Four months and a dozen days have passed by since I left Buenos Aires. Sometimes jokingly I tell my self that it was probably a mistake to start the second stage of this Latin American journey in Mexico. The country has so much to offer that it is extremely hard to leave it to pursue the adventure elsewhere. This is why as long as my Mexican visa allows it, I am planning on staying within the borders of this beautiful country. It has now been over a couple of months that I am living in Oaxaca City.
This is by far the place I have been enjoying the most since my departure from Europe in January 2017. The cost of living is considerably low in comparison to other places I’ve been to, but at the same time the quality of life, as far as my standards are concerned, is extremely high. The micro-climate, and the presence of massive rural areas in the entire state of Oaxaca, provide the city with a variety of fresh organic produce. This abundance of nature’s richness seems to have influenced the local cuisine for centuries. The food is just out of this world in Oaxaca.
For the release date of this single album I happen to be in Ciudad Caucel in the beautiful state of Yucatán in Mexico. I left Buenos Aires three weeks ago, and decided to live my life traveling for a while. Constantly moving tends to make me happier, and more focused person. A backpack, a laptop, and a steady web-based freelancer job opportunity, are allowing me to launch this new and exciting adventure.
After laying down all the recording tracks for the latest Black Sea Storm release“Büyük Lüks”, I put my bass and my guitar along with other recording and non recording equipment in storage. Not knowing if and when I’ll be seeing my Fender Jazz Bass and my Stratocaster electric guitar again, made the moment of saying goodbye to my instruments a bit emotional. I really don’t care much about belongings, except for the ones that are allowing me to do what I love doing. I’ve been playing with the same bass guitar since the 90s. I played all Swoan and Channing Cope shows with the same instrument.
Following my Instinct
It had already been over eight months or so that a little voice inside of my head was telling me to not limit myself to a single city and go explore Latin America further. Initially I was planning on leaving Buenos Aires in March, but then the jam band opportunity came into the picture. Since I tend to be pretty weak when it comes to refusing opportunities to rock with other musicians, I had postponed the potentially never ending traveling project, to see if something interesting could come out of the jam band. After a total of 10 jam sessions that I absolutely loved being a part of, the band was no more. This situation left no room for any excuses. My time had come to leave the winter and Buenos Aires behind, and go elsewhere. Continue reading “Büyük Lüks”
I am very pleased to announce the release of a new Black Sea Storm song “Günün Sonunda” after approximately 43 days of releasing “Uruguay“. The creative process has gained some momentum as the weather is getting colder here in the south of the southern hemisphere. Going back and forth to Uruguay (the neighboring country this time) has definitely been a source of inspiration for me. The sky seems somehow bigger in Uruguay, and the way sunlight projects itself on Earthian objects has a tendency to make me perceive them as if they were out of a 35mm reel.
….Yessss the chorus does come in soon after a minute. It will hit back at 2 min 30 sec, doubled this time. “Günün Sonunda” has two different bridges, three verses, one pre-chorus, and it lasts for a total of 3 minutes and 35 seconds. I feel a bit like a car salesman to talk about a song in these terms. This is probably the most flirtatious Black Sea Strom got with the pop rock radio format. I may be wrong on this, but this is my perception of the new song at this moment in time, as the dish freshly came out of the oven.
I would jokingly plead not guilty and say it wasn’t really my fault, since I am never able to write the songs I would like to write. It’s more the actual songs knocking at my door, or sometimes just smashing it, the way “Günün Soununda” did. As I probably mentioned it in earlier posts, in my songwriting experience with Black Sea Storm, songs tend to write themselves, more than me writing them. I usually tend to act more like a router, a switch, or a simple witness, more than a creating entity. “Günün Sonunda” was actually in third position in a queue of song ideas to eventually become releasable songs. Somehow it made its way to the front of the line.
The Creative Gas Tank
Things need to be happening in my life in order for me, metaphorically speaking, fill up my gas tank for creativity. Since I don’t really consider myself being a musician, but rather a person who keeps a personal journal through music, I need for that matter to have things happening in my life in order to be able to say something musically. I’m not only talking about the lyrics or the story a song may tell. I see music as a medium of transmitting emotions. In order for me to do so, I need to experience emotions first in my life. It’s an input, assimilation, and output process which tend to happen on two different temporal levels for me. Continue reading “Günün Sonunda – A New Single Album”
Uruguay is the latest Black Sea Storm single album. I am pleased to release it on this month of April. It is still a bit difficult for me to associate the month we are in with the fall season. One because I lived in the northern hemisphere for the vast majority of my life, and two, because fall here in Buenos Aires feels more like what I would personally define as springtime. Today in the late afternoon the air temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius. For a few hours it felt as if it was summer again. Since I’ve been living here, I got into the funny habit of constantly adding six months to the current month, so I can better situate myself with regards to the seasons. April is now my new October.
