Tag Archives: status report

State of Hero Falls, October 2020

Last month I talked a little about my motivations around HF and how things felt a little off. Getting Blythe’s track done and starting on the next song is good for me, but I’ve also started to look at why I have not gotten the reception I had hoped for. I think Kat’s observation that “finding an audience for original music is hard” is true, but I also am starting to think I have not given my potential audience enough information to get emotionally invested. I know the relationships between the characters; I am making a certain amount up as I go, but I do have some connections that I take for granted that the audience has not made…because I have not given them enough information to make them.

Part of the fun of this for me was giving people a puzzle to solve — listen to the songs, seem if you can figure out what’s going on with just a few clues. Those clues are too vague; there’s not enough revealed to make anybody care about who these people are, who they love and hate, and what they have done or might do. The only thing I’ve said about the backstory is here and it’s admittedly super light on details.

So, that’s pretty easy to solve. I am going to start a section of the site where I offer character bios. I have these all written on my end as part of the development and songwriting process, so they are easy enough for me to share, in full or in part. Basically, I guess I need to start building a wiki for Hero Falls so there are points of reference for the characters, the history, the timeline of events, and the city itself. I know the names of businesses and which characters live in which neighborhoods and all kinds of fun stuff that might make the place more real for listeners, in the way that it’s becoming real to me. It would also give me more opportunities to post on social media, announcing there’s a new page of backstory posted.

Oh, yes — social media. I talk about HF on my own Twitter account, but I had the idea to talk about it in-universe from @hero_falls on both Twitter and Instagram. I had been writing as the city’s social media interns for a full year before releasing any music, thinking “wow, people will be so impressed!” They were not — nobody noticed! So I’m dropping that schtick and I’m going to use those channels as standard promotional avenues, announcing new songs and info and whatnot. Every YouTube video I’ve made points to them, so I think making them less creative and more informative is probably a good idea. I can always revisit it later if people get invested.

So. I have never set up a wiki before, but I guess learning how (or if it’s even the right way to go about this) is the first step. Then, cut and paste! 🙂

State of Hero Falls, September 2020

August came and went without a track being released, which broke my streak. It’s not the end of the world, but you know, it kind of feels like the world is ending, and that’s part of the reason I’ve slowed down considerably on Hero Falls output.

Actually, let me break this down.

1. As I’ve been working from home, I have seen a sharp decline in my creativity and interest; it’s been difficult to remain productive, even though I have ideas for more songs and more characters. As COVID-19 drags on and the world feels very different from just nine months ago when I started releasing tracks, I have not taken refuge in this project. I would rather just spend my time doing other stuff, like playing games. My daily commute was actually a great time to work on lyrics or listen to snippets of songs and refine ideas. As soon as I lost that compartmentalized space, I lost momentum

2. My collaborators are dealing with the same pandemic issues in their own lives, which affects their speed and interest as well. Things that I thought would be quick turnarounds have dragged on weeks and months instead. There’s been some hurry-up-and-wait to this, because I am relying on their kindness. This stuff takes time and energy; I’m not going to demand either from my friends.

3. I can’t lie that I had also hoped more people would be listening to and talking about the songs by now, so the soft reaction hasn’t helped my motivation either. Original music is always a tough sell, but I’m giving it away for free, you know? I really thought the comic-book hook would help it stand out, but when I post about it, those posts are rarely shared. I appreciate the few bucks here and there, but I actually want to be paid in exposure. (I am considering buying some Facebook ads — just as friends are leaving the platform in droves!)

So, it’s been easy to back-burner this. I was mixing the next track tonight, so something will appear before too long, and I have another song partially written that I would like to invite several friends to play on. After that, I’m thinking I might revisit some of the characters I’ve introduced and tell a standalone story with them. So far all the songs have been origin stories or moments in time; Kat suggested I try writing stories first, then translating them to songs, and I’m not sure if this is what she meant, but it makes sense to me to do, like, a three-song EP that works like a three-issue comic arc. Dunno. I’m kicking that around.

So I’m not done with Hero Falls, but it’s been hard to want to create more of it right now. I’m expecting this funk to pass, so stay tuned.

STATE OF HERO FALLS, July 2020

I record everything in Logic Pro X…and my Mac died this month. I have since had it repaired, but it did put me a bit behind schedule on the next song. I have the core instrumental track with vocal now, and I’m doing early mixes while I add a few solo instruments and embellishments here and there. I realized today that it’s a product of multiple influences — it’s sort of Barenaked Ladies by way of Tom Lehrer.

It’s coming, eventually.