Daily Loop #12

On a day with too many video calls, a crappy run, and force-feeding my eyeballs with way too much Capitol-siege footage, we get to here. By 8am I had most of this loop done, so when I sat down at about 7pm it was ready to bake.

I can go for a run without thinking of winning a race, which is a mindset I need to apply to this project. A steady practice of running got me here, nearing five years of running. Do I have trophies and winnings to show for it? Nope.

This daily practice of loop making, then, is not for press coverage or the myriad of other random goals that music makers could hope for. In the late 80s I just wanted to be shredder and travel in a rock and roll band. Priorities (and markets) change, so I’m okay with not holding out hope for that.

Sure, there are 100 different articles I could link to and discuss here tonight. Lord knows I read 1000 Tweets, streamed a few hours of news coverage. But tonight, right here, this is for a Daily Loop. A soft place, an open invitation… permission, I guess. Make the thing, do the thing, ship the thing (as Seth Godin says). To hold back is to withhold our magic from the world.

Video by Athena from Pexels

Daily Loop #11

Seriously started out this Daily Loop with just a few hours to go, but got it done. Even with a new piece of hardware.

I ordered an Akai Professional APC40 MKII Pad Controller about a month ago, and it finally showed up today. I’ve been messing around with Abelton Live a bit for the past few years, and well, it’s come to this, I guess.

Broke out my bass for the first time in a long time, too, inspired by a conversation I had earlier in the day with a friend about Victor Wooten. That just got me thinking a bit about chunky chords and odd phrasing.

Also thought about how there’s so many things I could do to this track, adding effects and all that, but wanted to just get this out there. Perfection is the enemy of done, and I just wanted to make sure I stuck to my daily schedule.

Forward Steps

What happened last Wednesday will be in history books. People will talk about the insurrection 100 years from now. Yet another horrible stain in our nation’s history.

Then I thought of the images of the zip-tie guy. Antlers guy. The guy with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk. They’re going to be in history books, too. They’ll be in video montages in December, in those cheesy look-back clips.

Then I remembered NJ Rep. Andy Kim helping clean up from the aftermath.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’ve been in war zones where I’ve had to shelter in place, but I never would have imagined that this would happen here,” he said, noting that he didn’t know at the time whether the rioters were armed. “It was a terrifying experience.”

There is ample room for everyone’s reactions, hot takes, and snarky comebacks. I don’t mean to take that from anyone. But for many, it just aren’t hard-wired. The reaction is more about mobilization, helping, donating. Less hard. Soft. Just as important.

Even if you’re not introducing articles of impeachment, or delivering a monologue of zingers on late night TV, that does not mean you’re not part of the positive reaction to this event.

Some of the people who were arrested for this invasion will probably serve light sentences. They’ll lose their jobs. But then out will come the GoFundMe campaigns, and they’ll make a chunk of change.

On the other side, we’ll send money to our local food bank, mutual aid, hell… write a friend a postcard.

Every positive step forward, no matter the size, will get us where we’re going.

Photo Andrew Harnik / AP, via NBC News

What a Week

This week started with bean dad, and ended with an attempted coup. Thousands of COVID-19 deaths. Talk of impeachment.

They’ll be talking about these event 100 years from now. Well, probably not bean dad, but still.

For the week ahead we’ll all try and show up for work as if any of this is normal, dealing with the ambient dread however we can. Lots of coffee, mid-day walks, mid-day naps – whatever. Wild times call for wild coping strategies.

Daily Loop #10

Sit down, do the work. That’s the running theme throughout ‘Turning Pro‘ by Steven Pressfield. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Get your ass in the chair and work.

Sure, I’ve been playing bass since 1991, but the past TWO DECADES have seen me doing everything but making music. Several stops and starts, of course, but I’m trying.

These Daily Loops are a by-product of sitting down and doing the work. I’ve been showing up, opening up Abelton Live damn near every day the past few months, and just trying to crank out something.

Sure, the goal is to someday release an album on Bandcamp, but I don’t even know what that would sound like. In the meantime, I’m going to ship. If I wait, it dies. If I hesitate, I’m gonna fall right back to sleep.

It’s like writing. Best to do it every day. Stretch, eat well, drink water, floss. The every day thing adds up. That’s my Daily Loop. My work.

Is it my job? My career? No, but why else am I here? To update Google Docs and answer emails?

Our work is to delight, bring joy, create goodness. It’s 10 days in and I feel pretty good about this.

Video by Madam M.A (Akari M.) from Pexels

Goodnight, Metal Friend Mix 11

I believe this my longest mix yet, at almost 49 minutes. A mix of older material like Mortem Obire from 2017 and Demian Johnston from 2010, to just release this week, like Andrew Everington and exit eternity.

I’m an absolute new-comer to everything about dark-ambient, but I know what I like, and these mixes are a reflection of that. I hope you enjoy.

All music sourced and purchased via Bandcamp. Browse my Bandcamp collection and find something nice for yourself.

Daily Loop #9

After the week we’ve had it was time for some beeps, boops, and coffee. Saturday morning sampling, some vocal tracks – this was a fun one.

Seeing (and hearing) how so much of this stuff is just layers – build them up, remove them, build an entire scene from just a few ideas.

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

Daily Loop #8

Nearing 10pm at night and I’m just now getting up this Daily Loop. I figure since it’ll be months until thing ever get back to even 10% of normal, and since I spend so much time in front of my computer anyways, there’s really no reason why I can’t keep getting these posted.

Lost some audio in Abelton today, which is a bummer. A minor file management snafu, just being too quick and careless. It’s okay, since I wanted to redo it at some point. Lesson learned.

Tape video via Pixabay.

Help Daryl Murphy Build Free Libraries

Daryl Murphy has ran a 5K every day for over 265 days in honor, and silent protest to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and way too many others who’ve been killed by police. Now he’s onto his third fundraiser, using his running for another great cause:

The goal of Miles For Justice III is to raise $10,000 to bring 10 Little Free Libraries filled with books that feature POC authors and POC characters into communities with limited book access. Each library will be placed in a highly visible location with ample foot traffic that’s easily accessible for all members of the community.

Right now he’s at about $1,000, so if you can contribute, do it. If you can’t just share the link: https://pledgeit.org/milesforjustice/

Daily Loop #7

I posted a few of these clips to Twitter in the last week or so, and didn’t really get the idea to put them on my blog, so I’m fixing that now (1/7).

My brain exploded when I figured out how to do sampling with Abelton Live. Sure, I’ve messed around with a TASCAM Porta-4 about 30 years ago, and who hasn’t spent some time with Garage Band?

But Live is a special beast.

For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to just make something each day. The drum beats, the bass lines, and the samples. Usually I’ll go on YouTube and sample old TV commercials, but lately I’ve been capturing the audio from Instagram Stories.

As I thumb through the never ending videos, every so often a few audio clips collide and make for something interesting. That’s where the beeps and boops above come from.