This time of year it is often appropriate, at least traditional, to look back and take stock of what has happened over the last year. In Japanese culture there is a word, Kaizen ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen ) which exemplifies a cultural method of continuous devotion to improvement by reflecting on and learning from past efforts. It is often used in business and engineering processes in origin, but can be applied to all things including Self improvement and greater life wisdom. Through reflection we can identify and apply Kaizen to the experiences and efforts that happened over the last year.
With an effort to stay true to the mantra of exploration and expression through various mediums with a goal of growth and progression on the path to Individuation, much of what we did over the last year was to explore that realm.
Shortly after the release of our first professionally produced album, “Identity” ( http://socionic.spinshop.com ), we put efforts into evangelizing it as well as informing people of the visuals and symbolism around it. The new age of the music industry finds artists and musicians often wearing many different hats and there was much experimentation done to try and reach out through social media to connect with those who appreciate our creative efforts. With all that is possible but also required, it is difficult to find a good balance between promotion and creativity, and we continue to explore that balance and learn from our efforts. At the end of the day the fruits of creation and its exploration outweigh any other effort and will always yield something positive for the undertaking. This is an important concept that becomes more and more personal to us and we strive to hold it close.
As part of completion of a milestone the original dream of this band, to express through rich mediums from aural to visual and farther, we also created and published two music videos for songs off the album. The exponential depth of the marriage of sight and sound is very intriguing and powerful and we sought to amplify the meaning and symbolism behind the songs by bringing the respective song artwork to life. With that approach we also wanted to do something different and unique in comparison to what is often a promotional effort of shooting a band in a parking garage with quick edits of pretty faces to market a product (cynical editorial sustained). So we spent significant time and effort over the middle part of the year producing them. We are quite proud of the outcome and feel it helps represent a big part of who we are as artists as well as an insight into where we would like to go in our creative journey.
Watch the videos for ‘Epiphany’ and ‘Stain Serenity’ here. Also check out explanations of the artwork and song symbolism in the ‘Identity’ section of the site: http://socionicband.com/identity
Advanced Photoshop Magazine Features
Continuing with the concept of visual expression, we also had the honor of being featured twice by Advanced Photoshop Magazine for the artworks for ‘Epiphany’ and ‘Ignorant Idiot’. The publication has international distribution, so it is a great honor to be included within their pages, especially given the quality of the visual content that they publish. A strong thanks to Valp (http://valpnow.com) for his incredible efforts in translating our visions for the songs into lush and vibrant artworks. It is humbling to get such positive response from both fans and critics.
Music Connection Magazine Accolades
Another huge and humbling accolade that we received this year was the inclusion in the Top 25 New Music Reviews of 2013 list by Music Connection Magazine. In February we received a great review and rating from them which cited: “Stellar performances, rich production and an ability to craft multi-level, Tool-like tunes that would improve any sci-fi/horror soundtrack.” And of ‘Epiphany’ they said: “[It’s] a winner, a rock-radio-ready cut with singer Michael's whisper/whine riding well above the showers of cymbals and riffs.” The review and rating were enough to rate us in the top of all submissions that they received this year. Again a huge and humbling honor given the credibility of an industry magazine to which we have long subscribed and that circulates and receives submissions nationally.
To close out the year, we have been busy working on new demos as well as finding new ways to express ourselves and communicate in between albums while we are working in the lab. We’ve already tracked some inspiring ideas and can’t wait to see what further exploration produces. We are also exploring plans for live performances in the new year which we can’t wait to return to as well.
Looking forward to 2014 we have high hopes and big plans. The prospects of the future are exciting and we greatly look forward to continuing conversations, and connecting with new people who share our passion for exploration and expression through music and art.
Happy New Year. Let’s make it one to remember.