A small micropost, if you will. Home alone (wife at the mall with her Mom, probably), daughter out, gorgeous day out, but super quiet solitude as I type this. #thankful.
Enjoy your day.
A small micropost, if you will. Home alone (wife at the mall with her Mom, probably), daughter out, gorgeous day out, but super quiet solitude as I type this. #thankful.
Enjoy your day.
Back in 2007, I registered this domain, vibesnscribes.com, to start a blog about two topics: (1) reviews about music I listen to and (2) general daily topics I felt compelled to blog about.
Back then blogging was all the rage. Twitter just got off the ground, as well as Facebook, but to me, one’s blog was always more personal and self-controlled. As my long time friend in tech and podcasting, DarrenKeith (http://myloveformusic.blogspot.com) says, it’s your OWN digital garden. Well, this is an attempt to begin a weekly series on my music production journey and all the paths that encompass it. Other days of the week will be left to the two topics above (where I’ve actually spent a fair amount of time over the last 13 years blogging about). I often miss blogging, with the draw of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter seemingly always taking over my online time with algorithms always attempting to show me and tell me what I should be looking at (which most times is inaccurate). While Medium is huge as a blogging platform, my own site is, well, my own. Blogging like this will, again, have to be a created habit so, we’ll see how that goes. Consider Music Mondays just a brain dump on what I’m involved with and what I hope to achieve.
I’ve always had a music production studio of some sort, one that has grown over the last 25 years to a space that has allowed me to release my own projects, work on projects of remote and global collaboration, land an opportunity to score a ten-episode webseries on YouTube and helped me sharpen my skills (although not as sharp as I believe they could be). I love composing/writing, producing, and releasing the music, though it’s the latter that seems to be most difficult for me on a regular, not because it IS difficult, but because the system(s) I desire to put into place sometimes just don’t really get off the paper (from a habitual standpoint). Last I checked, I have (in various states) twelve projects going on. The latest (personal) one is releasing a 10 track project on Bandcamp next year. The project will mostly be comprised of tracks I started back in 2012 or so (that have since been removed from my Soundcloud page) and involve me getting back to some older methods of how I was recording and producing tracks (hence the image of the Akai MPC 2500 above). It was fun getting back to re-learning that tech this weekend. It showed me that ,even though some of the processes are not as convenient as what I use today, it’s still as enjoyable using it to bring those older tracks into the present. Many times (as I heard mentioned on a YouTube video last night), often times, limitations can spark creativity and more simply put, everything involved in the “longer harder” way can also be enjoyable for many reasons I’ll save for another Music Monday. That will continue for sometime as I bridge the use of the MPC, Logic Pro X, and Native Instruments to get this project moving and done. I’m looking forward to releasing it, not only because it’s been two years since the last release, but listening back to these older tracks showed me that I was creating more music (even though WIPs) to share on Soundcloud. Some got some great comments, but they were essentially just sitting there. With the advent of distribution and music streaming platforms, there’s really no better time to get music into the ears of whatever audience one hopes to. I released a project under another alias that hit the streaming platforms. The purpose of it was tri-fold: (1) See how well my chosen distribution works, (2) see how well this new genre I am exploring does, for me as an artist, on major streaming platforms and how it is received by listeners where ever I expose it, and (3) allowed me to begin to learn the ins/outs of a new synthesizer I purchased. Surprisingly, with no marketing push, a few listeners in a Facebook group I belong to really liked it.
My new journey, one I hope to fully leverage (after getting the bug from composing that webseries) is two-fold: sync licensing and film scoring. I look around my home studio and grow tired of saying “you’re fully equipped”, so the old saying is ringing loud in my brain: “Don’t talk about it, be about it” (and that means passed brain dump blogging).
Have a great week…
It’s been a few months since I posted a weblog, since late May to be exact. Yesterday I counted the number of music projects I have started and in the works. These involve personal projects (actual and concept only), plus collaborations with other artist or backing tracks for livestream feeds. The total number came to sixteen. Twelve of them I hope will be completed by 15 Dec 2020, the other four have TBDs before they are only in concept, with track names in the least.
My day job, actually my entire professional career work has been driven by schedule – milestones, due dates, Gantt and Microsoft Project charts, so it’s natural that I tend to go about treating all music production projects (at least my own personal ones) the same way. That said, the process is no different than that of the day job. The same issues come along with it – missed deadlines, unknown forces that disrupt the schedule, etc. The key, even with such disruptions, is to get in the habit of doing something daily to reach the goal. This applies, obviously, to any goal desired (coding is a good related personal example). I think, again, the biggest thing is get into good regular habits, for habits (good or bad) always move you closer to a specific point.
