I thought it was about time to share some new music with you all and so I took some time out of my outdoor filming schedule to bring you a Brand New Music Video of a little tune I wrote for My Upcoming Movie!
So without further adieu, I present you with my latest musical offering..... "APPROACHING DAYLIGHT" Watch it Now on YouTube & Share It with your friends....
Hey There Everyone! - It's Been Awhile.... and I've Got Lots to Tell You!!
New 1080p Full HD Music Video!
New Singles on iTunes & Spotify
Unveiling of my New Discography Section
Brand New Cover Art 4 New Perspective
Changing My Music Distributor
Work Continues on the Movie
New 1080p Full HD Music Video!
I took some time out recently to start remastering some of the songs for the new album. The first one I tackled was the Full Band Version of Legacy. It came out so great that I wanted to show it off in a more artistic way with a Music Video that I made with the awesome Milk Drop 2 Visualization for Winamp and Fraps.
The Video can be viewed in 1080p Full HD Resolution via the Quality Settings on the YouTube Video Player.
The Cover Design for New Perspective, my upcoming album, has changed several times so far. See the new design up close at davidallenslater.com
Change is a Very Good Thing!
I've recently partnered up with Venzo Digital as my new Music Distributor and will now be able to release music easily and quickly to iTunes and More. My old distributor was costly and slow and after 3 years with them, it was time for a change.
I will now be able to release much more music without having to deal with the cost barrier that has slowed things down to a crawl at times. Keep an eye on the Discography Section of my website to catch new releases as they occur.
The Long and Winding Road of Movie Production
My full length movie project, DANCES WITH DEER, is still in production. Location shots have been going on since the Summer and will continue for several more months. As you know, I am a one man show on all fronts and making a full length movie is something that Ihave always wanted to do. I am taking this very serious and putting in some long hours to get the shots that I require to tell the story.
I just wanted everyone to know that I'm still alive and kicking out here and working my tail off to bring you the best that I have to offer.
I don't think I've written you since Mother's Day and some of you might have been wondering what happened to me during this time so I thought I would fill you in.
While I've still been busy with writing music, I decided it was time to branch out and find a way to pool all my talents together for something very special. I took a break this Summer to get back to the natural world that used to be such a huge part of my younger self and along the way I started to find myself again.
Now I am in the midst of Producing, Directing, Filming and Scoring a Brand New Movie that I am calling "DANCES WITH DEER" and I have just created a new YouTube Channel that will be hosting teasers from the Movie along with a few things I have ran across on my journeys into the wild.
Please check out the new channel on YouTube for more information and while you are there please Subscribe or Share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
David Allen Slater www.youtube.com/user/aglimpseofnature
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND None of us would be here without our Moms
So here is a special thanks to all the Mothers out there that did so much to make sure we got safely into this old world and for all those little nudges along the way through life to keep us headed in the right direction.
This year make sure and remember Mom in a special way and show her how much you appreciate Her for everything she did and still does for you.
From Me to all of the Mothers out there... Have a Very, Very, Very Happy Mother's Day!!
You Deserve It
NEW MUSIC VIDEO Recently I took a hiking trip and took along my camera to get some good nature shots. Then yesterday while looking them over early in the morning, I decided to take one of them and use it as a backdrop to my new Music Video.
Combining that picture with some Hi Def footage and mixing in a video performance of mine, I spent the day creating something that I think you will enjoy. I also remastered the audio from my performance and put it all together in a visually stunning way. I do hope you will take a moment to check it out and this is my way of saying that
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
The Limited Edition 5 Song New Perspective EP offers up a taste of things to come from Singer/Songwriter, David Allen Slater. Included with your purchase of the full EP is a very cool PDF version of the lyric booklet that was personally designed by DAS. Download is available in MP3 320, FLAC, and more!
Influenced is the Original 2009 Debut from Singer/Songwriter, David Allen Slater. David produced the album himself over the space of four years as well as writing and performing all of the 15 original tracks. Download is available in MP3 320, FLAC, and more!
Free Desktop Wallpaper designed by Singer/Songwriter, David Allen Slater. (Free to download and use as long as you do not modify in any way. All Photography and Artwork Copyright David Allen Slater, All Rights Reserved) ~ Download from Flickr ____________________________________________________
You may be thinking about now....."Why film a Duck Orgy and then post it to YouTube?" Well, before you go and start thinking that I am off my rocker, let me explain.........
