Live from Burning Man

Actually that’s not true. Whilst in a parallel universe somewhere I was playing live at the 2020 Buring Man on 5 September, alas in this universe….it was not to be.

So I’ve put together a mix set of my new tracks that I had been producing for BM2020, and you can catch it here on SoundCloud. If you are already a Supporter, you would have received your free high quality download link. If you would like to get that free download, become a Supporter here.

I hope you enjoy.

Carrying on…

Along with most of the world right now, there’s really not too much new to report this month.

My music production engine is purring along nicely with a steady stream of new music in all of the various stages of development. I’m aiming for 6 new tracks next month.

I am also still playing my 2x Pottz’n Pans live online shows on the 10th and 20th of each month. In August, I premiered 2 new tracks in each show which was a really useful creative tool…so I’ll be aiming for that again in September.

Catch the new tunes on SoundCloud:

The best thing about COVID-19…

…also happens to be the worst thing about COVID 19!

My biggest stress I have as a musician is the continual battle to land live gigs. It’s my #1 goal every year – “Play to more people, more often…LIVE!” It’s a hard enough mission, even for seasoned DJs to hunt down more gigs, but as a live electronic music performer, it’s even tougher.

Well, the good thing is, there are no gigs…so there is no stress trying to get ’em. BUT, there are NO GIGS!

So, everything feels a little surreal in the music space right now. I started off the COVID period doing weekly live shows on DJTV Sydney, which was great fun, but I found my producing throughput was under huge strain. So, I’ve cut it back to 2x a month (every 10th and 20th) and am still hammering away at cranking out the tunes (‘hammering’ and ‘cranking’?? too many metaphors?).

July was a bit experimental with new music. Find the July Collection here.

I did a free jazz piano thing to a techy background vibe with Berlin Jazz Bar. Pop Corning just refused to be beaten into ‘finished’ submission, although it has some good elements that I’ll come back and wrap up some day. Not Far from Here is a Deep Forest-esque vibe with floaty voices and guitars. The guitars come out again for Spacey Bassey with a plaintive synthy bass riff underpinning some flamenco style plucking. I threw out the ‘must-work-in-a-live-dance-environment’ requirement and just experimented with letting the music flow….some interesting results.

And so the dry-July productive experiment comes to an end, and I am already well into the August collection – planning 7 new tracks this month. All of them are looking like Techno-esque live dance numbers (in anticipation of a gig I was meant to have mid-August…sadly looking unlikely given current situation…sniff).

Until then…

Bases Loaded!!

Well that’s half of 2020 blown! Everyone having fun so far? My plans for 2020, like most people’s, have been someone destroyed so I ‘ve taken a few months to reset…I would pivot (buzz word of the month)…but, my ankles…

I started off the Covid Staycation with a few (9 all up) live shows on DJTV Sydney, you can catch the recorded streams on my YouTube Channel. A lot of fun playing all my original tracks and clocked up 100 tracks without a repeat!

Then I dropped all that to refocus on getting the music production engine working…and that’s why the Bases are Loaded….or maybe the ‘phono is stacked…

I completed 9 tracks over May and June (check them out on SoundCloud), which is a bit below my target, but I’m pretty happy since I was also pretty flat out with the DJTV shows right then.

So….what’s coming for the 2nd half of 2020. Well…

Pottz on 10 & 20: will be my twice monthly live shows on….(you guessed) 10th and 20th of each month. That way the days will shift around each month. I’ll be putting on an 1-1.5 hr live stream, and trying to inject some new ideas into this medium…seeing that we are likely to be stuck with it for some time. Twitch seems to be the best user experience so I’ll be steering viewers there, but will also be on YouTube and Facebook. Bookmark the next event on Friday 10 July at 8:00pm (AEST).

Monthly Releases: will be kicking off from July again (although July likely to be a little delayed…late start on prep). July’s release will be my track Tech? No, Jazz! which I’ve been playing live for 2 years now and always goes down well…time for a studio release.

Much more music: I’ve got my music production process humming again, so should be having the regular stream of new music through to the Incubator from this month. What is the Incubator? Well, it’s where all my completed music goes to stew for a while before I decide whether I want to release it, and/or set it up for Live playing. It’s all my music that hangs out on SoundCloud.

Ok – that’s all for now, I’ve got a bit of work to crack on with.

I Jammed the Machine!

…not to be confused with ‘I jammed the Maschine” (geeky in-house joke).

Being the process nerd that I am, I use a very systematic way of writing music, complete with Kanban wall (yeah, I know??) – here’s a pic of part of the “Pottz Music Machine”. Those in the software business will be groaning right now.

In May, I ran into a few problems with the well-oiled Machine. I over-loaded it and it jammed.

I usually have 5 tracks in work-in-progress state throughout the month, but last month I went a bit crazy and had my normal 5 tracks, plus a collaboration track, plus another 5 tracks I was getting ready to play live, PLUS another 5 tracks I was developing in a creative course I was doing and……BOOM!

