Goals //// 2019

I want 2019 to be about developing habits that are nurturing and breaking ones that tend towards negativity.


  • I commit to 26 Disquiet Juntos, Naviar Haiku, or other prompted work. I have a real problem producing work, and I think external prompts and structure will help me. I should be able to produce a 3-6 minute thing every 2 weeks.
  • A 3:1 rule for new gear. I am only allowed new things if I sell 3 times the hp and cost, whichever is more stringent.
    • Corollary: do not go Buchla, Serge, or Ciat-Lonbarde. Buying more gear will not help me make music at this point.
    • Corollary: stop looking at the Trade section, BST on MW, CL, etc. I don’t need anything.
  • Play my piano more, and incorporate it into my own music.

Physical and mental health:

  • Steady daily exercise, without a big event goal (marathon, 7 day 545 mile bike ride, etc) to motivate it, since for me that leads to not sustaining once the event is over
  • Better sleep hygiene (regular sleep/wake times; no more devices in bed)
  • Small-form daily journaling (got a 5 year Hobonichi Techo)
  • Sober year. I’ve already not been drinking since mid-September, and it’s nice. Cutting out pot as well this coming year. Caffeine and sugar and being in love are allowed.

Social & better society:

  • Work on rekindling and sustaining relationships with family and friends. In 2018 I mostly left social media, and then realized I’d been using it as a substitute for being in touch with people. More phone calls, more email, more paper mail, more in-person meeting up.
  • Be more engaged politically. Discuss with people what can be done on a personal level that is effective, and engage. Less impotent rage at the news cycle, more concrete action.
  • Replace Amazon for purchases and stop giving them any money. Shop in-person where possible, locally-owned where possible.

I think about quitting Instagram.
Also want a stronger, tighter, real-life social network.


Musically-speaking I feel like 2018 was all preparation for 2019.

Got into Euro and of course collected way more gear than I ever intended. Then stripped back and sold off a bunch of stuff that didn’t make the cut. Then realized that I haven’t touched most of my non-Euro gear since getting into modular. Sold off a bunch of other unused instruments and really cleaned up the music room. And now I have a really comfy, (mostly) uncluttered space for both my synth corner as well as the guitar half of the room.

So with that in mind, my goal for 2019 is spending more time and less money on music in general. I don’t need more modules, guitars, pedals, whatever to make music. I need to learn more about how far I can take my Euro setup. Patch up a drum machine rather than window shop for one on Reverb, that kind of thinking. :smile:


Thanks for starting this thread :slight_smile: Intersting to read about your goals! This made me think about mine …


  • Keep releasing albums on tape. The first two this year were a lot of fun.
  • Play more with my Serge, which I totally neglected this year.
  • Keep posting YouTube jams.
  • Visit Superbooth again! Already got that trip all set :slight_smile:
  • Organize more local synth meets. I only managed to do two this year. Whoops.


  • Kind of blasphemous, but I would like to mostly get out of Eurorack … not sure if I can bring myself to it and I would definitely keep some of it, but most of it is sitting there unused, since I got the AE Modular and Serge.
  • Not buy any new stuff apart from AE Modular things. My wish list is huge of course (Lyra 8, Stargazer, MPC Live or X, etc.), but so far I’m managing to look away. I didn’t even get myself anything synth-related to Christmas this year. Feeling good about this.
  • Keep designing and building AE Modular DIY modules and Axoloti synths. This has been one of the most rewarding experiences this year, related to my music gear. I learned a lot from Ken Stone’s webpages.


  • Oh well … I became quite the workaholic this year, but it was fun, so I’ll keep an eye on that and see that it doesn’t turn into a bad experience.
  • Make another road trip, which is already being vaguely planned.
  • Further reducing the time spent on social media. I got off Facebook this year and started taking a break from Muffwiggler too.
  • Meet more people for lunch. I started doing this this year. It is so great because almost everybody can make time for a quick (or long) lunch break, no matter how busy their lives are.

Buy: O-coast, Thyme, Microgranny, Koma Electronik Field kit/FX and Korg Volca Modular(if it’s not fake news)


This is pretty much the same list I wrote for last year. While I didn’t get to everything last year, I feel pretty good that my goals haven’t changed.

