Anyone using a Theme, or other to help focus this year?

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Anyone using a Theme, or other to help focus this year?

Me? yes, sure, how it's been for a while or typically takes a week to put anything up, - even then.

- 5090​-​2021 Songs with Videos; - likely of a song in the other two, or maybe, that may be it?
But then if I get a, will put up a wav too.
(Last year I stripped two Audio files from videos so I could collaborate Smile hahhh... it works if have the time.)

- Acoustic Blues and Cowboy Trail Songs [5090​-​2021 initial theme]

- J​.​A. Lomax (slightly) Revisited [5090​-​2021 sub​-​project]

I felt I had to break it up at least that way since I kind of like "EP's" to begin with, anyway...; and anyone "surfing" in, that they possibly see's, what?, e.g. 14 tracks? - gonna go, hahhh... later, "I'll get to it" and never do Sad

So, the video thing, is just a fun side thing, I hope progresses... we'll see. I actually, long time ago, never "wrote" anything, - posted a "video" or desktop capture, - done and save allot of typing.

Anyway, now is now Fool

And in FAWM2020 had a "Metal-Puppet" genre thing... and got the "doll" all taken apart and etc., but, not having the time to do more.

Hahhh, one video I did, just a "blank" video... no recording/audio, I just folded the "head" Fool in my shirt and hope folks get "entertained" by "him" looking like he's playing guitar. I spent 30 sec's doing it... I think, actually, I could better "make a shirt" that "hides" me, and can better look on a phone video like "its" playing.

It won't be like that "Wet, Pussy", -Cat, video Smile hahhh, he did a massive job on that - well, imo... so funny, uNo? play on werdz and all, rite!?

So, anyway, yup, me, theme(s), - yes.

Like you, @ustaknow, I'm thinking of dividing my songs into 3 groups:
- Simple ukulele folk-type songs that could also be used for uke instruction. (I've been asked a few times to teach uke in a yoga/devotional music context.)
- Electronic/synth/keyboard instrumentals for use during yoga and workout sessions
- Banjo songs, because about the only way I regain my picking chops is through songwriting. (Because I dabble in so many instruments, my banjo skills come and go. But it's the instrument I'm perhaps most passionate about, and the only one other than piano - my first instrument - that I've truly studied with any rigor.)
There will also be a 4th catch-all group for odds and ends such as collabs, skirmishes, a cappella, unusual instruments.

I'm using 50/90 to help keep me on track with some projects I already have going. I want to finish an instrumental album about the Jupiter system, I have a Christmas album to write, as well as Christmas program music to write for a community I'm involved in, and I'd like to write an album of songs bemoaning the quarantine/isolation of the last year.

I have lots of projects I could write for. And I'd like to do a set of EPs a la Tim Wille. But I'll probably just go into it and see what happens per my usual lack of planning self.

I have a developing theme to somehow reference or use the main idea from songs that had a lot of meaning in my younger days, in a reflection of my younger days and time spent with my parents who both passed away on the last year. Likely will build on some of my past themes like electric cars and sustainability. Who knows what else may creep in.

I'll be cracking away at the Periodic Table project. And writing copious other songs for the heck of it.

I'm planning on doing an electronica album that is a coherent whole. Theme? I'll figure that out on July 4th. :P

Doing the electronica mostly while I wait for my studio to be built, then switching mostly to instruments.

I'm sure I'll have a theme to begin with; no idea what, yet.

Wow, that's great, - other great minds and all that Smile

It occurred to me, maybe a "collaboration" Cover-art segment too.

One 5090 not to long ago, it seemed like lots of stuff came up at the end... and was unsure what to do to organize it and not have a bunch of "singles" - how BandCamp organizes itself.

Eh, maybe that's not a "theme"..., but I guess it could be, say, if one said, - "I'm only doing collaborations", or it's me and "the band" Smile and the band is the collab thing.