LOG JAM! And nothing was getting through and I was just getting stressed. So that’s why there’s no music from last month.

I’ve chucked a bunch of material back into my Sketchbook, ready to be picked up in future months and am cracking on with getting the machine flowing again…new music and live streams will resume very shortly.

(Anyone who wants to get their own “music machine” up and running should sign up with Mike Monday‘s The Leap course. He helped me take the pretty basic music machine I had developed and ratchet it up to a whole new level).

Jam for money!

Actually, it’s more just – jam for jam. Not too much to report this month. Lock-downs has put paid to any great goals I had in trying to secure some live gigs in Sydney for this month, and the other great goal of “live gigs in Rome” is a distant memory….

Still, I have had a fair amount of time in the studio…especially the whole month of an enforced hermit lifestyle (interrupted by the occasional unavoidable Zoom call!!). Apart from my usual producing (that went ok…4 tracks “sort-of” finished – get them here), I’ve had some good fun doing a weekly online live slot with DJTV Sydney I’ve set myself the goal of not repeating any tracks (why do I do these things???) and so far have played 58 original tracks live, I’ll hit 70 this Monday!!

Here’s a link to my last session where I jammed all the tracks that I was in the process of trying to finish…quite loose, but definitely improvised!

Tune in at 8pm Sydney AEST this Monday (4 May) for the next session.

Ok, that’s me – off to get started on May’s new music!!

Seven Year Itch? Nah!

Seven years ago, I took the plunge and, after almost 15 years in the finance industry, dived headlong into the joys of music. The best decision I ever made. I’d would love to have made more progress in those 7 years, but I have also come to realise that this is not destination gig, but a lifelong journey gig!

Weird that as the 7 year milestone rolls around and my #1 goal of “Play more gigs” is ever more present….I can’t – even if I could find promoters to book me ;=)

So, it’s over to the online streaming thing. I did an hour set earlier in the week, that also trialled a new way that people can donate through something called CloudBar…check it out here, and look out for it on any of the streams you follow.

I chose Support Act as the charity for my last feed – they are going to need plenty of help in the next while. Check them out!

Here’s link to my last feed in case you missed it – more coming up in the next few weeks.

Other than the streaming, it’s just more music production with 4 new tracks and 2 collaborations in the working basket….watch out for them dropping towards the end of the month.

And yes, of course…another release coming out 10 April. Here’s a video preview of Jazz Train, get it on pre-order now:

Later…

Real Holidays?

It’s quite strange that, now that I am a full time musician, I actually have way less real holiday time (or proper downtime for that matter). When I was a wage slave, I would get at least 20 working days a year holiday and then most weekends would be pretty much work free.

Nowadays (and I’m really NOT complaining), it’s a couple of weeks a year that I manage to step completely away from the music and the 24/7 preoccupation with the black art!

BUT, March 2020 I am off…back to the mother land and nary a single music making device to be had.  3 weeks, 3 days, and 17.5 hours – MUSIC FREE!!!?! I’ll report back on how I survive.

Meanwhile, here’s the Feb quota (minus the one collaboration, that is still being collaborated upon):

An eclectic bunch these, ranging from organic techno (01), through circus music (02), to disco pop (03) and funky techno (04)…enjoy.

I’ll be back in the studio seat late March, refreshed and firing for some more music.

A splurge a day…

Creative writers swear by the habit of Morning Pages  – three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, ideally done first thing in the morning. Well, I do the musical equivalent of Morning Pages – daily Splurges….here:

A splurge is ~ 30 minutes of uncritical, kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ music dumping, and always culminates in an audio extract in a rough arrangement. These 20+ splurges a month, go into my musical sketchbook which is where I draw on my ideas for the tracks I work on each month.

Which is why I love the 1st working day of the month – time to reach into that lolly jar of musical ideas and pick 5 ideas to further craft into finished tracks…. February, here we come!!!

On the release front, my next release Techno Fern has been a little delayed from its planned 31 Jan release, but will be out 10 February on all your favourite digital platforms. Also, Scat & Hum has been picked up for re-release on the Nothing But label, get that here.

The new music from January is….almooooooost done. What the socials for an announcement when those hit SoundCloud later this week.

Ok – back to picking the new tracks for February’s creations.

I think I deserve a B+

It’s that time of the year (actually, it’s 2 days later than that time) to take stock of how I went with my music goals for 2019. My Report Card is below.

I think it’s about a B+! I had plenty of under shoots on many of my goals, but I overachieved on my #1 priority of playing live. So, I guess that reflects me prioritising my time for the most important stuff.

Also I’ve been neglecting the social media marketing networks while I focused on playing live, so 2020 will have to be a pick-up in that area. Especially since I’m hoping to secure some gig in Rome where I’ll be hanging out for 3 months!

So, I’ve also added my 2020 goals…some stretches in places. It’s going to be a hell of a ride!