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
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:
- The right studio layout and creative environment (for me this is extremely important)
- A clear musical direction and ‘goal’ (what is the Glitzerstrahl ‘sound’ all about?)
- 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:
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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!