I always have lots of themes and concept albums I want to work on, and this year is no exception, including my planned inspired-by-true-events 50/90 project "Kidney Stone: A Rock Opera."

But then the pressure of working on a theme always gets to me, and I end up procrastinating and not getting much done. For me, it's often much easier to just do random stand-alone songs that strike me in the moment. I'm hoping to strike a balance this year, by having just one real theme project and leaving plenty of flexibility to go with the inspiration of the moment.

My major theme: video game music.

My minor theme: how the hell do you write instrumental songs?

Additional theme: Fuck it. I'm doing what I know.

Just intonation 4 all! Imagine those juicy thirds and beat-free 5ths! But summer is long and it takes time to figure out what it wants

Theme: Heavy as hell riffs. I wanna go from the sort of proto hard prog early metal to modern djent and everything in between. Just follow the evolution of metal from its inception to its current state.

Tldr: like "Evolution of Man" but with riffs

dzd's picture

@jooki96 That's a cool idea! While I don't listen to much past the point of the mid-late 90's early 00's "Nu-metal" It kind of lost me there with the too fast for human playing programmed drums/etc. I do appreciate it all and still hear riffs and blends of things from time to time I still find very intriguing. I'm completely lost as to the weird genre subdivisions of modern metal, if you were to put a gun to my head and ask me to define the difference between djent and black metal just for example, I'm sure I could come up with something that would be wrong Biggrin but I do find it all interesting, being a child in the 80's I wasn't there to see the birth of metal, but have seen it take some pretty big evolutions. Great theme idea!

Not necessarily a "theme" well I guess it is, but I have a pretty long video I'm going to use just as a visualizer and I'd like to do a bunch of mostly improved stuff along with and just whatever happens happens.

@dzd I think a visual focus, that preceeds the audio, or gets paired to it is a great theme, -theme. There's plenty of themed visuals about mountains, plains, moons, the sun, people, dogs, cats, goldfish - pets..., - love. Great one!

@jooki96 yes, a riff historic progression... great idea!

I'll try, knowing me, to learn them Smile

And, of course now knowing you, but me, - in the song liner Notes section... there may be folks, like me, "music geeks" ? or so to speak... who'd love to read the origin if you know and I expect you would if do this.

- Side note, "that", the liner note thing, is how I got into the public domain stuff, so many famous artists "covered" a pub dom then CR'd it as "them" but I knew I knew it, - looked it up and it just evolved into a "passion" ? of sorts... , I get their legal options to just CR "it" as their version, performance, and etc., to be sure, - I just was "initially" confused why one would not even "reference" it as in an "academic paper", - you can legally plagiarise all you like but, a funky thing to do Smile but, getting into the weeds and did not intend to.

Anyway, just so say, - that's a great idea... I'll be lookin for how you engage it.

Oh, and PS... some folks here "define" riffing as Chord Progs, and some, like me?, define a riff as a, e.g., BBKing "Box", 2nd Pentatonic Position lower two strings, -isms and etc. So, just saying... I know I got confused when first happened here Smile and I'm waiting, and waiting and no riff's!!! Then realized, "oh, they be speaking anglesh, not inglish" on that Fool

I used to go into FAWM with the idea of writing a concept album (which I did a number of times to great success). I thought this was the best way to get my Muse to get fired up about songwritting. What I've discovered over the last few years is that she works much better completely unfettered. If I go into FAWM or 50/90 without anything much for ideas she goes bezerk & writes a ton of material. Funny thing is, by the end of the challenge (or even midway through) a theme usually begins to surface (à la Catharsis from this year's FAWM). So I think my theme again will be: "Let the Muse play". She hasn't guided me wrong thusfar. So I'm just gonna run with what she gives me.

See You In The Shadows…

im going to write a four album set called The Dark Room. individual albums will be 1. Frailty 2. Manufactured Discontent 3. A New Road 4, DC-10.. theme will be the decline and decay of the human race.

