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Messages - Julio Di Benedetto

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Thanks drone on......happy you gave it a spin!

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Got this in my email box today....interesting.


I was having dinner last night with Black Tape For A Blue Girl's vocalist Athan (check out his new project, NOIR). We talked about the "why?" of making art. What drives artists to create? I know that for me "in the old days," art was about working through angst and sadness. Getting it out of my head and into some sort of tangible form. The process of making music was tense, obsessive, and conflicted, but I did enjoy the expression. It wasn't about the supposed "fame" attached to being an artist; though (in the mid-90s) Blacktape was somewhere near the top of the pack of independent American darkwave acts. It was nice to have a lot of people experiencing my art and it was nice to see the checks that came with success. Somewhere along the line, these disparate things merged into one thing. Sales = Success.
But sales are a hard thing to quantify in this new era of the music industry when so much music is consumed for free by "fans" who obtain albums through unauthorized channels. I don't feel a connection with the listener, anymore. I'll admit I've grown quite disheartened by this. I've always run my own mail-order business, so I used to have a direct connection to my audience. But CDs (and downloads) don't sell much anymore, I don't see evidence of my music going out to listeners. I feel my creations lie dormant, nothing but bits of data somewhere in personal and digital memory. 

I've done a few things to rethink my connection to my art. Wayne Dyer has a phrase, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

I started a Bandcamp page http://blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/mesmerized-by-the-sirens-free-download afew months ago, and put some of my music up for free. There is something really sweet in seeing over 800 combined downloads for Archive 01 and A chaos of desire. Of that, 14% of you felt like giving me a little something for my work. It's not enough $$$s to pay my rent for the month, but it's something... your contributions show me that my music matters and you appreciate it enough to give a little something for it.

Those payments deposit directly into my PayPal account. I have a PayPal debit card which my son and I have rebranded as my "FanPal"

When I pay for apple juice, veggie chicken nuggets, and avocados at the local bodega, I pull out this card and remind myself it is you - my fans - paying for our food. And that feels really nice. It's not just anonymous cash coming out of my bank account. It's your love and support.

See: Change the way you think about things, and the things you think about change.

Income from sales of my novel, Rye, works the same way. Your payment goes to my debit card, and I buy dinner! : )

But let me get back on track here, because the subject was, Why do I make art?

One of the most rewarding things about creating art is having it received. Art is about communication. It's about some wacky idea I had in my head, that I converted into reality; somebody experiences that, and the connection is made. Whether in the form of lyrics; or now, in the form of my novel.

I really love hearing from people as they read Rye. Hearing their thoughts about the characters, their interpretations of motivations, their interest in the identity and gender topics I discuss. That communication and exchange is what makes art exciting to me. It's not the money (though don't get me wrong, money is nice, and I'd love to sell enough books to be a full time artist), it's the connection. The communication. These characters I've invented that seem real enough to make you want to turn the page, and learn what they do next.

As you read Rye, feel free to message me at Facebook or here, and tell me how you're getting along. What interests you, excites you, or confuses you?

To say thanks! for your interest and support, I've uploaded another Black Tape For A Blue Girl album for you to download for free at Bandcamp. This is Blacktape's second album, from 1987, Mesmerized by the Sirens.

It's been at least a decade since I've listened to Mesmerized. As I was preparing the page today, I streamed it beginning to end. As Rain would say, eyebrow raised, "Fascinating, captain!"

I was twenty-one when I recorded Mesmerized. Listening to it earlier today, I thought: "Huh? What kind of bizarre twenty-one year old writes an album like that!" It's emotional, torn, confused, happy (in moments), dark, dense, beautiful, complex and advanced! If someone sent me a link to this album, and an email, "Hey Mister, check out my demo, what do you think?" I'd be damn impressed! That's not ego talking, it's looking back through more than half-a-lifetime of experience, and hearing what's here! Of course, I hear the 4AD influence, and the Brian Eno influence; but think about it in the context of 1987 (From the top-10 of 1987: 1. "Faith" George Michael 2. "Alone" Heart 6. "La Bamba" Los Lobos 7. "Livin' On A Prayer" Bon Jovi 10. "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes! This was also the year Dead Can Dance released Within the Realm of a Dying Sun).

