I’m producing an Album – the splurge and rate process

So, as planned I was about to do a live stream of a part of my creative process. BUT….

Technology has screwed me again. It’s a few days before I leave my Rome studio and head back to Sydney, and my slackness with streaming over the last while has come back to haunt me…with none of my cameras working! So, rather than waste hours doing fault finding, I’ve just created a quick WIP sample of what I’m working on – the (working) title of the track is At Most Fear:

I’m not even sure if this track will make it onto the album. I’m still in the process of creating a bunch of tracks and will see what cohesive theme and vibe emerges – much more a process of discovery, rather than creation.

This track started life as what I call a splurge (actually my creative coach Mike Monday came up with the term, as well as many of my processes – catch him here if you want some great coaching). A splurge is the musical equivalent of creative pages (for writers), and would have been a brain-dump idea that I threw down (at 5:30am), in 30 minutes. It then ‘incubates’ for 2 weeks when I don’t even listen back to the ideas. 2 weeks later I take a listen, and see if I think there is anything in the music worth taking further – I rate the musical ideas:

1 – In Play (I’m super keen to work on this music NOW!)

2 – Has Potential (definitely will do something with it, but not right now)

3 – Good [thing] Has an element that is worth coming back to in the future to develop, or cut and paste along with other bright ideas

4 – Ok (nothing too exciting…for now. That could change as my subjective mind changes).

All splurges that have been rated as above end up in my Sketchbook which is a massive wealth of musical creativity (I currently have 26 tracks rated 1 – In play, over 600 rated 2 – Has Potential, and over 200 rated 3 – Good [Thing]. And that’s with me finishing a track a week for the last few years.

The music I work on at any one time comes from the 1 – In Play rated tracks.

So the above track had 30 minutes spent in the morning – actually from October 2022, and then one session to discover more about the track. This is where I’m at…and I’m almost at the point where I know that this track will be. I won’t have created all the parts, but enough to know that’s where this track will go.

I’ll post some more of my process as I go along.

Save the Date – “Live” Album Release Party

Right, it’s 2023 and about time we got a few dates locked in.

Save the date – Saturday 10 June 2023, for the Steve Pottz – Album Release Party.

“Live” will officially be available for download on that day and we might just have to a have a bit of a party to celebrate. Venue details to follow. For anyone who’s interested, I am going to track my process through regular posts here and in my email shout outs. If you’re not yet signed up and want to see the behind the scenes process in creating an album, then get onboard here.

I am going to use the album production process to also take a deep dive into my live performance set-up (hence the album name – “Live”), as well as my production process. I want to see how I can adopt a practice mind-set to establish ongoing improvement and development, in both these areas.

What does that mean?

Well, there’ll be plenty of live stream of me ‘practicing’ my craft. No! not endless playing of scales and pesky arpeggios! I have a long list of skills I want to improve and will use musical games whilst streaming to practice those. Things like “How to capture ‘those moments’ when jamming live”, “How to incorporate some funky jamming on the Moog Sub37”, “How to inject more dance floor energy into the live set”. Tune in if you want to see how that all works….or doesn’t as is often the case.

2023, as for every year, is going to be about getting out to play “LIVE”! No more hiding behind the COVID excuse… time to get out there again.

I’ll also be continuing with my R.A.W. series starting R.A.W. ’23 right away. All the tracks from R.A.W. ’22 are available here:

R.A.W. stands for Release A Week and it’s the tracks that I complete each week and upload to Bandcamp. It’s also Raw because the music is not in a commercial release format – I am done with the creative process (it is ‘Done’) and have created a quick mix and master, but there could still be a number of tweaks and updates to do to the music. From this selection of music I make later decisions on whether I want to include that track in my live repertoire (take it from ‘Done’ to ‘Live’) and/or whether I want to do a commercial release of the track (take it from ‘Done’ to ‘Release’). So it’s a warts and all collection of Everything I finish….caveats abound as to the quality of the music. Anyone who downloads one of the R.A.W. tracks automatically gets the commercial release for free download if and when I release that officially.

Ok – that’s enough banging on for the start of 2023. Happy New Year everyone – here’s to a great year of living and music.

I’m Making an Album!

2023 it’s all happening!

Why? What? When? How? All will be revealed over the next while. All I can say at this stage is that it’s all going to be going down in the first 5 months of 2023.