I'm considering the theme of How Human Civilization in North America Intrudes on the Peaceful Existence of Indigenous Opossums. Either that or something related to opossum poop!

Like @Candle, i used to go in with an intended theme. That achieved my first serious film/tv music album, a musical, an opera, but subsequently I became much less focussed and the output picked up and spawned all sorts of things as a consequence. I needed to be focussed early on, clearly I needed to be unfocussed subsequently. Work that out...

My current "theme" seems to be get the music out and embedded somewhere so that it stays alive a little longer than I's that for fatalism?

I was just reading through and this reoccurring thing, thought, came to mind to share, comment, - the worst thing that happens sometimes, is - "finishing" a song.

For me, like other "art", like an oil painting, - I just hate when it's "finished" (+-) as that may go.

- Oh, well. I guess that's what keeps one writing, all - the - time Smile

I'm most interested in electronic genres especially from a rhythmic angle. Sometimes, even though the energy is great and I love the sounds, the music is a bit harmonically simplistic for my taste.

As mentioned elsewhere, I was recently involved in the production competition TrackBout. We were given a set of chords with which to make our tracks. Starting with chords takes me way back but it seemed to work well in the electronic space so I think I'll use that this year in 50/90.

I'll probably pick a mode from either Major, Harmonic minor or Melodic minor, though I might look at some other scales with which I'm not familiar. Then I can play around with those chords and find something I like. I'll want to do more modulations, possibly using secondary dominants or modal interchanges.

All that can go on top of me trying to imitate some of those electronic genres I like and playing with a pile of new plugins. Should keep me goin' for a while.

@ustaknow, I know what you mean. That's why I look at recordings as "a snapshot in time" - a moment captured for posterity. Because the next time I play that song (if I play it ever again - there's many that I don't), it will be different in many ways. None of my songs are ever finished. They're living-breathing-changing expressions captured or experiænced at a given moment in time.

See You In The Shadows…

No theme this year other than to write whatever comes to mind. I really need to celebrate the writing process. It's been a while.

I have 4 themes worked out now...

1 concept album of dark electronica (13 songs)
1 concept album of singer/songwriter (18 songs)
1 black metal album (11 songs)
Collaborating with as many people as possible (hopefully 8+ songs to hit 50+)

Just planned the first 2... Tomorrow I'll be writing lyrics. Tuesday is the first day I can record anything.

I've probably gone a little overboard, but I like planning stuff. Smile

This rhymes so I thought:
Attention: Collaboration

I don't have a global theme that I want to follow for everything, but I am thinking that some of the songs will have verses in haiku form. Because... I don't know.

I had time today and was just sort of "organizing", though never finished in that, - was reading through beginnings since now at the ends.

- My "Theme", thing, this year, helped me allot. Actually, it kept more than 50 demos getting dumped under one cover, which is a preference. And, since then created a cover, as I went as became apparent in the moment, it just helped. Also, it kept me from, as happens or may happen, - imagine sending >70 "just released" notices to folks that follow you. It's a good way to wear them down and have them not follow, any longer.

(I did speak, said I would a while ago, to BC. They agreed and said there's a back door way I was already using. I reiterated that there is already one FB, twit, insta - follow me train's's's..., makes me remember the early daze of hahhh - still around, never went away as predicted.)

Also, the one or two that did not fit, got a "single" cover. That will make it easier to find them in a year Smile hahhh, o m g. BC needs to provide and index, discog, etc. Eh, maybe they do for the pro account. Fortunately, I eventually find my stuff in my own account under their general site search.

So, and you? Success, changes, things learned/reconsidered?
(Now's the time prior to all-all leaving Smile )

I'm doing modular synthesizer sound experiments.

Sketches. Fiddles. Exploratory.

