L

Lost in Music

Music production. Sometimes poetry. Life and other stuff.

Direction

After putting out my first EP late last year and taking a short break, I've been working on more, different music. I didn't want to write the same things over and over, so I actively tried to widen my scope and write something different. However, it's been a few months and I still have no clear direction in mind for my next EP. I do have a couple of songs finished, but they're really quite different and I don't know if I can put them together. They don't feel like they belong on the same EP and I don't see which of the "creative threads" I should follow first.

I'm writing this in the hopes of coming up with something while writing, and I think it might've worked. I've always wanted to work on expansive, textural works, something that is repetitive on the surface but always different. Where the differences lead your ear through the song, so you're never bored if you listen carefully. I produced a song like that, I think it does a passable job of that. Maybe diving a bit deeper in that direction should be my idea.

My Music Production Journey

I always loved music. My family wasn't very musical, neither parent played any instruments, but there was love and appreciation of music aplenty. My musical interests changed throughout the years, mostly in phases. But playing or making music never really crossed my mind as something I'd like to do. Even though my parents offered for me to go to music school and play any instrument I wanted, there just wasn't any pull and I refused, thinking little of it at the time. Among various phases was, interestingly enough, a phase where I just didn't listen to any music, for some reason. Like I got sick of it, I actively avoided it. I completely forgot about this until just now.

In any case, phases came and went, and sometime in my late teens I realized I wanted to sing. I was hanging out with my friends and they were good at playing guitar, but I couldn't play anything except the very basics, and somewhere throughout this it occurred to them that I could sing while they played. I laughed it off because I always considered myself an absolutely terrible singer (back when I thought it isn't a skill you can learn and practice), but went along with it anyway for the laughs. Long story short, I got into it, way more than I ever thought I would. I went on to music school where I was classically trained for 5 years before quitting.

I took a 6 month break from music, singing and everything related to playing or creating music. A part of that was just being sick of it at that point, because a lot of what I did there weren't really things that I wanted to do, but things that I had to do due to the nature of that school. And that school had one of the best vocal teachers in the country. So I stuck with it, until I couldn't anymore. I still kept listening to and exploring music, as I have been for many years.

That break ended unintentionally. I was listening to a tune and thought: "this is a wonderful little melody there, but this 7 minute song goes nowhere. Maybe I could take just that melody, sample it, play around with it and make something interesting." And so I did, and that's how my first song came to be. As I was playing around in Ableton Live for the first time, I literally could not get the stupid, childlike grin off my face. I was having so much fun. I don't remember ever having that much fun or enjoying something in my entire life.

A couple of years later, I'm still making music, although of course there were breaks and periods of doubt and defeat. Whenever I feel like I should give up, I remind myself that it feels too right to be wrong, most of the time. Not pursuing such a huge passion feels almost sinful.

Rough Days

It's been a rough few days. So I've been retreating into music. It was (almost) always my escape. Either listening, reading about or making it.

Yesterday I stumbled onto a gem of a track from a record I haven't listened to in a few years. I had this urge, this feeling I had something to add. So I took it into Ableton and started playing around with it.

Today, I had a listen through my last track and did some mixing touchups.

Before that, I went for a late night walk. I don't know what it is about them that makes them feel so... right. They just do. Not many people around. You can observe the little that goes on, you can observe your environment, or you can get lost in your own world. Most of the time it's a combination, a smooth flow between all three. They bounce and work together to create this experience that's hard to put into words.

UNDISCLOSED

UNDISCLOSED is a project started by Headphone Commute in 2015. It is a collection of EPs from various anonymous electronic artists. The idea was to let established artists release work that they otherwise might never have, with no strings attached, exploring styles that lay outside of their usual.

Every EP has a color, the name of the EP is that color's hex code, and every track's title is a Roman numeral corresponding to its place in the tracklist. That's it. No (real) titles, no artist names, nothing. Just music.

I love the idea. And I love some of the music that I heard, which is only about half. But everything I did hear had some kind of special vibe to it, even if I didn't love it. I don't know if it's the anonymity "placebo" coupled with rose tinted glasses of the past (it's been a while since I listened to anything else than a couple of favorites) making the music more than it is, but there was something about it.

Receiving an email about the project's official departure from the internet in a month or so was kind of sad. Even though the project has been on hiatus since 2016., I remembered it from time to time and hoped it would continue. Though it getting removed from the internet entirely does seem kind of fitting.

So I'm going to buy the entire set of 10 EPs, kick back and listen through them all. Looking forward to the journey.

First Entry

I've stumbled upon a couple of Twitter threads and pieces in the past few weeks that encourage people to write. Coupled with this new, beautifully redesigned Listed, an urge hit me and I decided to take up the challenge and actually try to write for a bit. I'm not sure if starting this blog is me officially entering the 100-day writing challenge, but I guess I'll figure that out in the coming days.

Most of my writing over the years has been poetry. It wasn't good poetry, it wasn't meant to be shared or shown to anyone. It was just an attempt to capture and express my emotions with a thrown together word soup that served little purpose except getting my thoughts out of myself. Besides poetry, I've been keeping a private journal for years, and had a (very cringy) blog back in my high school days. Back when I thought I knew something about music but actually knew nothing.

One of the things I'm hoping this blog will help me with is getting my head in order a bit. I'm going through a bit of a crisis and I'm just lost. It's a normal thing to go through. Question your decisions and the path you took. Wondering if you can or should alter course. You're not going to succeed unless you're absolutely sure it's the right thing to do, and then just go and do it.

I've been typing up and editing this entry for almost 45 minutes. I don't think that that was my original idea. I'm just going to publish this as is and go back to work, or at least try to. Hopefully blogging isn't going to be yet another procrastination technique.