Säde Mikkonen - Stills

hello everyone!
i wanted to share my new track ‘stills’. this track is a live performance that i recorded one night when playing with the script ‘pixels’ by @distropolis . pixels is driving the onboard synth engine as well as my minilogue xd. other sound sources include my dictaphone, a cassette i had laying around, and various microphones being fed into my field kit/field kit fx.

for the longest time i couldn’t write or release music. i was obsessed with making sure my music had no imperfections and whenever i heard the slightest thing i didn’t like, i would go back into my daw and fix it, then re-render. this was a very toxic workflow for me. since i got norns, ive been able to just record live performance instead of compose every detail with care. this has really helped me move past the brick wall of perfectionism and embrace the errors i make. errors are human, perfect performance isn’t.

after recording said performance, i spent a night throwing together a relaxing video for my track.

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Hello fellow Finn! Your experiences sound remarkably similar to mine. Before embracing Norns I often found myself doing minuscule and unenjoyable polishing in DAW, and overall just making pieces that would contain a numerous amount of tracks. Ever since then my way of music making has changed quite a lot, and I’m more attuned to the ethos of ”letting go” and making music – as well as errors – in the moment.

Stills is a lovely piece, and a very nice way to start the morning, so thanks for sharing it.

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i appreciate your words on your experiences, as its nice to hear about other people that were in the same boat. there were several times i almost quit music because i felt too frustrated or felt like i couldn’t follow up with something as good as my previous release. the cycle was vicious: become inspired one night, write a song that im extremely excited about that night, open it the next day and get obsessed over little details, get frustrated, scrap it. then i might get inspired 3 days later but not be able to come up with any ideas at all- and then get frustrated. i think embracing what it means to perform a live piece of music and not edit it is the sole reason i still write music.

hyvää päivänjatkoa @bereenondo :relieved:

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Really nice! Thank you for sharing (enjoyed this while having a coffee break).

I found a similar thing using my modular system (go with the flow, embrace the chaos, and don’t be constrained by wanting to make the ‘perfect’ track… whatever that is).

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thanks! glad you enjoyed it. i feel as though with that writing process im describing a feeling that a lot of the artists you would find at this lovely place have felt before. it can be hard to learn to let go of the feeling that you need to put forth something impressive, striking, and better than your last project. it really is paralyzing.

the time this issue was most prevalent in my life were the years i spent between writing electronic dance music and writing experimental ambient. i felt like none of the sounds i was making were impressive or interesting and it put me on a 3 1/2 year hiatus where i released nothing and wrote maybe once every two weeks since writing had gotten to a point where i just felt terrible since none of my ideas seemed to stick. however, over the last 2 or so years i’ve noticed substantial improvements and i’m excited to see what the future holds for my music

turned into a bit of a ramble- but alas i feel like its a topic that seldom gets talked about when so many other things are more exciting in this beautiful, musical world.

Terve Tre:lta!
I’m now in the last few minutes of Stills. I’ve listened to no ambient music for some time and this has been an enjoyable return to some of what’s wonderful about the genre - its bending of the experience of time passing, its same-but-difference, its drawn-out and shifting textures and its moodiness. I really liked it. Thanks for sharing.

I’m myself in a phase of finding detailed composition, particularly the preparation thereof, to fall beyond my energy or enthusiasm, and that lots of fleeting ideas I have for music go unrealised when I can’t bring myself to act on them in the opportunities that arise. So it is for (in my case) a parent in the first couple of years of their child’s life. I know that will become easier later. For now I can summon the will only to muck around with nightly expiring patches. I’ve managed to do recordings and it’s led to the last stages of a more minimal style than I’m used to or especially comfortable with. Basically a bunch of almost-stationary, almost-lowercase jams. Although this has been a bucket-list thing I’m also in combat with the suspicion that it’s probably just throwaway stuff and not up to standard (whatever that might be). It’s a pervasive feeling but it’s of little use; it’s of far less use than is the music itself, throwaway or not.

To return to your point, it’s pretty satisfying to work with live recordings and leave in the odd error. I find much music dominated by immaculate presentation to be uninteresting. Apparently a combination of beer and cider is bringing out the sweeping opinions in me tonight.

I’m glad that you’ve managed to overcome your creative troubles. Please share anything else that comes of these live projects.

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i’m really glad you liked it and hope that it brought some meditative (even if fleeting) calm to what sounds like a very tiring (though exciting!) time in your life as you care for your child. some days i struggle to get through my day as is- yet the only responsibilities i have are to work and pay my bills/eat. i can only imagine how difficult adding parental care into the mix would be.

i do hope that you will someday find peace with this creative struggle you are wrestling, as creativity is a very important and gratifying outlet for emotions and ideas.

I’m also in combat with the suspicion that it’s probably just throwaway stuff and not up to standard (whatever that might be)

in regards to this statement here i just want to say that i do understand the way you feel. and while it is oh so tiring to cycle over and over wanting to meet some sort of standard. but the blatant truth of the matter is that as long as the music you create resonates with you, it has done its job. whether you release it or not is another question with more answers. however, so long as you are feeling something as you develop your music/patches/sketches, then their job is complete and there is nothing wrong with moving onto the next thing or idea in your mind.

perhaps you realize that you would like to share something you have created and hopefully bring the feeling you experienced to someone else- then by all means share!! “bad music” is a construct and its all in the way it is perceived by others. for instance, with stills, there were several things that were standing out to me as “wrong” or “unprofessional” sounding once it was finished. the key was to let it go and give the world my emotionally driven piece as is.

again, thanks for your words and sharing your feelings. if someday you would like to share a thing you have created, i ask that you would tag me so i may experience it!

kivaa iltaa!

That track in the Bandcamp link above sounds exceptionally 3D and alive. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

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