On Queue – July 24, 2017

Hi everyone, this weeks edition of Alt-Music Mondays features new tracks from HAIM’s latest album, another new track from Arcade fire that has been on my mind the past week because of that ABBA-esque synth, as well as Mogwai and St. Vincent. If you have Anchor you can listen to previews of the tracks, but you can also listen to the playlist over in Spotify and Apple Music by clicking on the links in ferlinhicarte.com/music. Enjoy.

  • HAIM – Want You Back
  • Arcade Fire – Everything Now
  • Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?
  • The War on Drugs – Holding On
  • Beach House – Equal Mind
  • Manchester Orchestra – The Moth
  • St. Vincent – New York
  • Mogwai – Party in the Dark

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/ferlin

Spotify: AltMusicMondays

Apple Music: Alt-Music Mondays

Writing Direction

I’ve had this website for a while and it used to be just my work portfolio. Last year I had decided to rebuild it from the ground up and make it into something more, hoping to focus on the things that I’m passionate about, which are mainly:

  • Music
  • Design and Art
  • Gadgets
  • Minimalistic living

Minimalism

Minimalism has been the focal point of my efforts last year. I have sorted through my things and discarded those that I deemed I no longer need. I have also taken a look at how I have run my day to day tasks, with the goal on focusing more on the things that make me happy or gives my life more meaning. I believe there is a lot to share here and I’ll be writing more about them moving forward.

This will be the underlying theme of the articles I will be writing. Focusing on the important stuff and discarding the rest. Living with intention and finding meaning.

Gadget Reviews

Using what I have learned about minimalist living is a great way to review stuff actually. I have whittled down most of what I own to the most important, and I can use that to compare with any potential replacement or any product I would review.

The other thing I would be doing is to make sure I thoroughly review everything and part of that is to be able to keep them far longer than one week, a month at least. This is why the title for my series will be “Well Used”.

Music

My close friends know how much I love music, Alternative music largely. But I also have opinions regarding musicians and the local music industry in particular. Though I may on occasion write about those opinions, I will be focusing mostly on sharing new music or artists in my posts. I have already started that with my OnQueue posts in Twitter and Facebook, as well as having creating a channel in Anchor, but I admit as of the time of this writing I don’t have a concrete communication strategy yet, but I have ideas already so I guess stay tuned.

Design

For something that I’ve studied for this is the most challenging to write for. There are exhaustive articles to read and blogs to follow, but I was thinking on sharing articles and writings posts that would help a layman develop an appreciation for it. This will cover user experience and visual design mainly, but I won’t ever let myself be limited to it. To

Photography

I only have two cameras, a Canon PowerShot G12 and the camera on my LG G4. I rarely use the G12 anymore, as the LG G4 is less cumbersome to bring (as it is my main phone) and goes with the minimalist lifestyle as a very capable convergence device. That said, I have been using it to do mobile photography and you’ll see that every so often in my posts.

Summary

So what do I aim for this new direction? I am aiming to inspire at least one person to have a new appreciation of things and be enabled to think critically. I can be that person actually, but I am hoping it would be able to inspire other people to try new things and develop an appreciation on whatever they have decided to try; whether it be listening to a new genre or artist, putting more thought into their next purchase, or finding out the artist’s intention for their work.

With that said, I’m going to go write some.

New year, new life eh?

Ok, I am subscribing to this “new year, new” me bandwagon. I will once again try to be healthier and better at what I do, which hopefully makes me a little wealthier and ultimately helps to making me happier, which is the end goal.

I read in an article recently that the reason why a lot of people fail in reaching their goals is due to the fact that they’re trying to do too much too soon. I’ve looked at the goals I’ve set for myself and yeah, I have to agree. Which is why I will have to choose around three to five big goals to work on this year. I also won’t rush into it. I will just need to be consistent about it.

