That’s what you go through post a Burning Man session. So much physically, mentally and spiritually to unpack after 8 days in the dusty, smokin’ hot (this year particularly), craziness that is Black Rock City!
I had some great musical plays out there – some of them even had some people attending (!), and all were a valuable learning experience in how to do more of the live playing, especially in the harsh conditions of Burner events.
The highlight for me was a solo venture that I planned with my good friend and burner co-conspirator Chris (aka Goldilocks). We decided to put on our own event in the playa. We loaded up a trolley with 2 battery powered speakers, my whole live rig, Goldilocks’ DJ gear, an esky (cooler for the non-Aussies) packed with ice and Margarita mix, and did the hot and dusty trudge out into the middle of the playa.
A cool artwork formed our stage and shady backdrop for our ‘gig’. While I played, Goldilocks served the punters ice cold drinks and vice versa. It was great fun and I think might form the main basis for my Burning Man music in 2023 – a daily Steve Pottz live set at sunset Monday-Friday….plans are hatching already.
The full video is still in edit, but here’s a teaser of our sunset playa play:
Next stop for my music journey is….Rome!
One month to go so I’ll be bringing the same live rig I took to Burning Man to Rome for 3 months of Italian inspiration for the Pottz tunez. More on the plans for that at the end of this month.
4 weeks before I hit the dusty bowl of Black Rock City, Nevada for Burning Man. I’m getting just a little excited!
I’ve spend the last 2 months paring back my equipment set-up to my reduced Burn set-up. The Moog Sub37 and Novation Peak (2 hardware synths) have been ditched and I’ve replaced any sounds I used from those with virtual synths ‘inside the box’. They’re a little too precious and definitely not hardy enough to stand up to the (seriously corrosive) alkaline dusty space of the playa.
External audio interface – Gone! (replaced with audio interface in my A&H Xone controller), Midifighter 3D controller – Gone! (functionality repurposed into Push2 and Midifighter Twister), Akai MPK 49 key controller keyboard – Gone! (replaced with MPK 25 key controller keyboard and some dexterous use of the octave button when jamming). 2 Tier music stand – Gone! (replaced with customised baa guitar case with legs, that I can load all my gear and cycle across the playa with it on my shoulder).
A shadow of my former musical footprint!
I took the new reduced format for a spin and a recent party – you can check out my set from the Bollywood Pornstar 50th birthday party for a friend recently – good fun:
I’ve got 5 gigs lined up for Burning Man so far so it’s gonna be ‘hard work’…. yeah, yeah! No sympathy being sought here! One I’m beginning to get particularly excited about is a solo gig I’m going to do right out in the middle of the desert…unadvertised, no planning, just me and my gear (including a trolley sound system), way out on the perimeter, stoned , immaculate! Let’s see if I get ANY visitors!
So, back to my prep. My next post will have plenty of BM22 pics and videos, coming late after I get out of the desert.
Or something like that. I have to find some reason for falling behind on music tasks, and the weather is a pretty apt excuse right now.
A week behind on my monthly Musical Notes (this post), and 5 days behind on my weekly BandCamp track. It’s the 3 extra layers of clothing I have to wear to survive in the studio!
But we’re all good now. This post is done and my weekly track is OUT!. Check out Activity Hive on BandCamp (it’s everything my music progress isn’t -Hive of Activity….get it?). I had quite a bit of fun with this one, and I think it will translate well into a track for my live set. In fact I think it needs a few live jams to really come into it’s own.
Also I’ve been keeping up with my daily live streams of work I’m doing in the studio on my live set. You can check out the daily streams on my What’s Cookin’ in the Pottz Studio YouTube playlist. The main focus is on the music I am putting together to take to the 2022 Burning Man in Nevada…only 11 weeks to go! Eek!
And that’s about everything that’s keeping me busy right now! ‘What about the live gigs you said you were organising’? I hear you say!….SHUT-UP! (is there a guilty emoji?)
Enough moping around under cover of COVID bemoaning the state of the entertainment industry and generally just not getting myself firing up like I do most years (at least in the beginning).
We’re now 1/3 of the way through 2022 and the motivation quagmire has persisted….