# Making Music/Sound
Guitar/Theory: continue to play daily + to take lessons weekly (also do better job of studying my kid’s hand-me-up piano books)
Eurorack/Software: continue to play/learn multiple times weekly
Coding: focus on a language for 2019 (continue with SuperCollider)
Record/Post/Document: do better job of all three

# Other Music-Related Stuff
Next Music/Sound Book: make major progress on rough draft
This Week in Sound newsletter: publish regularly
Disquietude podcast: publish monthly — or decide to stop doing it entirely
Stasis Report playlist: publish weekly, and see where it goes
Junto: introduce a non-weekly project; SoGOtP re: online home
Disquiet.com: redesign + introduce guest posts
Freelance Writing: one solid piece per month
Big Side Project: re-invigorate and do it up

# Non-Music-Related
Fiction: complete draft
Handwriting: write more slowly/neatly
Social media: continue to participate, but more selectively

# Health
Meditate: more often
Exercise: keep current habits + get to gym once a week

Anything bigger? More speaking engagements, nifty creative gigs, other stuff? Dunno. We’ll see.


Thanks for this thread y’all. 2018 felt like a huge step forwards in my artistic/professional life (toured midwest + Canada, played a slew of NYC shows, was an artist-in-residence + taught at some ‘name’ places, etc) and a total clusterf*** + step backwards on a personal level (too many things to list lol), so:

Music + Arts
-> Finish new potential tape for label
-> Give 110% at artist residencies coming up
-> Be self-critical/aware (within healthy limits), dive deep into concepts and projects, produce!
-> Europe mini-tour this Summer?

-> Commit to simple but important routines. (better eating habits, basic physical/mental health maintenance, keep track of healthcare coverage, etc etc)
-> Rein in FOMO, ego-drive, manic “i want to do and learn everything at once” energy
-> Be at peace. Be better at balancing ambition and creative drive with unhealthy workaholic-ness
-> Don’t burn yourself out (have been very close to this)
-> Find balance between completely isolating self and being overly social/dating too much
-> budget more, cook more, live like a scrappy king on tiny artist salary

-> Finishing an application for a PhD program currently. Go HAM if I get in.
-> Alternate: continue teaching at colleges. Try and stabilize ‘adjunct hustling’ as best as possible
-> Continue to perform and present work. More community organizing, more curation. Find ways to make cool things happen without falling victim to creepy NYC Machiavellian vibes.

  • work harder
  • learn to play the penny whistle solo from ‘my heart will go on’

lots of life changes in 2018, moved to chicago, found out i made the right decision


  • make another solo record
  • release more collaborative work
  • continue to sit down and learn/play modular multiple times weekly
  • build out modular system and solidify it as much as possible
  • play shows and organize them on my own


  • draw everyday
  • document and update website more efficiently
  • make more paintings
  • maybe figure out an exhibition in the fall


  • continue to eat better (less ice cream)
  • more dates with partner
  • spend more time researching
  • less time on instagram / more time on lines
  • use new daily planner — no more iphone calendar
  • use email more efficiently, more physical mail

might already know but this is a nifty list of chicago calls for artists


Less time in interwebz
Stop with coffee
More sleep



  • Release an EP
  • Perform live at least once
  • Continue to participate on the LCRP
  • Practice with a bit more intent


  • Much more exercise. Burren half-marathon?
  • Go caving (and not just cave rescue exercises)
  • Read more

Same, haven’t been underground in ages, but this year could be my comeback…

After a pretty dismal 2018 music-wise, there’s light at end of tunnel (or cave passage)! New year’s gig came in with good players and a decent compromise between ‘real music’ and pub entertainment.

Am finally settled in a permanent studio space, basically done with building work so this year I want to write and record a 3-5 track ep of original music.

2018 was good for skateboarding, learnt to skate transition after a 15 year gap, spent a week bombing hills in Slovenia on my longboard. This year I’d like to drop in on vert, skate steeper, faster hills and most importantly not break any bones!



