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TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 2: Imagine

by Ostin 0 Comments

One thing I need to keep in mind is that these people, some of whom have been extremely successful, started from nowhere. This was brought to mind by the first panel this morning, featuring nine TAXI members who’ve had business success. Each one was different, yet each one had a common thread: dedication, work, discipline, and patience. Those are key factors.

What I’ve gained here is crucial. I know now where the bar is at. I know where I need to get to, which is 1000% easier than flying blind. It’s going to take some time for me to get there, but I know from seeing people–average, everyday people–who are there that it is possible. Through the combination of those four factors above, plus a healthy dose of faith to keep me going, it will happen.

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 1: Panels & Brain Pickings

by Ostin 0 Comments

After yet another great breakfast, the Rally proper started with the presentation of the annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Lloyd, a cat with six decades’ experience in the music industry. A fascinating cat who was terribly inspiring, really.
This was followed by a moderated talk with Jay Frank, author of the book Futurehit.DNA, essentially a breakdown of the common elements of hit songs. The ideas were smart and compelling, so much so that I decided to buy that book. Granted, I’m not into songwriting–yet. That may change. I haven’t figured that out yet.

Next was essentially a listening panel, where critiques and comments were given on member-submitted pieces. The panel was a TV song supervisor, advertising guy, and two guys in production music.

I was shocked when I was one of the lucky few chosen.

Even eight hours later, I think I’m still processing what really happened. It was a cinematic/orchestral cue which, in hindsight, needs a bunch of work. But they didn’t know that, so they could only comment on what was presented. Basically, because there’s a LOT of competition in that field, something I definitely am aware of, the bar is terribly high. That said, they called it as they saw it–something I really appreciated.

So this has been a humbling experience. Yet I also know it’s been a good one. I got feedback from people who know what the hell they’re doing, who know where the bar is set, so now I know I need to set my own personal bar to THEIR level, not mine.


I have to get to that point. I’ve been out of the music writing habit for far too long, and it should be a habit. Yes, I’ve done this and that project, but I really should be writing every day, or at least something every night.

This afternoon we had another listening panel, only this was much more wide-ranging and exclusively songs, followed by two great moderated conversations: one on advertising music, and one for film & TV. Great talks, great information–though most of it I knew already, or at least had a good understanding.

I should head to dinner now and will probably take in an open mic.

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 0: Registration

by Ostin 0 Comments

After starting the morning with an excellent breakfast, I had some decisions to make. Load in wasn’t going to start until around 10:30, which I’d planned on lending a hand with, followed thereafter only by registration proper starting at 5:30.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson had different ideas. It’s a brilliant book that I’ll probably finish before my flight home–maybe even before the day is out. So, I wound up not helping with the load in and headed down to wait in the lobby. Once I saw the line start to move, I decided to get in line.

Out the lobby door into the parking garage. Down one full side. I actually registered shortly after 8:00pm.

I’d only had breakfast until then and vacillated between skipping dinner entirely or not. Intelligence won out and I had a delicious chicken Caesar salad, followed almost immediately by overwhelming fatigue and pillow contact shortly thereafter.

I missed the first open mic, which is a bit of a bummer. Tonight I’ll make up for it, though. However, it’s time to prep for the real start of this thing…

One Take 09-16-2010

by Ostin 2 Comments

Maybe I should start making a series of these like I’ve done in the past…

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Tools are not the issue

by Ostin 0 Comments

One thing which is now quite evident is I no longer have any excuses. For a long time I’ve been of the mindset that the audio tools I had were “not good enough” to produce high-quality audio and/or music. Sounding near-real wasn’t good enough, I wanted it to be as good as I could get. Well, now I have those tools. I can produce the high-quality stuff that I’ve been “hearing” all this time.

But there’s a learning curve.

I have to get on that curve. Over the weekend I created a demo track for a possible writing gig. It sounds good, but… there’s something not quite “right.” I’m on that curve and need to fully go down it to get the skills and confidence I need. This will take some time. I realize this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

One Take August 18, 2010

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Hmm, maybe I’ll make this a weekly thing. This one is in C Major, the simplest (but not the saddest) key.

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One Take, Again

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Another one-er done this morning.

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One Take

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Done in one take early this morning.

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Confirmations of Doing the Right Thing or The End of SAD?

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Tuesday was easily one of my most productive, and happiest, days in months. I composed a new instrumental, a new choral piece, then restarted the Zetaman webisode demo track I was working on. Yesterday I composed yet another instrumental and completed the demo track.

At the same time, summer has decided to show up here now. The sun’s been out since at least Tuesday.

My mood since that time has definitely improved. Quoting Radiohead, I am definitely fitter, happier, more productive. Now I’m wondering if the improved mood is because I’m doing what I need to be doing, or is because the sun has returned and my mild Seasonal Affective Disorder has disappeared.

Perhaps a bit of both.

Key Slam Therapy

by Ostin 0 Comments

I just finished doing something I haven’t done in a very long time:

I sat at my keyboard and just played.

I wasn’t trying to write anything in particular. Actually, no, that’s not quite true: I am trying to write something, but I’ve got Mr. Insecure in the way. So I stopped trying to come up with something and just let my hands do their thing. Was it particularly memorable? No, not really. Oh, there were some nice bits I came up with, but that really wasn’t the point. I just haven’t been creative much at all lately, and it felt really nice to shake out those cobwebs a bit.

I’ve got to do that kind of thing more often. And by more often, I probably mean daily. It’s my doctor visit. Actually, no…more like prayer. ‘Tis my worship.