the work that I have completed. They can help me put together from whatever tracks I have completed by then. Basically, they told me to “just keep making music” and we’ll “find an album in there”. While I am a little bummed about not getting on the schedule for this year, I am also going to take advantage of the “extra time” to put my best foot forward. I have to remember, it’s not about when it happens as long as it comes to fruition. And, even then, I am gaining all these new skills and having fun with the entire process of making this album.

Home Improvements

One of the interesting developments of the past month or so is our deciding to stick around in this house for a while longer. Previously, our plan was to be in a new house before our older child started kindergarten. The pandemic really threw a wrench into that plan. Now that we’re emerging from that 2-year treadmill nightmare, we’re starting to connect with our neighbors (mainly the ones with children) and feeling more tied into this little community where we live. We’re definitely feeling lucky to have some families close by with children close in age to our two. It’s been a lot of fun around here lately. That made the decision to stay here a while much easier.

Given that we’re going to be here a while longer, we’re starting to think about making some improvements, some customizations to the house so it fits our needs a little better. In other words – it’s project time! So far, we’re not talking about major projects… yet, but there are a few medium-sized projects that should have an impact. One thing that I’ve been proposing was walling off one of the two front rooms we have. Currently, in it’s open-plan state, we are using one as a dining room and the other is our work-from-home office. Since we had to quickly get that up and running, the room is jammed up with desks and a huge bar from when the room was meant to be sort of a lounge (that we hardly ever used as such). After some thought, and frankly seeing our neighbors’ house, my wife got on board with the idea of putting up a wall. The new plan is to make the room into a combo guest room and work-from-home office. Luckily, my wife is totally cool with me using some space for my music gear. Woohoo! This will likely be the next big project for the house. I think it’s gonna be a fun project that we can work on together.

Pandemic Notes

I forgot what this section was supposed to be for, so I’m just going to write a few notes about what life is like for us lately. Overall, things are continuing to steadily shift toward what one could consider “normal” life. Of course, there’s still doubts about certain activities, but those situations are dwindling quickly. I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer feel like I need to wear a mask in indoor situations. That mindset has been much more of a lift than I could have imagined. It’s so nice to simply not have to think about it. That provides a nice segue to the next section. I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention it. I managed to finally attend and even perform at Open Oscillator!!

Open Oscillator

I may have mentioned Open Oscillator on the blog before, but here’s a recap, just in case. Open Oscillator is basically like an open mic night for folks who make electronic music with hardware synths. This time, I got there early enough to sign up for a time slot my old ass could be awake for. In fact, I ended up being the first to play. This didn’t add to my nerves, believe it or not. In some ways, I think it’s easier, because there’s no point for comparison. Due to a busy week at work, I didn’t prepare much material. I did have something – just enough– to get things going though. My setup was humble and manageable. I brought the Elektron Model:Cycles and played a set of patterns that are a part of one of the songs I put together for the album project that’s in work. I did some of the tried and true Elektron performance tricks; live tweaking parameters and using “control all” before reloading the original pattern. I timed myself and managed to squeeze about 6 minutes out of 4 patterns on the Cycles. It was awesome! Once I got started, there was this sort of intense focus, I was able to pick my patterns, mutes, make my tweaks and flow through the time in a way that seemed to work. I even got some props from a seasoned veteran of Open Oscillator, which was super exciting. I have so many more ideas for future events. I’m definitely excited to build a set for the next time I go. I’m thinking that Octatrack is the way to go, but I could go nuts and bring one other piece of gear. We’ll see. I can’t wait.