For the full effects of this blog post, put your headphones on!
I love Soundcloud. I first joined in 2008 – when I was living in Barcelona and started playing around with Garage Band. I wanted to make audio tracks for my poetry.
My first efforts resulted in instrumental tracks – I’d start by collecting loops that fit the mood and timing of the poem I had in mind. I’d get so involved in building a track, I’d forget about the poem and end up with a track that was complete without words and vocals.
Then life being what it was in Barcelona – constantly moving from shared flat to shared flat, and going out to sing in jam sessions (almost every night of the week!) – I stopped making tracks and just concentrated on learning how to sing and learning covers – so I’d have something to sing that the musicians knew.
e.g. Poetry and Music Workshop with 4.33 Inspires
Earlier this year, I did a music and poetry workshop with eg Poetry, where I wrote the poem “I Could Have Been a Banker”, came home, recorded it and built a sound track. It was a major breakthrough for me – because I finally had the words with music! I discovered the secret to making my tracks was to record the words first and then choose the sounds and build the track around my spoken rhythm.
Encouraged by that little track’s modest success, I went on and made more tracks – only to discover a technical problem with the vocals disappearing after mixing! But I persisted – and with the help of some Soundclouders, and friends at Safehouse, have finally learned how to get a better vocal recording.
Soundcloud Opens Door to International Collaborations
And now I have collaborators! How exciting is that! I’ve just done two tracks with other artists: one with DeepMan from Belgium. I listened to his music and immediately thought of a song I’d written about my father ‘Easier Said’. I’d jammed it in blues jams, but I really wanted a recording, so I recorded the vocals, uploaded them, and asked him if he would like to add some sounds. (That’s the track playing right now.) He’s a great collaborator and has given me two more tracks to work with (plus I get to practice my written French in our correspondence!).
Then Saturday evening I heard an absolutely magical track by The AsSocIaTIoN from Australia, and immediately thought of a children’s poem I’d written in about 2000 – when I was working at La Sanctuaire in Montreal. One of my clients told me about a skating path in Trois Rivieres – and I went home home and wrote the poem ‘The Enchanted Forest’. The AsSocIaTIoN’sSleigh Ride delivered the exact mood I’d tried to create with the poem, so I sent an email asking if I could use it. Eric agreed and I spent Saturday evening till the wee hours recording and mixing and the vocals with his track.
Since then I’ve been approached by two more artists who would like to collaborate with me – one in the States and one in Greece who has sent me a track which I’ve written lyrics for and will be recording sometime in the next days. And there are others….in fact, there’s a queue!
Safehouse Experimental Music Collective Opens Door to Realizing Personal Dream
In addition to making my own tracks, I’ve been regularly improvising with Safehouse Experimental Music Collective – and have some recordings of those sessions also up on Soundcloud. The vocals I am able to do with Safehouse are the realization of a dream. When I lived in Budapest I heard an experimental vocal group from New York. I sat in the audience and wanted so badly to do what they were doing. With Safehouse, I’ve realized that ambition. When you’ve finished reading and listening on this page, click here to hear the results!
Use Energy Fueled by Negative Experiences to Make Dreams Come True
So as we approach the end of 2011, I am truly satisfied with my accomplishments of the past year. I’ve realized goals that started out as mere wishes. “I wish I could do that!” I’ve blasted through personal fears and insecurities to make those wishes reality. Along the way, I’ve endured libel (I kid you not!), horrendous bullying by a flipped-out stage manager – even a collaboration that turned sour! None of that has stopped me! If anything it’s fueled me. I’ve taken the energy generated by the disappointment and dismay, focused on the good people and things in my life, and used that energy it to do things I ‘wished’ I could do.
And with all of that, I’ve also learned more about digital media (thanks to the digital festival and Brighton’s (mostly) open and generous digital community) – not to mention WordPress and Zemanta!
I may not have written a post a day, but I’ve given it a good run! And I bet if I add up all the posts on here, and on alisonboston.wordpress.com, and all the unpublished drafts – I’d make my 365.
So thank you WordPress, Soundcloud, and all the wonderful people I’ve met who have helped me along the way. You’re the greatest!
Best Wishes of the season to you. Have a good one!
…and oh yes, we mustn’t forget Biodiversitree – which, believe it or not – one nutter threatened to chop down because they didn’t like where it was planted!
With the love and support of the Ooto crew who’d help build it, it stood firm.
- SoundCloud CEO Alex Ljung on why Berlin is hot [Video] (gigaom.com)
- How Alex Ljung Conceived SoundCloud And Plans To Make It Rain (forbes.com)
- Music Lovers: Why Aren’t You Using SoundCloud? (makeuseof.com)