Nothing too high-pressure. Definitely out of my ruts and comfort zones...

did a lot of 12-bar progressions.. started with a bare framework on pretty much all of them, then added more to some, than others.

had 'vocoder' harmonies for the vocals on every track.

yes, the 'vocoder harmony' was going to be 'my sound' for 2021 5090.

after the initial burst of songs with vocals and guitar, started making the odd electronic instrumental (no vocals, guitars, or drums) there and about...

I've observed, specific "themes", call it what you like, defines a focus in a context in a period of time. "That", assists others to better understand or understand at all, that, - that may be a specific focus. Within that focus, one may define, frame, "explain", allot. Now, whether or not folks READ Smile hahhh, is another matter, indeed. (Lowmax, Cowboy Trails Songs, other) And then, "understand", especially if a twit, facebukker, or insta-something or other. I'm still waiting for War and Peace, in Twit version, or as folks try, the ? Constitution, - knotta a good thing to leave out the granular boring stuff.

Anyway, not to stray down rabbit holes, - what I've noticed is, speaking for "me", I've noticed that the "theme" or scoping limits allowed me to better understand a persons work. If I had "Niche'd" them, that got somewhat unraveled, - a good thing. What they then did with that unraveling is up to them. It's why, possibly one should think about what they're doing and effect, affect and unintended, unforseen good/bad elements.

I feel most folks, regardless of "caring", so to speak, prefer to be perceived as they intend. Sometimes, or often the unintended perception may even be a great "found" surprise element.

I will suppose, that more, one gives, "anyone", the opportunity to Frame them, if even then perceived in a "wrong" (well not wrong, can't be wrong, so to speak), direction, that provides better incite (sic) Smile to their work.

"Crossfire Hurricane", old video documentary thingy from the Stones, - in that period "they" say, in so many words, "holley scheit, write songs!?" and etc. They were literally on the front lines of something that NEVER happened previously, that way, and like a story teller making up a Song, Story in flow of thought, watching, measuring response, takes a direction to feed the hungry animal what it "likes", wants. And so they did. That's what the songs were about. Also, "electrically" speakin, imo, observation, the "felt" it, saw the feel reaction, so - more of that please. And for me, they have always been a "performing" band. I love certain songs, JJFlash circa mid '70's and Cross Fire Hurricane and a few others on "Record". Otherwise, if feeling Stoned, put on Havana Nights, etc. other.

I think an artist of any genre does their self a favor if "think" a bit in this light and it can help, or assist more than any outside advice. I see folks pulled in many directions and have very generic work, "artists", reacting to the latest weekly pole trend of what's hot. Watch MTV. To me, wholely, sucks in every manner of speaking. And, hahhh, and, my neighbor (she was locked down this week... as that goes) decides how that stuff is promoted, marketed, et alia. Hey, they're just selling widgets, like all the rest of the Capitalists. If good music started to "Trend", - it'd come back.

- Oh well. No where to be found. Belieber me, et alia krapolla I just found "unwatchable", not gonna listen to auto-tuned and be impressed with a "face" to that? Wow, no. Well, like belly buttons, we all got one, - opinions, like onions peel away to no core aye Wink

Us "here", this place, your stuff, - all your stats to analyse for something. "Here" to be encouraged? Wonderful. What part(s) of "it" are you wasting that you could be "encouraged" by, if broke out of your "mind-box", status quo. - Advance your considerations, and don't ask anyone else how to think about it, use your own Brain Filter, it's what folks pay for, not third hand re-filtered. That only works for "Water". I love water. I love a well crafted Rye too. I pay for Rye.

- So, this is ending again, here, this year, --> all the best to those that authentically advanced this there. Uno who u r Fool

Interesting idea. Yeah, I probably should do some groupings, organizing under titles, would make it easier if I ever did a theme EP or something like that. For ten years, I've just be grouping my years, but should do and organization like Folky, Mountain songs, Southern, swampy songs, Story ballads, like the Cowboy trails, etc. Good thoughts.