Ok guys, time to recap the past year :D 12 months ago I wrote "2021 was the year of the Digitakt". This time I could write "2022 was the year of Abletons comeback" :) But in order.
In a nutshell, 2022 was the year that finally pushed my project towards the direction that I always wanted it to go. What I rehearsed "dry" in the past years with my endless Digitakt and lawless performances was always a sort of preparation for what was to come after the pandemic lockdowns. And I can say that I finally reached this point now - at the end of 2022: I'm more and more on stage, performing my music for real audiences. A dream started to become reality.
A foundation of this was a major decision that I made at the beginning of 2022: reducing my working hours by 40%, so that I can spend much more time on my music business in the future. This process is still ongoing as the new situation has also to be adjusted at my employer, but by March 2023 at the latest I will have achieved this goal. I'm really looking forward to this new future.
59 Perlen releases in 2022
2022 was the year in which I largely said goodbye to the streaming market. There were some releases, but all of them exclusively on Bandcamp and my website rather than the big streaming portals (except the single "Swim To You"). I simply lost interest in this game and I clearly set my focus on creating a live music experience for folks and connecting to people through it.
"Moods" was an album that came out in April on Shady Ridge Records. It came along with my very first performance of the same name, which I had done as a silent party at home. The album was very house heavy and completely Dawless produced.
On October 2, the single "Swim To You" was released. It was based on a piece I had composed for the performance "Shopping Bag". The plan was to turn the entire performance into an EP, but the concept didn't really work and I wasn't happy with the results. The target groups were just too different. However, the single was ready and so I released it.
It was followed by "Live In Copenhagen", a recording of my PVC gig on 11/26, and "Agbogblishie", also a live album of a performance that took place in Germany on 12/22. Which leads me to another, maybe the most important aspect of the past year:
59 Perlen performances in 2022
As mentioned at the beginning, I began to concretely implement my main goal of live performing. On the one hand, this includes the art installations that I was allowed to create together with Bernardo San Rafael.
In April it started with the release of the video of "Tension Manduria". This performance was accompanied by my pre-produced soundtrack.
In August we performed "Shopping Bag". This was the very first installation ever where I was allowed to play live on location together with the dancers. What an experience!
"Agbogbloshie" closes the year 2022. This project was performed at the end of December and represents the culmination of my work as a contemporary art composer so far.
In addition, however, a very different kind of performance also played a huge role, and that is the entertaining one. It started in April with "Elektrohood" a small event in my neighborhood, which I performed completely and only with the Digitakt.
It autumn, it got bigger and more ambitious with "Sonic Playgrounds", the first event of our label "Petite Victory Collective" - a clear highlight of the year! Not only was I able to play my new hybrid setup live for the first time, but I was also able to test my music in live situations at several small parties at home. And it worked pretty well :D
59 Perlen Gear in 2022
2022 was also a year of drastic changes when it comes to my equipment. During the Corona Pandemic I bought a lot of hardware and was very productive with it. However, with the production of "Shopping Bag" it became very clear that a purely hardware-based setup quickly reached the limits of mobility - the space in hand luggage is limited and checking in is too risky.
That's why it was clear in the second third of the year that I had to radically redesign my setup so that it could be stowed away in a single backpack that is cabin friendly. So Ableton plays a big role now, because the laptop took over many of the jobs previously performed by hardware. I had to get used to it quite a bit and the transformation process and my workflow is not yet complete. But I was able to successfully prove with my set in Copenhagen that it works.
In addition, I can clearly say that I bought a new favorite synthesizer in 2022: The Vermona Perfourmer. This analog instrument has 4 voices and, unlike all my other devices, has neither presets nor menus that I have to navigate through when performing. Each function has exactly one knob and that's it. The organic sound is fantastic and the real-time sound shaping is fun. The device is massive and heavy, but it offers me practically 4 Syntis in one housing and still fits in my producer bag.
59 Perlen went to school
I went to the SAE school for half a year and completed the "Electronic Music Producer" course. From today's perspective, I wouldn't do it again because I learned almost nothing. Sometimes I clearly notice the 25 years of self-instruction :D
59 Perlen & Atlas Castle presents: 'STRØM'
In the middle of the year, the first episode of "59 Perlen & Atlas Castle presents: 'STRØM' went on air. I had my own podcast up until then, but decided not to continue the project at the time and my friend Atlas Castle came up with the idea of using his already existing podcast with my co-hosting The podcast comes out once a month and offers indie musicians a great platform to showcase their music.
What's up for 2023
You can see a small preview of my future plans in the event calendar. In the last few months, I've constantly applied for bookings, and slowly but surely I'm reaping the fruits of my labor. There are already a number of gigs in the calendar and several larger, new projects in the field of art are also planned.
I would also like to expand my education area more. I have completely neglected this topic in the last few months because I was busy with other things. I would like to use the additional time that I will have from spring to produce new video courses and I am already collecting topics for them.
Last but not least there will be a cool single coming in spring, but I won't reveal anything about it yet :D
At this point, once again, a big thanks to you guys! The "transformation" of my project has meant that many former fans have looked elsewhere because I have shifted the focus of my work in many ways. But there are still some known faces popping up here and there, I really appreciate it.
Thanks also to everyone who listened to my music, came to a gig or just wrote a nice message. It all motivated me a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing more of you live. I'm feeling very lucky to be surrounded by so many talented folks, being able to do what I always wanted to do most.
With this in mind, I wish you a great and healthy New Year!