by Seth Gibbs
Music is one of the few constants in my life.
I’ve been interested in a lot of different subjects and have tried to learn numerous skills over time — digital art, programming, web design, (briefly) robotics, among others — but most I either eventually decided weren’t for me, or I have a very on & off relationship with, being deeply interested and practicing it for months, and then spending the next year completely forgetting about it.
But everything about music — the production of it, how instruments are made, the history of music and its influences on cultures — that is the one thing I have always been fascinated by. I loved finding new music and wanted so badly to either play an instrument or even somehow make new music myself.
Listen to the single while reading the text.
Introduction: Context & My Musical Background
At age 8 I was given a black squier stratocaster to take lessons with, but within a year I stopped going ‘cause I was an 8 year old with no attention span who just wanted to look cool with a guitar. Around 12 though I started thinking more seriously on it, and on my birthday that year I got a used laptop to install FL Studio 11’s trial onto and start making my own music. It wasn’t the best by any means — it had 4gb of RAM and ran off of an Intel Core 2 Duo — but it worked well enough for my needs at the time.
In June of 2016 I ended up finishing and uploading my first original song, Fight or Flight, onto SoundCloud. From then until late 2018 I was writing and releasing tracks very sporadically, usually only 3 or 4 spread throughout the year — sometimes 8 months apart, sometimes 2 days. I was running out of ideas, but a friend of mine sparked an idea for an album with tracks representing different colors, and the first name of each track would spell out the title: CHROMATIC. I released it on January 1st, 2019, to symbolize a “fresh start” of sorts. To this day, I don’t know why, but I started getting insanely more productive afterwards, making enough songs from January to April to release at least one every month. In June I decided to actually stick to that format, everytime I finished a song it would get added to the “queue”, and I’d release at least a single track each and every month.
So, that brings us to now. August of 2020. I have a more than decent PC, I’ve officially upgraded to FL Studio 20, I’ve owned a bass (Sawtooth EP Series) since October and as of last month, another squier stratocaster (this time in a more pleasant seafoam green) that I’m taking lessons for. I’ve kept up with my monthly plan perfectly fine thus far and actually have enough right now to last until July 2021 (with a couple more in progress!). This month’s release is Fluorite / Caldera, a 2-track single, and I’ll discuss each separately here.
Part I: Fluorite
I’d like to talk about Fluorite first. I’m satisfied with 95% of the tracks that I’ve made, I enjoy listening to pretty much all of them. But of course, there are a few that I think particularly stand out — Rose, Orion, Fluorite, and a couple more that are coming later this year and the next. While I still believe Rose to be the best song I’ve written, Fluorite is an extremely close second.
The “reason” that I write music differs from track to track. Most of the time I just had a sudden idea for a melody and decided, “hey that sounds neat sure I’ll go with it”. Examples of this would be Penultimate, Cobalt, Zenith, Epoch, Arsenic, and Voltage. However there is the semi-rare occasion where I compose something that’s purely tied to my emotions at the time, and it’s my way of expressing those emotions in the most clear way I know: music. The release coming on September 1st next month (written a year ago, as per how my system works) was essentially just me venting in the form of a melody.
Fluorite is one of these, a song with my state of mind at the time written directly into it. Though unlike next month’s release it’s not nearly as heavy, if at all. Fluorite was written as an expression of pure bliss and relief, a celebration in a way. I just wanted to have a song that felt good to listen to. The project started out simple, but somehow, I ended up making it the longest song in my discography (including any upcoming ones, at the time of writing this).
I’m immensely proud of how it turned out, and every time I listen to it I’m washed over with this incredible sense of satisfaction and calmness. In a way, I feel like it symbolizes me finally settling into the whole music thing, and deciding this is really what I feel like doing as a career.
Part II: Caldera
Caldera is the second track (the B-side, if you will) of the single, a relatively short one at around 4 minutes long. While Fluorite could represent a big celebration, Caldera is the winding down afterwards. Absolutely no percussion, just some mellow synths calmly walking along a triplet pattern. The inspiration for Caldera comes from a geographical feature of the same name; whenever I look at an image of it, I get this immensely serene and almost floating feeling, and I wanted to capture that the best that I could in this track. This was actually written well after Fluorite, I finished it in February this year. And I only decided to release these two together a few months ago, but I’m so glad that I did.
I have been, am now, and most likely will forever be greatly fascinated by everything about music, and I love creating it. I’m so glad that I was asked to write this post, I love being able to share this about myself. You can listen to (and purchase for $1, if you’d like to support my efforts!) Fluorite / Caldera on Bandcamp and YouTube.
As stated previously, I release at least one single on the 1st of each month (2nd for Aprils), and I actually have an album planned for next year, though the name and tracklist won’t be officially announced until a few months later. You can follow me on Bandcamp (or follow @sethgibbsmusic on Twitter) for updates and new releases. Thank you for reading!