NOT ANY MORE!
So in 2022 I will:
Release a track a week to BandCamp (My Release A Week R.A.W. series, where one un-mastered track is released every Friday). This, at least, I have been doing well this year so far.
Do an official track release a month via Fine Tune Records label from June – December (to all the usual digital platforms)
Play a gig a month for every month from June-December (even if I have to organise my own parties to do that). It’s gonna get interesting in November and December in Rome!!
Resume my Every Day I Stream live streaming series, where I play a musical game live, whilst creating new music, perfecting old tunes, or just rehearsing live! I’ll commit to that for May and see if I’m still getting the huge value and enjoyment I got out of it when I did it for over 3 months in 2021.
Play 5 gigs at Burning Man (US)
Arrange to play 2 gigs in Rome between October ’22 and Jan ’23
No, not a social catchup, but rather a catch up with the year!!
It’s only February and I already feel behind. I’m not quite sure what I’m behind in, as I haven’t even got it together to work out what 2022’s music goals are gonna be. I’m certainly behind in my basic aim to finish a new track every week as the (meant-to-be) ever growing album cover will attest:
Only 2 blocks done – when it should be five by now with my weekly release day of Friday. You can grab these 2 tracks on BandCamp and the other 3 are not too far behind – R.A.W. 2022 | Steve Pottz (bandcamp.com).
That’s about it for now, motivation is at a low ebb. Especially with gig potential being shattered until end of February, and a scheduled gig at the Spice Cadets mini fest for the last weekend of February postponed, it’s all a little …..Blah!
Never fear, I’m gonna use Feb to get the sh!t together and come out blazing at my next post…watch this space.
So we’re back at that point again? The start of a new year. Usually I would be doing a whole summary of the wins and challenges for the past year, goals hit, goals missed etc, etc. But this year I think I’m just gonna float into the new year pretty contentedly and not get too excited about all the goal setting malarchy.
March 2022 will mark 9 years since I stepped off the corporate hamster wheel to work at what I love, so that’s a headline goal that I think stands on its own.
But don’t worry, all the targets, and KPIs and goal setting and moonshotting will still happen. I’ve got to give myself something to stress about afterall.
What I can say now is that the 2022 goal will consist of getting a lot more of this:
So many people say they don’t know what I do. The subtext is – they don’t know what I do all day ‘working’ in my studio.
Well, I’ve decided that I will say I’m practicing music from now on. Because that is basically what it is. Practicing producing new tunes, with a view to producing a high volume and, over time, just trying to get each track a bit better than that the one before, or not to make the same mistakes as I made in the track before. It’s a long slow process with few bit leaps in improvement, normally small increments that add up over time.
It’s the same with practicing my live act, practicing the live streams, practicing the communications with supporters and soon-to-be supporters, practicing trying to get more live gigs (my constant pain!).
And today I got some reinforcement that all that practice is yielding results. Small results, and small results over long periods. I got my Spotify artist Unwrapped year in review. The numbers are still paltry (I’ll include them in my end of year musical notes), but the main thing is they are better than 2020 numbers! Onwards and Upwards…slowly!
Release-A-Week (R.A.W) is on track (sic) with week 49’s track coming out tomorrow. Watch the socials for that release or follow me on BandCamp to make sure you’re in the loop.
That’s all for this month, back to practicing. Practice makes Perfect Constant Improvement!
…is a question I get asked quite often. Sooooo… here you go:
The best place to go is BandCamp. There you will find all my BandCamp releases (music that is only released to BandCamp) as well as my official Fine Tune Records releases (these are also released to all the usual digital platforms – Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc).
So, how much does it cost if I want to download?
Well, all the music is on there at $1 for a download. You can play the tracks in BandCamp for free, but obviously getting them into your library is much more convenient.
But, anyone who is a signed up fan (you can do it here), gets a discount coupon that saves you 95%…you only pay 5c!
It’s as easy as that. If you want any of my older music from before 2020 (I’m still in the process of uploading that all to BandCamp), head over to SoundCloud where you can grab what you want. If you find something you want to download that is locked, let me know and I can arrange a copy for you.
So, that’s all the news for October’s Musical Notes.