Ah well… I’ll go with this: “it doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”
I’ve done pretty well, this year has been a lot of big changes in terms of my outlook and approach to daily life. It’s not always easy, but I’ve definitely been more creatively focused.
The biggest thing I started but didn’t keep up is my newsletter. I still like the idea, but it’s just going to be occasional until I get into a better rhythm or have more to say.
2019 is also shaping up to be a bit of a crazy year (might be going back to school), so we’ll see what happens.
This year turned out to be pretty full on in many ways, some good, some less good, much of which distracted me from music and this forum also…but let’s see how I did.
I played 3 with the modular (+1 in a Beatles tribute band!)
Zero… 1 is ready, I just didn’t find the time to release it. Also agreed to being on 2 compilations that are not yet released, so I guess this wasn’t a complete failure.
Spent less time reading about gear for sure. Also only bought 2 new modules. Didn’t really make more music though.
A couple of brief jams, but otherwise nope.
Yes! Had lessons for a while and now have a French housemate. Fantastique!!
My post about how I’ve completed my goals was a bit unclear maybe, but my goals for 2018 was (in short) to release something on cassette, collaborate with someone and to make a live performance; all eurorack related.
None of this has happened yet.
- A cassette is in the hands of the person that is suppossed to release it. And meanwhile another little label wants to release something. Yay!
- A collaboration is stuck in that early stage.
- And I’m too scared to perform with this stuff. I don’t understand how you do it.
Yep. We’ve had a lot of really good days recently (especially when he’s not teething). He’s 17 months old now, and is full of personality and heart.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the school holidays and having both of my kids home at the same time.
Also yep. Now to find out how bad by handwriting has been once I go back to page 1 in 2019.
I did really well at this till about the summer… then less good. I have started carrying around a notebook & pencil in my pocket at all times though. They get used a lot.
Fail! I only ran 41 times in 2018 (cf. 54 in 2019). Really this wasn’t lack of motivation, but an unrealistic expectation of how much free time I’d have for running. On the flip side I have pushed/carried 11kg of baby up and down the hills of Bath for most of the year. So I’m feeling pretty fit.
Fail. I think.
I was pretty good at this in the first part of the year, the last 3 months or so have been less good. Mainly the baby is heavy (and doesn’t walk yet) and we live in a townhouse (lots of stairs) up a very tall hill (plus no car). I’m pretty good at concentrating on the baby when he needs attention (i.e. whenever he is awake ), but the remainder of the time I’m physically tired, and don’t really have the mental capacity to concentrate on much. I have read a lot of (crappy/not-crappy) sci-fi though.
All in all, a really good year. I’m excited about the 2019 thread!
Fruit. Tasty and important. I found having a kid significantly improved my fruit intake, because feeding my kid well meant feeding myself well.
Unless of course “fruit” is a the name of a live-coding environment I’ve spaced on, and I’ve misinterpreted your goal.
Almost as late as it can be follow up:
new therapist RULES
i set up my own private discourse server on digital ocean because i journal a LOT for EVERYTHING now
and transitioning is now something that is mostly… private! so that’s going very well!
I took classes biweekly, played a bunch, and got better, but I still have a lot to learn. Keeping proper intonation while shifting positions and having good bow coordination is still a challenge. Slowly but surely the instrument is opening up, letting me do what I want with it.
I feel I could get to practice a lot more by having a better grip on how I spend my time. Often I overestimate the amount time I need to spend on school/work related things and end up procrastinating doing random internet things. The bonus of practicing is that it usually gets me in a good mood. This will be a goal for 2019.
I am starting to get a much more intuitive grip on this, but I feel this will unfold over a longer period of time through lots of composing, improvisation, and messing around. Playing cello is definitely helping me feel melodies, although it’s not the ideal instrument for complex chords. I’ll keep that goal in mind for the next year.
Kind of, maybe, more or less?
I did get to create a few web-music things (some generative stuff and a multiplayer rendition of In C), but they still feel a bit too simple for my tastes. I also got to create a lot more music this year than last year (about four times more by the very debatable metric of the number of Ableton projects I’ve created), and for the first time actually started putting out finished projects on the internet.
Last week something really crazy happened. Me and two friends got to create a 30 minute live set in a 4 day span and then perform it for a dada-themed party/event. This was the first time I performed live. We combined cello, electronics (Ableton) and electric guitar. It went really smoothly, and people loved it. It was kind of surreal getting that much validation from the audience after making music no one really listened to for the past 4-5 years. We’ll be making some more music together soon!
@maxijazz, how did the year go for you?
Welp. I didn’t put out any releases, but I am working on some new songs that I think are some of the best I’ve ever written. I’m excited to release them in 2019. I feel good here, even though I squarely missed this goal.
Didn’t do this either, but my interest in doing it has also waned. I don’t think I’ll carry this one over to next year.
I made friends (lol yay), and have been better (but still not perfect) about keeping up with friends new and old.
I did exercise – I ran a half marathon in May – but not in ways that added any weight. If anything, I’m skinnier than I was a year ago. I’d like to do better next year.
Almost done with my 13th!
I started learning Unity this year and have made very small and simple sketches with it, but nothing I’d want to release. I’ve got an idea for a larger game I’ll try to tackle next year.
Still working full-time, but I’ve made significant moves in the right direction that I think will pay off in the next few months. I count it as a success.
Found a great therapist in September and I can’t overstate how helpful it has been for me! Not fully where I want to be (who ever is?), but I count this as a success.
Completing this has been on my mind; great to hear everyone else’s updates!
