The six-year comet only I can see

Posted 2023-07-04 #personal ยท #music production

Recurring dates have held an almost superstitious position in my life for as long as I can remember. I'll give some examples: for a few of my teenage years, the 2nd day of a quarter (e.g. April 2, October 2, etc.) had a reputation for being emotionally turbulent in some way. A majority of my published simfile packs were released on either January 1 or April 20 (try to contain your laughter); little traditions etched into the calendar. But there's one big recurrence in my life: a comet, invisible to everyone but me, that appears in the night sky every six years. It's a deadline, and it arrives in 10 days.

To explain, I first have to give a brief synopsis of my biggest music releases to this point. I won't talk about the songs themselves because they're not directly relevant to this story.

A New Perspective EP (2011)

cover art for 'A New Perspective'

Here's something I made that was completely undocumented online until now! This was my first EP, released moments before my 18th birthday.โ€  There are a plethora of incredibly talented teenage musicians - their age is typically one of the first things you learn about them - and, to be clear, I was not one of these prodigies. I had been goofing off in a cracked copy of FL Studio for a few years and decided to try finishing something. I really wanted to say that I released my first full body of work as a proper teen, no older. I don't remember why I wanted that, but here we are, I suppose. I'm saying it now! Younger me would be so... proud?

Anyway, not to self-deprecate - my friends were supportive of the release and had some kind feedback for me to learn from. It was a fitting 18th birthday for me; I wouldn't do anything differently given the chance.

โ€  This was before I knew virtually anyone in the ITG community!

Voyage EP (2017)

cover art for 'Voyage'

This one's not hard to find on the Internet; it's the oldest music of mine that I think holds up well enough not to remove. A lot had changed since 2011 - I started & finished college, got into a relationship & broke up, and traveled a few times to meet online friends. I wanted to say something about those experiences through music! I wrote some liner notes a few months later to try to articulate my intentions, although I'll be the first to admit that some of what I wrote was reaching for intent where there was only sick beats to be found.

Oh, did I mention I also released this on my birthday? I wasn't trying to start anything! I just happened to be close to done around that time and figured it would be a fun way to celebrate turning 24... exactly six years after my first EP.

Well, that's it so far! Good thing time isn't real and dates can't hurt mโ€”

uhhhhhhhhh EP? (2023)

Image not found

Okay, so, a lot has changed, again. At least last time I had the same name and pronouns as before! Not only that, but I moved halfway across the country, started a new & much more demanding job, and survived through the worst of a pandemic. After 2019, the number of songs I was finishing per year dwindled to about one, my lowest since college. For awhile, I resigned myself to accept this as the cold reality of adult life. This must be why all the indie musicians I listened to a decade ago vanished; they probably had lives to live, jobs to work.

I only just gathered my bearings and released new music independently - for the first time in four years - three months ago. I had the opportunity to save those two songs for a birthday EP, but I already had other plans in mind. See, I knew this date was coming long before those songs were finished (it's hard to miss when it's also your 30th birthday). I had been planning something different for an entire year, and neither Take Me Away nor Nothing Left fit into it stylistically.

So, what was I planning for all that time? Well... it's a secret until the comet arrives. If you follow me on cohost, you probably have a vague idea of what to expect, and in the most literal sense, you'd be exactly right. But you haven't heard anything yet, and you won't hear everything for a good while.

The six-year comet isn't real, and the deadline I perceive it to represent is equally made up. But lots of things are "made up", like money and laws and stories. What matters isn't whether it's real, but whether it's useful. If the imaginary deadline got me to try my hardest to hone my craft for the better part of a year, then, hell with it, I'll keep doing this every time the comet comes around. Maybe I won't even finish this thing until the next time it pays me a visit! That's fine, too. I'll be patient with myself. I think the comet will understand.