If you’re not already a supporter, sign up here to get all the updates of the trials and tribulations as I navigate this process, and you’ll also get a free high quality download of the finished album when it’s released.

I’m also going to be working out a cunning plan as to how I integrate the prime focus of my music – playing Live, into the making of this album. That still remains the main aim of why I’m playing this music game… more to follow.

2023 is already starting to get exciting!

5-5-5! A win if I was playing the Pokies?

55 years old young on the 5th of December! Eek! That’s a shit load of Fives. No longer can I claim to be in my ‘early fifties’. You don’t get much more mid-fifties than 55.

Still I don’t feel 55! Hmmmm? Can’t even really claim that anymore these days, was what I was thinking as I creaked and groaned my way through my Ashtanga yoga session on the morning of my birthday.

Ok, that’s enough ‘old-dude’ carrying on. More importantly, what’s happening with the Pottz music? I’m still in Rome and unfortunately, the likelihood of getting any live music opportunities is looking increasingly obscure. Partly due to the severe lack of suitable venues (COVID to blame, as well as Italian shitty licensing rules), and partly due to me just not getting myself going early enough. (I blame old age 😊). It’s hard enough as it is getting Live gigs in this DJ-centric world, but trying it in a new foreign country is even more trickly. Some serious advanced ‘marketing’ is needed to have any chance. Oh well, some things to bear in mind for future sabbaticals.

The Weekly BandCamp releases are still going well and I should get to the end of 2022 with 52 of those in the bag – at last a win!!!

So really the next month is going to be spent devising a new musical plan for 2023 to ensure I can get a few more runs on the musical board than were achieved for 2022 – definitely my biggest slump year since I started the full-time music lark (I blame COVID….. and old age 😊….joking).

So my next Musical Notes monthly post will be on 1 January with some lofty musical goals to get me fired up for 2023…watch this space.

Not Built in a Day…

Ciao from Rome. Finally I have escaped the Murphey’s Law vortex that ensued in the month before we managed to leave Sydney and get over here. My temporary studio for the 3 months is set-up, and the creations are flowing.

1st November Early morning Splurge session about to happen in Trastevere, Rome

Unlike my previous overseas creative sabbaticals, I haven’t yet worked out what the music goals will be for the time over here. Probably due to too much craziness in the exit from Sydney, but I will work it out over the next week or so and report back here.

I’m still on the hunt for some live playing opportunities, but it seems the Rome dance music scene has been hammered by Covid and pickings are slim. Still I have a few leads to chase down, including playing at a local bar/pizza spot…watch this space.

I’m back on track with my Release A Week (the R.A.W. series) and am rapidly catching up the 2 months I missed with Burning Man and Sydney-exit missions. It’s Bandcamp Friday again this Friday, which means ALL proceeds from sales go directly to artists. So you can jump on my Bandcamp Page and grab any of my official releases and/or any of my Bandcamp studio releases from the last 2 years. Subscribers can get a 90% discount too which means you’ve basically getting it for free – Yay! (Hit me up for the discount code if you’re a subscriber and have lost the code I sent).

You can buy all 50 of the 2022 R.A.W. releases and then still get to download each track as I finish it.

That’s all for now, I’m off to see the Pope Meister today to get some god help with the music business!

D-Com-Pression

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.

Feeling the Burn

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.

Bad weather stops Play

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?)

Till next month!

Cover me, I’m going in!!

Ok, it’s time to get serious….musically!

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….

BUT…

NOT ANY MORE!

GOALZ…

So in 2022 I will:

  1. 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.
  2. Do an official track release a month via Fine Tune Records label from June – December (to all the usual digital platforms)
  3. 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!!
  4. 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.
  5. Play 5 gigs at Burning Man (US)
  6. Arrange to play 2 gigs in Rome between October ’22 and Jan ’23

There! I’ve said it. That wasn’t so bad! 😊

Now I’ve gotta go and do it…..Eek!😨

All Fool’s Day…

Here we are, 25% through the year!

I was meant to be reporting back with my updated goals and missions for 2022, but nah! Still not there yet.

So it’s a very quick post to say the tunez are still going well, with my BandCamp Release A Week (The R.A.W. Series), exactly up to date with 13 releases out.

I just uploaded Tribal Bible which you can grab here along with all the other releases for 2022.