SONJA BERLIN-JONES (june 2012 to march 2013)
I've stopped making music. I'll quickly nip thru all these albums one day and tidy up this mess and delete all the crapper music - starting with this one.
SATURDAY 30 MARCH
This is my final appearance on Bandcamp. I'm being forced into a care home. Next - the Liverpool Care Plan. I showed my Bandcamp albums to my doctors and family and hoped it would prove that I am still a worthwhile member of society. But it only hardened their hearts and confirmed their prejudices that I've gone gaga.
In the care home I shall not be allowed to use a computer or any musical instrument. So I shall sing loudly and make them sorry. I've loved my time on Bandcamp. I have no complaints. I recommend music-making to absolutely everyone - especially if all the recent years of mass free/pirated downloading have (as with me) nearly killed off your love of new music.
If you're one of the few jaded people left who isn't a musician - become one. Really. It's easy peasy. I only ever used Audacity & LMMS - no proper musician would do it so shittily - but I'm a luddite - lazy-easy & avoiding all the proper ways of making music and producing it and all that stuff. Most proper musos wouldn't give you tuppence for any of my shit and they'd laff at it - but it gave me pleasure and even if most of it was shit, some of it was at least a bit different.
Sadly I'm hampered by not really liking experimental music - give me tunes and rhythms - and it's almost impossible to make music that is original and yet also stays within the tune/rhythms tramlines. Life has become dull. If I have a talent for anything it's for writing - but life as a full-time carer is so empty and unstimulating and uninspiring that I have nothing left to say - I've become very boring - so I switched to making music, which is much easier and requires no inspiration whatsoever and is a great refuge for bores.
Music is possibly the only "creative art" where you can sit down without an idea in your head and still maybe come away with something brilliant. It's more luck than anything else. The more skilled a musician gets, the worse they get. I don't ever want to hear an Eric Clapton album ta. My first Bandcamp album appeared about 9 months ago.
I was a slow starter. But in the last few months I was doing one or two albums every couple of days. It became a routine. For a while routine can be very satisfying. And then it slowly becomes deadening. And that is what it has become now. There's over a hundred albums here. I'll go thru them some time soon and delete the really crap ones. And later the not-so-crap ones. TilI finally there's only about 6 good ones left. I can't remember what most of them sound like.
Of the most recent ones, I like Window Shopping With Mescaline and Watching European Films At 4am and Hyperminimal Hadj For March and Flowing Into New Regimes. I can't remember any of the older ones - except that Palinka got a lot of critical praise (relative terms) (ie two people quite liked it). Today's piece of music (now deleted) is being made while I'm writing this.
It's three piano notes each placed several times randomly on 50 mins of silence in Audacity and then simple echo and reverb and split channel and reverse performed a few times - not too much otherwise it all just turns into aural mud - and excluding the 2-minutes that it takes for Audacity to obey each "command" this piece took literally about ninety seconds to make. Anyone could make one Celer-esque album per day. That is how meaningless music is becoming.
It might not be any good - it's really quite boring - though I'd say it is about average and at least as good as half the ambient stuff the hipsters rave about on no data and in pitchfork etc and which take the musos about a year to make in Ableton. The "music industry" isn't collapsing anymore because people aren't paying for music - it'll die now because people'll realise it's easier and buzzier to DIY than get it from someone else. It's the new Spiral Scratch.
Except for pop music - that will always be too difficult for most of us - maybe the most difficult "artform" of them all. I'd throw it all away just to have made Ice Maiden by Prefab Sprout. All my Bandcamps are free. Don't feel awkward about putting that zero in the box. I 've blown half my paypal on buying free download credits that should carry these things over for the next few decades or however long Bandcamp survives.
Thanks to anyone who ever heard my stuff. Thanks to anyone who ever downloaded it for free. The tables have turned - good open-minded fans are as rare as they've always been - it's the musicians who've got sooo much commoner. Thanks to anyone who ever paid to download my stuff - if you payers want some free no-obligation hand-crafted CDRs of any albums just email me - I'll probably have plenty of spare time in among the basket-weaving and watching Jeremy Kyle.
And if anyone wants a real proper Sonja Berlin-Jones album visit Rest/Relax/Records via the link at the top right hand corner of this page - now that I've retired it'll be the only proper album I'll ever make.
Sure to be a collectors item. And unlike most collectors items, it's actually pretty good. Well darlings - that's it - that's the end - it's been fun - as much "fun" as sitting in front of a computer and doing wholesome family-friendly things can be.
released 30 March 2013