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  • wjbingley

In progress...

Just a quick update on how everything is going:

The Hey Geronimo album is still almost done (down to the last 5% now), but we’ve started bringing out singles now which is nice! The live recordings/videos that we did in lieu of playing shows were stressful and difficult (because we did them in a single weekend) but they’ve turned out really well and I’m glad we did them.

We haven’t started the Papperbok album yet, but I think we’ll be playing a gig next year in Melbourne so we might use that opportunity to try out some new tunes and dust off some oldies! I’ve found a studio where I’d like to do drum recording, so plans for this are slowly materialising.

I was absolutely inspired recently by seeing Dora Jar live… she’s an absolute star and I’m a bit obsessed with her songwriting. I ended up writing a bunch of songs in the weeks afterwards and I’m hoping they’ll form part of the Sky Bully project. I’m thinking of travelling to the UK for a month or so to write and record with Brendan so we can get a solid chunk of work done, and hopefully collaborate with some other people while I’m over there.

Something that is actually finished (in terms of my bit anyway) is the Ghost Mutt album - Annie and I finished off the vocals and synths last week so it’s just mixing and mastering to go now! It’s turned out really well and I’m so proud of Annie for making such honest and evocative music! And a little jealous - my first album wasn’t nearly this good (luckily you can't find it online anywhere). Here’s to a bright future for the Mutts!

After all my talk about not working on solo stuff, my next solo album is actually finished and I’m just sitting on it until the HG album cycle is done so I can give it my full attention. I’m really happy with it, and I’m planning to get a live band together to play it when it does get released! That’s something to look forward to. Next up after that will be some electronica… I’ve got a drum machine in the mail as we speak!

And some other random music things that have been going on: Edison Doll had its first jam, and there was some real chemistry straight away so it'll be great to see that develop! We wrote a new song in the room and have a bunch to work on as well, so it shouldn't be too long until we have a set together. Also, I recently had my first experience of writing library music with Brendan and another collaborator in the UK - it was actually more fun than I thought, and it was nice to make some money from music for a change! I've got another couple of songs to do vocals for this month, I'm looking forward to getting my rock voice on for some certified workout bangerz. I also finally finished my home studio (at least within the limits of what I can do in a townhouse - so no drums). I might make a separate post about that some time..

As an aside, I’ve been learning more about AI through my work and some of the recent advances in that field are totally mindblowing. In particular, art generators like Midjourney and Large Language Models like GPT-3 are capable of doing things I wouldn’t have thought possible. I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of AI in our world going forward, and perhaps the best way to keep ourselves grounded is to remember that we have been using machines to replace human labour (including thinking) for a long time, and this is just another step on that road. Human thinking is idiosyncratic and inefficient but also flexible and robust - and AI systems which are perfectly calibrated for specific tasks fit into our way of doing things nicely. But AI systems are still tools to be deployed by humans, and I think that’s the way it should stay. Even as we admire machines that think, it’s important to step back and appreciate the uniqueness of human thinking too.

That said, it’s not going to be long before there’s a song generator that you can instruct to ‘write a hybrid between Weird Fishes by Radiohead and Taxman by The Beatles’ and it’ll do it instantly. It will be an interesting time to be a musician! I think the human voice will be hard to synthesise but I’m not so sure about the other instruments…

Anyway, until next time!

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