Posted on January 28, 2021
Most recent project – creating videos for the songs I’m making.
Being out on the road is good for inspiration, but bad for both space and electricity. There’s not enough physical space to spread out and set up my full music ensemble in the camper, and even if there was, that would drain our battery super quickly. I’ve been contemplating the name “Sunny Day Setups” as an account name – on sunny days, it’s possible for me to set everything up and have it be powered by our solar panel. But not at night. And not if it’s cloudy.
While my computer has enough charge, I’ve been working on a new album. No clue what it will be called yet – in my digital notetaking system, I refer to it simply as [[the album]]. I’m still ironing out the ideas behind it, but it’s going to be about purpose, enlightenment, consciousness, meditation, and being in touch (and out of touch) with reality itself. Kind of a heavy topic to fit into music. There will certainly be some weird “interlude”-type songs where I’m reading things out loud and using my new meditation bowl.
I’m still trying to develop more angles for [[the album]], but one that I’ve been exploring recently is short videos (like TikTok or Instagram Reels style videos (or YouTube Shorts is a thing too apparently)).
My main manifestation of this so far has been me playing a synth on my mini midi keyboard, then overlaying that video with landscape videos I’ve taken on our travels.
Example 1: Becoming Awake
Example 2: also Becoming Awake
Same song as above, different part of it. This part comes after a bit of a key change, and now the video shows the song playing in Logic (with some cool colors added – I’ve gotten really into changing my Logic instrument colors since starting with these videos). The video shows my friend Logan running down a hill at Lizard’s Mouth. Good vibes only at that place. Full insta video here.
Example 3: Manifesting
Continuing with the theme of the logic file on the video, this one makes the colors more aesthetic. The end of this video shows me opening a notebook. If you pause it, zoom, and enhance, you can clearly read that the page of the notebook shows my “song plan” for Manifesting. Which is how I do music production when I don’t have power because it’s night and my computer is dead. Video locations: 1,000 Steps Beach in Santa Barbara, and the keyboard was played just outside of Palm Springs in a secret spot. Full video on Instagram.
Example 4: Purpose? Maybe?
This one is so recent I haven’t even decided on the song name yet. It incorporates mountain footage from that same secret spot outside of Palm Springs, and also a cool Logic plugin called Wave Observer. Later in the video, there are a lot of glitch effects that I’m really starting to like. Full video on Instagram.
The moral of the story
These types of video are just the first step. Just like I’ve been doing with music production as a whole, I’m practicing videomaking by doing it, and improving by forcing myself to releasing intermediary projects before I think they’re perfect.
I’m going to be incorporating more and more angles/ideas within these videos, and establish a set style/effect stack so that they all feel consistent (or not, if I don’t want a song to feel like the rest for some reason). I’m also planning on breaking out the greenscreen… we’ll see what happens with that, though.