side projects as a strategy

i am really into side projects. i work on them in two very specific ways:  

  1. with friends. occasionally, i’ll have a solo project, but those are generally less fun/interesting to me. 
  2. with the mindset that done is better than perfect.

the older i get, the more i’m coming to see my approach to side projecting as strategic for following two reasons:

making time to hang out with my friends

working on side projects gives me a structured, productive excuse to hang out with my friends. given my desires to not waste my life, i have a really hard time “just hanging out.” working on side projects, especially when they have regular, recurring meetings, helps me connect with friends while also creating the world we want to live in. and i looooove creating.

that’s how people “make it”

this point is best illustrated by a story:

one of my best friends is marrying a composer. the other day, he was telling me about how people go from being no visibility composers to famous composers. and their strategy is working on cool projects with their friends.

as a young composer, you create music with people you know. the more music you create, the more you begin to develop your voice. as you are doing that, you’re also connecting with more and more people. each person you compose with is connected to everyone they have ever made music with. connections happen over time as people naturally connect people who should be connected (”oh, you’d really like ___ because she does ____ which i know you really want to put in your next piece”).

as people get older and move forward in their careers, they continue to work together, but as people in higher positions.

and then, bam. you’re john williams.

ok, so maybe it’s not exactly that simple, but i think you probably get the point.

so. onward with the side projects! a full list of my side projects is coming soon…