Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. – Charles Mingus
I’ve loved music as long as I can remember. I started playing music as a kid. I’ve kept playing music throughout my life. I’ve learned to play a variety of instruments. I’ve written hundreds of songs. I’ve spent countless hours in recording studios. I created The Leviticus Project entirely on an iPad mini.
I’ve also come to love minimalism throughout my life. When I was younger, I had very little. I lived in a stark environment. As a young adult, I could not afford much and lived minimally be default. I spent a few years win my 30s chasing the materialistic dream, but it was short-lived. I’ve intentionally returned to the philosophy of keeping life simple.
There’s A Place Where Music And Minimalism Meet
I don’t consider myself a minimalist musician in the traditional sense of the term. I have learned to simplify my approach to writing and recording music.
In the past, a recording project would include booking a recording studio, gathering up musicians, and hauling a truckload of equipment to the sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy that kind of recording. I just don’t have the money and time for it. This is where The Leviticus Project comes in.
You Don’t Need A Lot Of Fancy Stuff To Be Creative
As a creative individual, I’ve learned that true creativity takes very little beyond your mind and your talent. You can write an entire book with no more than a pencil and a legal pad, or a laptop. I’ve composed dozens of songs with nothing more than a ukulele. About a year ago, I started using an iPad mini and GarageBand to produce music demos. It’s a minimalist approach.
The Leviticus Project was my first attempt at writing, recording, and producing an album of songs on an iPad. It took me two runs to get the music to a level that was acceptable to me. Here’s how the process works:
- Create musical tracks: Unlike traditional songwriting, where I create the words and music simultaneously, when I record on an iPad, I create the music for the entire project first.
- Add theme and titles: Once I create the music, I choose an overall theme for the project. The Leviticus Project is roughly based on ideas from the biblical Book of Leviticus. After choosing the theme, I create song titles based on the theme and the feel of the musical tracks.
- Write the lyrics: I usually spend a few weeks away from the project before I write the lyrics. Then I listen to the tracks and get a deeper feel for the melodic structure and begin the writing process. This can take a few weeks.
- Record the vocals: Once the lyrics are completed, I take another break before recording the vocals. Then I’ll spend a week or two working out the vocal parts. I enjoy creating simple, yet interesting backing vocals and harmonies.
- Mix and share: The final stage is mixing the music and sharing it on SoundCloud.
You Gain New Skills With Every Creative Project
As simple as this sounds, there’s still a learning curve. With each new project, you gain new skills. That’s the way creativity works. You get better at your art the more your practice it.
I’d like to invite you to listen to The Leviticus Project. The music has a pop sensibility with an electronic edge. It’s free to listen, download, and, share. Simply click on the album cover below to get started:
In the future, I’ll be sharing more of my music with you. I’ll continue to offer links to my iPad recordings. I’ll also post some of my higher-quality studio recordings right here at The Creative Side.
It’s my hope that sharing some of my own work, along with great articles on creativity, will inspire you to develop your own creativity. You can start by signing up for my newsletter.