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When making something, one usually goes through a few different phases during the process from start to finish. At least this is how it works for me.
First, you have the flame at the beginning of the creation. You’re excited, you have a great idea, maybe you’ve already made a start on it. I start to picture what it will look like at the end. When making a song, I imagine people dancing to it, how the final mix will sound, and how it might feel to perform it.
This first stage is great, I feel great when I look at it and I want to show all my friends and family.
The second stage, you work on it a bit more, dabble here and there, test out different approaches, delete, remake, transform. But then you reach a critical point in the process...
The “it's not quite as good as I thought it was” moment
It’s pretty self explanatory. You analyse your creation, and the spark you once had at the beginning of the process starts to get dimmer.
When this happens to me, I find it hard to keep working on the same project, I don’t want to add another element or in the case of a song, record another part, I’m just sick of it.
If you’ve ever heard the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard written in the Bible, this phrase might ring a bell.
The phrase means ‘at the last moment’. When things aren’t looking good, often at the very last moment, the situation gets better. The way I tie it back to creating something is very simple.
It only takes one small thing to gain momentum again. Just when you feel like your creation is looking in its worst state, something changes, like the turning on of a light. Maybe you see one aspect of the piece differently and that causes you to add something else. Then the flame gets bigger, which allows you to keep on keeping on.
Completion In the final stage, you have something to show. A song, a piece of writing, a cabinet, whatever. I’d like to think that a song is never really finished, it’s just reached a point where it's ready to be shared. There is always so much more that could be done in any form of creation, but there comes a time where it must be put out, because if it's not, it's easy to sit on it for weeks, months, even years. What good is that?
This is my experience when making music or podcasts and even Stoke Sauce. It can be hard at times to keep making, adding and working, but it keeps the wheel turning, and sooner or later it will take off in some way or another.
Amongst Other Things
New studio setup
My studio is set up so I can really sit down and work at anything. It’s nice to have a space that is constantly there and it’s sole purpose is to make stuff.
Lately I’ve been trying something new. Ever since I was young I’ve listened to many different styles of music, having phases where I only like one particular style of music. However, now that I am finished school, it feels like my duty to learn, study and manipulate different styles and sounds if I want to make a career out of music. Although I do believe it takes a lot more than just the music to ‘make it’.
So this is what I’ve taken to. My goal is to not just listen to music, but study it.
This week I’ve stumbled upon a band not very well known called Lazywax. I follow @theinspiredunemployed on instagram, and I really dug one of the tracks on their videos, so I googled it and listened to their entire first album, “Vol. 1” on Bandcamp.
Don’t be mistaken, this is not a new sound, it may be reinvented, but it's certainly not new. As far as I can tell Lazywax is a duo of two Australian guys, who draw upon classic disco music from the 70s and 80s, while keeping some elements of modern day music.
The drums are straight and consistent, but they slap dammit. So well. Everything about their music I want to recreate. The synths, the drums, the strings, and ideally I’d like to use real instruments as opposed to programmable instruments on music software.
Old synthesizers like Juno-60 and Moogs are used on their tracks. It’d be nice to have this kinda gear, but for now my budget only allows for software that can replicate that sound, the good thing is these plugins are only getting better.
Lazywax has done a fine job of bringing the true disco sound back, and although they’re not very well known yet, I can bet my hard earned pizza delivering dollar that they will be. I need to create this sound, I think I owe it to myself too. So look out for it, because it is coming.
Since first discovering LAZYWAX over a year ago, many things have happened. Tim and Nathan, (the two wonderful men in the duo) have become friends of mine which I had never expected happening, and this Saturday my band will be the opening act for the first show of their tour. Remember reading above, that I owe it to myself to try to create this sound too? Well I did my best, and produced a song heavily inspired by the drum sound. You can listen to it here https://julianmunyard.com/video/
Something I learnt from this experience is don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions, show your work - I sent an email to Lazwax’s agent and mentioned how I’d seen them live once before, and that I’d like to form a similar relationship with them. (their role is book shows around the country for artists). The result of this email was brilliant, they decided they liked me and wanted me to join the agency. This didn’t happen all at once, it took some time before I released my newest song (which can be seen in the link above) that they made the decision to sign me.
Things take time - “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” - Seneca
STOKE SAUCE RADIO SHOW
Part of studying music is listening to music. Which is why I’ve created my own Radio Station as a facet of Stoke Sauce.
Once a week I produce an hour long episode on aNON RADIO, playing music that interests, influences and makes me think, from big and small artists.
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