Monday, December 26, 2005

upcoming performance 1.29.2006

At Black Cat in DC in the Backstage room.

Laptop musicians from all around the area will perform, it should be fun. I think I will do the P5 glove thing. At some point I will post a video of me using the P5 glove, it's fun.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

things I'd do a little differently...

This is really a very introspective blog, I'm afraid. Here are some items of possible interest that aren't about the Utenzil project.

Read about ETA Hoffman. I have some harebrained theories about history and culture. One theory is that conflicts always must be resolved, and also that there is a constant movement towards a homogeneity among global humanity (some might say this is a sort of entropy), that is wavelike/pulselike/systolic and diastolic/pendulum but not quite perfectly periodic. Maybe kind of logarithmically periodic, so that these peaks and valleys get further apart as more homogeneity is achieved.

Anyway, seemingly odd shifts in the otherwise orderly flow events will occur to ensure resolution and homogeneity. Another part of this is that there are key influences of the changes that are obscure, and even 'co-linked'. This fellow, whose life was really pretty unhappy on the whole, influenced many people mainly because they saw his work as the kind of art that imitates life in a way that illuminates life, and as a result ETA HOffman lies near the center of a cluster of very influential thinkers.

Looking back over the past year, there are a couple of things I did very well. I bought a powerful enough notebook to be able to run the software I like under a fairly heavy load. I chose a really good core piece of software that is flexible, powerful, intuitive and feature rich. I added some really good pieces to it, including some additional full featured sequencing and synths.

The music I released was spontaneous, varied and unique. I maybe could have spent more time, done better and been more meticulous but I liked what I put out and had fun. I wanted spontanaeity and was not trying to shoot for some particular genre or dance style.

Maybe one thing I'd do would have done better: bought a fancier i/o and midi interface. As it stands, I have a Tascam US-122, an M-Audio MobilPre and a Midisport Uno, and an Echo Indigo I/O, as well as my internal soundcard (output only, input is crappy). But then I was doing this incrementally, and these are all useful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

my secret plan known only to the internet

I'm thinking this is going to be kind of whining, but maybe not too bad. Here's what I've concluded. The internet is like that big warehouse where they store the crate at the end of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark': basically, the world's most valuable and wonderful thing becomes a number in a vast miscellaneous inventory.

In this blog I chronicle an approach to a) producing quality music b) releasing it on CD c) establishing a virtual web presence, and... d) physical performance presence, of sorts; and e) setting up web based merchandising.

I'm zippy on the marketing because I have little money to market and I'm just not that good at it. It is the case I bought some text ads through Adbrite on some webpages, to see what would happen. I got millions (really) of page hits but did not generate sufficient sales to warrant the (even admittedly small) cost, which of course makes sense because I don't click on those text ads-- do you? Anyway...

I have an in-depth interview now posted, it's of course entirely fake but uncommonly probing, direct and incisive. My website design is sparse, but that's ok.

There are all these books about marketing your music, much of the advice is not appealing to me. Some of the best advice was in a 'tips' email from Derek Sivers at CDBaby who basically says, 'if it scares you, do it, because it's a thing to conquer'.

Now, I think there is some interpretation there, and that is "if it scares you but makes sense and does not terrify you into paralysis, then do it". Any new movement is an unknown, unknowns are scary, but if they have some desirable end result then the effort is worthwhile.

Here's my "secret marketing plan". I'm going to be doing another disc, that's three. I want to play out more, that's a goal for 2006. The goal --here has to be a marketing goal that's about what is being provided, I'm kind of getting this now-- is not about forcing sales, it's about being able to express what someone might be missing if they don't listen to Utenzil. Not everyone will feel like they are missing something. Right now, there are countless millions of people not missing it LOL that made me laugh a lot... hold on, be back in a bit... hee...

Ok... so, anyway, that's part of what it is. There are lots of ways to do this, one way is to provide free downloads as samples and the another is to play the places that people are apt to listen to this kind of music, ok yes obvious. That's fun, that's comfortable. I'm not going to do stuff that is not fun and mostly uncomfortable. I'm going to do stuff that is mostly fun and relatively comfortable.

The other part is to understand the way other people experience it. I got a comment about the music "it seems good to have going on while you are doing something else, like it would be good to listen to while studying, it stimulates the mind that way". So the whole 'focus group' thing is interesting, maybe something to try to set up.

I've been perceiving the 'marketing aspect' as kind of an evil thing, or crass. It does not have to be that, it's more an effort to accurately abstract what the experience is, and to present to people who might be interested in a way that is not irritating.