2017 Books To Read

Growing up, between the ages of 12-40, I read close to 400 science fiction books and still have most of them in boxes up in the attic. I was still buying 15-20 new sci-fi books every year right up until 2007; however, at some point within the past decade I lost interest in sci-fi because I didn’t feel like I was learning anything. I even started feeling guilty when reading sci-fi. A nagging impulse which eventually took hold was that I should be doing something more to expand my mind, learn new skills and generally improve myself.

According to my logs, I read fifteen sci-fi books in 2007, and only seven in 2008. By 2009, I had fully transitioned to reading non-fiction, with a focus on books that would help improve my productivity, improve my outlook on life, and increase understanding of my place in the universe. It seems at that point in my life, just after turning 40, I was ready to allow an avalanche of life-improvement wisdom into my consciousness… and I am extremely pleased with the results! If you aren’t spending any time reading, then you are potentially ignoring one of the greatest resources to help make your life better.

By the way, modern science and philosophy are at a cross-roads where the paths of these disciplines are converging. And that’s good news for the future of Humanity.

Here are the books I intend to read significant portions of in 2017.

The Holographic Universe:
The Revolutionary Theory of Reality by Michael Talbot

Frequency:
The Power of Personal Vibration by Penny Peirce

Emotional Intelligence:
Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

The Magic In Your Mind by U.S. Andersen

Cosmic Trigger I:
Final Secret of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson

The Synchronicity Key:
The Hidden Intelligence Guiding the Universe and You by David Wilcock

Prometheus Rising:
Eight Circuits of the Brain by Robert Anton Wilson

Quantum Psychology:
How Brain Software Programs You and Your World by Robert Anton Wilson

The Nice Waves of Creation:
Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution, and the Destiny of Humanity by Carl Johan Calleman

The Spontaneous Healing of Belief:
Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits by Gregg Braden

The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization:
The Quantum Evolution of Consciousness by Carl Johan Calleman

The Biology of Belief:
Unleasing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton

2017 Books To Read

Back From Hiatus w/Music On My Mind

After my last post in December 2014, I entered a period of focus on my career and a general increase of activities in other areas. Information overload eventually forced me to take actions to simplify my life, at which point I pretty much decided my blog was one of the things I could do without stressing about. Throughout 2015, I grew increasingly frustrated with my life and my music in particular; you could say things were out a balance for a little while during my second year as an independent technologist and composer. While I did manage to compose 10 new songs in 2015, they are all pretty short and not fully developed. I stopped flying my drone for semi-professional aerial photography; I even took the camera off my DJI Phantom 1 and now fly it for sport. (con’t below)

MusicOnMyBrain

I wasn’t happy with where my skills with music were at the beginning of 2016 mainly because I wasn’t spending enough time with it. I wasn’t so much as “busy with work” as I was challenged, inspired and engaged with work… because work felt mostly like playing to me. My focus had been entirely on my music for the first year to eighteen months after becoming independent, but that focus was no longer appropriate for the circumstances in 2016. While I’d like to believe I always intended to put my priorities in order of Health, Family, Work, Art, I had instead been artificially holding Art as first priority. This obviously interfered with Family, Work and Health. I continue to determine to put Health as #1, Then Family, Work… and Art after those things. When Art was wrongfully held as #1 priority, the remaining three areas of focus all fell to a distant second place. That’s not true… work was a close 2nd; Art and Health fell to a much more distant 3rd priority.

After deep thought, the best adjusted perspective was determined to be that Music (my art) should be moved over into a pile of other things I liked doing, such as playing video games, watching movies, or reading books. Books, Movies, Games and Music. It’s a nice set of interesting things to occupy my time with when I’m not focused #1) Health, #2) Family, #3) Work. It was just a matter of priorities and putting things into the right order.

I cannot begin to describe how much less friction there has been in my life since I got my priorities straight. And even more surprising, I feel like I’ve found myself in relation to my music, all over again, as though it hadn’t been fully as formed of a concept before now. Because for a long while, I turned my nose up at Books, Music, Games and Movies as a waste of time. Turns out, I function better if I keep those nice side-attention activities where they belong and keep my eye on the priorities, life is much more enjoyable. Indeed, I find more pleasure by ensuring I’m not neglecting my Health, my Family or my Work… because there is far more than plenty of time to develop my interests in batch processing, sticking with single-threaded topics for a month or months at a time, instead of trying to switch between all of them all the time. Focus on music for 30 days, and it’s amazing what comes out. I really need and deserve to fully develop my best ideas though, or else I’m short-changing myself, causing friction where none needs to be. It’s far easy to stay balanced and focused and accomplishment oriented, but take breaks all the time for doing other things you love… and you’ll find yourself there, waiting for you.

With this attitude, I regained the joy found in playing video games during my leisure time without any guilt, as well as experiencing an intense phase of musical composition again… finally! What happened to turn on the flow of creative productivity with my music again is that I stopped trying to compose music like everyone else is doing, and instead focus on my own personal nature, the sound I’ve developed over decades of composing, performing, and recording music that are finally paying off with some of the best music I’ve ever composed… and that’s happening right now.

Exactly What You Wanted

itcareers1024

Two points of interest.

1) Each and every one of us, we all tend to find… exactly what we’re looking for in our lives. The exceptions are rare.

