Beginner's luck...

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triviul
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Beginner's luck...

Post by triviul » Wed May 16, 2007 11:14 am

Hello all,First things first -- my music is pretty bloody odd. I've been playing it to friends and relatives for a while now, and not a single person has said: "oh, that sounds just like [fill in well-known or even slightly-known artist as appropriate]." In fact most of them have said things like: "Is that you?!", "Oh my god, this is like nothing I've ever heard before!", and "You are a very strange man." This is all well and good (I've come to terms with being a very strange man.), but it has left me with a bit of a problem when it comes to describing the music I write for the purposes of flogging it. What genre best categorises what I'm writing?Now I know that a lot of people say that it's bad news from a commercial standpoint if you can't clearly define a style for your work, perhaps because an overriding stylistic framework lends coherence to all the tracks on an album. However, I've actually worked very hard to refine and shortlist my tracks so that they hold together stylistically, despite their not fitting very well into any particular recognised category. I just need to have a better idea of what styles I'm closest to.This is a big reason why I've just joined Taxi. (Not the only reason of course. I'm also a keen collector of transport-based website subscriptions.) I'm hoping that by sending out various tracks to different listings I'll get really knowledgable opinions of what styles I fit into. The screeners don't owe me anything, so If I get forwarded, I've got to be suitable for the style in the listing, right? That's my logic anyway.The reason I'm posting is that, in true infuriating beginner's style, I've lucked out and managed to get a forward from my very first submission. Because I've found it really useful seeing the examples people have already posted of the tracks they've had forwarded, but also because most of the stuff I've heard has seemed more mainstream than what I'm doing, I thought I'd post information about any forwards I get, with links to the tracks on my Taxi homepage, in case they might be of benefit for those further off the beaten track. So here goes. My four-leaf clover Dispatch listing read roughly follows:"Melodic, emotional, intimate SINGER-SONGWRITER SONGS (with MALE vocals - no instrumentals) a la Ray LaMontagne, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Hayden, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, etc. are again needed by a West Coast Publisher/Library for numerous projects on their plate. They're not too worried about lyrical content, but stay away from submitting songs with profanity. Songs with universal lyrical themes will be easier to place. They want great songs with sparse arrangements and a "quieter" sound rather than loud, full-band arrangements - songs where brilliant, emotional vocals come to the forefront and the musical performance is on equal footing. That doesn't mean that you can't have a multiple-instrument arrangement, but they do want a smaller, more personal sound. Great performances are required. Broadcast quality needed - great sounding home recordings are OK. TAXI # D070507SS"The track that got forwarded was called "Gimme", and can be found on my homepage http://www.taxi.com/triviul/.(Particularly chuffed reading the listing again -- I suppose I must be a 'brilliant emotional vocalist' then. Well, well. My grandma will be pleased.)Hope this is of use to someone.

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by jeffe » Wed May 16, 2007 11:40 am

I had a listen to all of your tracks on TaxiMusic.I like you style. It's quite different. Something that's hard to come by. My favourite of your songs was "Better?".I think you sit firmly in Alternative. Although I can hear the influences of modern jazz in places.I think you've got a future with your sound. It probably needs a few subtleties to help the flow, though I wouldn't recommend changing the songs much, because it might take away from your sound, which is quite fresh.I only suggest changes to help it more in the commercial sense, and a publisher is interested in making money, and the money is in the commercial arena.I reckon there's a publisher/mentor out there looking for you somewhere They are likely to suggest modifications, but I think you have a good basis for a very individual sound there.Great stuff.
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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by gitarrero » Wed May 16, 2007 12:03 pm

just listened - I like the kind of wired aspect in your music, the unusual. I think that is your selling-point. it CAN be a good point if your music can't be categorized - if that is what the listing party is asking for. I could imagine that some of your tracks also might work in movies.it reminds me a little to some work of bjoerk, the small lady from island...and congrats to the forward!cheers,martin
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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by mikehelms » Wed May 16, 2007 2:25 pm

Actualy I love!! YOUR !! SH You Have made a FAN!! Check you around.. Michael

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by triviul » Fri May 18, 2007 1:34 am