Being a creative professional that has spent the last few years trying to share my creations with the world, I have sadly found my biggest competition to be from mind numbing insanity. As an artist and musician, I have worked hard to create things that I have been proud to share with the world. But no matter how hard I have tried, I always get beat out by the Viral nonsense that spreads around YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
I made a conscious decision to leave most social networking sites last year, with the exception of YouTube and Google+. I only kept them to share my music and nature videos on YouTube and because when I deleted my Google+ profile, I seemingly no longer had a channel on YouTube for whatever reason. To this day, I have been happier every day that I left the all the social madness behind me and in turn I went out and rediscovered the real world once again.
So, back to this Duck Orgy video..... Think of it as an experiment to find out what the current, average, everyday internet and mobile users are doing with their time. I am using myself and other Indie Artists as a control group and comparing the results of the interest in what we do in contrast with what the general public would rather watch.
Basically it is Good Serious Art versus Mind Numbing Stupidity!
Those of you who read this post will most likely have their own opinion and I am not trying to force mine on anyone....I simply would like to ask you to stop and think about why one thing is more popular than another. You can compare PBS to The Kardashians or The Discovery Channel to FOX or you could think about Really Talking to Friends and Family compared to Texting, Facebook and Twitter. Whatever you choose to focus on, at least take the time to really think and ask why one is more popular than the other.
So with my thoughts visibly on my sleeve for the world to see, I present you with two choices and ask that you decide for yourself which one you would choose over the other and why...........
OPTION #1 - The Incredible Duck Orgy (The Original)
It all started when my eldest son gave me a little red Nikon Coolpix L22 camera last year. I had never owned a really good digital camera and had relied on web cam self portraits and a few HD shots from my el cheapo Vivitar 620HD Camcorder. Suddenly I had a camera that would do really good macro shots and pretty excellent nature shots so I started practicing around the house.
As an independent singer/songwriter, I have to do it all. Even my publicity pics have been taken by myself as well as all of my cover art pics for albums. Having better equipment to do this with was certainly going to come in handy and I was suddenly finding myself to be a true photo bug. I ran out and hit the woods with my new passion and started taking shots of wildlife and macro shots of insects and flowers. I was amazed at the quality I was getting as I continued to hone my new craft. In the process I was also getting a much needed break from all the headaches that came with stretching myself so thin as a DIY indie artist.
I began to make videos with my Nikon and started sharing them with the idea of making a web series that I had named "A Glimpse of Nature". After a few episodes that I shared on YouTube, I was finding the video quality lacking if I did anything other than macro. This is the time of HD and as much as I tried to re-size my videos to fit this format, my Nikon just would not give me the results I was looking for.
Then I got lucky and got myself a real HD Camcorder that does true 1080p video. I picked it up at a local pawn shop for 130 bucks even, it's a Toshiba Camileo X416. I really got a good deal on it and after bringing it home I discovered that it was the top of the line HD Camcorder that Toshiba had out at the time of my purchase. Now I could really do some serious filming and so I headed out again to a National Park to see what this new camera would do.
Ever since I had gotten the Nikon and had been out photographing nature, I had kept running into Deer and other more elusive wildlife like Wild Turkeys. I was eager to see how close I could get to my wild friends so that I could capture the experience on film. This is when the idea for my movie, Dances With Deer, began to take shape. Now I have been in the process of filming and writing the movie since mid-summer and I am still hard at work at it in October.
I have traveled many miles out into the wild and on my own to capture just the right scenes to fit my script. From Chickamauga Battlefield in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga to Cloudland Canyon on Lookout Mountain in Georgia to the Hiwassee River in Tennessee and North Chickamauga Creek Wilderness in Soddy Daisy, TN. Each location has yielded some amazing footage and is bringing my story to life in a way that I could have never imagined. I'm a man on a mission these days with a renewed spirit of creativity that is also overflowing into the music I am writing for the movie and for my new album.
Dances With Deer is not a nature documentary, it's a real full length feature film that has a very intriguing story behind it. I am not releasing any tidbits of the plot at this time but you can find a few simple teaser trailers on my website. With filming still taking place and a lot of work ahead of me before I finish this film, the release date is still not set but I can promise you that it's going to be great!.
Below are a few select "On The Set" shots that I have chosen to share with this article. Stay tuned to www.davidallenslater.com for more news and updates concerning Dances With Deer and my upcoming album, New Perspective.
A few months ago I upgraded my computer's video card to help with my Graphics and Video Work. The one I bought is made by NVIDIA and it came with a 3D feature that turns my whole computer into a 3D Experience. The problem for me was, I didn't own one of the 3 types of 3D Glasses that it supported.
One kind of 3D required an expensive piece of external hardware that came with it's own kind of glasses. This type is more closely related to the new 3D TVs and Blueray Players that are on the market today. The second kind of 3D I could do required a pair of USB Wired 3D Glasses that are sold by NVIDIA to work with their Video Cards. This option was less expensive than the first but still ran around 40 bucks and you have to order them online. The third type of 3D that my new video card supported was the old school Red and Cyan Anaglyph 3D Glasses that you used to get at 3D movies you went to see at the theater. NVIDIA sells those too but you have to buy a pack of 10 for 10 bucks to get them or look for them on eBay to get just one pair. I tried looking in stores around town but they were not available anywhere that I could find.
