Major Live module diary: Preparing for the gig

We organised a gig for ourselves (CSM students) at Gwdihw pub in Cardiff on 25th of March. I am very excited, but also very nervous. There is one huge problem for me about this upcoming show. There is no acoustic piano, which means I have to completely re-organize my mIMG_0924usic and setup. I can’t play my solo pieces on digital keyboard. It just wouldn’t work and I wouldn’t agree with it. So, I decided to use some of field recordings I’ve done previously for foley and manipulate them on Ableton Live. I found my last years drone music project, which I enjoyed and decided that I will extend and improve it. Also, I will mix it with minimalistic piano motives. It is gonna be very dark, creepy and also little bit nostalgic 20 minutes non-stop performance.

As the performance is one non-stop session, I need to use 2 different templates of my midi controller (on the left). It will be very easy to mess up as I will be using them to turn on/down the volume on sounds and each sound has its effects, such as filters, delays, etc. In one word, very dangerous situation here. Very easy to mess up, when stress plays its part during performance. My solution will be labelling each of button using different colour sticky notes. Also, to make things easier I’ll match the colours with the setup in Ableton.

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Major Live module diary: Preparing for the gig

Major Live module diary: Stage plan

Stage and equipment planning saves time and settles ideas for the performance project. In this case, making this stage plan I also came up with new ideas.

So far, my stage plan includes the laptop (Ableton Live), 2 midi keyboards, midi controller, acoustic instrument (mini xylophone or keyboard harmonicas). As I don’t know if there would be any piano accessible, I am preparing my music on a midi keyboard. This is something I need to sort out as the acoustic piano would require decent mic set up (like contact mics).

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Lighting ideas

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Major Live module diary: Stage plan

Major Live module diary: Marketing #1 Defining my music and audience

It is not enough with just to be passionate about your music. If it’s something you want to do for a living, directions and further actions are needed to be successful. In that case, marketing and promoting is essential fields to acknowledge and put yourself in. Agreeing with Kortepeter (2015), no matter how talented you are or how powerful your art is, without the right audience, your music will not sell.

First, I must understand and define the music. According to Kortepeter (2015), the most important step in identifying your niche audience is finding a concrete and concise definition of what your music is, it’s specific sounds and the genres the music fits in. That means to sit down and critically listen my music and see what key adjectives or hashtags come up: 

#experimental #piano #improvisational #electro-acoustic #music concrete

Also, it is useful to associate or relate your music to other artists what you may be inspired by.  Identifying artists who sound like me can help to observe the tactics these artists used to connect with their own fanbases and introduce my music to those scenes. So, I made a list of the bands and artists, who have a big influence on me: 

1. Múm is an Icelandic electro-acoustic experimental – pop band. Pitchfork describes: “Blending classical and rock instrumentation with glitchy beats, ambient electronics, and stagy vocals, the Icelandic band Múm’s music taps into a spirit of childlike wonder”. I guess, generally, nothing of this relates to my music. But it is the playfulness of textures and recorded sounds I am influenced by and trying to achieve in my work. 

2. Library tapes is a Swedish solo project is based on piano and field recordings. This kind of music I am very familiar with when composing because my skills and confidence lay in the piano instrument. Another phrase coming into my mind, when listening to this album is textural atmospheric effects, which I tend to use in the production process.

3. Greg Haines is an English composer and musician whose music is somewhere between delay-heavy, tape saturated, dub-influenced studio sessions and modern classical music and more traditional composition. Similarly to Haines, I am educated in modern classical music and traditional composition area. These knowledge and skills I use when I generate or experiment with recorded sounds.

4. One of my big influences is Erik Satie. He was a French pianist and composer in the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music and the Theatre of the Absurd. He also coined the term furniture music or furnishing music – the music for background.  Accordingly, terms like minimalism and repetitive is something I would use to describe my music. 

 

 

Now, when I am more confident in describing and defining my own music, I can think about who to address and how. In order to find who would actually appeal to my music i need to consider the possible target audience. 

“Artists and their music typically connect with specific groups of people, no matter how large or small that fanbase may be” (Kortepeter, 2015). 

Am I radio-friendly or a fringe artist? According to Kortepeter, this is a key component to your audience search, as I will need supremely different tactics to achieve success depending on my answer. As I think I belong to one of those fringe/niche music artists, it allows me to seek out places where fringe fans usually go: blogs, internet radio, podcastsAlso, it is important to think about the options locally – what venues or events, radio are there for you to conquer. So, I did some research based on independent music festivals, fringy venues podcasts and radio in Riga and Latvia. The next blog post is the research of areas where my music could fit in aesthetically and where I could promote myself as an music artist. 

Kortepeter, D. (2015) ‘How to Identify the Perfect Niche Audience for Your Music’, Sonicbids Blog, 20 January. Available at: http://blog.sonicbids.com/how-to-identify-the-perfect-niche-audience-for-your-music (Accessed: 13 Dec 2017).
Major Live module diary: Marketing #1 Defining my music and audience