Mesmerized is a very fluid, cohesive and rewarding listen.

For the free download, I added two related bonus tracks. A cover of "Jamais Pars" by my other band, Thanatos; and a cover of "Seireenien Lumoama" created with Bleeding Like Mine. Nice stuff!

On the bandcamp page, you can stream Mesmerized by the Sirens for free, or you can download it for free, and when you download you can even leave a little something. And rest assured we'll be buying some of that yummy tomato & basil soup at the bodega, and I'll be thinking of you!

Thanks for supporting of my art,

Sam


403
Hypnos News and Announcements / Re: 2012 feedback? 2013 suggestions?
« on: December 20, 2012, 05:50:03 AM »
I've always enjoyed the Secret Sounds releases where for a lower price I was able to check out artists that I probably wouldn't ordinarily buy.

This is an interesting point Harry makes and one that suggests what a Hypnos digital shop might embrace.  With the very low production cost a digitally only release could allow Hypnos to expand its roster of artist and perhaps broaden its vision of ambient music.  In the same way that the Secret Sounds series brought new (new to me) artists to our attention for a reasonable price in a well made creative cdr format.  High quality digital releases would be a way to invest in artistic development without having the capital commitment required for cd & cdr's. Personally something like this would be exciting and increase / speed up the release schedule.  I don't suggest saturation.....just theres a lot of good music out there that Hypnos might consider releasing but for the economic factor of return and potential rooms full of boxes.

Over the last year and back a bit more I have felt a shift in the Hypnos sound.....its a hard thing to actual put a finger on but I sense a transition from the drone / sleep soundscapes towards a more musical / dynamic type of ambience. Certainly not to the exclusion of the drone soundscape.  This i just an observation and something I like if its at all true.

Not sure of the future of Binary......never really paid attention to it as a separate sub label. It was just part of Hypnos for me though a fair bit more electronic.  I would be happy to see this music included under the singular Hypnos label.

The future looks bright.....Thanks for asking Mike!



 

404
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Your Use of Reverb
« on: December 19, 2012, 05:13:14 AM »
Using reverb for me is firstly a visual experience......I imagine a sound stage, perhaps a favorite concert venue, some physical building or something more abstract   Once I have this in mind I start to place tracks in certain areas of this stage using reverb and panning as well as fx to create motion.  This method so to speak works best when the music is complete and is in the mixing stage. 

During actual recording I will always audition synth patches with hardware fx & reverb in bypass and engaged and toggle between the two to sense how the particular patch feels as the music develops.  Adding dry tracks along side tracks with heavy reverb creates space and can also help cut through that ambient mud I love to roll around in.

405
Appreciate the sound / production comment Pete.....it is not something I strives for consciously when composing - recording - mixing etc.  So its good to hear that!  Thanks

406
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach - Soul Tones - 2012
« on: December 16, 2012, 07:20:53 AM »
Some things are hard to let go of, but as more musicians like Steve and Saul Stokes and others move their music into a purely digital realm, I suppose we will have to accept the inevitable, cling to our shiny plastic curios and catch new music as it is released into the digital aether.

I feel a lot has to do with Bandcamp itself....high resolution downloads up to 24 bit resolution, easy navigation for the listener,  super friendly for the artist as well as a real sense of individuality for each artist site.  I am going to shut down my own website and just use Bandcamp for all future releases......I have searched hard for a digital home for my music and Bandcamp is so far ahead of the crowd IMHO.  As established musicians such as Steve Roach, Saul Stokes & Alpha Wave Moment create a Hi Res digital existence @ Bandcamp, I hope it will inspire others to follow and fans such as myself can have access to quality sound that was once only available in physical cd format.   

407
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach - Soul Tones - 2012
« on: December 15, 2012, 07:20:35 PM »
Indeed....very exciting.  It is quite a statement!