Quote:I had a listen to all of your tracks on TaxiMusic. Blimey – that was quick! Thanks for all the nice stuff you said – it’s always a boost to get positive feedback.Quote:I think you sit firmly in Alternative. Although I can hear the influences of modern jazz in places.That’s the closest I’ve seen so far, although it always seems a bit of a cop-out somehow. Alternative to what? Anyway… I imagine you’re hearing the jazz influences in Glasses On, although most jazz actually leaves me completely cold, to be honest!Quote:I think you've got a future with your sound. It probably needs a few subtleties to help the flow, though I wouldn't recommend changing the songs much, because it might take away from your sound, which is quite fresh. I only suggest changes to help it more in the commercial sense, and a publisher is interested in making money, and the money is in the commercial arena.Now that I’ve got the stuff to a point at which I’m as happy as possible with it, I’m now pretty open to that kind of input. Flow is the biggest problem I have with some of these songs now, partly because of the way I went about putting them together – I built the music first and then tried not entirely successfully to construct a groove around it. For my next load of material I want to sort this out by starting from the groove and building the music around that. Apart from anything, my groove construction skills don’t really match the rest of my game -- I think it’ll make more sense to do the heaviest lifting with the most powerful machinery!

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by triviul » Fri May 18, 2007 1:45 am

Quote:I like the kind of wired aspect in your music, the unusual. I think that is your selling-point. it CAN be a good point if your music can't be categorized - if that is what the listing party is asking for.That’s what I’m hoping, but only time will tell.Quote:I could imagine that some of your tracks also might work in movies.This is something that has only recently begun to occur to me from seeing the Dispatch listings in particular. We’ll see.Quote:it reminds me a little to some work of bjoerkThat’s interesting, because I’m a big fan of Homogenic (and indeed of a lot of Spike Stent’s mixing work), but I hadn’t thought it showed through unless you were listening for it. Thanks for the comments!

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by triviul » Fri May 18, 2007 1:58 am

Quote:I didn't make it through with this listing, and hearing your submission, I understand a bit better what they were looking for. Thanks for sharing your music, and congratulations on your forward.Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad it’s been useful, because I’ve already found listening to other people’s forwarded tracks so useful myself.

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by triviul » Fri May 18, 2007 2:07 am

Quote:Actualy I love!! YOUR !! SH You Have made a FAN!! Crumbs. What can I say? Glad you liked it so much!

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by davewalton » Fri May 18, 2007 2:32 am

Quote:I didn't make it through with this listing, and hearing your submission, I understand a bit better what they were looking for. I was thinking the same thing about me, you, and French laundry detergent.

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Re: Beginner's luck...

Post by jeffe » Fri May 18, 2007 8:16 am

Quote:Quote:I had a listen to all of your tracks on TaxiMusic. Blimey – that was quick! Thanks for all the nice stuff you said – it’s always a boost to get positive feedback.That’s the closest I’ve seen so far, although it always seems a bit of a cop-out somehow. Alternative to what? Anyway… I imagine you’re hearing the jazz influences in Glasses On, although most jazz actually leaves me completely cold, to be honest!Quote:I think you've got a future with your sound. It probably needs a few subtleties to help the flow, though I wouldn't recommend changing the songs much, because it might take away from your sound, which is quite fresh. I only suggest changes to help it more in the commercial sense, and a publisher is interested in making money, and the money is in the commercial arena.Now that I’ve got the stuff to a point at which I’m as happy as possible with it, I’m now pretty open to that kind of input. Flow is the biggest problem I have with some of these songs now, partly because of the way I went about putting them together – I built the music first and then tried not entirely successfully to construct a groove around it. For my next load of material I want to sort this out by starting from the groove and building the music around that. Apart from anything, my groove construction skills don’t really match the rest of my game -- I think it’ll make more sense to do the heaviest lifting with the most powerful machinery!If you find it too difficult to make the flow happen in the way you want it, and you think you are not going to achieve it on your own, then collaboration is an option. However, I'd recommend that any collaboration should be more on a consultancy level, because, as I said before. I don't think you should let people play around with your music too much, because there is something special in there, and it might be lost by doing that.Perhaps you could ask someone to rough up a basic melody of one of your songs, and incoporate loads of flow. Then take that version and compare it to yours. I think you'll know what to do after that.I know this because of listening to what you already have. You have several parts going off in your head at the same time and they get mixed up. It's a kind of madness (You wanna see the speed at which I write).I'd say your writing style is probably hectic. Hence your results. It doesn't work for many people but it seems to work for you
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