So, in terms of #1, I think yes, at least in terms of sharing. Started all four LCRPs this year and completed three, plus I’m in for the January Long-form Ambient project as well (most of that work was done in 2018). Haven’t done a count of actual completed output, but I have definitely spent more time just working on music, including having several projects concurrent and lots of “stems” – random ideas I started and put away to revisit later. And in terms of #2, that’s a clear yes; see #1.
#3 was not so much. My desire to interact with other musicians is much sated by the Lines community; combine this with my anxiety about reaching out to local communities – fueled by both my sense of lack of polish and self-consciousness about being an old guy trying to hang out with young people – and it’s really hard to push myself into this. I will retain it for next year, however, as I think it’s still a good goal and one that would build well on my participation in Lines.
Some other things happened that were good for music:
- I left my day job at the community mental health clinic (toxicity + opportunity paved the way) and opened a private practice. This has had two important impacts: a) freeing up time, which I’ve used to spend with family and friends and to make music, and b) supporting engaging in my psychology practice in the same spirit I make music, i.e., making a joyful exploration of how I can make my intention match the outcome ever more closely, which, in turn, feeds back to my music making. (A third side benefit is that the office in which I sublet plays classical music in the background, rather than using those horrible but ubiquitous white noise machines. This has re-exposed me to the oeuvre of childhood and youth and helped reconnect me to a primal passion for music.)
- I rebuilt my main music computer, culling old stuff, organizing what I kept, resulting in a better workflow.
- This is a big one: I’ve been playing my viola more, discovering new, more empowering ways of practicing. (For most folks, these “new” ways aren’t new, but in my teens and early 20s when I studied and briefly played professionally, my relationship to practice was highly dysfunctional. I think musicians who remain dedicated to the study of their instruments know well the kinds of things that I’m just now coming to; indeed, it was my lack of these insights that drove me to leave my viola essentially untouched for 30 years.) In turn, this has further reinvigorated my passion for music in general, listening, making, learning about it.
- Finally, making music became part of how I grieved the death of my father this spring, both leading up to it (he was diagnosed terminally ill, so we had plenty of warning) and in its wake. My father’s musicianship and passion for music generally was my introduction to it as an infant and child and grieving him and the music we shared helped me reconnect more deeply to my early wonder of it.
So, overall, I feel like it’s been a great year for music, even if much of it didn’t look like what I expected it to.
oh dang yes! co-sign 2019 hang
Tell us more? What kinds of practice methods? (You may have done so in another thread, I may just not have tracked it).
@jwudel you’re kind to ask. Like I said, I don’t think this is news; I doubt most experienced musicians haven’t figured this stuff out. When I was young and studying viola (middle school, high school, and college, with the aim of getting a BFA in viola performance), practice felt alternately like doing something that sucked in order to do something fun or penance for not having practiced before. All I knew was that I hated it and it felt like something to get through – and completely distinct from what I considered “playing.”
So, some things I recently discovered (30 years later):
- Fun (for its own sake)
- A puzzle (curiosity/learning/solving a problem)
- A meditation (opportunity simply to be present)
Practice as purposeful purposelessness while at the same time having a goal. This is a paradox. One resolution to the paradox can be: the goal is to be present and open to a path leading to a piece, musical expression, etc.
- I can have a sense of where I want to get to, but how long it takes is not in my control
- The process of getting to the piece, musical expression, etc., changes it and that’s a good thing
Musicianship as a practice of embodiment
- Attention to somatic experience as inherent to practice
- Experimentation with position, ergonomics
In my experience, classical music training – especially that with the goal of conservatory study and/or professional performance – is almost completely empty of conscious attention to these things. It’s been through my reconnection with music making through means other than viola (starting eight years ago), combined with training and insights as a psychologist, that I’ve discovered this different context for practice: it’s all play.
Really nice insights!
- decrease medicaton intake
I did succeed in decreasing for awhile, but then I had to move out of my place and find a new one, which caused stress that I couldn’t handle without going back to my old intake level.
- move/exercise more
YES I do yoga and go to the gym once a week
- express more
vague goal haha! I try to be more open to other people.
- less screen time
I didn’t succeed here. moved to 2019
- meet new people
YES I met a lot of new people! Mostly related to photography and the art platform I curate (see under ‘Art’ below)
- read the manuals of the modules that i have, learning my modular synth
NO. I moved away from my modular completely. I think I will sell almost everything soon.
- (don’t?) buy the New Thing immediately
YES. i didn’t bought Norns, but it looks so sweet and it’s basically all I dreamed of (and much more) when I was heavenly into my grid and mlr.
- host a show at radio.music
I did 4/5 shows I think, but couldn’t keep myself motivated because of the lack of real life contact with the rest of the team.
- curate Rizoom , a meeting place for upcoming artist in the Netherlands
YES and I’m really proud how it’s grown over the last year. The best thing about it is that it helped me recover from a long period of depression, and I enjoy the contact with the artists a lot. the next goal is making a rizoom podcast
- further explore photography and film
Also a big YES. I photograph almost everyday nowadays.
- try to collaborate more
YES I worked with some models for my photography. I’d like to work with some dancers for a music video in 2019.
- making my own webpage + a page for Rizoom
YES and YES
really interesting to publicly state goals and evaluate! (and read that of others)
This is inspiring, so glad to hear you had such a good year!
Update: still a lot of work to do, hoops to jump through, floors to scrape bare and walls to paint, but we are getting there.
Clearly worth repeating, and things I certainly haven’t figured out for myself, at least in a terribly coherent or systematic way.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m local as well, let’s set up a lines Brooklyn meet!