What I Have Been Up To and 2016 Resolutions

I’ve redone my website for the <very_large_number>th time.  I’m no longer using some terrible handmade bash script to generate a website.

I wanted to take a moment to talk about what I’ve been up to in the recent past and what my plans for the future are.

What I’ve been doing

New Album

I’ve been working on a new album and spending waaaaaaay to much time on it.  It is almost ready to go on my bandcamp page.

*hovers mouse nervously above the publish button*
*sweats profusely *

…maybe later.

Usually by the time I’m ready to release a new batch of music, I have a whirlwind of mostly negative emotions involving all the canonical forms of self-doubt.  If you sweep away all the negative crap-demons, I think I came up with the best solo work I’ve done so far. I’m really proud of it.  I think the songs hold up on their own and together it makes a cohesive and engaging listen. I think it is relatively unique without going off too far into the weeds.

To a certain degree, the music on this new album has a little more infusion of electronic influences than a lot of what I’ve done.  It can get pretty morose or stressful sounding, but it takes moments show some beauty.

I have several awesome guests on the album.  Both Jon Wolff and Trevor Richards contributed guitar tracks. I managed to get Trevor to master the entire album. Cynthia Lee made killer album art.

You can here one of the tracks on my soundcloud page:

Trevor Richard’s album

I recorded some parts for three tracks on Trevor Richard‘s yet to be released album.  I did piano, organ, wurlitzer and synth parts. I also faked a few clarinet parts in one of the songs (scary!). I’ve heard a few of the tracks off of it and I can’t wait for it to come out.

2016 Resolutions

The end of the year is fast approaching and I hear that is a good time to make goals! Maybe if I write some of these things on a public website, I’ll be more inclined to accomplish anything for fear of the shame of breaking these sacred promises. We’ll see.

Go go gadget listicle!

Program a Game

I’d like to program a terrible game. Then make a less terrible one.  I had previously started writing a simplistic 2d game engine, but work on it kind of petered out.

Audio/Video Software

Start work on a hybrid audio/video DAW software. I want to write something that will allow you to record from a web-cam and audio source into a time-line directly along with any already recorded tracks. Specifically so I can more easily make videos like this:

Right now, audio and video software tend to exist as entirely separate entities in a way that forces you to do way more work than you should have to.  For example, I absolutely abhor anything involving manually lining up a video track to an audio track.

Additionally, I have some ideas on making an easier work-flow for figuring out what video track should be shown and when.

These things can be solved with software, dammit.

I understand that such software would be pretty hard to write, but I want to get lofty complex goals out of the way.

Music Covers

I’m looking to sell out and record video game soundtrack cover songs. I can feed on the unquenchable thirst people have for nostalgia of their youth.  <evil laugh>

Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic 2 is my jam.

Big props to youtube user, sonicKAI for realizing the song should not be bounded its normal play length of 2-3 minutes, but extended to 10 minutes (the maximum length that mere mortals of youtube were allowed to upload back in the day).  How else would we enjoy it in its full glory?

I don’t want to limit covers to video games.  I think it would be fun to try some different kinds of covers.

  • Instrumental versions of absurdly popular music of today
  • Re-imagined songs written by 300 year old dead Germans wearing wigs
  • Interpretations of old folk songs.

I’ve always loved The Bad Plus’s approach to doing covers. The music is instantly recognizable as the original song.  The song still sounds distinctly as if The Bad Plus wrote the song.   I want to be able to do that.

Original Music

I have written a large number of solo piano songs over the years.  I want to record some of them.  I’d either want to leave them as solo songs or work with some musicians to record a live performance. The songs tend to be written in a way that make it hard to do all the layers only by myself.

Unrelated to the above, I’d also like to take a weekend day to make an album in 24 hours.  See Crap Art: Album-a-Day. I think it would be fun and would help push me to not dwell so much in irrelevant details of recording/writing. I tend to be really slow.

I’d like to do more on-line collaborations with other people.

Writing/Reading

I’m not a great writer, but I enjoy it.  I can use this blog as an outlet for that. Traditionally I haven’t used my website to write about anything other than myself.  I hope to change that.

I am going to make more time to read.  I miss it.

Personal Betterment

I want to be Stronger.  Better. Faster.  I want to be the lyrics of a Daft Punk song in the wrong order.

I’d like to walk or ride my bike more to work. I’ll make time to exercise more. I’ll work more towards to being a well-adjusted happy human.

Now that I have a blog, I can come back in a year and write one of those “lessoned learned” posts when I inevitably fail to accomplish any of my resolutions.