Musicians/artists/producers, who strive to put out regular content, how do you organize yourself to reach your goals?
Thanks for the read,
::: oceans of rhythm :::
There’s tea in that cup (as I don’t drink coffee). I’ve learned to deal with a non-coffee lifestyle, which is unusual I know, but it has seemed to work out for me. Not going to say it’s easy to get a jumpstart without it, but I prefer not to rely on it.
Was chatting (well, tweeting) with one of my followers (and vice versa) about this morning’s weather outlook. He was sitting on his porch, viewing a light rain, and working on writing his latest book. Me, I got out of bed at 5:30, prayed, showered, had my Bible devotional and prayed. Followed by a bagel with cream cheese, a quick check of the socials, some bill pay, and a notice that my first meeting of the morning is being pushed back thirty minutes. No complaints there.
it’s overcast here, as we had some rain overnight. I really like overcast mornings – there’s a certain type of tranquility that lends itself nicely to them. To the right of me is a double window that overlooks my backyard and my neighbors as well. It’s been a constant view for ten weeks now, working from home.
Today will be another quiet day. Outside of work tasks, there are somethings I’ve timeblocked on today’s calendar. I hope to accomplish them.
That said, I’ll hop off here for now. I hope your day is prosperous, safe, and in the midst of all that’s continually going on in this world, a lot that’s seems so heavy, I also hope you day is enjouyable.
For those of you who didn’t catch the play on words in the blog post title, but are curious, the hint correlates to a well known R&B group from the 90’s, not just the subject of this post.
Though its four months later and 49 degs warmer right now, it is 11:55pm. After a long workday (even working from home), tonight we celebrated my son’s high school graduation.
As many are, during this pandemic, the usual gathering of friends and family was all for naught due to you-know-what. What was truly awesome in the midst of this was how, his school, the faculty, staff (of which my daughter is one of them), students, and parents managed to turn this into a joyous occasion.
As with all schools, they have been closed for the last few months and classes have been completed virtually. The process for preparing for a graduation ceremony to a great deal of planning, but was followed up by flawless execution. Being as though my son’s graduating class is very small, last week the process was to have two families come to the school, in thirty minute intervals so that each student can walk across the stage, receive his or her diploma, take the usual pictures with the headmaster (principal) of the school and family, then head home. That whole process took 20 mins. Only immediately family was allowed (because it was most likely the case that said family had no one suffering from COVID-19 symptoms), thus no family members who didn’t live in the household, or friends, were aloud.
Many of the activities you would see at a graduation – faculty speakers, valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, musical selections, etc, were all pre-recorded or provided by archived video. When all was said and done, each aspect of the graduation was coordinated together, in sequence, and streamed via Zoom. The Zoom link was provided to family and friends, weeks before, and from the beginning of the graduation exercise until the closing, it was as if you were watching a ceremony on TV.
Despite the necessity of conducting the entire event virtually, it was a seamlessly executed, blessed event. I, for one, am glad to see where advent of internet technology has taken us and allowed this Class of 2020 graduation to be a grand success in the midst of what is currently being called the “new normal”.
Have a safe weekend.
It’s been a while since I actually composed a blog post that wasn’t technically oriented (I believe the last such one was about going to see Jeff Lorber in concert, last October or so). That said, I mentioned in a recent Twitter post, that with the ubiquity of “instant” social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, blogging can (for non-professional bloggers like myself) can easily fall by the wayside. The other have of that tweet mentioned that I started blogging in 2007, and I miss the aspect of self-publishing from “my own garden”.
Well, we are all currently dealing with the global pandemic known as COVIC-19. Some like to refer to this as the “new normal”, a colloquial term, which is all well and fine. There are some things that from the “old normal” that are not present and I don’t mind making sacrifices for at this point, the thing that’s most bothersome today essential fall into two buckets for me. The first is the overall inconvenience of things. I don’t have a great deal of heartburn dealing with them but, nonetheless, they are here for the immediate future.
The second thing is more annoying and aggravating by far – that is having to deal with those who refuse to make, what I tend to think are, simple sacrifices like maintaining physical distancing and not following the CDC guidelines for wearing a mask while in contact with others. What that simply tells me is that you have no regards for your own life, in the midst of ALLLLL that is continually being reported about rising case numbers and deaths, which means you have no regards for my life. I’m going to leave my opinion regarding that in the last sentence before this.
