focus on focus

First off: that’s right, spammer, I’m not monetizing my website.

Okay then. I’ve been pondering my modular journey and where it goes next. I feel like Synth Farm 2.0 is really good, but not perfect yet. There’s something of a conflict between focus and flexibility that I feel I need to resolve one way or the other if possible. I started my modular journey with exploration, but I’m making specific music. There are questions I need to ask myself about what’s essential, what’s optional, what’s irrelevant or distracting.

Instruments like the Lyra-8 really appeal to me: focused on human expression and improvisation, made for the general region of sound and feel that my music has. I may yet end up with one, but I want to make sure it’s not just “greener grass” and that it doesn’t create more redundancies. If I would use it to create the kind of music I’m already making, do I really need it? …or if I can make the same kind of music with a Lyra-8 as I can with an entire modular synth, do I need the modular synth?

I’ve been listening to the new-ish Esoteric Modulation podcast, among other things. It deals with the more boutique and exotic electronic instruments even beyond Eurorack, the intersection of music and other arts, and the thought that goes into instrument design. So it’s some excellent food for this kind of thought.

I’ve also been thinking about Knobcon, which is upcoming in about 6 weeks. Two years ago I was at a different place in my journey: I had a good feel for the synthesis techniques I wanted to work with, but a smaller system, hadn’t gotten into sequencing and control questions very deeply yet, and I hadn’t really found “the Starthief sound” quite yet. I went in hoping to try a few specific things, and to just get some overall perspective. What I wound up with was impressions of specific modules and instruments, some enjoyable performances, and feeling overwhelmed (I also didn’t have a handle on anxiety at the time).

My goals for this Knobcon are to relax and take it slow, retreat or stop and collect my thoughts when I need to — and to try things in the context of the music that I make, and think about focus.

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