Focus On Freelance Design Work

Sorry for the creative gaps in the entries here. As you may have gathered from the last couple of posts – My priorities have been in flux.

I have been spending the last week concentrating heavily on developing my Graphic Design skills. I have also been doing my homework on how to succeed as a freelance designer / artist.

This has left my music making time at a minimum. No worries, plenty of music will come. I just need to learn as much as I can and hustle to get some income into my household. Some regular and stable income.

So fear not the few of you who have managed to find this blog and return! I will be contributing more worthwhile content and media soon.

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Extra Ultra Meek – Thanks Recession!

Need More of This

Need More of This

The current state of the economy has hit me hard. I was laid off from my full time day job as a graphic designer and there appears to be no steady, full time work available.

Unfortunately the music does not bring in enough steady income to support a family of four. Neither does the freelance design work. Not steady, stable income. When they do pay, mind you they pay very well…When they do pay.

There is no real reason to be posting anything about this except possibly to expand on my ‘network’ being aware of my situation. Maybe there will be someone out there who reads this and can point me towards some work? So I blog about it – it couldn’t hurt.

As of right now I am focused on knocking out tracks for television placement. I have a specific show they are being submitted to and I have been given rather specific instructions about what is needed. I made the mistake of writing the first several submissions without having ever seen an episode of the TV show they are for! Yes, very dumb of me.

So I have spent the last three days watching episodes on the Internet and I have a much clearer picture concerning the genre / style. I believe by the end of next week that I will have more appropriate submissions to send.

So there it is; Between this post and the last one I have bared my soul. Mistakes have been made and lessons learned. The mistakes were much easier to dismiss when I had a steady pay check rolling in. Now I have to really pay attention and stay on course. The music is the most viable option I have right now for income.

I am sure I should be happy about that.

Must Learn and Grow From Defeat

I just thought I would share with my readers here the recent defeat I experienced upon submitting my recent songs for “underscore” placement in a television program.

The songs I submitted were described as “meandering”. I can not deny that. The type of songs needed have been described to me as being “cookie cutter” in their arrangements. Predictable and simple is the formula being requested.

Of the four songs I sent, one of them was selected and actually referred to as brilliant. Of the other three, I consider at least two of them to be some of my best work. Just not for what was requested of me.

I plan to create new tunes with the “cookie cutter” formula and submit them to my music supervisor. I also plan to take the two others I am fond of and getting a vocal laid down on them and make them into proper songs. They have there place somewhere.

The lesson here is to learn and grow from defeats such as this. I make music for the love of making it – BUT, I also work for a company that expects specific types of songs upon request. It is my job to give that to them. I am not offended when a song is turned down. No one should be – Each and every song has it’s place.

Four Parts of Twenty then Cut to 15

Newest Tunes – works in progress –

FOR UPCOMING TRIP-HOP UNDERSCORE VOLUME

I Have decided to post all four of the newest incarnations over the past five weeks. Simple pieces, very fun to create and sure to have some revisions…

But I wanted to place a ome stop place to direct folks to have a listen. So here is this post – All four tunes below via links or you can hover over the link to bring up a pop up player on this same page. Enjoy(?)

MysticSlum v2

ElegantDramaLounge

TheSixFit

NotSoSubtle

There are many more of these to come – Quantity over quality at this stage. Then after getting a truckload of tunes “done”, I will go back and handpick the ones for submission – Then begin to edit and refine.

Hope You enjoy them! But it’s OK if you don’t – any and all comments welcome.

Most Recent Work x2

Well today I have uploaded the most recent track I have been working on…Well, actually – I started it last night around 8:00 pm and found myself finished with the first “bounce” pass to mp3 at around 2:15 am. Surely I will be making some revisions to it over the next few weeks – but for the most part I am satisfied.

It actually started by me fiddling with another track I have been fooling with for weeks now. I tooled around with it for about thirty minutes when I decided to start a new project – get my ears a chance for something fresh. You musicians out there know how it is. What ended up happening was the start and first pass completion of this new tune.

