Notes from the field
It was yet another cracking year for new music, and I consumed as much as possible, making my annual roundup as difficult as ever. To follow my 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 lists, here’s 2014. Let’s get on with it.
This is the fourth end-of-year review I’ve written and as ever it’s a personal reflection that I think I’ll enjoy reading in twenty years or whenever. In a nutshell 2013 was incredible, and the year I pretty much sorted my life out. Most notably I turned 40, and got engaged!
Personally I considered 2013 to be an incredible year for good music. I was at times overwhelmed and consumed exactly eighteen tonnes of new sounds and bought too much vinyl probably. Anyhow, let’s get moving. In the spirit of my 2010, 2011, and 2012 lists, here’s one for 2013.
Having summarised my year as both 2010 and 2011 drew to a close, I’m learning to enjoy writing these reviews now. Early worries about being a “show off” or the irrelevance of my experiences to others have worn off, and I see this as a cathartic task that teaches me as much about the coming year as it does reflect on the one just passed. So, here’s my look back at an incredibly busy 2012.
I considered 2012 to be an epic year for music, and I absorbed so much over the last twelve months due in part to Rdio finally launching in the UK, and our new project Rushmore. So, having set my stall out with my 2010 and 2011 roundups, I felt compelled to trawl the year and document the orchestrated noises I couldn’t leave alone in 2012.
I am an enthusiastic amateur when it comes to photography and video, but I like a challenge. In 2012 I tried to shoot video wherever I went. However, I don’t like carrying around loads of expensive kit, so I constrained myself to only using my iPhone 4S, some carefully chosen apps, and a couple of peripherals. The results were… interesting.
Last month I was thrilled to speak at the Creative Mornings Benefit in Brooklyn, alongside Jason Santa Maria. By way of record, I’ve pulled together videos of both talks plus my slides and a few thoughts in this quick post.
After my trip to Minnesota I travelled straight to Brooklyn. I never need a reason to visit my favourite borough, but I was especially excited to attend my third Brooklyn Beta as this time it would be as an insider, supporting my Fictive Kin.
Earlier this month I spent four days in remote Nisswa, Minnesota where I delivered a keynote to around 350 designers, alongside Pentagram’s Paula Scher, book designer and Batman author Chip Kidd, and heroes of illustration The Heads of State. It was a breath of fresh air, and it made me think again about what I present and to whom I present it.
Last month, I joined my Fictive Kin for our latest retreat. This time around, our hosts were kinsmen Sean Coates and Joël Perras, both natives of Montreal in Quebec.