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