Creativity and The Limits Placed Upon It By The Folks That Control Things

Over the last few months, I have been working on an album of new music for the musical project known as Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine (listen here and read more here) titled “QUARKS”. I wasn’t expecting to be writing and recording this album, but in early 2019 I found myself doing just that.

The idea behind the project was to capture moments of creativity as they were happening. That meant writing, producing, and recording the songs as they were being created. There was to be little to no barrier between the moment of creation and the recording of the song. Everything would happen in that moment. The songs could be 5 seconds to around 1 minute long and didn’t have to adhere to any kind of standing pop song format. My goal was to get to 50 songs and I got there. The writing and recording of these songs was extremely liberating and lots of fun. It was one of those moments where I once again rediscovered why I love writing and recording music.

The whole point of this post is to discuss what happened after the album had been completed and how it has been a lot of me running into the limits placed upon creativity by the folks who control things. I’m not going to use this platform to point fingers but instead to communicate why the album “QUARKS” is being released how it is being released. I pay DistroKid as a service to release my music to streaming platforms. I’ve always enjoyed their service and will continue to use it. Here’s what I ran into trying to get “QUARKS” out into the world:

  1. I could not release a 50 song album. The maximum amount of songs on the album could be 35.
  2. The songs on the album (which are all between 8 and 61 seconds in length) were deemed too short by streaming services and thus not allowed.

My first step was to trim the album down to the 33 songs you will be hearing on the eventual release. It ended up being a good thing, as I wasn’t happy with all 50 songs that were written and recorded. The album as a 33 song set makes more sense as a whole creative statement.

My second step, which I was only alerted to once I had mixed, mastered, and uploaded the album was to readjust how I would distribute the album. As you can see in the image above, “QUARKS” as a 33 song album with songs between 8 and 61 seconds in length was turned down by streaming platforms because the songs were considered “snippets” and not full songs. It made me upset that the streaming platforms that exist in our world would put a limit on what they considered a song, thus also limiting what creativity means to everyone out there.

This all led to my third and final step, which was to determine the best way to release this music. In the end I went with an approach that preserved the original concept behind the album (33 songs between 8 and 61 seconds) on the Bandcamp platform and another that divided up the 33 songs into two parts so they would be allowed to exist on all streaming platforms.

With all of that behind me, I am happy to report that “QUARKS” by Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine will be released to the public on Friday April 26, 2019 at 3:33AM EST. Once the album is live on all platforms, I will share more details about how you can listen to and/or purchase the album. In the meantime, you can listen to the full Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine discography here on Spotify.

Thank you for reading and listening. I hope you have a nice day.

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