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 17, making unpopular music

17, making unpopular music

It just occurred to me last week that I've essentially been doing the same thing since I was 16 years old-with varying degrees of success of course... That was the year I started making music- a crappy acoustic guitar from Sears and a tape deck with headphones plugged into the mic- ports... and the year I put my hands on a video camera for the first time.  It was a BETAmax camera and was part of the mountain of equipment that my media teacher, Russ Gibb (interesting guy, just ask google) was able to procure for his high schoolers in Dearborn, Michigan.  We'd go down to the Graystone Club in Detroit and document bands like The Buttonhole Surfers, Negative Approach and the Meat Puppets.  I guess I figured out what I liked and was able to stick with it.  It's hard work sometimes but I'm always grateful and always learning SOMEthing.

I had a very busy Spring/early Summer in 2017... things have finally slowed down enough to update the BLOG.  I had a half-dozen or so pieces to do for SUNY Potsdam- a piece highlighting the Arts, one or two for Education, one focused on Graduation, and another - in June - that chronicled the Spanish adventures of a Choral group from the Crane School of Music.  Back in early Spring I did a piece for Terra Science- they run science fairs in our region.  It was great fun to speak with so many people excited by Science.  This piece is here 

There was also another Arconic (Alcoa) job in the spring, I really like working with them.  It's always a challenge to work around big noisy equipment and the people are great.  A fun promotion for Potsdam Central Schools is coming soon.  I shot that in May as well.  On July 4 gathered footage for Tedra Cobb, who is running for Congress in my district.  I'm very excited about her prospects and she's been a wonderful person to work with.  The job was to grab a few good shots of her interacting with people, seems easy enough, but the parade moves FAST.  If you've ever been in it, you'll know... it seems so slow when you're sitting there watching...

I taught an Advanced Audio Production course in the spring- over at SUNY Potsdam.  It was a blast, finally, to see some of my students really take off.  One in particular, Adam Hammer, is also an arranger.  He has a bright future, I didn't really feel like I could teach him much, but I made the equipment available and occasionally offered suggestions.  There are others too, really doing interesting things and blessed with some great equipment.

I finished my own recording project the end of May, just as the semester was ending- bad timing-really- but I sometimes you can't control these things.  "The busier you are the busier you are."  I'm really happy with this record ( I always say that) but it's true.  It's a 2CD set- or just a monster download- depending on how you look at things.  The cover shows a cicada coming out of its shell, that's a little bit how I felt while making the album, without Jerod Sommerfeldt as a collaborator (don't worry he's on disc 2 w/ Stephen Bird doing improvisation).  I felt naked somehow, I'm sure it sounds like 'any old Utility Project album' to most but to me it was a bit of a departure.  I'll  include a taste of it here.  

 49, making unpopular music

49, making unpopular music

I'm looking forward to some camping (i.e. not working) but even during the quiet moments I'm planning something.  Thinking about a way to share my love of the world.  I'm growing up a little bit.  I'm getting to be such a big boy!  I'm not so worried about how my work is received- the client needs to be happy of course- but my music- the video work I create on my own- as long as it's done with love there's nothing to worry about.  If people like it I get happy of course, but that's not the motivation.  Not at all.