- I’ve moved back to Japan! It soothes the heart and soul. It’s also been a great boost to creativity. Don’t get me wrong. Sweden has a lot going for it as well, but the darkness and the cold was like a wet blanket on my musical energy level. Tokyo has a ton more venues, stores and events to inspire. Probably also makes a big difference. :)
- I’m building a new modular. I sold off all my old modules and cases about 2 years ago in a confused and misguided phase where I thought I was through with synths. Not going to happen again. It’s going to take a while to rebuild to the point where I left off, but it’s already great great fun to be back patching.
- On that note, the world of modular has changed a lot since I bought my first LC9 case back in 2013. It’s amazing to see the breadth and width of modules and tools available these days, not least the forays into digital modules that where so frowned upon back then. :)
- The Elektron Digitakt is awesome. I don’t care that the detractors and forum commenters say. I haven’t had this much fun with a box since I built a cardboard house in the basement 35 years ago! (And no, I haven’t experienced a single crash or bug yet.)
- Don’t buy a lot of tiny synths. Spend the money on modules instead. They will make you happier and more creative. If you have to spend outside of modular, go for the big and powerful stuff, or boxes that completely complement the modular domain (e.g. the Digitakt).
- I actually did perform a tiny live this year. We had friends over for dinner and I set up the instruments in the living room for an improvised techno session. Good fun and goofing around!
- I have found a fantastic teacher who will start teaching me melody and song composition at the start of 2018. Look forward to more and hopefully better releases!
- Linn is getting frighteningly good at the piano. Go Linn!!
- My goal for 2018 is to release a follow up to Cumulus. Stretch is to perform it live… Scary to think it’s already been 4 years since I recorded it almost by accident in the bedroom in San Francisco…
The one thing I will take with me into 2018 is stop making excuses and just get down to making more music! I might not update the blog more frequently, but I WILL make more music in 2018.
What is the one bullet YOU will take with you into the next year?
It’s been almost a year since I last wrote something here. My ambitious goals for 2015 where all scrapped due to lack of time and inspiration, but that’s ok. Instead I spent the year building out a bunch of tracks in and learning Cubase 8. I also moved to a new apartment, where the plan was to finally set aside a room for the studio and music gear.
However, as the move approached I did some very long and serious thinking, mostly about the goals of this project, how far it has come thus and where I wanted to go with it. In the end I decided that I had plowed way too much time and money into acquiring and mastering various gear, and way too little energy into actually making music.
This lead to the conclusion that I had strayed too far from the original vision and goal of Glitzerstrahl, which was to keep it simple, work with simple tools and create simple music.
The natural consequence of this realisation was to shed some weight and return to the roots. I have since sold off 99% of my gear, including all synthesisers, my modular and all my MIDI controllers. I even got rid of most of my software.
All that’s left is Logic, Maschine and my Strat.
And guess what? It’s been years since I felt this free and inspired!
2016 will be about a much more simple direction, and a slower pace. Hope you still like to stick around.
I’ve decided to use the downtime in Japan to get serious about some academic studies around the science and history of music. I haven’t gone so far as to actually join a course, but I found a great series of books in the Japanese amazon store that I decided to dive into, and so far its paying off. Have you done any music theory studies or are you mostly self taught? Are the ears really the best path to musical understanding or is a solid theoretical foundation a necessity to truly grasp musical concepts and become proficient in song writing and composition? What are your thoughts?