Carter Lee is a bassist/educator/producer. He is originally from Edmonton, Canada and now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to leading the hip-hop group, Tiger Speak, Lee is the music director for the bands of both Shea Rose and Moruf. He is also a sideman for countless other artists. Carter brings his wealth of experience in many different musical situations to the Soundfly team and is eager to help any musician who is hoping to better their band. Check out his course Building a Better Band on Soundfly today!
In my 2008 piece for Greek Byzantine choir and strings, Nativity Kontakion, I discovered a beautiful harmonic structure based around the Byzantine whole step you get when you divide the octave into fourteen 72nds — a bit wider than the whole step on the piano, which is twelve 72nds of an octave wide. Invert that wide “14/72” whole step, and you get a minor seventh narrower than the usual one. It so happens that this narrower minor seventh is almost equivalent to the seventh partial — one of those pure, God-made mathematical ratios that fell out of favor when equal temperament took over.
In the meantime, Lulu languished, almost complete. Three long stretches of music were fully orchestrated, and the rest clearly sketched by Berg in a manner where completion would require almost no guesswork. The unfinished version had been performed a number of times across the globe between 1937 and 1976, but Universal Edition, the composer’s publishing house, knew that Helene Berg alone was standing in the way of this great opera being fully released to the public. So, they started secretly commissioning their own final version to be completed by Viennese composer Friedrich Cerha.
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Jeremy is a Montreal-based musician, sound artist and improviser who loves giving advice to emerging artists on how to make their tours more effective. He writes, records and performs electroacoustic “concrète” music for tape, oscillators and amplified objects and surfaces, as well as solo guitar. He has performed and released material throughout Europe and the UK, Asia, the US and Canada, mostly with his trio Sontag Shogun.
For example, a kick-driven house track needs to be shaped much differently than a lo-fi song with drum parts you want tucked somewhere in the background. Experiment with different EQs and compressors and resist the urge to lean too heavily on preset options. Purposefully muddling certain instruments in your kit while keeping others sharp and focused can also create an interesting contrast to build on.
With his final piece, I think Stefano achieved a really amazing vibrancy and power. The way it climbs the register increases the tension and emotional pull. The monophonic transitions create urgency and more power. And the different treatments of the different sections create a lot of interest and variation. Overall, he created a beautiful piece!” — Ian (Soundfly Mentor)
Evan Zwisler is a NYC-based musician who is most notably known for his work with The Values as a songwriter and guitarist. He is an active member of the Brooklyn music scene, throwing fundraisers and organizing compilations for Planned Parenthood and the Anti-Violence Project. He started playing music in the underground punk scene of Shanghai with various local bands when he was in high school before going to California for college and finally moving to New York in 2012.
“Having an instructor who provided assignment goals that were based on the specific items I wanted to improve with my songwriting, as well as the direct feedback that came with it was hugely helpful. The other element I like was being challenged to finish within deadlines and having accountability — usually when I’m working on things on my own, I tend to get self-critical and shelve things before they’re completed. With this, you have to minimize your level of self-filtering and judgment, trust your instincts, and get things done.” — Colin (Student Artist)
If you lose your sanity as a musician — especially when music isn’t your full-time career — everything else goes down the drain. The whole thing relies on you taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I’m not here to tell you to “fake it ‘til you make it.” The person that coined that divine piece of wisdom has probably never experienced the daunting 10 seconds before walking out onto a stage and singing in front of hundreds of people. I am, however, here to tell you that getting a grip on anxieties and insecurities around your vocal performance is perfectly possible.
“I have a fictitious person I write for. And she’s called Doris, and she’s from Bradford and she wears a raincoat and she has two horrible little kids that are giving her nothing but grief. And you know, the man left her a while back. And she just, in the rain, everyday, trudges to work and she works hard.”
A bad relationship can look like anything from unresolved issues between you and a bandmate or collaborator, to being banned from a local venue in your hometown. Not prioritizing and maintaining your musical relationships can lead to major problems in your career, like people in your band quitting suddenly on tour, a bad reputation in your local scene, etc. Burning bridges seems logical in the heat of the moment, but they can come back to haunt you.
From his lonely wooden tower