Powwow Tokyo no.8 Video available now

The video from the Powwow Tokyo live streaming event last week is now up on YouTube. Check it out on the link below and be sure to check out the other performances as well!

Powwow Tokyo no 8 – Video on YT

This was the first Halt! Run! live, and the first live patch on my new modular (remember, I sold cumulus machine wile living in Sweden), so naturally it was full of interesting ‘learnings’ :).

I’ll summarise and share in a later post.

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Live in April

Announcement:

I will perform a live session with the modular synth in Tokyo under the new alias Halt! Run! in April.

Details will be shared as we get closer, but all will be recorded and shared afterwards.

Onwards and Upwards!

Wrapping 2017 in Bullets

  • 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?

その2015のお約束はどう?

今年入ったところ新年のお約束を6つした。一ヶ月経ったので振り替えてみようと思った。

  1. 毎月一曲完成する
    1. 完成したけど、まだミクシングが残っている。
      ギリギリセーフとしよう。。。 笑
      リンクはまた後日
  2. 5つの曲のデモを完成する
    1. まだだね。デモの曲を集めるため上記の1はあるけどね。。。
  3. 週一度このブログを更新
    1. ここまでオッケー!この調子で進めたら。。。
  4. 毎日少しでも運動する
    1. ウゥゥ。。。出来ていないね。やはり仕事やら、いくらでもいいわけできてしまうからだめだね。もっとしっかりしないと。
  5. 毎週琳と一緒にピアノの練習する
    1. ちゃんと進んでいる。日本で買った本「はじめから1人で学べる 大人のためのピアノレッスン 上巻 (DVD付)」で毎週ちゃんと頑張っている。琳もどんどん上達している。全然追いつかない  笑
  6. 日本で買った本を全部読む ;)
    1. 読んでいる。今一番楽しいのは「DAWで曲を作る時にプロが実際に行なっていること」興味のある人は是非読んでいみてください。

ということで。ここまではままよく進んでいる気がします。

まだ2月だけどね。。。

これからも頑張る。(運動もね。。。)

Japan, Inspiration, 2015

My time in Japan is drawing to a close for this trip and it’s been a great 4 weeks with plenty of good food, old friends and new inspiration.

This time I didn’t compose or track any new music, but I discovered something far more important. Over the past 12 months or so I’ve been struggling to find the right ‘moment’ to work on actual music and it’s been extremely hard to even get started on new tracks.

I’ve spent a lot of time agonising over the direction of Glitzerstrahl and where I really want to go with the music. How serious am I really about this whole project?

Turns out that within 24h of leaving Sweden and getting on a plan to Tokyo I started feeling the familiar grinding urge in the back of my head. New tunes started slowly, like trickling streams of lost water droplets, meandering their way into my conscious.

That of course begged a different question…

Why couldn’t I muster this excitement while in Stockholm? Was it the darkness? The swedes? The narrow horizons of living in a country the size of a third of Tokyo?

Or was it something else?

Part of my current studio layout

Part of my current studio layout

I knew it wasn’t work. I love my work and I the people I get to share everyday in the office with. In fact, they are some of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn and draw professional inspiration from.

I knew it wasn’t the tech. I have amassed a well planned array of instruments and effects and while my studio PC (iMac) was getting sluggish under the weight of new versions of Komplete, Logic and Live, as long as I had the ‘drive’ I would have found a way around that limitation.

Instead, after much examination what I realised was that I was lacking three things:

  1. The right studio layout and creative environment (for me this is extremely important)
  2. A clear musical direction and ‘goal’ (what is the Glitzerstrahl ‘sound’ all about?)
  3. Enough theoretical knowledge and experience to realise no. 2

This was a great revelation. When looking back at the past 12 months through this lens so many struggles started to make sense.

Next I decided to turn these ‘problems’ into actions:

  1. Slim down the amount of tech stuff I have connected and rearrange my studio space to facilitate greater focus and an easier workflow. (I have a plan!)
  2. Create a new alias to explore a modern version of the Shibuya-Kei sound that was one of my first introductions to Japanese pop culture. A sound I love and treasure to this day and that lives on in the works of Nakata Yasutaka and others.
  3. Build a solid foundation in music theory and composition to give some structure and process to the ‘art’ of channeling inspiration into actual tracks.

This is not going to be an easy venture, especially not no. 2. I realise it will take the better part of 2015 to resolve these issues, but I’m determined to give it a try.

I’m super excited and can’t wait to get back and get to work.

Look out for lots of updates in the coming weeks and months!

Miku agrees!

Miku agrees!