For close to three years since the return of live performances, my social media has been almost exclusively devoted toward inviting you to shows, to experience music in person –– but between mid-January and mid-February, I’m going to be posting videos to social media on a daily basis. In early December, I improvised thirty solo fadolín pieces in the space of roughly an hour — I placed a timer below my camera and played for a minute, then took a minute off in silence. After recording fourteen pieces using this approach, I took a ten minute break, then recorded sixteen others.
These pieces are perhaps best enjoyed while scrolling on your phone — please enjoy them on Facebook, Instagram or even on TikTok. (That’s right, I joined TikTok — just for this.)
If you prefer, you can binge on all thirty pieces in two videos below:
Ljova – Discontent Farm: Part I (1-14)
Ljova – Discontent Farm: Part II (15-30):
There were several reasons to do the project:
- The most important thing for me was the format itself — I’ve improvised many times in various contexts — sometimes for over an hour at a time — but have never set a time constraint to a clock. It was exciting for me to see what the minute-long time limit could bring, and how varied these pieces would become. It was important that each of these pieces be whole in itself somehow, and not a small excerpt from a larger piece.
- At some point while on a trip to Los Angeles, a friend took me on a hike in the hills and pointed out a row of “YouTuber houses” that can be rented for a day or per hour to film content — otherwise known as “content farming”. The concept intrigued me –– I’ve seen clips of musicians on fancy yachts, on private planes, in gorgeously empty homes, doing jolly things — and I wanted to attempt my own version of it, using my home studio, to focus on the rapid creation of content and let the music take me where it wanted to.
- It’s broadly accepted that music is the most direct form of communication, the most international of languages — but what is the music trying to say? Having such a short time limit gave me opportunities to say and feel many things, to express them differently, to find some semblance of my own voice, a relationship to the instrument, and to the camera as well.
- The outer circle — our social circles refine themselves, in life and online. On occasion, my social posts are seen by people outside of my circle — this is an attempt to broaden this circle, to see what rapid sharing of content can bring, good or bad.
- Lastly, this was an exercise in efficiency — how can I record for an hour, mix and edit, add titles, and export 30 little videos in widescreen and horizontal formats? I learned a few things along the way.
Why “Discontent Farm”? Of course, it’s a pun — but the title was also the inspiration for the project, an invitation to express various feelings without hesitation.
I’d like to thank my Patreon followers who have been me since I began exploring the solo fadolín in 2019. I release things with Patreon support a few times a year — if you’d like to join the list of supporters, please see https://patreon.com/ljova
Finally, I’d like to respond here to some questions that have been asked on social media about this project:
1) Q: Were these pieces all improvised? Not even a sketch?
A: Yes, completely. All of them were recorded in about the same hour. The only thing I had in front of me was a stopwatch, so I wouldn’t play anything longer than a minute, then rest a minute before playing again.
2) Q: Will there be any sheet music?
A: I suppose if there’s enough demand, I can write out some of them out! It’s not really my intention to play these again, but I may revisit these ideas as part of another composition.
3) Q: What’s next for this project? Will you keep posting more videos?
A: I really enjoyed the format of improvising 1-minute long pieces and would want to try this live in concert. I’m also hoping that I can convince a collaborator to do this with me down the line.
I might record another set of “Discontent Farm” episodes but will spread them out over socials more slowly… committing to posting daily seems too overwhelming, both for me and for the viewer as well…. but I’m excited for these videos to be out there in the world, and grateful for all of the new music and inspiration they’ve brought out into the open..
Thank you for watching!
P.S. For anyone curious about the technical details — the video was recorded in OBS with an external Canon camera, a ribbon microphone from Samar Audio and RME Audio preamp; for everything else I used the outstanding program called Reaper, which is not only a great program for audio but increasingly pretty satisfying for editing video as well. The reverb is from LiquidSonics, and the EQ plugins are from Waves. My fadolín was made by Alexander Tulchinsky.
#fadolín #fadolin #discontentfarm #ljova #improvisation #expression #newmusic #music #musica #violin #violinists #viola #violists #ribbonmics #ribbonmicrophones #samaraudio