I’m live streaming the making of my next album on Twitch.
Some streams will be focused on sound design. We’ll listen to the same loop over and over again while I finely adjust various sonic parameters.
Other streams will be focused on synthesis. We’ll take the primordial elements of sine waves and white noise and build them up to richer, more complex waveforms.
Yet other streams will be focused on jamming/writing. These will will serve as mini concerts but are practically guaranteed to include spectacular mistakes. Sour notes, mis-synced beats, system crashes, all of it.
I’ve produced a lot of music. The releases I’m proudest of tend to have some some number of unique aspects: a new instrument, a dream, a new apartment, a breakup… one of these aspects that I’ve only recently become aware of is the notion of “just enough experimentation”. When there is too much experimentation, the scientific method dissolves, there are no controls, and the work ends up unfocused and incoherent. When there is not enough experimentation, the work is just boring.
This is a spectacularly public experiment. I’m only a week into the project but it has already completely warped my process and I love it.
- Folks drop in chat and have ideas to steer the direction of the music.
- I’m working faster because I know people are watching.
- I’m working more consistently because I want to stream every night.
- I’m having more fun writing because I’m hyper aware of “dead air” time, so I queue up little ambient loops while I work on tasks that typically wouldn’t generate sound.
- The whole project is being publicly performed and archived.
Yet I don’t think this is “too much” experimentation at all. In an age of content, it feels really nice to turn the whole thing inside out and welcome the world along the journey with me. And why shouldn’t this be interesting? The old axiom, “it’s the journey, not the destination,” rings especially true here. I’m opening up one of my most personal and intimate experiences to the world and it is exhilarating.