Philosophy & Music

Start With Why

This creates a foundation to rely upon throughout the creative process.

Any reason is valid. This is likely to change from person to person and project to project.

Form a vision of what you’re creating.

Use these answers anytime you’re faced with a roadblock.

If you need some ideas, try answering these questions below to get started!

Why are you creating art?

What does music mean to you?

How can you serve the song?

Be Present.

“In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

Shunryu Suzuki

Maybe you’re relying too much on knowledge and not enough on intuition.
How can you see your situation differently?

Stop. Breathe.

Use your feelings to guide your decisions. Make friends with your inner critic.

If you feel that you don’t like something in your song, ask “Why?”

Give yourself time to ponder and the answer will be there, it can just get buried under thought patterns and reactive thinking.

Take a break! You’ve earned it!

Remove distractions from your creative space. Give yourself the time you deserve to focus on your art.

What might be getting in your way? What is on your mind?

Try meditation.

Tap Into Super-Consciousness

Listen to music. Pick a song, any song. What does it make you feel? Why?

Life is Art. What in your world inspires you?

Go somewhere, do something. The magic happens when you stop searching for it.

Connect your senses to the music. Show, don’t tell.

Share your ideas, and listen. Conversation makes your mind open. No music friends?

Join my Discord! I’d be happy to talk music with you!

Food for Thought

What does music mean to you?

How can you make your life more creative?

What is a universal experience?

Whatever story you’re trying to share. Why is it important to you?

What can you do right now to move your life in the direction you want?

What do you believe about yourself? Does it serve you and your creative vision?

Hello World!

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post here! Just figured I’d put something together today while it’s been on my mind. A lot has changed. I mean hell, 2020 happened. Glad that garbage year is over and behind us. So my project has changed shape again. The stream team disbanded, so I’ve picked up the torch and started working on my own content again. I’m pivoting back to YouTube and focusing on music production. We did make Twitch affiliate last year! I plan to do weekly chat streams as much as possible, but it’s secondary to my other goals for the time being.

I just finished Andrew Huang‘s monthly course. While I did find it helpful and still learned a lot along the way, it also showed me that I am much further along on my journey than I was giving myself credit for. I feel that I’m at a point where I can help others and share my knowledge. So I’ll be making some videos in the near future about the philosophy of music, fundamentals of rhythm, and putting together some various tracks for an instrumental concept album I’ve been wanting to make. So keep an eye out!

Current State

So, over the past couple months there has been some internal conflict with the team over philosophical differences. As of now, Nova and Amber have parted ways. I can’t speak for them, but as far as I’m concerned there’s no bad blood. I wish them well and hopefully we can remain friends.

Right now is a new period of figuring things out. I have a lot more free time ahead of me, so I’m going to try and start streaming more regularly. I feel like I’ve said this a lot. I’m in a better place now though. Quarantine has been a bitch and a half for my mental health. But I’m feeling pretty good lately.

The album is coming along nicely. I’ve had a couple small setbacks, rewritten some songs, among other things. Overall though, I should be on schedule to release in early October. For those of you who don’t know it’s called The Happiness Constant. I’ve actually got some album art I put together and have the first single ready.

The Happiness Constant (Concept Art, Not Finalized)

I hope to get back into making videos soon too. I’m just trying not to overwhelm myself and focus on what I can do in my day to day process to move things forward. I think that will be more successful. Anyways, that’s all I have to say for now.

Work Life Balance

Today I want to talk about work. We all do it. But what’s healthy? That definition varies a lot from culture to culture.

I think the relationship between most people and their job is parasitic in nature. As we don’t think enough about the organism as a whole. An organization rather. We dedicate so much of our lives to a system that will exist without us.

Of course, it’s important that you love what you do. That helps the relationship take a more symbiotic state. But even so, it’s easy to be consumed by your work. You only have one life, so it’s important that you diversify. Putting all of your time into work leaves no time for anything else. Most of us act like we have no choice in the matter. But that’s untrue. We just seem to place this external label, like it’s somehow out of our control. It’s your own responsibility to maintain this delicate balance. All things in excess can be bad. By no means am I saying not to work hard either. You’ll have to to achieve anything great. The key is temperance. Moderation.

