on the bright side…

Maybe I’ve been overlooking some of my achievements: I definitely made progress in the lyrics department since last year. I now write lyrics with consistent meter and rhymes more easily, and with more conscious craftsmanship. Playing with a click, to a drum track or to a metronome begins to be easier (although rhythmic exactness is still an issue).

Maybe I just need to go with the flow and be a little more friendly and appreciating to my own creations. Maybe, instead of lamenting my many shortcomings, I should also look at the things that do work.

Discontent

[crosspost from my FAWM profile page]
Well, I know comparing yourself to others is counterproductive, but nevertheless: I’m a little frustrated and discontent with my own creations. There are few in this FAWM with which I’m really content. And others are doing such profound and wonderful things…
So what if I don’t produce any “keepers” or even any play-me-agains? I’ll still be learning.

But I’d love so much to create something lasting. Something I’ll sing for/with friends around the fire. Something profound and beautiful.
I can’t force it, so I’ll carry on and try to create the room where the miracle can happen.

I’ve got some ambitioned things on my plate, and I’m plodding along with them on the “90% transpiration” part. Sigh.

50/90 over & learnings

50/90 ended today. I win: 54 songs!

I did a lot of improvisations this year. I’ve started to push the boundaries on the guitar. My voice is back in shape and my mezzo-soprano height begins to show its full glory again (to the dismay of the elderly lady in the flat below me who hates my vocalises). I’ve done some things I never did before, like writing songs drums-first and playing guitar on a rock track (although with the most primitive power chords and most primitive chord pattern EVAR).

I didn’t get that far with my project to learn writing song lyrics with more metric and formal diversity. Continue reading

Shoulder better, but I’m discontented

Crossposted from my 5090 profile page

Shoulder feels better, finally. However, I still shouldn’t overdo it. I feel discontented with the quality of things I’m doing just now (mainly with my musical [in]accuracy), but I’ll just keep having at it, eventually I’ll arrive at some better place. I need to remember that this place here is about creativity and ideas and not about clean execution or clever production.

Heavy heart is heavy.

I lost my day job today. And my right shoulder hurts like hell (yay muscle tension) – typing is only bearable thanks to Ibuprofen.

I am heartbroken. I liked this job, and I want to stay in Freiburg. I crave bourgeois security and stability, and I’d like so much to be a little more well off. I got informed of my dismissal in the most friendly manner. It hurts anyway. Continue reading

Dirty stuff

Somehow, this 50/90, I’m doing very “dirty” stuff. My recordings are raw, unpolished, even more than usual. I’m taking little time for my music, that may be why. In the last weeks, I spent about 45 min. on weekdays practicing singing and guitar (with a day or two off now and then – I need to not let music feel like an obligation), which eats quite an amount of my available time; that doesn’t leave much time for recording. On weekends I may get to do a wee bit more, but not that much. That may reflect one aspect of 50/90 that I actually like: Unlike FAWM, where you can put a “Do not disturb” sign on your door (figuratively speaking), in 50/90 music has to be integrated with daily life. You can live one short month in an exceptional state; can you do it for 3 months? Well, I could, but I don’t want to. Not even for music. Continue reading

Some writing tools.

No, I’m not talking about software here. Or, I am, but not about text editors or the like.

I’ve repeatedly complained to friends that my lyrics don’t rhyme. And so far, this summer, I haven’t put much effort into my lyrics. Mostly hastily thrown down, just to have something to sing, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad.

I’d like to write lyrics off my usual beaten track: Continue reading

50/90: Time to dream big(ger).

(Crossposted from my 50/90 profile.)
I’ve mostly done short-ish songs so far. Skirmishes, impros, quick sketches, most recorded in one sitting. I’m not saying they aren’t good, but… I somehow need to do some things with extended work involved. Improvisation is fine, but it’s not the whole picture. I want to do elaborate, longer things, too.

Fair music rights management? It’s getting done. With your help.

I don’t earn money with music (now), but I’m not a pure hobbyist. I’ve got academic training, and I consider myself as an ambitioned amateur at least. Some time in the future, there might come gigs and maybe more ambitioned recordings. Some time in the future, I might look into selling my music.

Friends of mine are trying to make some money with music. I have been in an independent metal band before, and later, I organized a small series of non-profit low-to-no-budget disco events with friends – so I’ve seen some of the plights of musicians as well as music users. I totally see that music rights management societies could be a good thing for musicians.

Unfortunately, the only German music rights management society, GEMA, is broken, unfair, intransparent. A lot of musicians feel being a GEMA member would do (or does!) them more economic harm than good.

But there’s hope. The Cultural Commons Collecting Society (C3S) wants to become an alternative. A fair, flexible, Creative Commons-aware European music rights management society.
The foundation of C3S would topple the German “GEMA-Vermutung” (the assumption that any music used in public is subject to rights management by GEMA unless proven otherwise – which GEMA makes as hard as they can; that means even for playing Creative Commons licensed music only at your event they can send you a nasty bill) by the way.

And the good thing is: you can be part of it. C3S is currently running a crowdfunding to raise the money needed for founding, but also for developing the software for a more exact and fair calculation of royalties.

I’ll be supporting this initiative. Because music rights management in my country is broken and needs to be repaired.