Saturday, January 3, 2009

The year to come

Perhaps there isn't much point to highlighting what I hope to accomplish musically in 2009, since I've already been talking about what I intend to do with this site--and that is essentially the plan for 2009.

Nevertheless, here are a few things I hope to do:
  • "Improvisation of the day." One of my goals is to record a large number of shorter improvised pieces throughout the year. I certainly won't be able to do one per day, but at least a couple per week should be possible.
  • At least 10 or 12 more composed and/or arranged pieces. These take time, obviously, but ongoing work should allow me to intersperse some cool compositions in amongst the improvised chaos.
  • Get the artwork portion of the project moving. I haven't done anything yet to start creating artwork for my music--of course, there hasn't been any new music yet to work with! My wife is going to buy me Photoshop as a belated Christmas gift, and that will help jumpstart the creative process. Illustrator is cool, but I get "blank page" syndrome trying to create artwork from scratch. Starting from a tweazed photo imported into Illustrator sounds like a hell of a lot of fun, doesn't it?
  • Improve the non-guitar portions of my recordings. I feel like my guitar playing has reached a high level in the past year or two, but my skills on bass, drumpads, and keyboards aren't high enough and are detracting from the guitar work. I don't expect to become an virtuoso bassist or keyboardist in the span of a single year, but I can improve the quality to a level that gets my music where it needs to be.
  • Start proper practice on the drums. My Roland V-Drum kit is the entry-level version and ain't nuthin' to write home about, but it's certainly good enough to start learning with. I've got some instructional materials, and I need to get going both on my snare rudiments and on getting coordinated on the full kit. My goal is to be able to record something useful on drums by the end of the year. This might be the most difficult of my goals to actually accomplish. I know enough right now to be able to play some basic beats, but there's a reason why there are never enough good drummers around...it's tough!
  • Spend a lot more time experiencing live jazz and other experimental music. Frankly, I don't get that big a charge anymore from going to rock concerts. I've seen it all and done it all. To get my fix nowadays, I need to see musicians creating things on stage, and not merely recreating things. Not to say that I will avoid rock shows, but that's not my focus anymore. I also need to spend more time at the Kennedy Center absorbing some classical music. Classical and jazz CDs are great, but the heat from a live performance is a zillion times greater. More so than for rock music, believe it or not. Rock records are so 'produced' that the live experience can often be disappointing by comparison. Obviously there are many exceptions to that rule.
Wow, that's an ambitious schedule, eh? I'm sure there will be many roadblocks and difficulties, but setting high goals isn't a bad thing. I hope everyone out there gets everything they wish for in 2009.

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