I got out in the gorgeous weather today and was driven around town by my son, who is trying to get the requisite number of hours in to get his driver license. Considering the pandemic, I’m not sure that will happen anytime soon, but nevertheless, the hours have to be logged. We’re approaching summer and I’m glad, but it will obviously be a summer like none I’ve ever experienced. One thing I’ll say, this current situation has seemingly added extra time in my life for different things. One of them has been, what I like to call “introspection under quarantine”. I’ve seen a number of social media posts basically saying that when the pandemic passes, we don’t need to “go back to normal, because normal wasn’t working”. While it’s clear that when it’s said “back to normal”, that means the non-pandemic life. I get that, however there is, to me, a lot to consider in the message of such social media posts. I’m striving for a non-pandemic lifestyle, through the introspection I have been doing, that will exceed the pre-pandemic. Did a pandemic have to come along to drive me to that decision? No, however here we are. In the end it should always be about pressing forward and for the better, no matter what challenges arise. Easier said than done? Surely, but it’s “by all means, necessary”.
Hope you and yours are well.
Greetings all. Glad to have you back for this special edition of the Tech Times Podcast. This episode is a departure from my quick thoughts on the evolution of consumer internet technologies and a detour to a longer podcast. I had the pleasure of interviewing the CEO and founder of BLR Rocket Technologies AND Binary Inc., Lemon.
I first came across Lemon on Twitter in September 2019 when he was posting updates on the development of his company, BLR Rocket Technologies. BLR is an up and coming thrust vector controlled (TVC) model rocket technology company who aims to provide TVC-based model rocket technology demos as well as custom flight computers to such enthusiasts. He’s also the founder of Binary Inc, a software company focused on developing software for businesses via coding in-house software for hobbyists and makers that we open-source for anyone to use.
During this episode, we discuss the ever-increasing popularity of TVC model rocket technology, his background in it, its wide ranging presence on Twiiter, its effect in the STEM community and other topics. We also discuss his new startup, Binary, its goals, and the future of the company.
You can find BLR Rocket Technologies and Binary Inc, on the web at the following locations:
BLR Rocket Technologies on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inc_blr
BLR Rocket Technologies: http://blrrockettechinc.wixsite.com/blr-inc
Binary Inc. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/inc_binary
Binary, Inc: http://blrrockettechinc.wixsite.com/binaryinc
You can listen to Episode 28 starting tomorrow 17 March 20, at 8am EST: http://anchor.com/mrfresh
Thanks so much for listening!
On Sunday, 29 September, I had the good fortune of seeing The Jeff Lorber Fusion, with Mike Stern on guitar. They are on tour promoting the new release “Eleven”, which officially dropped on 27 September, if memory serves me correctly.
The band consisted of the following:
I just happened to check the comments on Jeff’s Instagram feed Friday afternoon and said to myself “Let’s see what their tour stops are”. Ironically enough, they had already played the first of four nights here in DC at Blues Alley, so immediately I was excited. I called my wife to see if she wanted to go but she opted out as the Saturday night 8pm set was sold out. Checked with my buddy to see if he wanted to swing, but he was booked, so I flew solo to the 8pm set on Sunday.
Traffic was a bit backed up (of course, after realizing I took the long way), but I got there 45 minutes earlier AND was able to park on the street during a busy, bustling, warm Sunday night in Georgetown, so that was a nice surprise (and convenient such as it wasn’t a far walk to the club and I didn’t have to pay for garage parking).
When I got in, the place, nicely intimate, was already crowded. Fortunately I got a good seat (I’m not even sure there’s a bad seat in the house, actually). After ordering dinner, and leisurely enjoying it, Jeff walks out and past my table to the piano and synth. He sets up his iPad on the piano and flips through some of the pages, making small talk with some folks at a table basically right in front of him. Next out to the stage is Mike Stern…warming up on his guitar, also making small talk with those at adjacent tables. Third out is Jimmy Haslip, center stage, tuning up his bass. Last out, finally, is Dennis Chambers, who I really couldn’t see because of the location of his drum set on stage.
After management announces no use of portable devices, recording is prohibited, please keep your voices to a whisper, etc, etc, the show begins, with Jeff introducing the band. I’ll list the selections I remember, as I can. Post intro, the first selection is my current favorite and the first track from the new CD, “Righteous”. Being that this is Blues Alley, the acoustics are fantastic, so of course, this skilled set of musicians sounded great. All the dynamics and nuances were clear for this intimate setting. I feel it was the perfect track to start with, based on how the tune flows.
Next selection was entitled “Jones Street”. I initially thought this was a newly written track for the release, but it turns out it’s remake of Mike’s original song on his 1977 album, “Give and Take” (I’ll have to give this a listen as well). During this selection, Jimmy launches into this NICE bass solo, probably for about 24 to 32 bars. It’s a deep, growling, funky tune which really sounded great. Later in the song, Dennis Chambers, oh my goodness, also took a solo for about 32 bars. I;ve heard Dennis before and found out about this DC legend when I moved here 30 years ago. The solo was HOTTTT! By the time they finished the tune, the round of applause was long.