408
Thank so much Forrest.....always grateful for your support!

409
Wonderful music has nothing to do with format.....my hard drive is always running, and in this case with Pandora @ 24bit resolution, thank you ;)

410
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / iPad Daw Control
« on: December 12, 2012, 05:49:26 PM »
V-Control Pro with Logic Pro


This might force me to get an iPad.......works with all major Daw's and was built for 1st generation iPads and up.  I use Logic but follow the link to see more http://www.neyrinck.com/v-control-pro

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Thanks Anthony.....yes the final track,  had to write all the other music just to get to the last track which was what I want to say,  though I did know it until I got there, and so it often is in life.  Love the journey.

Hope you enjoy it Harry!

412


the tide ebbs and leaves behind
memory held by the grace of the moon
until surya returns its flow
a moment to welcome
the magnetic release



A Tide Pool of Memories 59::43

Composed, Performed & Produced by Julio Di Benedetto 2012.

Synthesizers :: Access Virus TI & Oberheim Matrix 12

Mastered by Taylor Deupree @ 12k Mastering

Photography & Design :: Julio Di Benedetto


In the spirit of the season of giving I have released the full version of this music as a free download from my Bandcamp site through the month of december. http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/releases

Enjoy......Happy Holidays!

413
Everything and Nothing / Re: PressPausePlay
« on: December 01, 2012, 06:04:41 AM »
Wow....so much to think about.  Feels like looking in the mirror and asking yourself......How do I belong and where is it?  Exciting and uncertain!  Thanks for the great post Mike.

414

@Julio Di Benedetto @mgriffin Also, if you're the kind of artist who can quickly sell 200-300 discs, why not do pressed CDs instead of CDRs?

If the label won't press a CD and will only do a CDR, the artist doesn't have much choice. It's the labels' decision. My way or the highway sortof approach. It's tough enough just finding labels to release something period.


Hi Will.....I realize you are at the mercy so to speak of the label, but does there come a point where you take control yourself when the labels release standards are not what you want.  I don't intend to make this sound egotistical because label interest in an artist is a beautiful thing regardless of the end product.   The financial & PR responsibility of doing it yourself become much greater, and I can see this would be a deterrent.   Mind you I can't say how each label works regarding who pays for production cost etc......so?  A Celer release is exciting for itself not because of the label that releases it. IF you choose to release a limited edition rubber stamped Verbatim CDR, your listers will buy it because of the music not the packaging which was a point well made by APK.

415
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Hard Drive Clicking
« on: November 27, 2012, 06:37:10 AM »
Thanks Tomas for all the details....I will look into it.

416
Excellent Saul......the site looks and sounds great.  I have most of your cd's but I look forward to having the option to download cd quality future releases!

417
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Hard Drive Clicking
« on: November 24, 2012, 05:07:32 PM »
Hi Tomas......can you describe when you hear this clicking on your mac (Im on macs) just so I can listen for it.  Is it random or predictable.  Are you talking about internal or external drives?

Thanks

418
A co-worker said he recently saw a movie called Prometheus and was sort annoyed that the movie seemed to borrow quite heavily from the Alien movies, which he liked.   I told him it was the prequel to the Alien movies......with a look of astonishment he said "Now it all makes sense".  Suggest that Prometheus is that different that perhaps only Sci Fi junkies put it together, though I can't image how someone could not see the connection.

419
Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Re: Mobile Listenings
« on: November 17, 2012, 05:23:25 AM »
Interesting thoughts!

Came across this player that uses SD cards to store music and I believe is hot swappable....I like that idea, you can use whatever file format you want.... still for me usb connectivity is a must. http://www.qlshifi.com/en/wzcapi/qa350_mod_v2.htm






420
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Television is Dead......So Says Mr Eno!
« on: November 14, 2012, 06:43:17 PM »
Eno seems to be popping up here recently...so heres a short little nothing thats says everything, or not.

brian eno talks about youtube and television


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