When you follow your calling, when you listen to what your soul is telling you you are here for, when you follow that “Theseus” thin thread out of the Labyrinth to the T, then the whole universe opens up and comes to your aide, and a magical track opens up that automatically takes you where you need to be, and the things you need to fulfill your destiny come to you automatically. Life becomes effortless simply by making a decision to say ‘yes’ to your calling which is more often than not, not respected by the outside world, and that’s one of the first hurdles.
I just released a new single last week, and when I created a new post about it, which included a Spotify embed of the single, even though the embed only contained two songs it stretched all the way down the page. When I google searched for a solution, I came to this page: Spotify embeds have large blank space at bottom on WordPress.org, but their solution, a bit of CSS code added to your Appearance >> Themes >> Customize >> Additional CSS didn’t work for me. As of this writing I’m using the TwentyTwenty WordPress theme.
At first I thought I found the answer simply by adding px after the height number the Spotify gives you for the code. In their code it’s just the number 180 in parentheses. I added a px at the end of that number, and that seemed to solve it, at least as an individual post, but on the main page of the blog at the domain level (as of this writing it is my most recent post), the problem still persisted.
Somewhere along the line of my search, I found someone had wrapped the <iframe> tag that Spotify gives you in a <figure> tag which I had never heard of, but that didn’t help either. What finally worked (at least it seems so at this moment, is keeping that px addition (to the height not the width) and then wrapping the whole thing in a div tag. Here’s what the final code looks like:
<div><figure><iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/5r5zBUsuM7tsJtDC3x0AE9" width="300" height="180px" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></figure></div>
You can see I went ahead and left the figure tag in there. I don’t know if that makes any difference or not. But the above code seems to have solved my problem as of this writing at least in WordPress and the particular TwentyTwenty theme I’m using at the moment. Just replace your own Spotify code within this nest and add px at the end of the height value and see if it works for you.
My latest single just dropped on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, really every streaming platform on Earth by way of Distrokid. It’s also on regular old Youtube.
It’s called “Just for a Moment,” and the B-Side is “Union Street (Hold On).” Give me a listen, like, and follow if you’re a fan.
I have a track I’ve mastered. It’s -14.7 LUFS and -1.2 True Peak. I’m pretty happy with it other than I wish it were about a decibel louder. So I thought I’d try to go for -13.5 LUFS. But it seems whatever I do the true peak is more sensitive to than the LUFS. For instance, the first thing I did was raise the gain on the Multipressor in the master chain from 1.6 to 2.0. The overall LUFS integrated went to 14.4, but the True Peak went to 1.0 which I want to keep under. Should I increase the limiter then? Shorter version of the question: How to increase the LUFS without increasing the True Peak? Thanks! I bought a copy of Levels.
I do think I have figured out one thing: Just a small bit of audio or so can make your True Peak sky rocket out of the blue while 98% of the mix is well below your target, even though it’s not necessarily audible. Once you identify that bit, and it’s not hard with a metering plug-in like Levels or Youlean, you can create an identical track, cut and copy that bit to it and apply more processing to just it, whether that be a Limiter, faster attack time on your compressor, and then it frees up the majority of the track to breathe! [I made these comments to this video post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS07ChRkY4M ]
Last night the idea came to me as a melody A-F#-D-A-C-B. I didn’t know what the notes were until I played it on the guitar and this is where the Snarkman was another blessing, since it identifies the notes as you are playing them. Then I was able to surmise that it was over a D-C-G chord movement. I tapped the rhythm as 109 and layed down the first demo on the iPad in Garageband with an accompanying “Drummer Track.” I sang mumbo jumbo which is what I usually do just so I can get the jist of the idea before I go to sleep.
1:49 pm. Today, I’m going to try writing the lyrics. I’m going to listen to what I mumbled last night and see if I can write some real words.
2:30pm. I got a first verse, chorus, and half of a second verse, but I had to stop. Or maybe I didn’t need to stop, but it feels like I need to stop for a while, do some other things and let my subconscious go to work. I still struggle with just letting out anything that comes to my mind, which I think you have to do on your first draft. When push comes to shove and its going to press tomorrow you can clean it up, but for now let your mind have some space.
