2018-10-11 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

‘Calmed’ by extreme metal

NICK PUGLIESE NICK PUGLIESE I don’t hide my affinity for music. I’m sure I’ve annoyed all manner of parent as I’ve pulled into the parking lots of various area schools with my music a little too loud, and while I try to be considerate of others, music is a big part of my life and sometimes I get carried away (or as most people in my generation would say, sorry not sorry.)

Most people who know me know that it isn’t the usual Top 40 radio fare that’s usually blasting out of the speakers of my car, either. I usually waffle between two main umbrellas of music — extreme metal and electronic music. People unfamiliar with either genre might think that’s pretty niche, but there’s a lot going on on both sides.

This is a particularly stressful week, and I’ll be leaning on music to get me through it. Any week where I will be enjoying the opportunity to attend four board meetings tends to be a bit tougher than others. But music isn’t a passive hobby. The one thing I’ve learned that helps with the stress of a challenging week is not only to listen to music made by professionals but to make my own.

I’ve tinkered around with making electronic music for years, and while I can’t say I’ve ever been particularly good at it, it’s a calming exercise that I’ve come to enjoy more and more as daily life starts swinging haymakers. There’s something about plotting out individual notes on a grid, programming drum loops, creating interesting chord progressions and tinkering with digital knobs on synthesizers that shuts out the more gnawing aspects of the day.

I upload everything I make onto a website called Bandcamp, not because I’m trying to kick start a career as an electronic music producer. It’s part of the ritual. It’s been a tough day, or week or month? Sit down, put on the headphones and get to work. From a blank canvas to pressing play to hear my tinkering come to life (and if you’re curious, you can listen for free by heading to Bandcamp and searching “Active Denial System,” which would bring you to all the bleeps and bloops I’ve created.)

It’s very unlikely I’m going to quit my job to try to be a famous musician. For me, the creation of music isn’t about performance or profit, it’s about relaxation and creative expression, and the more I do it the better I get at it. I’ve never been formally trained in music theory, but as they say, even a room full of chimpanzees with typewriters will eventually come up with Shakespeare. Maybe if I stick with it, I’ll come up with something that people will seek out. Right now, however, I’m still in the phase of annoying loved ones and friends with the phrase “hey, I made a new song can you listen?” npugliese@mihomepaper.com

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