About “The Lost Sound of Progress”
(Note: this was originally posted as a TwitLonger post in August. It’s being reposted here as a means to keep all my random stories together.)
It’s 4am, I’m lying awake in my bed and my sleep schedule is still fucked up, so I said I’d take the time to explain what happened to me during the past 13 months and shed a bit of light on the background behind TLSoP. Hopefully someone will find this informative.
Back in June 2015, I released my first album, “Regenerates”. This was a pretty big deal for me, as it was the first album I released under Project311 and the first time I had ever put up a collection of music made as Syconawt for sale. (It wasn’t my first album published for sale, I had the Aerodrome soundtrack in January.) People who I knew from things unrelated to my music were coming up to me saying that they really enjoyed the album, and others started promoting it. As any content creator will tell you, that feeling you get when your work is appreciated is indescribable.
About a month later, I started work on “Wild Cathedral”, which was due to be the next album. I had all the stuff lined up and ready to go, I had song names, timeframes, guests, genres, everything pretty much lined up and ready for album production. I was hyped up. And then, things started changing.
In August, I started my current job. This was my first full-time 9–5 job and it really threw me for a loop. All of a sudden, 40 hours of my life every week were gone to the machine, not to mention the extra time getting in and out of work. The commitment and the money meant that I had to defer the final year of my course. In September, I had to move into my grandparents’ old house, which added an extra 2 hours a day on top of what I lost to my job due to commuting.
Believe it or not, this was time that was eating into my schedule and eating into any time I had to be creative. Not only that, anytime I got home, I was always tired, just wanting to put my feet up and switch on a Twitch stream or a movie. After work, my social life, moderation responsibilities and trying to be a good boyfriend, I had literally no creative energy to make any music. And it sucked, because I was approached about so many cool projects, but I couldn’t put any effort into making them come to fruition.
I was talking with Tiasu a while back and he shared a great comic made by Matthew Inman, better known as the Oatmeal. In it, Inman talks about how creativity is like breathing. “When you make stuff, you’re exhaling. But you can’t exhale forever. Eventually, you gotta breathe in, or else you’ll be dead.” All of the above, combined with some real life events, meant that I found it almost impossible to breathe. I was trying to inhale, but no air was coming through.
Fast forward to April, and I was headed to PAX East in Boston. This was a big time for me, as not only was it the first time I’d get to meet the friends I made online, it was also an opportunity to make new contacts and spread my music around. To do this, I decided to print off business cards and attach a code to the back of each of them which would allow a download of a mixtape. The plan was to include new music with this mixtape to get people excited about the future. However, my lack of air caught up with me again. Instead of the three new songs I had planned, only one of them, “Tripswitch”, made it onto the tape. Even then, I had to tell people to hold off downloading the tapes until Monday, because the track simply wasn’t finished when I issued the codes.
That was the breaking point for me. I knew I had to get my arse in gear and get back to work. Get myself breathing again.
Over the next few months, I worked hard on spending at least a few minutes a day coming up with ideas and motifs for future music. There were setbacks, but eventually, pieces of music started to take shape. While I was pushing myself to make music, I wasn’t pushing myself to make a full album — if I did, I’d lose my breath again, so I set a target for an EP.
Today, after many many hours and a week off from work to finish the job, it’s done.
That’s where the title of the EP — The Lost Sound of Progress — comes from. It’s about me finally finding the new material I was looking for and the feeling I had when I finished Regenerates; the feeling of accomplishing something.
Wild Cathedral will happen, but not anytime soon. Once I get everything back into place, I’ll take it off the shelf and get back to work on it. The same for the 2nd ESO album.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a big reason as to why I got myself back in order: my girlfriend, Rae (better known as GreatCanadianNorth in some circles). Through my dark times and the times when I was clamoring for air, she was there for me, by my side, cheering me on and giving me the motivation I needed to get stuff done. There’s a reason why her paragraph is longer than others in the “Special Thanks” section on the album. Without her, this EP wouldn’t exist.
And so here we are. The new EP drops on August 6th on BandCamp (Editor’s Note: It’s obviously available now)and a few weeks after on iTunes, Spotify and a few other stores. Unfortunately, this one will cost €4 per copy, as I need to save up the money to take care of some things. If you decide it’s not worth your money, I understand, but if you choose to support it, just know that I am eternally grateful for it. Either way, I hope you enjoy listening to it. If you do, please feel free to share it with your friends, family and social media contacts. Every share helps me that little bit more.
In summary, if you’ve been following me since Regenerates, thank you so much for sticking by me, and if you’re only just checking me out now, thank you for stopping by. The next release won’t take as long as the last, I promise. Just bear with me.
I’m starting to breathe normally again.