You Should Surf

A few words about my upcoming ten instrumental (tenstrumental?) podcasts…

As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been working on some instrumentals. When I get to number ten, I will podcast them, one a day for 10 days. I’m currently up to eight.


    Reason #1: I am a person who enjoys fun. I find it much easier to bang out an instrumental than a song with lyrics. Instrumentals are typically just playtime for me. Experimenting with sounds on the keyboard, creating new sounds from scratch with a bunch of different synthesizers, messing around until a little melody or rhythm catches my ear. Once I get two or three tracks down for a few measures, most of the work is done. It’s like surfing. Which I did once. The hard work is paddling at the beginning, but once the wave grabs you, you’re just going. You have to balance, but the forward movement is out of your hands. Someone should really write a song about that.

    It’s really good
    You should try it
    I said it’s good
    Have a snack
    Take a nap
    And then surf
    And then more naps

    How’s that?

    Also, it seems like instrumentals don’t so much have to be A Song. They can be one idea. One feeling. Even one chord if you have an interesting sound. Especially given my intended purpose for this music, which is…

    Reason #2: This music is made to be ignored. Well, at least not to be the primary focus. My hope for the next year is to begin licensing my music to TV shows, radio talk shows, films, ads, etc. This is how I plan to make a living in the music industry. I may also grow a beard. I have a number of instrumentals already, but I wanted to put together a 10-song demo of short (under two-minute) songs expressly for this purpose. To that end, many of these songs are very simple. To even call some of them songs may be an overstatement. The radio industry calls music that plays underneath the DJ/host/newscaster a “music bed” which I think is a good description. Good music bed material fills in the space between words and affects the mood of the piece in a powerful, but almost subconscious way. The music in This American Life is a great example (and also the show I dream of being on. You know your sense of ambition is a little screwy when you fantasize about being talked over on public radio).

    I’ve also written and recorded these in such a way that they are very easy to shorten or extend to any length required.

    Reason #3: For use in other people’s podcasts. Indie music, indie broadcasting, indie media of all kinds are the antidote to doomed, dying, fighting like a cornered mongoose corporate homogeneity. I’m proud to be part of it, and I want to do my part to contribute.

    This definitely overlaps with reason #2. The main difference here is that most podcasts are not making money yet. To that end, all these songs will be released with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. That means that anyone, anywhere can use this music however they want, for free, as long as they give me credit and release their content with this same license, unless they are making money from their content. If they are a money-making enterprise, they can contact me and I will be delighted to do bidness witchoo. I think podcasting is extremely cool, not to mention the way of the future way of the future way of the future (Anyone else see “The Aviator“?)

So, that’s the basic idea and a little about what to expect. If I come up with a reason #4, I’ll let you know. At the current rate, I should hit ten songs sometime this week, and then will start podcasting them right away. So, subscribe now, before it’s too late!*

* It will never be too late.

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