Another year, another look back at another year.
Last year about this time I made some goals. Let’s see how I did on those…
- Create my own interpreted language. Nope. Didn’t do anything with that this past year. I’ve done some work around this in the past, but never made anything final. I’d still like to do this someday, but it’s gonna be on hold for a while. Don’t expect I’ll do much with this in 2024.
- I want to finally do something with music. I did!!! I got into Supercollider and did a pretty deep dive. I even published some things on SoundCloud. https://soundcloud.com/bit101. This is by far the most I’ve ever done with music and audio. I wound up taking a break from it towards the end of the year, but I do plan on getting back into it. More on that later.
- I’d love to do another side project creating graphics for something. Yes, I did this too. I finished a new design for a wine bottle label for Anarchist Wine recently. It’s not out yet, but most of what you see on that page are designs I did in the past. Sometimes they just find something I posted somewhere and ask if they can use it (and pay for it). Other times it’s a more collaborative effort where I come up with a concept and we iterate on it. The fun ones are data driven. We gather some numbers on a given subject or theme and work them into the design. It’s somewhat like data visualization, but usually way more abstracted. Beyond the one I finished recently, I’m at work on another one as I write this. And there are more planned in the coming year. So that’s fun! But I’d still love to do more projects like this for other companies or brands. So if you need work like this, or know someone who does, hit me up.
- Of course, I’ll finish the Coding Curves project. And I did finish. That was really fun and I like how it all worked out. I mentioned that I’d like to maybe publish it as a book at some point. I’d still like to. I had another project in mind, Coding Color, and I put an initial post up about that. But didn’t get too far. I got a bit bogged down in how to do it in a cross-platform/language/api way, since every library seems to treat colors a bit differently. But it’s definitely something I’d like to tackle more at some point. I guess that’s one goal for 2024.
I want to talk a bit more about music, as this was the biggest, most interesting thing I got into in 2023. I learned so much – about music, but also about myself and what I want to be doing. For ages I felt bad that I knew nothing about music and had no abilities in the area. This exploration got me over that feeling. I have created some music now and I have enough tools and knowledge to do more if I want to. But as I got more into it, I started questioning what exactly my goal was with it. I realized that I have no goal at all of becoming an electronic (or any other kind of) musician. I don’t want to create traditional “songs” per se, or “drop tracks and albums”. I don’t want to sell music or in any way support myself through that.
In short, I don’t really want to do music for music’s sake. I loved the hell out of learning what I learned and want to learn more. My initial goal was to be able to make music, or audio soundscapes for animations and videos that I code. I feel like I am kind of at square one of being able to do that now.
So another goal for 2024 is to actually make some longer form (2-3 minutes or longer) generative videos with my own soundtracks.
Another thing I learned in my foray into music was how much I love coding graphics and animations, how good I am at it (yeah, a little brag there), and how comfortable I am sharing that stuff. Coding music is still a bit of a struggle for me. It doesn’t come easily and I’m still really hesitant to share what I make. But I’m getting better at it.
Part of the hesitancy in sharing is that I feel like asking someone to listen to a song is a much bigger ask than asking them to look at an image or a short animation. You post an image and it’s there and they see it and that’s that. Listening to a song is a small investment of time and attention.
One thing I know will kick me into gear musically is this book I pre-ordered that will arrive in January: Supercollider for the Creative Musician by Eli Fieldsteel. HIs Youtube channel is amazing and one of the resources I hit up over and over and over when I was learning about Supercollider (and music/audio concepts in general).
ABC – Always Be Creating
In general, I just want to keep on creating cool and interesting stuff and sharing it. Whether that’s images, animations, tutorials, or music, it’s all good. I’ll be looking at more community driven projects, like Genuary to participate in. I’m going to shoot for 100% participation in Genuary. I’ll be posting on Mastodon at https://mstdn.social/@bit101.
I’ll be looking for more stuff like this throughout the year, either actual projects like https://7daysofcode.art/ or just hashtag-based projects. Seems like there are more and more things like this popping up, which is great.