The Old, The New, Third Heaven
I find the act of moving, traveling, getting lost in cities, constantly trying to adapt to new situations and languages extremely stimulating for my brain. On top of all the newness I’ve been experiencing for the past year or so, I’ve been able to find ways to do two activities that I am very familiar with, and which I deeply love doing. One is making and recording my own music, and the other one is to jam with other musicians.
The combination of being able to perform those two activities in a still relatively foreign environment, has opened me the doors of a third sort of dimension. Producing music alone or with others here in Argentina has been enhancing my perception of the new and has been helping me to feel more rooted into the new environment I live in. Continue reading “Uruguay – A New Single Album”
A few weeks ago something unexpected happened. I was waiting in line at this organic grocery store in Belgrano. Once I finally made it in front of the line, “Ctrl Alt Delete” of Black Sea Storm started to play on the stereo system of the store. This is not the first time I hear my music play in public, but it is the first time I did not get too embarrassed by the situation. I think mainly because the sound system at his place is of decent quality, and the bass frequencies tend to come out pretty nicely.
The afternoon manager Mati, had put a Black Sea Storm playlist together on his Apple Music account. Since a high percentage of the T-shirts I’ve been wearing lately have been recycled Black Sea Storm tees, he knew the name of my solo project from my previous visits to the store. It was a quite flattering situation to witness people hearing my songs while shopping. After I was done paying for my groceries, I even took a video of Black Sea Storm being played at the store. This is the closest I got to a situation where a proud father would take a video of his daughter or son at an elementary school showcase.
A couple of days later I was at the store again. Mati was also working on that day. He came up to me while I was benchmarking two avocados against each other to determine the ripest one. He told me that he liked some of the Black Sea Storm songs. He followed by saying that him and his friend Bernie would be into jamming with me someday. Continue reading “Jamming with Other Musicians – New Song in the Works”
The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous all summer, now we are approaching the fall season, and the month of March has it’s own charm in Buenos Aires. The sun has been shining everyday, and the air temperature has just to been perfect. I find this time of the year at this location of the planet extremely inspiring for creative work. As the hot summer full of sunlight is leaving the region, the gentle fall seems to assure us that the summer’s epilogue is going to stretch itself as much as it can.
Since my last post entry I had to switch apartments twice. The good news is that in both places I’ve been able to pursue my recordings without any problem. I’ve been gathering some good amount of song ideas and started to work on the backbone of a potential new song. I am getting more and more used to my small nomadic recording setup. By now I would have thought I’d be at a point where I could have a new release to announce, but my time and energy went more into playing and researching new ideas than putting a complete song together.
The Ongoing Quest for New Ideas
Trying to find new ideas is one of my favorite stages in the song writing process. I spend hours playing freely in order to gather ideas. It’s little bit as if I was going fishing. It takes some time, it’s fun, but there’s no guaranty that enough good quality fish will be caught to put together a satisfying meal. Continue reading “Eleven Days till Fall – Updates from Buenos Aires –”
I was able to finish and release a new single album before the end of the year. Despite all the major changes that occurred in my life in 2017, it feels extremely good to be back at producing music and closing the year 2017, against all odds, with three Black Sea Storm releases. Since I am more of an analog instrument playing person, I would have not imagined I’d be able to pursue the Black Sea Storm adventure without having access to real amps. Continue reading “New Single Album – Baharlarda –”
Early October I was able to release the first single made in Argentina “Biten Dün”. It was a great learning experience and an opportunity to get back at producing music. I am always amazed how I truly learn from lived experiences, once an album or a song is officially released and digitally distributed. That’s when I lose 99% of the interest in the new release, and can finally take some distance from it, and learn my lesson. Continue reading “Updates from Springtime Argentina”
Swoan was the first serious rock-band I played in as a late teenager. We were active from the mid 90s to almost the end of that century.
I was extremely lucky to be in a band where I could make good sounding music, with best friend quality band-mates.
During the existence of the band, we were mostly active within the independent local scene of the french speaking part of Switzerland.
For the five or so years we were together, we released one album, one seven-inch, and a three song demo-tape… (yesss, a K7!!!). We were extremely lucky to open for acts like Mogwai, Royal Trux, Drugstore, The Godfathers, dEUS, and more. We were supposed to open for Arab Strap, but someone from the band broke an arm or a leg during the tour, and our show with them got canceled. It was a huge disappointment of course. I still happen to think about it once in a while, since for the past 20 years, I’ve never stopped listening to Arab Strap. Continue reading “Two Days to Record, Twenty Years to Release – 2/20 by Swoan”
I was able to finalize the first Black Sea Storm song made in Argentina called “Biten Dün”. I sent it for digital distribution yesterday. For now, the single album is only available for digital download on CD Baby. I’m hoping that the actual song will be available on all major streaming platforms in less than a week. I did a test purchase from CD Baby. They offer three different formats: mp3, mp3-320, and FLAC. I was amazed by the quality of the FLAC and the mp3-320 formats. They also allow you to download the cover art as a JPEG. Continue reading ““Biten Dün” Sent for Digital Distribution”