Back in 2006, I bought Iron Maiden’s now infamous Death On The Road. I plugged in my trusty DVD player, put the disc in, hit play, and soaked in the awesomeness that was 2000s Maiden. But, ironically, sometime during ‘Brave New World’, the video started glitching and the disc eventually stopped working altogether. As I later found out, I was, sadly, one of the many unlucky fellows who acquired a faulty copy.

That episode stuck with me, and while I have been somewhat slow to adopt streaming as my main form of music consumption, I do not miss being at…

The past several years have seen a bizarre trend in pop culture: revisionism. Zack Snyder’s Justice League recently came out, being a considerably different experience than the original 2017 theatrical cut of the film. This practice, however, is not new, as director’s cuts have been giving film historians headaches and film lovers tumescence for decades (Blade Runner being a prime example of this, where, depending on the cut, Deckard is *SPOILER ALERT FOR A 40 YEAR OLD FILM* implied to be a replicant or not). It’s been going on in music for ages too to some extent, with every new…

Headphone sharing FTW. Photo by Wesley Tingey Unsplash.

There are currently over 50 million songs on Spotify. Not all are unique, of course, as some are variants of the same song (live versions, covers, remasters, special editions, etc.). Stats are wonky even on something as centralised as Spotify, but I’m willing to halve that number. 25 million unique songs. Heck, I’m even willing to quarter that number. That’s still 12.5 million songs. That’s a lot of songs.

OK, math time.

Averaging everything to 3 minutes a pop (and that’s ignoring songs like Dream Theater’s 24-minute ‘Octavarium’ extravaganza), that’s 20 songs per hour. There are 8,760 hours in a…

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash.

The last 525,600 minutes have been full of contradictions for me. The still ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has seen many industries collapse or change beyond recognition, but I’ve somehow managed to find myself working in audio production, a subset of the music industry that seems to have been miraculously spared by the impact of COVID-19. Despite my credentials, I’m more of a doer than a philosopher, so while awaiting the inevitable implosion of the economy, I produced over 50 songs for various clients this year, and I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned from the experience. …

I thought I was done with academia after finishing my Master’s. My financial situation was dire and my disillusion with universities was severe. To make matters even worse, I was deemed ineligible for a UK work permit. Can you guess the reason? I didn’t have enough money to support myself for 6 months. As if I wanted to work just for kicks and giggles. Alas, such was life for a Romanian citizen back then in the UK. (Really curious what the recent Brexit fiasco will unleash. But I digress.) I went back to Romania in the summer of 2013, planning…

2012 and the photo wasn't taken with a phone (check reflection).

It’s been a long time coming. I graduated from Oxford in July 2013, with a Master’s degree in musicology. More than six years later, I feel I have the proper mindset to reevaluate the year spent at the celebrated institution. However, before exploring the diverse states of mind I found myself in during my time as a foreign student in the UK, I think it’s worth providing a bit of context on what made me dive headfirst into the unknown.

Preamble

Before I was ever enrolled in any music-learning institution, I had a passion for music, as detailed in a previous…

I’m the guy in the Maiden t-shirt.

Transitioning from a kid who spend his days playing football and eating sunflower seeds with his friends to someone who used every waking moment to better himself as a guitar player by forfeiting all of his free time was a bizarre experience. The process was made even more confusing by my decision to enroll on a three year BA music course at the National University of Music in Bucharest. While I naively thought that learning ‘the rules of music’ was the way forward, the situation at the finish line was not what I expected. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Bachelor studies

Me with the guy who’s been a common thread in my musical development.

Transitioning from a guitarist with aspirations of becoming a virtuoso to a person who produces music for other artists is as far away from a unique story as possible. Having academia as a variable in this transition, on the other hand, throws a few right hooks in this seemingly unremarkable narrative. I started making music in one way or another almost 20 years ago, and the path that got me to where I am now was sinuous, to say the least. In this first of a two-parter, I take a look at what made me want to take up the…

Andrei Sora

Musicologist. Music Producer. Guitarist. https://andreisora.com/

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