Sunshine

It’s been a brilliant week or so for me. Though, when I say week, I mean the week that passed before the last one. In other words, this post is about a week late.

Anyway, I graduated with a first, finally. I think I’ve studied harder my past three years than all my o/a levels combined. Soon after that news made me giddy, I released my debut EP onto the internets. Music has never come easy to me, and writing has always been tough because I’ve been my own worst critic. As a result, anything I wrote I’d quickly confine to the dumpster simply because I’d not be happy with it. That changed a month and a half ago when I wrote Gregor Samsa is Dead, Long Live Gregor Samsa and sent it to a few of my friends. The fact that they loved it made it easier for me to then start using them as critics, rather than relying solely on myself to judge my music. That ended up changing a lot of things – out of nowhere I got a genuine desire to work and write, rather than come up with a nice section of music and then imagine fame, fortune and lots of new guitar gear bought from all that fortune.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention sex there; simply because us ambient musicians don’t get laid. We aren’t rockstars you see, so why dream a dream that’s pretty impossible? So we dream about the next best thing: loads and loads and loads of guitars, pedals and amps. Maybe a few midi keyboards thrown in for good measure.

Anyway, back to my narrative. So I started writing and I started sending what I wrote to some of my friends whose input I valued highly. I pestered them with a dozen versions of my songs when they were demos, and made them comment on the slightest of changes. Though I didn’t listen to everything they said (I got a bit arrogant – whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is something only they can decide), I was exhilarated to know that they loved the final product. Even though I’d love to get a band together and make some shoegaze meets slowcore meets good old indie rock goodness, I know that at least my desire to keep making ambient music regardless of my activities in a(ny) band will always find itself untethered by the constraints of self-criticism. Partly, this is because I hope I still have the same friends to count on, and partly because releasing Snow Makes Things Perfect gives me the confidence to do it again.

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2 thoughts on “Sunshine

  1. “Hello, Morocco” is nice . but just to expand your repertoire i’d suggest listen to stephen vitiello or Nick zammuto stuff …and try to splice (of course iam not trying to guide or DICTATE stuff to u) varied sources .. this “Hello, Morocco” piece started with a promise but it went flat owing to the dominance of one voice…such things should be a fugue , multi-voiced polyvalent…i dont know … i would have loved it better if it had snippets of Khartoum(the movie) or or a salah takesh percussion snippet …but probably that ‘ll compromise the ambient aesthetic u subscribe to..i dont know ..i see promise here refnulf…five years from now, if u are still at it , i’d want to buy your music…chin up !

  2. hey man, thanks for the input!

    I’ve only heard Zammuto’s stuff with the The Books, so I have no idea if you’re referring to any solo work of his or his work in The Books. Also gave Stephen Vitiello a listen and he’s definitely very interesting.

    The problem with throwing in multiple voices is that it takes away the emphasis from the music itself. The voice is supposed to start the forefront, but then it’s supposed to recede and let the music take over. With multiple voices that can’t happen, at least not in the ambient music I’m trying to create. If I were to traverse more folktronica/electronic stuff a la The Books then multiple samples would be brilliant.

    Do keep commenting though, it’s always interesting to see how other people see my music and how they see/want it to develop!

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