I think the desire is to make everything so pretty, especially when the music is pretty, so when something comes out that is either nonsensical or not necessarily a pretty image, the impulse is to quash it. I say let it out, especially on the first draft. I’m trying to walk a fine line here with a balance between the subconscious and the conscious. I want to let each have its day in court so to speak. On the one hand if I wait for the subconscious to come up with the most perfect line, it’ll never get done, on the other hand if I just go with the first thing, not trying at all to bring some sense into the equation it won’t have any value either. “Sound and Sense” as my college poetry textbook said. An equal mixture of both. That’s poetry.
Well, let’s see. So technically I put in 40 minutes on this yesterday, but as I was doing other things the song remained in my head, and new lyrics started coming to me. Luckily with the Notes App whether I work on it at the desk or when I’m out and about with the iPhone, it all syncs up. Today, technically I sat down with it another 45 minutes or so. Well the end result is, I’ve got two or three pages of lyrics, way more than I need, but they don’t necessarily make sense together. Also, when I sing the ones I have, it just feels like there are better lyrics hiding, but I can’t force it or they won’t reveal themselves. Actually after I wrote for 45 minutes I opened up Soundtrap and layed down a couple guitar tracks. I’m a little stressed about the lyrics. It feels like a delicate line to walk between not rushing them and procrastination. I don’t mind having this creative space at the beginning, but I definitely don’t want it to go on too far. There should be some kind of deadline, but I’m not sure what it should be.
The Beatles are metaphorical for the “belly of the whale” motif in mythology. I never realized it myself until I read “Anthology” and realized that they had spent almost 2.5 years in Hamburg playing 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now this isn’t literally true. They did have breaks. They definitely went home many times for breaks, but the most important aspect is that it is psychologically true. Apparently the clubs were physically below the street level, like walking down into a subway, and I do remember a compadre of theirs saying, “We’d go down their and wouldn’t come for air for a week.” Now this obviously is not literally true. But one understands the psychological, metaphorical implication: giving yourself over to something completely. That’s the idea of the belly of the whale motif in mythology. Even the the locals of the Cavern Club in Liverpool seemed to be stunned by the transformation of the post Hamburg Beatles. That’s the central idea of the “Belly of the Whale” motif. It’s exactly analogous to the idea of the male initiatory experience: You go in one person and come out the other side with a completely transformed consciousness. All mythology, as Joseph Campbell said, is about the transformation of consciousness.
Transformation of Consciousness is the goal of Mythology as well as Initiatory Experiences. They can happen involuntarily (You’re born into a certain group) or voluntarily (You have an intent to become someone new.) Regardless, the method is the same: extended periods of “submersion” in which there is “no way out.” Only under those circumstances does a crucial part of the brain “switch” and a true transformation take place.
I’d say there are two main aspects to the Belly of the Whale symbolism and they are psychologically connected although in the world express themselves in two different ways: 1) As noted above with the Beatles is the aspect of a career. The way to get to the top is complete emersion, giving yourself over to it completely, allowing yourself to be “swallowed up.” This is the appropriate attitude for a young person, say 20-30, deciding on their career. They have to know the irony that this immersion, once a decision has been made, will free them, not confine them, as long as it’s their true calling, not someone else’s.
2) Is more metaphysical in the sense primarily of acceptance. The trash compactor scene from Star Wars comes to mind. If you just take the literal, mechanical view of nature, then its all about a group of adventurers who are most certainly going to die in a horrible way. At best their chances are 50/50. But what in the deepest sense does this scene really mean?
Update 6/13/20: I realized as I was watching a lot of music production videos on Youtube, and as their algorithm keeps bringing you more, I realized that the amount of content I could watch on this subject is nearly endless. And then I realized, that’s it! You keep at something non-stop until you break through to another level. The irony is its your laser-like focus on one subject that opens up the entire world to you.
Now, I would say there is at least one caveat: whatever that subject is, I think it needs to be your true soul’s calling. In other words, if your only reason for doing it is to get rich and famous, it still might work, but there’s something lost in translation. And the whole process will not be fun. If it is your true soul’s calling, then it will be feeding you the whole way in terms of inspiration, joy, and fulfillment, even in this so-called “Belly of the Whale” period in which you are not getting outside attention or rewards. I’d say that’s the test for your true calling: If you feel emotional reward from the act itself, then that’s it. Stephen King and writing is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this analogy. Especially if you want to be a writer, go watch some of his speeches and interviews on Youtube. He mentions this aspect as being primary.