Well it was for me. Last weekend’s set at our first Cirque de Nuit was (for me) the greatest of all time (so far). OK, so there’s a few caveats! I just finished putting the video together, you’ll see what I mean – what an amazing crowd:
Thanks to all those who supported, not just during my set, but also for being such an awesome crowd the whole night! And thanks too to my co-organisers and music providers – Go South (Anet), Funkytronic (Jean-Marie) and Goldilocks (Chris)…what a team. Jump on Facebook to follow our community page for plenty more news of some crazy circus fun to come – Cirque de Nuit.
That’s about it for the month’s news. Cirque de Nuit planning and doing was pretty much it for May’s music news…that’s more than enough.
So, this was always a high likelihood of happening…the Album release is being delayed!
I’ve got the tracks selected (an extract from my ‘Pottz Music Machine, my production manager is on the left) and have made a good start at getting them ‘release ready’. But…there is no way I will make the deadline I set myself.
Why? Well, a few things. For one, I have had a lot more live performance opportunities than I thought I would in this first half of the year, and I will always prioritise the live playing ahead of everything else music-wise I am doing! The live playing has really helped the album process as I was able to road-test a bunch of new tracks that were candidates for the album and have them ratified on the dance floor. The second issue I have is around the mixing and mastering process. I did not allow enough time for that and also over-estimated how readily the engineer would be able to drop what they were working on and dedicate plenty of time to working on my 11 track album. Then, of course there’s the cost for that! Current market conditions aren’t really allowing for that spend right now.
So, I’ll reset with a release date somewhere in the last quarter of this year. It is still happening this year…just a bit (lot) later than planned.
I’m super excited to be teaming up with 3 good friends and purveyors of fine music on May 20th, to put on a night of DANCE, MAGIC and MYSTERY. Our playground will be Boogie Mountain (previously the infamous Kit and Kaboodle), right here at the Pottz Point Hotel (well that’s what I think it should be called).
Ok, so that was not strictly April music news, but it’s the main focus right now. April kicked off with one of my best ever live sets played at Sunset Town’s – The Good, the Bad, and the Burners event. 4 amazing days spent on the most spectacular site, with equally fantastic people….too good. Here’s a snippet of my closing track (full set can be seen here – https://youtu.be/uHrEBEZf7BQ):
Burning Man 2023 is all booked in for this year, so the annual Playa set preparation will be starting very soon.
That’s it for the April Monthly Notes update – Ciao!
I played a set this last weekend where 80% of the music was brand new….just produced and made it to the ‘Release to BandCamp’ level. I spend 2 weeks putting together the raw stems I would need to improvise these tracks live….and then did it!
The goal, to real-time road test if any of this music should be on my next album. Some are ‘sure-ins’ (a), others not (b), and then others are likely to be in, but need work (c). And the hurdle to get in???
Did I have a shit load of fun playing them live?
Did the result of improvising that track live represent what I want to put out into the world musically and..
[Most importantly] Did other people ‘get it’!
See which of these tracks do you think were in the (a), (b) and (c) categories above…
So, I’m doing a bit of an experiment with the music for the new album. I have a gig next Saturday, and I’m going to play almost 100% new music, that has never been performed live before. I’m made a shortlist of the candidates for the album and will play these live at the gig, to test drive them and see if they’re album worthy.
I’ve gone even one step further with this week’s Bandcamp release R.A.W. 23_07 – Goose as Duck. This track isn’t even really finished yet, but I set myself today as a deadline to have it in a state where I can jam it live, so it’s going into the set-list for next week’s gig….anything can happen!
Check out the rough mix up on Bandcamp. I’ll post my live performance of it next weekend.
Part of my creative process is to just free jam and improvise over an initial idea. The idea is most often just a Splurge (a 20-30 minute quick brain dump of free flow ideas that I do EVERY day, first thing in my studio). These splurges are usually quite bare bones and just the initial ideas of where a track might go.
Then I do a quick Discovery Session with the track to tease out some more direction, before I set-up to do a live stream creative improvisation as a means of producing a more fully formed track. The track below I live streamed from Berlin in 2018 when I spend a few months there on creative sabbatical. This live jam is one of the one that really worked.
Savannah Soul was the resulting track, and whilst I’ve played it out live many times since, I have never really managed to capture the essence of that live jam. It’s a definite for the new album and I am going to spend the next few weeks recapturing the fun I had when jamming this track, as it really does capture a lot of what I believe my sound is and what I want to come through in the album.
Check out the original creation of Savannah Soul right here:
Wow, one month down in 2023, already! It doesn’t help the music planning when I only got back into the Sydney studio on 21 January after some global gallivanting (yeah, I know, 21 century problems 😏).
So far, my 2023 musical plans are all up and running:
1. Make an album for release 10 June: I’ve got plenty of ideas being crunched through the Pottz music machine as I start getting a feel for what this album will sound like. I’ll post separately about how that process is going.
2. Level up the live act:
As part of the missions to level up my live act, I’ve decided to incorporate the Moog Sub37 into my live shows. So expect some serious analogue synth action (and probably more physio required after all the heavy lifting required at set-up). You will start seeing this beast feature heavily in my rehearsal and production live streams.
3. Release A Week (RAW): My weekly BandCamp releases are on track and forming a key part of the sourcing of material for the album. After a brief period of incubation where I don’t listen back to these ‘finished’ tracks, I will take a fresh listen to them to see if any emerge as album candidates. You can follow these releases here: R.A.W. 2023 (WIP) | Steve Pottz (bandcamp.com)
4. Play live: The never-ending quest to perform out live continues. I’ve been sending out my Pottz showreel far and wide (even to Korea…but that’s another story), trying to get some live playing opportunities. Also I’m hatching plans with some fellow creatives to bring our own event to you all…more to follow.
5. Burning Man: As always, the annual Burning Man sabbatical will again be playing a major part of my 2023 musical plans. I’m planning a slightly different approach with bringing my music to the playa this year after some of the 2022 experiences. So, the planning for BM23 will always be happening starting now.
So, there’s heaps happening and I’m just as fired up as ever for 2023. That’s the upside of having shitty 2022, the bar is set way low, so the opportunity to soar right over it is HUGE!
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.