Artists continue to be workers

Luke DuBois: “While working on the project, I discovered a few things. One is that I have five or six techniques that, when left to my own devices, I fall back on as compositional habits. I like to stretch and compress pre-existing recordings to see what a radical shift in time-scale does to a familiar piece of music. I find myself drawn to physics equations, mapping their results into musical parameters of pitch and rhythm. I also like to compose with random sets of musical probabilities, drawn either from my imagination or from the analysis of existing music. Failing that, I enjoy making a huge racket with field recordings run through different computer algorithms that splice, dice, distort, and otherwise mangle the original. So part of the challenge was avoiding my comfort zone of repetitive practice; with 365 pieces to make and no real expected listenership outside of my friends in my various creative communities, I felt, for the first time in years, that I could experiment and fail. So mixed in with the sonic time lapses of American folk songs, granulated recordings of home appliances, and musical deconstructions of film scores, I found myself making well-intentioned stabs at electronica, incidental music for contemporary dance, and long-form synthesizer pieces based on tracings of Kandinsky drawings. I even cover an Alex Chilton song. I can’t guarantee that all (or any) of this is good music, but I invite you to judge for yourself. Over the course of the year I wrote 72 hours of it, so there’s plenty for everyone’s taste. If you listen to every piece and still hate all of it, I’ll gladly give you a refund.

“The second (and more important) thing I learned was that, within a few months, making music every day became not only second nature, but a necessary part of my routine, like a morning coffee or remembering to feed my cat. By six months in, it had become my favorite thing to do; the only hour or two of guaranteed privacy I would allow myself, to focus on something that I really enjoyed. What at first was mainly anxiety and stress, as I feared I had walked straight into an impossible, pointless, and irritatingly Hemingway-esque routine which threatened to derail all the other things I had going on, fell away and was replaced with a different anxiety and stress: now that I’m turning [older], what will I do each day, instead?”