Later in the set, they peformed the last track on the CD, “Runner”. I like this track a lot as well, and could tell before even hearing it on the CD, that it was a nice, grooving tune. Dennis and Mike traded off on a very nice break where at one point, Dennis must have gone through playing jazz, funk, straight-ahead, and calypso genres before he was done – the band was masterful at keeping count before they all came back in for the outro.
If I remember correctly, they did about seven or eight tunes and ended with a crankin’ blues tune that may have been another one from Mike’s album. Whichever it was, it was a nice rendition. The set lasted for a little over and hour.
After the set was done, more small talk by Jeff with the table in front of him. After he was done, he passed by my table and we chatted for a minute, which always is a pleasure I’ve gotten when I get a chance to catch him in town. This has been the fourth time since 2001.
I was hoping to catch Jimmy and Dennis for autographs but they, with Jeff, slipped backstage, leaving Mike at the head of a long line at the exit, to sign CDs. I finally got up there, with still a long line behind me, to chat a moment and have him sign mine. He’s a personable, warm, engaging guy and it was nice to get a moment to take with this Grammy award winning, highly respected guitarist in the recording industry for decades.
Seeing such a superb set of musicians at a great spot made me appreciate, even more, being a. guitarist and band member in multiple groups for decades as well. Check lorber.com for all info on the new release.
Thanks for the read, stay well.
::: oceans of rhythm :::
For those of you that follow me on Twitter(@MrFresh), you’ve seen daily posts about my progress during this 100 Days of Code challenge. I’ve embarked on my third try at teaching myself how to code in Python. In short, the first was following tutorials on Codecademy, along with a book I bought, back in 2013. The second stint was trying an “Introduction To Computational Programming Using Python” course given by MIT, an online MITx course, commonly known as a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). The first go around, I spent too much time just doing tutorial section after section. While that was ok, I wasn’t really applying what I was learning. The MOOC was good, but there were so many global students involved with much more programming experience than me, that I kinda felt out of place, found myself spending too much time on the course’s Facebook page, resulting in it being difficult to meet the class assignment due date deadlines..
They say the “third time’s a charm”. I’ve been putting in at least an hour everyday but this time around, I’m using the same book purchased years ago, “Python Crash Course – A Hand’s On, Project Based Introduction To Programming”…AND…building a project as as I learn. The latter is probably the most single important approach one can take when learning how to code. Picking something to build that you (or even someone others) can find useful, allows you to apply even the most minimal knowledge to something concrete. I’m seeing that this approach was the missing part in keeping me interested.
Here are a few other tips you may find useful:
The challenge, in and of itself, is often helpful because there are many going through it, as well as just starting, that provide a vibrant, robust community of those willing to help and provide motivation. I’m exactly three weeks in and look forward to putting in the work everyday at this point (even knowing that they’ll be some hard days ahead).
I keep my progress posted on Twitter, as a note page in my Evernote account, and in a small blue notebook. At some point, when I feel that GitHub will be useful for me, I’ll create and maintain my log there, just as many do already. So far, my project is coming along nicely, it’s nothing spectacular, but getting a glimpse of what I know Python can do, there will be lots of room for improving the code as I learn.
Ok, so….I’m ironing my clothes on Labor Day, getting them ready for the work week. My bluetooth headphones are on and I’m streaming some very chilled beats via the Fluid Channel on somafm.com. I’m just about done ironing five days worth of clothes and in comes my 22 y/o daughter from downstairs, or her bedroom, or wherever. The dialog begins:
Her: Dad, did you get my text? (her mother and brother already answered)
Me (taking off headphones): No, I haven’t looked at my phone in like 90 mins. (checks text message…. and sees this):
Me: Do you mean to tell me, couldn’t come upstairs, or from your bedroom or from WHEREVER you were to ask me this ??
Her: Well I…
Me (cutting her off): LOL, if it’s something important, or you need an answer…just come and ask me…you and your brother are the same way! Geez LOL.
Her: Ok okaaay, how is 2pm?
After she leaves, I’m like, how did this SMS thing get folk to be so lazy, I mean, we’re in the saaaame house! I’ve heard stories of teens right next to each other, texting things back and forth when they can just show each other whatever it is! LOL.
I got to thinking, it’s been a long time since this thing worked,We have four in the house that worked when we first moved in almost 20 years ago. Look familiar to you?
The art of communication in 2019…gotta love it.