Jason Vincion
I create in the realms of brewing, music, and writing.

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Reflection
Posted 2016-12-31.

The last three weeks have been a wild ride with many different facets – success, adventure, loss, celebration, realization, and focus.

Success in that I won the first One Sample Dare competition I entered (whereas it took me five years to get first place in Dwelling of Duels) – which tasks me with creating the sample for the next one.

As an aside, here's the winning piece:


This victory was the impetus for finally picking up a portable recorder (after months of waffling on the decision) and using it to record various equipment sounds down in the brewery, which have been edited into a montage.

Adventure in that those of us that work at Outlander (and some friends of the brewery) took a train to and from Portland for an overnight trip – what happened in Portland, stays in Portland (unless you ask around the brewery).

While the trip itself almost felt like a group hallucination, it awoke a part of my psyche that was long dormant and gave me a renewed appreciation for certain aspects of life, which I may elaborate upon at a future date.

Loss in that George Michael has passed – celebrity deaths don't usually hit me too hard, but if he hadn't made rocking out on an acoustic guitar in the Faith video look so cool when I was seven, I wouldn't have asked for (and received) an acoustic guitar for Christmas in 1987 (29 years prior to his passing) and I don't know if I'd be making music today.

I probably would have, as I put down the guitar from the ages of eight to thirteen and picked it up again in 1993 when Nirvana caught my ears – I kept playing guitar after Kurt Cobain passed less than a year after that.

Celebration in that there has been so much partying in the last three weeks – Portland trip aside, there have been multiple holiday parties, birthdays (mine included), the New Year's Eve celebration at Outlander is hours away, and there's another party I'm invited to on New Year's Day.

It's good in that it's giving me time away from my workstation to contemplate how I want to move forward creatively (while enjoying myself in the process).

Realization in that I've acknowledged my self-sabotage over the past twenty-odd years by not picking a style and sticking to it – there's an article I recently read entitled "20 Worst Indie Artist Mistakes" that rang true on more than a few points, but point 15 in particular metaphorically (not literally!) smacked me in the face.

I realize that I want to create an ominous feel similar to that which Meshuggah brings to their work without trying to clone the percussive juggernaut that they've created – which is easier than trying to replicate their polymetric and polyrhythmic assaults.

I will do that through ambient music, as that's where most of my musical focus has been since September of this year.

I've also realized through doing NaNoWriMo that I'm better suited to writing articles about personal experiences rather than creating a vast fantasy world – I can do it, but it feels like work, rather than writing something like this (which I enjoy).

Focus in that I picked up a book at Powell's on Burnside in Portland (which is a huge and amazing bookstore) about putting together a proper home studio – it's gearing me towards live ambient music creation, rather than just using samples for my works.

I've also focused myself on trying to make a proper album that will either be of a lighter or darker ambient disposition – I haven't quite figured that out yet.

I just hope next year isn't as jam-packed as these last three weeks have been, as my introverted brain can't handle that much maintained stimulation – I'll definitely need downtime to create.

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