  • Release an album
  • Play live
  • Dig deeper into Teletype, Kria, W/, TidalCycles
  • Finish and release M4L synthesizer
  • Following @xenus_dad, I also want to participate in at least 26 Juntos
  • ETA: Keep up with Lines’s musical output a little better.
  • Figure out how to be an artist (working hypothesis is this just means prompting myself to be tenacious more)


  • Continue thinking about process, especially with research
  • I’m teaching classes! Pay attention to what I need to learn there
  • Re-learn how to be decent at email
  • Publish a paper
  • Write (most of) a thesis
  • Attend more conferences


  • Continue working on small habits (make your bed, picking up after yrself)
  • Read novels more (on the bus?)
  • Continue improving my relationship to my phone and computer
  • Continue chipping away at learning vim, the terminal, etc
  • Two or three other things


  • play a live show
  • write music with chord changes lol
  • post music to IG 1x per week
  • contribute to open source music hackery
  • practice modular 5 minutes every day



Year after year I’ve made lists of projects or ideas I’d like to make progress on. Often they have pretty quick turn around requirements! I do this through the year, often in moments where I feel the need to align my creative self and feel I’ve been slacking on “art.” Lists have really helped in this way to get me to produce. My impulse is to write a list here because that has tended to work for me in the past. But there is also so much I’ve learned about my artistic goals this past year that I’m thibking maybe lists aren’t the right format any longer. I’ve become interested in much longer term projects, much more closely tied to improvisation, and more interested in storing things rather than displaying them. I want to find a way to live an art life, rather than produce art. (Sorry if cheesy?) Not only in the sonic world but also in other media I work in.

Anyways, all to say, my goals for 2019 are essentially about scheduling. Making sure I dedicate time to things other than the work grind every day, and to make sure that my progress, more than being measurable, feels right to me. I guess what will follow this type of effort is a lot of journaling, documentation, and organizing. Hopefully though those processes I am finding ways to produce to reflect, rather than produce to assemble a body of work.

Thanks for reading! Has been exciting and inspiring to read so many thoughtful responses on here.


This and another 20 chars of this!

  • Finish up my third record, make a tape and promote it some, and figure out how to arrange and perform some of it at a show with other people
  • Finish up my longform track for compilation
  • Participate in LCRP and help out with the tape production
  • Make more acoustic music
  • Finish up my two side projects I started this month (bandcamp embed generator microservice and “press kit builder”)
  • Play a few more shows with both the synth band (continue to explore sampling with the 301) and solo
  • Dive deeper into Norns. Play a show with using Norns as the primary instrument. Catch up and go through any new studies. Make something and actually finish it/share it with others.
  • Create more visual art (right now, that’s looking like marker stuff and visual synth stuff with hydra), figure out how to share it.

  • Get back into exercising regularly
  • Figure out living situation after lease ends
  • Consolidate 401k/HSA (thanks for the reminder @marcus_fischer!)
  • Work with manager to figure out goals and work towards senior dev stuff
  • Keep being the driving force for unit testing, helping us keep high coverage as we rewrite the app

I have 2 big goals:

  • 2019 will be my first full calendar year not in school, so I need to get a better idea of what I want to do with my life.

  • This year, for the first time, I lost a gig doing visual work because I wasn’t able to realize the artist’s vision. I’m determined to not let that happen again. I plan to learn GLSL, adopt approaches in viewing visual work parallel to critical listening in music, and generally make myself more aware of visual work (in a variety of mediums) happening in the world.

Smaller goals building upon accomplishments in 2018:

  • revisit the web work I did for my capstone project, give it some performance and aesthetic updates, and actually share it with the world.

  • release another EP or album

  • I got a Bela and made some small but significant foundational progress on a hardware device concept. I’ve been stumped on something for a while (because C++) but I’m returning to a good headspace to work on it. Any progress on this will be considered a success.

Finally, something I should really keep in mind in the new year:

  • continually remind myself that time is a necessary part of growth

main goal for 2019 is to launch a record label and put out first 2 releases.

i’d like to expand on last year’s goal of reserving one day a week for creative pursuits, and this year try to up it to two full days for working on my own music, study, practice, writing, etc.

professionally, i want to engineer/mix/master albums i’m really proud of – whatever that means financially. i’d like to set up a fully-functioning home mixing studio to cut down on commuting and allow me to work more on my own schedule.

balancing the above with alone time, health, inspiration, and doing nothing once in a while.