Major Matt’s 1st Monday, December 2022 Playlist

Recently, I’ve been collaborating on some new sounds in a local studio. I took a couple months off for various reasons, one of which was money. I used to have a hard time spending money on my own recordings. I loved working in studios but I didn’t like how expensive they were. There was a time, a lot of people didn’t consider your music legitimate if it didn’t sound like it was recorded professionally. I feel in love with music that sounded more indie and lofi.

I learned how to record myself, partially because I wanted to spend more time exploring sounds without having the pressure of watching the clock. I also enjoyed the casual vibe of working in my own living space vs. an intimidating, isolated, studio.

Better understanding the tools for shaping sounds like eq and compression allowed me more time and flexibility to try new things. It also felt like the limitations of working this way allowed for more exploration.

After a while, I started helping other people with their recordings. I worked with a lot of people with limited budgets who were just starting out. It felt good to be able to provide a service they might not have otherwise been able to afford.

But even in the DIY world, time and money inevitably became a factor. When I’m recording myself I still have to budget my time around my own work schedule and personal life.

Today with the development of digital home recording it’s often nearly impossible to tell if a song was produced in a million dollar studio or a one bedroom apartment.

Sometimes, my knowledge about sound engineering can really send me down an obsessive rabbit hole. I can get hyper-focused on things and spend hours on something that, in the big picture, might not be so important.

There is a term used in The Buddhist practice called The Middle Path. These days I like to balance my projects between home and studio. I find budgeting money for time in the studio helps me focus on what I want to accomplish.

Sometimes, I still go down rabbit holes in the studio, but there’s something about the monetary cost that helps me to appreciate that part of the process a little bit more. I also enjoy having another objective set of ears.

Sometimes, I can spend hours working on something for a very small result. Other times things just fall into place spontaneously with very little effort. I think the trick is remaining present and open to both sides of this creative process.

The value of effort cannot be totally determined by the amount of time or money one spends on it.

Below is a playlist of songs that have resonated with me in the past month. I hope they bring more joy to your life. Thanks for listening, MMM

Included are songs by: Andy Shauf, Andrew Cashen, R. Ring, Pottery, Julian Cope, La Luz, Bonny Light Horsemen, Say She She, Trevor Beales, Gyeongsu, Croche, Scott McMicken and THE EVER-EXPANDING, The Dead Milkmen, Lost Horizons, Bauhaus, Robyn Hitchcock, Ghost Funk Orchestra, The Flaming Lips

(Subscribe to get a new playlist every 1st Monday of the month. Click on my user link or search: Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.)

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