Greetings from Portlandia!
Today I had a pleasure of listening to a number of speakers share their take on the important elements behind great experience design. As one might expect to discover, the resounding theme of today was the significance of the human element: we are community-seekers, we want to have meaning in our lives, and we work best when we self-identify.
Great design takes into account not just the people for whom we're designing, but also anticipating their needs...and to do so, you must first put aside your agenda and really listen to story in front of you.
"Great products speak to feelings..." Music promotion is no different, and your ability to connect with a potential listener is key.
This is a fascinating context for my current project: finishing the album! In the past, I've always overlooked the importance of branding and packaging when it comes to my music. My internal dialogue went something along these lines: "The music is what is important - who cares about the packaging??" Oh, but people DO care. In fact, I care. As a consumer, I am inundated by brand messading on such a regular basis that I never stopped to process the impact it has on my daily life. And then today, Aubrie Pagano (founder and CEO of Bow & Drape) made the astute observation: "You don't throw away great packaging."
How very true....
In fact, in the musical context, great packaging alone has the power to compel a person to listen to music he or she has never even heard before. I recall recently hunting through the dollar record bins at Stereo Jack's and choosing vinyl just based on the artwork - and oh what amazing artwork! And thus, this idea will surely stay with me throughout the next month as we finish the album. I have a serious project ahead of me, and one I promise to not neglect. After this much time, the packaging must deliver just as the music delivers.
To that end, I made a concrete decision: the band name. Over the last few months, I hemmed and hawed but now I know it's time to trust my intuition. Several domain name purchases later (woohoo!) I am excited at the prospect of once ahead feeling forward motion.
Get ready for some change!
I'm not a huge proponent of New Year's resolutions, but given that have quite a few music-related goals I've actively pursuing, I suppose 2014 is an auspicious year. For starters, the album is coming together: I can now literally hear what I envisioned early on in my head in the latest demos. As we flesh out all the parts, the attitude and vibe is right where I want it to be; I think the end result will be entirely worth all the time (and seriously delayed schedule!).
After two years (gasp - that's a little embarrassing to admit) - I'm finally performing again. Taking the new songs out for public consumption, shaking off the cobwebs (so to speak) and starting to connect with the moment of a live performance is a great thing. It definitely was a bumpy start ;P - but it's coming along.
And writing! I'm writing again - on both piano and guitar - in a consistent, prolific way and I'm loving it.
So in a nutshell: more live music (performing AND consuming), more songwriting, and finish the freakin' album already! Sounds like a good year to me.
I am currently in NH (coincidently for the holiday - - happy fourth of July!) and am definitely having an introverted moment. Technically, per Myers-Briggs anyway, I am an extrovert, but quite frankly, I think I fall somewhere toward the middle of the scale. Once I'm alone, it's hard to be with people again; I've got to ease into it slowly. Thus, having a change of scene all to myself is rather refreshing. Plus, I've got 24-hour access to the piano and I'm having a blast writing.
Taking a break from 'all album, all the time' mode is a good thing, but it's hard to watch the summer slip away from me slowly and wish that we were progressing faster than we are with pre-production. That said, we've got two more demos to track and the rest are in really good shape, so I'm still targeting mid to late August for studio time. Speaking of that, any studio recommendations??