Saturday, May 28, 2016

DrScythe - announcing PROJECT 100! 100 songs within 10 years (91 songs and 9 1/2 years left)

Project 100

Video version:

Right after I’ve released the 7th and 8th song I realized that two of those eight songs weren’t part of the initial ‘more than 30 songs’. That means I am close to forty songs in the catalogue and as a matter of fact there are still many more ideas and parts lying around. This revelation spawned an idea: to record one hundred songs. I am the first to admit that I had no idea where the DrScythe project was headed. Just go on making songs and videos? Form a band at some point to play live but change the whole approach accordingly? Both options lacked something to me. I know that I am quite disciplined so just going on releasing songs wouldn’t be much of a problem no matter if there’s a lot of fans or not. But with no goal to achieve it felt a little random. And forming a band might not even work so my brain came up with a finish line:

100 original songs in 10 years!
-       Covers/Traditionals
-       Acoustic versions of own songs
-       the recently introduced Vaccines
-       Collaborations with more than ~20 sec guest part

Some may think that 100 songs over the course of 10 years aren’t that many others may be impressed by the sheer number. I myself simply instantly loved the idea of looking back one day and having released one hundred tracks.

Technically there’s a little discrepancy between the 100 songs and ten years when releasing monthly. It’s either the 123rd song in November 2025 or the 100th in December 2023. But one central element of project management is headroom and I think it’s fair to leave some space and just say: completing 100 songs within 10 years is big enough for one artist alone. If I can pull it off in seven so be it. I don’t want to force a certain date for the ‘big finale’ so if it turns out to be April 2024 it’ll be April 2024.

So let me explain the exclusions. The ‘Vaccines’ are obviously just for fun and do not count as a full song (especially as they’re limited to 1:59min). Although I am giving away the surprise now I want to say that I want to do acoustic versions of some of my songs and some traditional folk songs in the future on a random basis which are not even included in ‘monthly release’ (thus the ‘random’ tag) under the label ‘DrScythe raw’ or something like that. This would also include covers of copyrighted newer material if I’ll ever decide to do those.

As for collaborations it will depend on if they’re ever going to happen. I guess that the number of my future subscribers will be the central figure here for others to be interested in a collab. If there’ll be collabs I will allow the song to be a part of the 100 only if the guest part is around 20 seconds total. Anything way beyond that will get a different label. What I’d see as a possibility is to reissue a previously released song with a guest musician and simply do not count it again. But that’s to be figured out later…

Fun facts:
I’ll keep some statistics. All the instruments used are on their 1st set of strings since I began the project (and no, I don’t need to change them, I don’t use regular nickel- or stainless steel roundwounds) but sooner or later that’ll change. I am on the 5th pack of coffee. I use too many different picks to keep track of those accurately.

Aaaand let’s finish on a song; number 9 of 100!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

DrScythe cheap excuses part I

Hello there,
I am sorry to let another week go by without a post but I am working on the 9th song and the big announcement for the week (which will contain a post here) so that I am too busy to put my mind to something useful.

As I plan to release everything on Friday you don't have to wait for too long. Maybe enjoy the music..

So long, greetings to all of you who read this blog! If anyone does follow this blog it would be nice to know

Sunday, May 1, 2016

DrScythe Thoughts - Part V: Status update

Well…six months already. Eight songs done. I intended to stay motivated. I knew that my self-discipline is quite strong after more than two years of pushing myself through bodyweight exercises that became more and more difficult. But I also thought that I would struggle after the first two or three songs. Instead of struggling I sped up to release the 3rd one just to allow myself to enter the D’Angelico endorsement contest. And that resulted in a third place and two fantastic guitars being lent to me. What a boost!

So month after month I kept my focus on finishing recording and mixing on time although my overall mood isn’t too good: looking for a job, no money – the usual sorrows. But what else should I do? Can’t apply for jobs all day long, there’s not even enough offerings for that. So making music is quite a thing to avoid wasting time (or: use it purposefully).

Eight songs that roughly outline where the whole DrScythe-music is headed with more to come that brings new nuances and colors to the project.  The first song just hit 500 views. That’s not a large number compared to other YouTubers, that’s not even a large number compared to some other musicians in the region. To me it’s incredibly cool. I don’t have hundreds of friends who watch the videos. It’s not even a dozen of people I know personally who watch the videos. So 500 is quite a milestone for me. Obviously I’ll celebrate the 1000th one when it happens.

Before I give you a small status update I want to tell the story of ‘Home’, the 7th song and ‘Mind Pirates’ the 8th. Let’s begin with the latter one. The main melody goes back to 2005 or 2006. It just lay around for a while and then, during the Meinthat-era, I played around with it and the idea of using a violin. Then the band split up and the idea was buried until I began sorting out the songs for the DrScythe project. I instantly thought: ‘how could I ever abandon this?’ So it made the list. And I recorded it:

My fiancĂ©e has been asking me for years if I will ever write a song for her. I always said no, partly because I didn’t want to disappoint her, partly because I feared I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. When I finally came up with the idea for ‘Home’ I tested the ‘riff’ out of context and she liked it. So I began writing the rest and here we are. To cover up the recordings I pretended to work mostly on ‘Mind Pirates’ so that she wouldn’t notice the progress until it’s almost done. And it was successful. She suspected nothing (at least she said so), was quite surprised and loves it. Mission accomplished.

So what’s the next mission? Keep on releasing one song per month! Try to gain more fans by doing so. Improving my mixing skills, improving my videos. Releasing the first 14 tracks as album. And then, depending on what’s going on in my life and how much the number of fans grows, begin looking for musicians to perform live. But for now it’s more like trying to promote my stuff as much as possible without being annoying. What seems to be impossible...

On the one hand it’s a great experience to receive a lot of positive feedback and even get a manufacturer of fantastic guitars interested in you especially because every release is accompanied by the typical artist’s mixture of feeling: doubting oneself and exposing your soul. On the other hand is the stagnation of response to that. Only few new followers/subscribers, only the initial larger amount of views which quickly dies off to the slow increase over time. Don’t get me wrong here: I am incredibly thankful for what I achieved so far and I will keep releasing songs. But it’s a little weird to be encouraged to go on and nothing happens. I know that consistency is key on YouTube, but I fear for my computer breaking every time I boot it up – and that would be the end for the whole project for a while. No spare parts, no money, nothing. So my job situation is becoming a larger problem every week and drawing away my attention every time I make music – because I fear to be stopped by defective devices…

Well…that’s it for this week. Happy with the project, happily in love, anxious about the usual topic: money/job. Just like everybody else…

Small extension to the first FAQ

I will definitely enable free downloads for the album. Until then I don’t want to spread the ‘not-on-spot’-versions as downloads out of context.