1st solo album.
Recommend listening from start to finish!
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Artwork by mushbuh ( twitter.com/mushbuh
A novel I wrote: itch.io/game/summary/24208
"Summers in Winter"
Much More Info On Everything (check the track info too)
Originally titled 'Everyday End Credits Theme Songs', but near the end of the composition process I realized there was a strong need for my work to be more sociopolitical - not just in music, but games, community service, arts, writing, etc.
This album doesn't achieve that aim, but I feel like my thoughts as an Asian American have come into the songs in some ways, and making my work more sociopolitical is a goal of mine, so I changed the album title and track order and track titles, to hopefully remember this album as some kind of starting point for me towards a goal to make music which is not just primarily escapist.
Here's a criticism: It's a self-centered album in that it's constructed from my personal experience. From only a listening-standpoint it doesn't offer much of these ideas I'm discussing in this description box. I'd like to incorporate more voice, singing, etc... in future albums, so as to try and touch on themes which sounds can't get at.
The order of the tracks constructs a light narrative of the process for me of realizing how my interests/skills/personality have been shaped due to being a racial minority, and dealing with the aftermath and the ambiguity of deciding what to do once you realize these things and your place in society. You could group the tracks into the intro, and 3 groups, Passivity (2 and 3), Contemplation (4, 5, 6), Action/Planning (7, 8, 9). Though of course this wasn't planned ahead from the get-go, so the groupings are rough. Can't just change names and orders and expect the music to change, I guess.
Still, it's worth just explaining my interpretation of it at this point in time, for future reference.
The intro is, well, an intro, but titled so just as a framing device for the experiences I'm writing from are from a middle-class person, and how I could choose to continue living comfortably in a way sort of illustrated by tracks 2 and 3, due to my skills, race, and economic class.
2 & 3 are about living without worrying too much about how your race is used politically - staying with the status quo, that is, not worrying about Asian Americans are viewed along lines of gender, skills, class divide within the Asian American demographic, and relations to other races. In particular, the Model Minority Myth of Asian Americans within the USA comes to mind for me, and how that puts many people into boxes, essentializes families and individuals' behaviors, culture and skills, exoticizes bodies, especially females, emasculates males, and marginalizes Asians who don't fit into the Japanese/chinese/korean "box" of what people often think when they think "Asian Person". (i.e. there are far more races than just those 3 ppl think about) And of course, how the MMM exists because of Anti-blackness within the Asian American communities, and a desire to be 'apolitical' among model minorities.
4, 5, 6 are about having a safe space / community to discuss the problems that the status quo in 2 & 3 entail, and figuring out where to go from there. Knowing people who aren't apathetic or claim that 'you're making up problems' is helpful!
7, 8, 9 are more oriented towards the feeling of freedom and challenge that come with having thought about these ideas, and figuring out what to do, through community service, arts, friends, etc. Or further, figuring out whether or not you are in a position to do anything. The album ends on a slightly ambiguous note - there's no one solution, of course. I would barely expect every person ever to be required to care about these things - backgrounds are diverse, after all. For me, it's a priority.
As music on its own, I'm quite happy with it, I think it's a good starting point for feeling out where to go with solo music work. I still prefer the less rock-y/pop-y feeling stuff, but it's fun to do every now and then. I'd like to use my voice more in the future.
The old order of the album was 1-7-5-4-6-2-3-9-8 . I've added other notes on each track to the descriptions.
This album was composed between December 2014 and May 2015 using Ableton Live, a bit after finishing most of the musical work for my game Even the Ocean.
Artwork by mushbuh ( twitter.com/mushbuh
) . Be sure to check out their game Burrito Galaxy too : twitter.com/BurritoGalaxy
!!!! It's a good game.
The artwork is a modeling done by Mushbuh, of a photograph my partner took of me in a hotel near O'Hare.
released May 8, 2015