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Editorial

Now it's "Ditty-A-Week."

Here’s something cool to report:
The song from the previous posting has been renamed:
“When One Door Closes, Another Opens.”
In addition, it has been accepted for an online compilation album that was published/released on December 21, 2012; just in time for the end of the world. Here is the link the the song itself:
THE SONG ITSELF
Or the entire album (the song is track #44 — how fitting, that’s my age at the time of the album): THE ENTIRE ALBUM

Please contribute one whole whoppin’ American greenback (or more) for SEVERAL HOURS of music & sound, whether you like the style of the songs within, or not. You’ll get your money’s worth from just a few songs somewhere in the pell-mell. All of the proceeds from this album go to support (pay for) and keep an online presence of electromusic.com, a collection of musicians that write-perform-compose-broadcast music via electronic instruments (keyboards, synths, computers, homemade controllers, what-have-you). I’ve performed at three of their yearly events to date.

I had a ball recording this tune and had a surprisingly decent outcome for just two takes.

Anyways: This will be my last post on this ditty-a-day 2012 wordpress page. I will be creating a new blog at some point that’s more in line with my stop-n-go attitude and personality regarding music, composition, life, the universe, and the answer to everything. That and just a little less pressure than trying to make a noise every day and tweet about it.

I’ll modify THIS SENTENCE HERE once I get that new site up and running in the near future.

Here’s that song again in case you don’t click the above links for the song, “When One Door Closes, Another Opens.”

Thanks for reading.
Namaste.

iPad/iPhone/iPad Touch users:
CLICK HERE to hear this track.

Now it's "Ditty-A-Week."

So we all have our lofty plans, and our reasons, excuses, and causations of why those lofty plans fall flat.

There were the external reasons, like pressures of your 9 to 5 office job getting in the way of your dreams; other time-consuming obligations involving third parties; or your former life partner declaring that your “Ditty-A-Day” concept makes you an attention wh*re — as opposed to just being an artist that’s trying to adhere to a self-made promise, an attempt to gain structure. As in, “yeah sure, this is about me developing internally, not me looking for mad props externally…

But let’s not drag on about that situation and move onward and upward, shall we? Hmmm?

Then of course there’s the more intense and personal internal reasons. Reasons such as placing greater import on life’s tasks like being dad & doing the chores (duty before pleasure); (formerly) being a boyfriend; movie watching; %$@& Facebook; purposefully giving your time to others; reading too much; motorcycling; sloth; and finally, joining a gym. Or how about, the fear that I’ll create nothing but garbage? The words of that self-critic that whispers in your ear at the worst possible time, your worst enemy and best friend. Man, I just hate that guy.

And finally, the fear of failure overall. Which has caused me to fail more than once in my life by just doing nothing for all the wrong reasons. The practice of shear avoidance of artistic discipline. I end up feeling like crap inside in the end by not following through on this practice, no matter how fun this discipline– hah! more like an adventure– should be.

I put too much pressure on myself for this until now. As of today, the self-critic is on sabbatical to discover what his new role shall be in the near future.

So I’ve adjusted this blog to be “Ditty-A-Week.” That’s reasonable and realistic. Not to mention, I can feel accomplished by posting stuff that’s more polished. AND it gives me time to take that bike ride to the gym, keep up in social justice community band I’m in & feel great about, go to summertime events on the weekends, and enjoy that occasional Guinness out & about with the old friends I thought I’d lost years ago.

Oh, yeah, and write songs for my gig at Electro-Music 2012, happening a few weeks from this post. You know, the songs that aren’t written yet, because I’ve been more concerned about the seminar I’m presenting on “Building a Software Looper” as well as the visual content of my set. All I’m gonna say about the visuals is: Bambi, Godzilla, a dancing set of pixels, space scenes and jiggly camera shots. Somehow being entertaining & pleasant.

On to the music. No Pressure.

Time to “pull a phoenix” and rise up from the ashes. I had quite a few things in my life going on that took precedence. But now the dust has settled, time to get serious again about this project. It still has life.

There’s about 3GB of recordings and a bunch of started ditties without write-ups which I can cull from. A bunch of software and a few hardware updates in my “rig.” Time to test my aural memory on each of those files floating around unlabeled and uncatalogued on my HD.

The first file I opened was not too hard to remember, though. It involved a recording using oversampling (really high rate) of the (new) parakeets in the home here. Guess what? Their tweets sound like a dog’s bark, just pitched up. Who knew? Check it out in the next post.

Only you can prevent bass neglect

While out somewhere with a friend we ran into Jim, whom we hadn’t seen (or hadn’t spoken with) in a bit. My entry into the ensuing dialog started with that normal, innocuous, everyday question: “How have you been?”

Right off the bat he shared his New Year’s resolution. This year Jim will endeavor to improve this life’s experience for himself and others by choosing different words. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just in his head, or spoken with others. He said, more or less, “I’m choosing to utilize words with similar definition but with a different overall meaning.”

This philosophical preamble brought a sense of heightened awareness when he answered the aforementioned simple question:
He continued, “…so I won’t tell you that I’ve been busy. I will tell you that I have been active.”

