Monday, February 21, 2011

Distance to Jupiter on Soundcloud

Initiated in 1999, Distance to Jupiter is an experimental music project.

I've been using Soundcloud for about a month or so now, primarily as a way of prototyping new tracks. What does it mean to prototype a track? It's about perspective shifting, and Soundcloud bestows a form of objectivity when you're immersed in a project. Working on music can become a perplexing endeavor; it's similar to that effect which occurs when you stare at a single word (on a page, on a screen) for too long - it ceases to be that word, and starts to lose context and meaning and just becomes, well, weird. The same thing can happen to a track if you listen to it repeatedly. You lose critical perspective. Knowing that the work is "out there," however, almost instantly forces you to listen with different ears - the ears of an anonymous audience, either real or imagined. It resets the context. It restores meaning. Though my music doesn't get a lot of listens on Soundcloud, knowing that someone might be listening forces me into a more objective place and lets the music breathe again in my mind. Real imperfections are more readily perceived. Imagined imperfections dissipate. Though seemingly intangible, this is one of Soundcloud's great benefits, especially since my workflow is about immediacy and capturing instinctual, improvised "moments" (getting caught up in post-processing can ultimately become damaging to the music).

Update (April 17th, 2011): The album "Monstrous Fire" is complete:

A note about track 2's evolution: it emerged swiftly, almost fully-formed, during a rainy, windswept winter day in Phoenix, Arizona (2/20/2011). The track's title relates to its inspiration - namely, The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene; I had just finished reading this book the night before, and that, coupled with attendance at the most recent Origins debate, had really pushed my mind into the deep end of the cosmos.

Update (December 3rd, 2015): Shortly after I wrote this entry, I discovered I no longer leverage Soundcloud in my process.