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.
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!
So close to end of lockdown and you and almost taste it!
I’m one of those miserable gits who has actually quite enjoyed lockdown, this recent one and previous.
Well firstly lockdowns mean I get to do 7 days a week, 24/7 studio time without needing to invent creative excuses as to why I cannot go out. Well almost 24/7. Ms Pottz gets a little grumpy if I don’t emerge from the studio every now and again.
Secondly, lockdowns remove the only major stress I have musically, and that is trying to secure the next gig! That’s always a major stress and a sweat especially as a “I’m not a DJ” Live performer. In lockdown, I have as many gigs as the most sought after DJs….NONE!
So here we go with some level of normalcy returning (and already a gig locked in for December). Whoot, whoot. I have shedloads of new tunes I’ve been working on during this down time that I am bringing into the live set repertoire so keep your eyes and ears open for any new shows.
And of course the monthly release funnel is locked and loaded with Cumbiatto just out 30 September, and plenty more due out the end of every month:
Have a look around BandCamp for this Fune Tune Records release as well as my weekly R.A.W. (Release A Week) tracks.
And just like that, Spring has sprung! Time to shake off those Winter shackles and get out into the world, plan some parties, grab tickets to a few festivals and plan the summer sojourn…
Back in your box!
Anyhow, now I have everyone suitably depressed, onto all things music.
I’ve finally got myself back onto the release schedule after stumbling around March last year (my previously last release…what was happening around then??). I have a ready store of great tracks to get out, and am back onto my monthly release program, with a Fine Tune Records release on the last Friday of every month. And that kicked off with a release on Friday 27 August of Tech? No, Jazz!
Out on all digital download and streaming platforms, but hit me up on the BandCamp link above for the most artist-friendly destination. September’s release is in the pipeline for release on 24 September.
Meanwhile my Release-A-Week (R.A.W.) exclusive to BandCamp is tracking (sic) well, with RAW33 and RAW34 out today…which is just as well considering we’re in week 35 of 2021! Get them all on BandCamp.
And in lieu of any gigs or parties, it’s time once more for a Pottz full-length live set. Keep an eye on the socials for a Spring Party this month.
So, you’ve probably seen my weekly social posts over the last few weeks (every Friday), where I am putting out a Release AWeek (RAW) to BandCamp?
Well, supporters get access to download all those releases, 52 for 2021, for FREE! Almost, the biggest discount code I can attach is 95%, so 5c is pretty much free?
Sign up as a supporter here and you’ll not only get a free download mix of some reason tracks I’ve picked out, but you’ll also get the download code to get the discount on all my BandCamp releases this year. AND…when any of these releases make it through to official release with full mastering, you’ll get the new fresh master…totally Free! They’re starting to build up already so come along to BandCamp and have a listen…
…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).
…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).
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.