As I consider everything that 2018 brought I can only be thankful for the life I live. I had a lot of great opportunities arise throughout the year and was fortunately in a position to make the most of these moments when they were presented. I wanted to write this post to document some things that happened last year that move me forward both personally and as an artist and express my intention for next year.
From where my last post left off, I left my day job to be able to travel and just start out on a new foot. I ended up securing a new job in SLC by the time I returned back to the states and so far it has been exactly what I needed. So the risk payed off (Thank God) and left me in a better position than before. So did I learn from this ? When you get the chance to take a risk to do what you love, take it. Life forces almost all of us to take risks for things we don’t love, (houses,cars,etc.) so we may as well take risks for the things we do love!
The synchronization of life was in full effect this year and I saw this clearly when presented with a chance to work on an SLC pop project for Envelop, an SF based non-profit dedicated to amplifying the power of sound by through providing immersive listening experiences. The director and co-founder, Christopher Willits, is an artist whose music has meant a lot to me over the past few years. I actually was able to meet him at one his shows and later connect through his subscription service, Drip. Having this foundation made it possible to jump right in comfortably and start learning right away. I’ll go deeper into this topic in separate post, but being positioned in SLC because of work allowed me to take on the role and open the door to more chances to learn and grow. The main lesson I learned from this, is to just to have an open heart and support the projects you believe in.
For 2019 my goal is to release as much music as possible and just let love take over every area of my life. The more I hone in on that force the more I see the world around me working in a positive direction. I have always invested in my own music, but this year has shown me a new depth of love I can give and that is what I am most thankful for. Here is to surrendering and growing in love for 2019 and year after.
This summer I took a leap of faith and decided to travel to Germany and find a new day job instead of staying in Utah because I couldn’t get the time off approved at my old job. What I have learned so far ? When you want to make progress on your creative journey, you need to clear your path of obstacles that are within your power to address
Since coming here to Berlin I have noticed a giant surge in creativity and inspiration from all of the new influences and scenery. I also noticed that having no job hanging over my head (but also little financial stress) has granted a freedom I could only dream of the last two years. This really underscores the importance of saving money as an artist– there is no better way to open up options than having your own resources to work with. In this way I would say that financial stress and untenable working situations can equally become creative obstacles and one must achieve the right balance to keep moving forward. Furthermore, the “administrative” task of life, paperwork, bills, taxes, etc., are better to take care of right away before they can come together to create bigger problems.
To put it simply, it is easier to be creative and expressive when one isn’t burdened down with unnecessary obligations. Unfortunately, for many of us this ideal seems so far away and we find it hard to see the way out. If this sounds like you, I would like to share my experience of a system that has worked for me in the past.
1. Make a list of tasks to complete in order of priority.
Make sure you address the most important tasks first.
It is better to bring one task to completion than to leave three things half-finished.
2. Determine how much time you can dedicate to addressing the items on the list.
Set aside as much time to complete these things as possible, but don’t forget to leave time for yourself as well.
If a task involves researching researching something like jobs or schools, it is really easy to get burned out. Try getting some information and then taking time to digest it — slow and steady is the key.
3. Once you have completed a task, reevaluate the priorities and adjust the order if necessary.
Sometimes you will finish a task quicker than expected, when that happens use the momentum to your advantage!
Realize some things will take more time than others, if you have done everything possible on your end and are just waiting on another party, move onto the next task or to one that is small enough to complete without stressing you out while you wait.
4. When you run into delays, complications, or dead ends reach out for help!
If you have family and friends around don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who might have experience with what you’re working on.
I’m happy to report I will soon be making my second trip to Berlin! What I did differently to prepare this time is make a Spotify playlist for listening in-air and in-line. It seems like a no-brainer looking back now, but with all of the other preparations it was simply overlooked last year . Having a good playlist keeps your hands free longer and makes airports more bearable, so feel free to follow and add this playlist to your library on Spotify if you use that platform.
On this playlist I started with some energetic downtempo grooves for the pre-flight hustle with some Papadosio, Ulrich Schnauss, and Pantha Du Prince. Next, the music begins to slightly resemble the conversations with myself as I wait for take off with North Valley Subconscious Orchestra’s Neutral Buoyancy . “THIS COULD BE THE ONE THAT GOES DOWN”, goes one voice and ” Non-sense, you’ll be fine just relax, BREATHE…” goes the other. At this point, I let the more rational voice win and the music gives way to some very relaxing ambient compositions including cuts from In the Branches, Machinedrum, Deru, and myself. Of course, you will need to raise your energy just a bit again for the post flight rigamarole before it’s over — enter Casino Versus Japan, Telefon Tel Aviv, and Hammock to see you through the last tasks and safely on your way.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this playlist even if you don’t use it for a flight. I will keep updating with new songs, keeping the same trajectory for the playlist. I would love to hear what you listen to when flying as well!