Happy New Year’s, everyone. It’s been a lazy, rainy day here in New York opening up 2007, but I’m contentedly looking forward to what for me, at least, promises to be a good year for making music. Sure, forming New Year’s Resolutions is a pretty arbitrary activity, but I say any excuse that lets you add to your resolve is a good one. Here are a few resolutions that come to mind:
- Play out more: I’ve been in a cycle, personally, of going back to develop material and ideas and get out of the playing-out mode, and I’m ready to cycle back and go play some more. How about you?
- Practice: It’s all too easy as an electronic musician to let your chops go to slush. Fortunately, I have the staff of Keyboard Magazine to intimidate me, and the fact that they’re such brilliant players is easily enough to drive me back to running some scales and finger exercises and getting back in shape. For added inspiration, you can fire up GarageBand or another easy looping program to build some interactive accompaniments (or go to the old-fashioned method and put on a Jamey Aebersold CD). Trust me: scales are a lot more fun when there’s a rhythm section behind you, even as a classically-trained player.
- Build some software patches: I’ve been spending time teaching tools like Max/MSP and haven’t gotten to build my own performance patches. Fortunately, it’s possible to keep your projects on a manageable scale, something I’ve learned from my students. Find a simple solution and solve that is usually the advice I give, and now I’ll go take it myself. With tools like Ableton Live, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to performance: it’s easy enough to add custom tools built in Reaktor or Max/MSP to Live.
I’ll be checking my own progress against some of these goals. But I’m curious what our readers have as resolutions for 2007. What are your goals for the year?