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Please Steal My Sh*t

Nov 18, 2023

As you know, neither this newsletter, nor my YouTube channel feature any paid sponsorships. This is a deliberate decision that allows me to focus on making quality educational courses that I actually believe in (because I actually made them). If you're interested in diving deeper into the topics I typically discuss, my new flagship course, Composition Concepts for Artists just re-opened for sign-up. You can learn more about it by clicking here. Now, onto today's newsletter...

"Don't share your midi clips or show them on screen! People might steal them and feed them to A.I. and steal your tracks!"

This was the headline of a recent thread I ran across.

It was also similar to a message I received from a well-meaning student in my Composition Course because I exported the midi from the tracks I made there to share with everyone enrolled to analyze the concepts I was teaching.

Here's the thing though.... I really don't care.

Obviously, it sucks when people steal our intellectual property. It's not cool, and you shouldn't do it (I know none of my readers would do such a thing).

However, there's one thing that has always set my mind at ease about sharing so much of my process and work on the internet:

I know how to do it again, and the next iteration will probably be even better.

The thief, on the other hand, could steal an entire album's worth of work from me, and once they got whatever they might get out of that....they'd be pretty much f$%&^d - eternally forced to be skulking around in the dark with no ability to create anything of their own.

Seems like punishment enough to me.

 

Skills make you less precious

 

In one of my livestreams, I made a track from scratch. Being that I had never done that before on a livestream, mistakes were made.

I improvised a good little chunk and then realized I wasn't recording. OH NO!!! (right?)

To this day I get comments on that video of people mourning the loss of that initial idea.

I simply moved on and didn't give it much more thought - because I knew I could come up with another one.

The ability to create is far more valuable than the creation itself.

 

The trouble with Scarcity

 

There's a tendency to want to guard what we have from the world. This makes sense to our primal brains since the world can be a cruel place, and our brain's primary concern is keeping us safe from perceived danger.

But that same instinct is a cancer to creativity.

To create art, you can't have the mentality of a hoarder. Art requires us to dig deep and explore emotions that may be uncomfortable, then express those emotions through our art form. Even if the emotions are angst-filled and negative, it takes a degree of openness to let those out in your work.

Fear and desperation are hindrances to allowing that sort of emotional release to happen.

If you always operate from a place of scarcity and fear - not only will your mental state suffer, ultimately your work will as well.

 

So, what can we do about it?

 

We don't have any control over outcomes or whether someone decides to steal our work, but we do have control over our own ability, our own skills, our own craft.

Focusing on improving those things will allow us to generate evidence to ourselves that we are capable of creating meaningful art consistently.

This evidence creates confidence, confidence creates hope, and when you have hope, your mind becomes free enough to allow for creative space.

Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help you:

1. Composition Concepts for Artists - an in-depth look at the process of composition with step-by-step examples SHOWING how and WHY I make decisions. You'll learn to take an initial idea and DEVELOP it into a finished project.

2. Understanding Synthesis - learn to design your own sounds starting with the basics of subtractive synthesis and progressing to more advanced sound design  with semi-modular and various forms of digital synthesis.

3. YouTube Membership - monthly livestreams featuring music making and sound design in real time. Q&As and exclusive videos only available to channel members.

4. One to One Coaching (coming soon) - work with me on YOUR own music. I'll help you take your track from idea to finished product, so you'll come out with a polished track or EP and any knowledge gained from walking through the process with me.