This toxic mentality is reflected in our workplace culture throughout the country. We’re all just accepting the 60+ hour work weeks. Because that’s just “how it is.” But that doesn’t have to be the case. Look at countries across the world. Not everyone adopts the same workplace model. Some of our strongest companies understand that flexibility is key. It’s the duty of management to make the lives of the employees better. To care about them. I’m glad to see that the archaic management styles of the 70’s and 80’s are finally losing relevancy. I can only hope that millennials learn from the mistakes of our past.

Happy employees do the best work. It’s quite simple and that has nothing to do with hours worked. When employees are allowed to live the lives they choose for themselves, their happiness takes shape in everything that they do. So often we sell ourselves on this dream. Constant chasing. To have the next best thing, to have more than we do now. But rarely do we ever stop to appreciate what we have today. This gives us time to truly enjoy our experiences as opposed to feeling like a cog in a soulless machine.

If there’s anything to take away from this rambling, it’s better to fail at being yourself than it is to succeed at a life that’s not your own. Live for yourselves.



At Long Last

It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve spent the past few months sorting out a plan to move forward. Videos have slowed to a halt, but I have been streaming with the others on Twitch every Sunday for the past few months. I’ve started work on my first LP album, The Happiness Constant. I expect to release it later this year. I’ll get back to posting videos soon enough. The vision I have for A World Without Gods is a content network and online community. I want to share ideas and inspire others, so I’m building a place where everyone can do what inspires them, focus on creating, and be their best selves. The team has come together nicely. It’s just a matter of time now.

The harder part for me is building some income outside of my work at the university. I’ve launched a website for personalized guitar lessons called Summit Guitar. I have some other ideas that I’m tossing around as well. I’m also building my own website for music related work. Mixing, Songwriting, Producing, that sort of stuff. I just need to get my name out there more and start finding jobs.

A pretty exciting landmark. I’ve formed an LLC, created a logo, and have put together a plan for all of these projects.

I’m going to try to do better with keeping up on blog updates. There should be some new content here in the near future, so keep an eye out!

Figuring It Out

I’ve been spending a lot of my free time lately trying to develop a process. I don’t use social media much in my personal life, but it’s essentially necessary for gaining any kind of relevancy this day and age. Which I don’t particularly mind.

I have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to approach things, but now it’s a matter of following through. I learn a lot through experience. So I’ll just need to start doing it and figure it out as I go. I’m wearing a lot of hats right now. I’m trying not to spread myself thin. All of the necessary upkeep gets in the way of my creative process, so I need to find a balance.

Spent the past few months dealing with life shit and getting back on my feet. So far so good. Made a new friend, I’m teaching him to play drums. In time he will be joining me on my creative ventures. I’d gladly drag everyone I know into the wonderful world of art, but it’s not for everyone. Put up my first video! Vocals are a bit weak, but I’m pretty happy with how the instrumentation turned out. Have the audio work done for the second one, but I’m focused on building some assets for the videos and whatnot this week, so delaying the release a little bit for that.

Let me know what you think!



The Hibernation

So I’ve been absent for a while. I figured the least I could do is put out an update. I’m not sure if anyone follows this yet. But it’s a place to at least gather my thoughts. That being said, it’s winter. A good part of me wanted to come right out of the gate and start kicking ass in the new year. But life didn’t like that idea.

First, I got sick with a terrible cold for about a week. Then my car died on me. Luckily I got that sorted out before all the snow started coming down. It wasn’t cheap, but nothing in life ever is. I was talking with Andrew about it. We agreed that life tends to throw things at you just as you start to catch your stride. It also has a tendency to catch fire at the worst of times.

Life craziness aside, I’ve spent the past few months focused really heavily on self-study and improvement. Had a lot of honest talks with myself. Thought long and hard about what I’ve been prioritizing and what to focus on in the coming months. I’ve laid out a pretty good plan for my creative pursuits, bought some essential gear, and have been continuously learning new things. I’d say it’s time well spent. I’ve been trying not to kick myself too hard over my inaction with A World Without Gods and everything here.

