365 Project: The iMachine Chronicles

During the summer of 2012, I found myself working for a mature start-up in Santa Barbara. The location was undeniably beautiful and the work I was tasked with was stimulating and new. However, as the company began to grow and evolve, creative opportunities began to decrease. I found myself craving spontaneity and freedom. The monotony of repetitive design decisions began to weigh on me and affected my enthusiasm for the position.

Since my cross-country move, I had also stopped performing live. Though music had always been a part of my life, I had somehow unintentionally left the “Rock Star” part of my persona back in Boston. This only added to the feelings of dread that bounced around my brain. Before long, summer had rolled around again and I couldn’t bare the tedium any longer. Something had to change.

It was around this time that Native Instruments had released the first version of iMaschine; a slimmed down mobile version of their immensely popular production and performance system, Maschine. It was my first experience with a music production tool of this type, and I found myself enthralled by the possibilities. It was a profoundly easy to use tool that seemed to have limitless potential, and it was just what I was looking for.

After some initial explorations, I set the ground rules for what would later become my 365 Project. Once every 2-3 days I would create a short musical sketch. There were no other rules, no expectations, no real plan. The only directive was to sit and create—for myself—without pressure; a simple creative exercise without any added stress.

The concept was liberating and the exercises began to flow without any real thought. Before I knew it, 3 years had passed and in that time I had created enough samples to play one for each day of the year. Admittedly, few if any were a kind of profound musical utterance. However, that was never the point. It was simply to create. To bring forth something beautiful out of nothing.

You can listen to a large selection of these tracks on Soundcloud by visiting soundcloud.com/orangehart.