Funny how one word can change everything: the color of the perceived emotion, action, or outcome of a sentence. With that in mind? I haven’t posted anything musical in the last several days due to being very active.

However, being very active is not the same as being too busy to keep working on this project.
I have to make the time for it. Here comes an effort to catch up.

unCOMforTAble...

Week One:
To Boldy Go Where I Haven’t Before.

Trying to do something musically on a daily basis has been a learning experience. Tiny motivational voices sometimes whisper in my head, keeping me positive about this endeavour. It’s the act of shaking off the fleas of distraction, a form of self-enlightenment that definitely promotes getting more organized in both production skills and time management. For now I just lose a little sleep if I start too late into the evening; the goal is to get a week ahead, for a safety net.

Speaking of time management, last night was the first that I missed a day. I drifted off on the couch during an ol’ episode of Star Trek TOS. (Cue the Star Trek Battle Theme music).

A few proverbs, thoughts, & goddamn advertising slogans have been popping into my head from ether while staring at a blank palette In Logic or Live. Here’s what the voices said, and what the messages probably meant at the time:

  • A Little Dab’ll Do Ya. (Go lighter on the effects this time.)
  • Do everything in moderation. Including moderation. (e.g. it’s okay to have a 6-miunte fade).
  • I should KISS more often than not. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.)
  • Just Do It. (Damn you, whomever created this Nike slogan, for it has permeated my soul.)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (But just ow many times will you re-take that guitar riff?)
  • Music is like clay. (Keep adding tracks. It’s easier to subtract a track during the edit/mixdown process than to go backwards and add another.)
  • “Doctor, Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” “Then don’t do that.” (Don’t second guess. If it doesn’t sound good, get rid of it [the track, sound, effect] and move on.)
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (Not everything needs retouching/denoising/enhancing/EQ.)
  • No time like the present. (I haven’t made a list of ideas for future posts… yet. I haven’t planned ahead at all, This is by the seat of my pants to date.)
  • TANSTAAFL. (I’ll probably have to pay for webhosting space for all this audio media. How the heck do you put up a “donate via PayPal” button?)
  • There is such a thing as love at first sight. (You CAN nail it on the first take, or come up with something meaningful in 5 minutes.)
  • Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre. (Try something familiar with a different approach. Or: I don’t use filters nearly enough. Or: it’s fast fun to blurt out overexaggerated french when I’m frustrated.)
  • The best thing I’ve read for Creatives lately: I cannot stress the importance of #1 from this list here, which reads “Don’t Create and Evaluate at the Same Time.” Meaning… don’t write a track then sit there polishing it. First write/play/record as much as you can, then edit/master/mix/add effects later.
  • The last “proverb” isn’t so much a clever saying as it is a feeling. Read the poem entitled “The Guest House” by Rumi (click here). In terms of music, for me it says to welcome any shade (dark or light) to show through in the music. Since I’ve got the Kinetic and Dark tones covered, maybe I should do some a little more Reserved and Bright? That’s one applied interpretation. Gotta love how these writings can be interpreted in multiple ways.


There’s been a few referrals to this site from a story on a collaborator’s blog, which is awesome. I’ve also gotten a few supportive emails & comments from strangers so far, simply by changing my default signature on KVRaudio.com to include this site, plus some shameless self-promotion on HandPan.org (the Zen Tambour topic). Which is also awesome.

The biggest hurdle doing this blog so far has absolutely nothing to do with music, but with a stupid browser/OS issue. It turns out that all of the soundcloud-hosted files will not show on the Safari browser on iPads, iPod Touches, and iPhones since soundcloud.com is flash-based. Thing is, I knew that (about iOS devices) yet still hadn’t put any thought to it. Duh. Thanks to the person that took the time to send an email/PM on KVR let me know about it. It still does not work, even with the soundcloud.com iApp installed. So I’m glad I didn’t pony up the 29 euros on soundcloud (yet)! I hope to have a solution soon without too much technical kung-fu.
UPDATE: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch audio file playback issue solved. All “Ditty-A-Day” icons now link to a soundcloud’s mobile streaming site for iOS device users; plus pasted a link at the bottom of each post for convenience. 🙂

Finally: If you haven’t noticed, there are links embedded in nearly every paragraph of these posts. In an effort to get a little more swift, I need to cut back in the amount of links created due to the time it takes to embed them. If you’re not sure, say, what a DAW is, or some equipment-software-process seems strange and new, etc etc then Google is best your friend. Or you can just ask me what the heck I’m talking about. Maybe I should make a little chart of my hardware & workflow and post it at a later date.

Thanks for reading.
Back to something musical.

P.S. NAMM 2012 is coming up, and I’ve been reading all the rumours of new musical hardware and software about to be released. Someday I’ll be an attendee instead of just sitting here and reading about it. When that day comes it would be like Charlie going into the Chocolate Factory.

I’ve barely gotten started in this project, and I’ve already gotten the best kind of press… the free kind. It helps when the author/publisher is a friend and collaborator, Jeremy dePrisco.

No matter how the free press came about, it’s a powerful motivator and reminder that it’s worth it. The whole point of this wee project to get me motivated and keep me focused. Thanks for the support and keeping me honest, Jeremy!

Click here for his write-up on “Ditty-A-Day 2012.”