As far as music is concerned, I’ve been practicing piano lately. I purchased Serum and have been playing around with that. I’d like to add synthesis to my repertoire and ultimately my music going forward. I have an 88-Key MIDI controller. I’ve been using my knowledge of theory to build chords and scales, so it makes learning it pretty easy in my mind. Piano is very intuitive. I wanted to get better at it since it’s very helpful to songwriting, having access to all that bass and treble in one place. It’s great.

I think what really gets me is that it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day of normal life. I find myself building a routine out of my work. Which is fine and all, but it’s getting in the way of my focus on other things. I look forward to the point where I can take time off to focus directly on what I’m trying to do. Until then it’s a delicate balance. I’m also going to be moving in a few months, so I’ve been focusing on that, studying music, and figuring out a social media strategy that will work for me. It gets very little attention most of the time, so I’m trying to work on that.

Went through Jordan Peterson’s self-authoring program and read 12 Rules for Life. I can’t recommend it enough. That guy is one of our generation’s wisest minds. You can find a lot of his stuff on YouTube as well. I have also spent a lot of time in meditation. I always find it very renewing. Been practicing it pretty consistently for years now.

I’m going to end the post here since I feel I’m getting kind of ramble-y. I also posted Part 2 of Inspiration that I had written but forgotten to release. There are a few more in that series coming up as well. Oh, worth noting, since I’m shifting my focus to video and social media I’m not going to hold myself to a schedule for blog posts. I’d still like to update regularly, but it’s less of a priority than my other content (that will take the majority of my focus) for the time being.

I’m thinking about calling my followers Neophytes. It’s A: a cool word and B: a tongue-in-cheek nod towards religion in an atheist context. I appreciate that, no idea if anyone else will though. I had fun coming up with names for my Patreon tiers too. I’ll make a post when I finally go live with all of that. Anyways, that’s all. Ciao.


So I’ve got my YouTube channel up. Right now it’s just hosting the songs from Permanent Press. But this will be the main hub for long form content, behind the scenes videos, and just random shorts and ideas I’ve been coming up with. I’m working on a welcome video today and figuring out an upload schedule that I can adhere to. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on my releases. Thanks! (Video should go live @ 12 PM EST)

Suicide Sunday

I put this track first because of its importance to me. I’ve had my own struggles with depression and I know many others do too. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our lives. Routine, stress, let downs, and negativity. They’re all normal parts of life. Yet, somehow they always manage to capture our attention the best.

So I tried to draw a contrast between these warring states of mind between the verses and the chorus. To illustrate the melancholy of daily life being fought by the truth that we so blindly ignore. The world around us is amazing. Life is something to be cherished. Something to be celebrated. Yet our very society has constructed our prison of thought. What we have is somehow never enough.

We live in a world that is constantly telling us we aren’t good enough. That we don’t have enough. Idolizing celebrities and painting this picture of lives that we will never have. Yet we chase them, day in day out. It’s hubris. We never accept things as they are. We have this internal bias to fixate on what we don’t have. Setting conditions for our own happiness.

It’s a choice though. Every day you can either see the world full of obstacles you may never overcome or choose to see it for what it is. An endless expanse. Full of opportunity. Full of wonder. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes.


O’ Muse

May I prove worthy of your inspiration

As I write, Let your song sustain me

And my passion flow

Let me see beyond myself

Grant me freedom from fear and apathy

Above all let me find purpose in my pain

So that I might create something worthy of your favor

And give meaning to my sacrifice

So, I’ve always been a big fan of mythology and fantasy. Ironic I name my band A World Without Gods and begin my first album with a prayer. But I’ve always enjoyed the idea of the muses. They are considered the source of knowledge in all art. It makes me think of Homer’s The Odyssey. It was common practice to invoke the muses before poetry, hymns, or epics. So I figured, if I’m going to make it big, I better ask some goddesses for help. In all seriousness, I think of it more as a mantra to guide me through my journey as an artist.

Once I had the words together I put down some nice atmospheric synth chords. Then I copied those same chords to a cello section and noodled around with the violins ending on a tense fifth into my wall of sound guitars. Honestly probably could have taken that tension right into starting Suicide Sunday, but I decided on a guitar solo instead. Because, well… I was having fun and that’s how it ended up.

I figured it would be interesting to give some insight in to my thinking for the songs I’ve written. So this is the first of many posts about the songs on Permanent Press.