2021 has been a unique year for me, to say the least. A year filled with fun albums, nominations, and business expansion. While at the same time getting some serious news about my health, all while dealing with the restrictions of a pandemic. Safe to say, there’s been ups and downs. BUT, that’s expected, and that’s life! The good news is that going into 2022 I’m focused on the positive and I’m ready to take my business to the next level.
How about we get into some of the specifics.
Seizures Palace Album – Eclectric
This album has been in the works for 8 years now! Well, it’s fun to say it that way, but really it was a 2 year project with some songs that I had written up to 8 years ago. A truly eclectic assortment of electronic tunes, Eclectric was the first album where I felt like my mixing was up to par with some of the producers I most look up to. From funky synth tracks, to gnarly drum n bass, and everything in between, this album is my largest yet at 16 tracks! Whether I go with a Seizures Palace EP for my next project, or pursue the development an album under my new artist name ARKITEKT, either way I know I will be putting out some of my best work in the year to come. To check out Eclectric on all major streaming platforms: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/seizurespalace/eclectric
Near the middle of the year I was lucky to have been nominated for two awards for my score in the short film ‘The Rage’. The first nomination was for ‘Best Original Score’ in the Ethereal Horror Fest, followed by a nomination for ‘Best Music’ in the Indie Horror Film Festival. While I was selected as the winner in either festival, it was very nice getting nominated, as I feel that’s a great step towards taking home the award in future films. These nominations helped assure me that I’m on the right track as a composer, and have fueled me to continue to improve in 2022.
Leading up to the Christmas holidays, myself and two friends put together a jazz Christmas album under the name ‘The Mistletones’. Aiming for a 6 song album, we settled at 4 that we were happy with. From straight swing, to some funkier renditions, this small EP has a few flavors to offer. Safe to say we’ll be getting back together again next year for another album, and we’re already talking album themes.
Listen to the album: https://soundcloud.com/arkitektaudio/sets/the-mistletones-vol1
On a more serious note, this year I was diagnosed with something called Eagle Syndrome. Basically, I have a bone behind my tonsils that has grown to the point of affecting my speech. Close to two years ago now, I broke the bone on my left side, and as a result it reformed in such a way that it is pressing in on my left tonsil, and effecting the symmetry of my pharyngeal palette. In short, after speaking a lot, or too loudly, I start to feel slightly choked (like there’s a golfball in my throat) and my singing voice has been pretty seriously compromised. As such, I have shortened my work days slightly, but am now working 6 days a week to help keep finances in a similar standing to before my injury. As it turns out, demand has been higher than ever, and the 6 day work week with reduced hours has been a great balance for me. However, I’m now at a point where I have to turn down new students, and so the next logical step is to expand my business by hiring other teachers under me. Which brings us to…
Cook Music School/My Music Staff
Gone are the days where I use a dedicated notebook for all of my business filings. Previously, I was using this notebook for scheduling/payment information, while using a google doc for my wait list and client information, and word for customizing each invoice sent out. This hodgepodge of admin processes lead me to seek out something more cohesive and simplified. This brought me to the CRM (customer relationship management) software My Music Staff. This CRM allows me to store all client information in one location, place clients in various stages of the business cycle (ie. Wait list, active, trialing, etc.), generate automatic invoices and receipts, sync all scheduling directing with my calendar (as well as clients calendars) and even accept automatic credit card payments for lessons. Once I understood how to best utilize this software I was ready to build my next website, this time for ‘Cook Music School’. I am now at the stage where the website is more than halfway built, all contacts are in draft form, the CRM is fully set-up, and job interviews are scheduled for early in the new year. My hope is to have 3-5 teachers as part of Cook Music School by the end of 2022, and to be very selective with teacher selection so that only the best teachers are part of this team. Having worked at a ‘brick and mortar’ teaching school in the past, I understand that the overhead for running such a business can be quite high, so by building this business around an online model, I can pay my teachers what they’re worth. My thought is that a well paid teacher is a happy teacher, and a happy teacher makes for a happy student. Although the site is still being created, keep posted at cookmusicschool.ca to see how the school is developing.
Looking back at 2021, at first glance it didn’t seem like there were so many eventful moments. That is, until I sat down to write this blog and really thought through all of the events that composed my year. I’m left feeling grateful for finished projects and new opportunities, and feeling optimistic about healing on a physical level. Here’s to another great year ahead!