So for 2017, the goals would be the following:

  • Be healthier by losing weight and eating better, with some exercise
  • Venture into something new at work this year
  • Have a minimalist lifestyle
  • Learn a new craft

Now to increase the chances for success, I need to make myself accountable to somebody. For work, it’s my boss; for losing weight and having to live minimally it’s probably going to be my girlfriend; for the new craft it’s definitely my teacher.

As for existing duties and responsibilities, I will need to make sure I cover them throughout the year, but I would need ways to better manage them. I would need to have a more efficient means of keeping track of everything. Notebooks and planners are out of the question because I often don’t bother going back to previous entries and looking through my notes. I find that they’re better suited to help me remember as I write them. Electronic is the way to go. Yeah, time to find software again (which could be another article to write about).

So I seem to be set for the year. I wish myself good luck.

39. 

GoT Start Notebook by Moleskin

My girlfriend actually gave me two gifts, both what I would consider as enablers as they serve creative outlets. One is a GoT Stark-themed Moleskine notebook which I love so much will be home to my doodles, notes and sketches. The other gift was a complete surprise and is more like a personal challenge. I’m excited and anxious at the same time. 🙂

I also had new shirts courtesy of my mother and niece. I realized I need new shirts so I’m very grateful.

My Music Manifesto

Note: This will be an evolving post as I try and put all my thoughts to words. I think long and write slow unfortunately.

To begin here are a few points that I consider as truths:

Music is an artform.

Musical preferences are personal. Each song speaks differently to each person as they evoke experiences and feelings.

On the other hand, preferences can also be influenced. They are influenced by the delivery systems like radio, television and your favourite streaming service. We are also influenced by the people we know and admire (friends and music idols) as well as those who are annoying af (like your neighbor’s videoke sessions).

Musical preferences change over time. I’m currently digging indie alternative, but I listen to other genres as well. I grew up exposed to a variety of genres and I’ll probably write about them too.

There is no denying a song’s power. Songs can move people and influence opinion. How many times has a song moved you to tears, anger or joy? How many times has it made you buy a product you don’t necessarily need?

There is almost nothing original in terms of “sound” today (if at all). Rock music grew from blues, country, and rhythm and blues. Indietronica followed synthpop. Musicians are influenced by what they listen to and they generally manifest in the songs they write/play/sing.

Musicians play, singers sing, songwriters write lyrics. You can be one or any combination. I will not use the label ‘recording artist’ unless it’s referenced somewhere.

Dissing a band, singer, song or genre is a manifestation of that person’s bias. Bias is natural, but we should still be respectful and constructive in criticism.

I don’t expect musicians to stick to the same “sound.” Like the Pokemon we collect they evolve too. Those who sound the same over every album I think have stopped trying.

I do expect them to improve in skill.

This being new I’m sure I’m going to be coming back to this post to add, edit or elaborate on some of the points I mentioned. I like to keep an open mind; music is such a broad field, there’s a lot to talk about, and music to discover. I hope this proves to be illuminating for you as it is for me.

Starting over.

I used to maintain (tried to) a portfolio site and a blog site. The portfolio site was supposed to be mainly for generating and maintaining my design business and the blog site was for everything else I could think of. I realized that doing this is hard.

I am also at a point in my life that I wanted to venture into new things. While I still love to design, I kind of realized that as the years go by I find my line of work become more and more like a commodity, so much so that it’s been a little difficult to make it financially viable, which is the main reason I had never considered to quit my day job and go full time freelance. To adult is hard, people.

So there was this time a couple of years back that I found myself at a crossroads. I felt unhappy with where I was and what I was doing. It was stressful and difficult. So I took some time to regroup and figure things out. I realised that over the last few years I have not really been fulfilled as a designer; I have lost focus and that I have allowed myself to be stuck in a rut.

I will spare everyone the details, or maybe write about it in future posts about how I decided to adopt minimalism in the way I do things. It’s still a work in progress, but already it has had a profound effect on the way I see and do things. Hopefully my website will be a reflection of that. I will just be maintaining one personal site to showcase my future work and interests.

To those who would still be interested to view a portfolio of past work, you can email me and I can send you a copy.