And just above that tune you will first find another recent first pass on a tune from Jan. 20th 2009 called:

TheSixFit” (3:19) 95 bpm – click the link below to listen.

thesixfit

MysticSlum” (3:02) 90 bpm – click the link below to listen.

MysticSlum

A Trip-Hop lounge sound with a little more hip than trip on the hop end. I somewhat slowly develops into a mellow synth-trip-hop style. It is intended to be included in a 15 track collection of underscore music for a television series. We shall see if it makes the vut after I have spent some nights on the editing?

I’m Just Saying…

Is Music Your Chosen Career?

I recently found myself in a modest discussion (via comments on another blog) about Music as a Career -vs- Music as a Hobby.

This raised many questions in my mind about who gets involved in musical endeavors and why they do it. I believe this could turn into a fairly long post.

Who?

It is my own belief that the (extreme) vast majority of people who get involved in music do it because of a passion.

  • passion |ˈpa sh ən | – • an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. A thing arousing enthusiasm.

This relates to musicians as well as audiophiles. It also relates to the throngs of club kids and concert goers around the world, the “fans“.

This passion is not limited to just an “Elite Group of Musically Schooled” people.

The passion resides in anyone that enjoys music.

This passion develops early in life, during infancy even. As we grow older it evolves into something more; either as an avid listener of music, (and / or the rest of these) a dancer, a musician, a music critic, engineer, producer, music supervisor, etc. etc.

Now comes the Career part.

Why?

It is my belief that if you think of the title “Pop or Rock Star” as a career choice that the odds are considerably stacked against you.

This is by no means to say that it is not an attainable career goal – It is to say that this could be the hardest of musical careers to attain (if you completely exclude the “Who You Know” factor).

You can get with this....

You can get with this....

When I think of the word “Career” I think of training and education in a specific skill trade.

Where music is concerned, the options stemming from this concept are plentiful indeed: Engineer, producer, studio musician, composer / songwriter, any number of music ‘executive’ type roles, etc. etc. – The possibilities are really staggering.

...Or you can get with this.

...Or you can get with this.

The problem many musician types have with this are the compromises involved in pursuing these types of musical careers.

Many musicians can not comprehend the idea of their own “Vision” being obscured by their employers needs. I get it! I feel you all the way on that, but that is the nature of  many aspects of establishing a “Career“.

I mean even the big name Pop Stars out there make constant compromise’s (and we get to witness virtually all of them in the spotlight that is fame and misfortune).

Good Lord Man! Your Point?

Choice. That is really always my point. Choose your career and do your homework. Know what you are getting into and be prepared for any adversity that it will surely deliver.

Rock – Pop Star” wannabe’s: I am sorry things are the way they are. Digital distribution has lowered your costs of production at the same time quadrupling your competition. That sucks and that’s great all at the same time.

I am a firm believer in diversifying but I am also capable of doing so.

I recently commented on a music blog that I very often make sure that the people I am making music for also are aware that I am an artist and graphic designer. This has on several occasions resulted in me submitting requested songs along with graphics / logo’s to the same company.

If being seen and heard is what it is really all about for you as a musician – Then perform live often as possible. Then if you are good people will come, tell their friends, critics will hear about you, you will make connections and likely develop the career you desire.

All the while you will be selling CD’s, T-shirts, stickers, etc. etc. at your shows.

You will give out business cards with your website / blog address – you will print these addresses on every piece of merch it will fit on. Sell your music on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc. etc. – and give your music away for free at the very same time.

It is all part of the same marketing blitz required to establish and maintain the musical career you have chosen.

Thank goodness I compose soundtracks!

For the record If you need to compare my pictured examples (Ms. Spears and Mr. Elfman) try this:

For an example of the kind of “Career” Mr. Danny Elfman enjoys just click THIS.

And for an idea of the kind of life Miss Spears enjoys click THIS.

If you managed to click those two links, you should be amazed and appalled all at once between them! I think it is beautiful.