2) When I realize I am no longer in doubt about the outcome of a certain action, I have set the universe into motion in my favor to create exactly the conditions I have conceived will be brought into reality. The depth of the certainty I have in turn provides me with a relaxed outlook as compared to the stress which frantic uncertainty and doubt did for me in the past. My degree of certainty for particular actions with anticipated result over a prolonged period of time is equivalent to the degree of certainty most baseball outfielders know in which direction to start running from milliseconds after the ball leaves the bat. Eventually, we learn to anticipate the long-term results of the things we each do to and for each other today, and our actions change to produce a different outcome. The change in outcomes can be dramatic. And all we’ve really done is rotated our point of view of things.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, or otherwise give thanks for the things you have.

Sooth Aerial Demo Reel #2

Learning how to fly professionally, I flew 135+ successful flights this summer, accumulating over 12 hours of aerial video with my Phantom GoPro3+ Zenmuse UAV/drone quadcopter in both Colorado and Minnesota. I spent some time culling the best cinematography from over 40 locations and got that down to 30 minutes of footage. Then I cherry-picked clips from my favorite locations and used a 115bpm song of mine to pace the video editing and created this aerial feast for your eyes, 49 clips in under 80 seconds. Special thanks to Shawn Murry of Colorado Aerial Media Pros for introducing me to Cal Cheney from AllDigitalStudios.com.

Locations in the video include: (Colorado) Blue Mesa Dam and Reservoir, Monarch Pass, 11 Mile Canyon, Dunafon Castle, Evergreen Lake House, Cottonwood Lake, Tech Center, Castle Cliff Estates, Arrowhead Golf Course, Sanctuary Golf Course, plus locations near Perham, MN.

Success With Technology

I’ve been quiet lately, but that’s not a bad thing. It only means I’ve been super busy, which is a good thing.

While I was listening to one of the latest songs I have composed, I realized that listening to my compositions over and over not only heals me, but it actually sounds DIFFERENT every time I listen. Thanks to the latest in sequencing sampler technology, the music I compose starts off as a capture of my performance with every instrument in the song. That’s what a sequencer does: it captures exactly how I played the keyboard for each particular “take” or recording. So when I compose, I’m not actually recording anything, except when I struck keys in order along a timeline, along with how hard I struck them, how long I held them down, whether I pushed on the keys while holding them down (and if so, how hard), and the moment I let go of any key. There may be additional performance controls recorded simultaneously, or as a second or third pass; controls which affect the live performance of tweak-able parameters of the sound.

Behind the scenes, inside the computer, sophisticated playback devices are triggered with the playback of my performance, much in the same way player pianos were triggered in the 19th century saloons. There’s a maturity of those playback devices which have added several layers of realism to my performance, to help your ears believe that real instruments were being played by real people, rather than synthesized instruments being manipulated by a keyboard player. That technology allows for mildly human characteristics to be applied to my performance, such that each time it is played back, every instrument being triggered has multiple layers of sounds to evoke at random so that humanistic-flaws can be artificially introduced into the resulting mix of instrumentation.

The outcome is truely inspiring while sitting here in the studio listening back to 27 instrument tracks being played back, each one loyally playing exactly as I performed it originally, but with a slightly different nuance each time the same piece is heard over again.

Seriously, that’s some really cool shit right there. My peformance, as though being played back by real people, just a little bit differently each time I play it back, every instrument combining up to 5 or more variations of every particular note, with mildly different inflections.

The bottom line is that I’ve been fighting an up-hill battle with technology to get it to perform to the level of my expectations, and it seems that I’m making incredible gains across all fronts in the level of productivity I’m now able to achieve across the boards with all the latest, greatest technology I have invested in within my studio. That includes my Phantom/GoPro aerial multi-rotor high-definition camera rig, as well as the 12-core super-computer which powers an entire orchestra beneath the muscle-memory perambulations of my narrow fingers across a piano keyboard. Amazing Technology, ALL of it!

Scenic Mountain Trip

I’m back from last week’s Colorado Creative Industries Summit in Salida. What a wonderful town of great people! It’s considered the “largest little artist town” in Colorado… I believe that’s what I saw. Got to meet other musicians, animators, film makers, and be inspired by the creative people who held sessions to teach us various aspects of becoming a successful “Creative Entrepreneur”.

On my return trip, I took my Phantom/GoPro to visit Blue Mesa Dam, the Monarch Pass, and 11 Mile Canyon outside of Lake George, all in central Colorado. I’ve edited a video and will be composing a soundtrack to go with when I post my DEMO REEL #2. In the meantime, here’s an over-processed frame-grab from some aerial video I captured from Monarch Pass, east of the summit and from about 10,000 feet. I’ve been keeping busy! And I retain my perseverance!

Monarch Pass Colorado

From ASCAP EXPO 2014

This year, I decided to get serious about my music as a career and joined ASCAP as a member, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Producers. This is their 100-year anniversary as a professional intellectual rights organization, and quite a show they are putting on here in Los Angeles! I couldn’t be more happy about making the choice to join them and attend this conference for MUSIC CREATORS.

ASCAP is a non-profit organization which represents the people who, without which, there wouldn’t be ANY music. They are advocates for the rights of musicians and their work world-wide, but especially on Capitol Hill. Part of ASCAP’s job is to help ensure that musicians receive their fair share of the pie from music distribution and performance royalties throughout the industry, so that musicians who pour their soul into their life’s work can expect to earn a living doing what they do.

Paul Williams (Carpenters song-writer and 1979 Muppets Movie fame) is ASCAP president and chief advocate for musicians and their work, and at 73 years old, it’s great to see his enthusiasm and energy in person. I can only hope that when I’m 73, I have the same level of GUSTO that this man has! What a great guy! His energy is contagious!

Last night as one of the special events ASCAP arranged, we got to attend a private acoustic session performed by Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ray Parker Jr. of the Ghostbusters theme song fame, Amy Grant, and Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi. WOW!

ascap_private_concert