My life as such: our public performance in The Heeren – or rather the practice sessions leading to that one event – must have been draining to our band members. Three months we were in hiatus. It was the Christmas, the New Year, the Chinese New Year, and for me, much of my time has been devoted to photography.
As I was leaving the jamming studio Stone Jamz on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon carrying 20 kg worth of band gear, the band next door was playing the exact same bass line as what Cynthia has been playing in one of our songs. Down to the exact same set of chords. Either our drummer Wieke or guitarist Jason commented that we shall start to copyright our music. I laughed heartily. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe it was not; maybe it was influence, maybe it was not.
Recently, I have been hit with a revelation that I can pick on the things that I have learned while mastering on one art form and apply them to another. It is efficiency, it is synergy, depending on how you see it. It does not make the pain of hard work and frustration goes away. But cross-discipline pollination of concepts and ideas and techniques seem to have by chance or by design invoked an out-of-the-box experience when I am stuck staring at the same art form for too long (see Medici Effect on innovation by cross-discipline interaction).
So what do I mean?
The concepts of subject standing out from the background (photography), every piece of work begins with a title (music and writing), a common theme and consistency across an album (photography and music), interesting variation in details (painting), mood (music), and technical skill (all). Maybe next time before I take a photo, I shall have a title in mind, enter into a certain mood. Maybe next time I write a piece of music, I shall consciously think of what my subject is going to be, what should be in the background. Maybe next time I paint a picture, I shall apply the technical skill of the photography. Maybe next time I write, I shall add a lot of interesting variations on not only what is in focus, but out of focus like what I would be doing when I paint.
After each photo session, I would have to sit down and go through hundreds if not more than a thousand pictures and see which ones are the keepers and what need to be done at my computer. After each jamming session, I would have to do the same for the hours of recorded materials. It is hard work, it can be frustrating. Instead of looking at the color histogram, I look at the waveform of sound. Unlike photos that I can make a decision to keep or to reject, what to work on at one glance, tidying up recording music materials take lots of patience in listening to each track from beginning to end, comparing to one track to another of the same song. Instead of the highlight and shadow protection that I usually observe when I work on my photos, I apply sound compression to my recorded materials. Same concept of bring out the details of the submerged creating a more balanced outcome.
My life as such: I still want my band to audition for Baybeats Singapore, a music festival. Maybe for the year 201x, whatever x is going to be.