I really wanted to try out my new 3D setup but without the glasses or the more expensive hardware I was out of luck. I am a picky shopper and so before I ran out and purchased anything online, I wanted to see if the promise of 3D on my computer would be worth it so I decided to try and make my own.
As with anything that you want to learn these days, there are videos and tutorials online to help you for free. I got busy and searched the net on how to make my own working pair of Red and Cyan 3D Glasses. What I found was basically the same advice everywhere, get some old glasses or safety glasses and color them yourself with permanent markers. This sounded easy enough so I went out to buy some permanent markers that were the right color for the Red and Cyan and while I was at it I picked up a cheap pair clear safety glasses. I still spent the same as I would have if I had just ordered them online from NVIDIA but I was determined to make my own. After all, if I could make one pair then I could make tons more for my friends and family and come out cheaper in the long run than buying them. Sadly my attempt at this did not work too well. Either the Red was not the correct shade or the Blue/Cyan gave me the same issue. To top it all off, once you colored on the glasses, they would cloud up from the marker ink drying on them and become useless to see through. I tried both Sharpie and Bic and still could not manage to make it work like the videos I had watched on YouTube. With this lesson learned and even though I was still in the frame of mind to figure out another way, I decided to just buy some on eBay.
I got my new 3D glasses in the mail a few days later and discovered that unlike the picture, that looked like hard plastic frames, they were instead just cut out poster board with flimsy Red and Cyan lenses. They were cheap so I was just happy to have them and got busy trying out my new 3D features for my computer. I was amazed at how cool things looked and even though I know it could be better with the more expensive stuff, I was satisfied.
Now I wanted to make my own 3D Pictures and Videos and add another notch on my creativity belt. I figured I would start with the old style Anaglyph Red and Cyan type of content first and eventually move my way up the ladder. Amazingly I was able to learn how to do this with much success in just one day by using Sony Vegas which is one of the better Video Production Tools that I own. I went from making a few of my pics in 3D with a GIMP Tutorial to working on my first 3D Video Promo which I have now uploaded to YouTube and placed on my website for those with Red and Cyan 3D Glasses to check out.
The moral of this story is that if you really want to learn something, you can! All you have to do is take the proper time and give the subject your full attention. You may make a few mistakes along the way but that is all a part of the learning experience. The reward comes from the knowledge that you gain in the end and the new possibilities that are now available to you because you simply took the time to figure it out.
That being said, I am still gonna figure out the best way to make my own Red and Cyan 3D Glasses just because I hate to give up on something that I start. Until I do, I have my nice shiny cardboard ones that work just fine!
Many talented people today have the dream of sharing their talents with the world, with the hope that they might even have a chance of making a living from their craft at the same time. The internet has brought about so many changes and opportunities for the average person that did not exist before. Getting from point A to point Z can include a confusing mass of trial and error and a ton of learning the hard way. At the same time, just like in the real world, there are others that are looking to make financial gain off of your hopes and dreams. I have personally come to refer to these companies and individuals as "Dream Leechers". If you have a talent of any kind, someone has figured out a way to make money off you and your dreams but I'll talk more about that later. First you have to start somewhere, in order to get somewhere and that is the focus of this part of my story....
In the Beginning, You have a Dream and then comes the hard part.....
I have played music and created art in one form or another just about all of my life. The internet did not exist when I was young man and so my options were a lot more limited. As I found myself in the new digital age, a few years further down the road, I started the process of learning all I could about computers. First I signed up to go to college to learn computer programming in hopes of landing a good paying job. I soon discovered that the college I was attending was ripping people off and not teaching you anything so I dropped out after one semester. To my surprise, two years later, I got a letter from the bank that funded my student loan. The bank wanted to congratulate me on graduating and earning my computer programming degree. You see the college did not pay the unused portion of my loan back but instead kept it and earned interest on it. I on the other hand was now expected to pay it all back and I had only went to school for one semester. A couple years later the college was shut down by the IRS for fraud. This was my first experience with a dream leecher and yet it was not to be the my last.
I continued playing my guitar, writing songs and doing my charcoal sketches and put together a Home Recording Studio in a one bedroom apartment. I had no clue how to make a living off of what I loved to do the most and like many people, I had simply joined the workforce after my bad college experience. Even so, when I was home from work, I was recording and teaching myself how to use all this equipment I had invested in. I used my building skills to construct a sound booth in my apartment's bedroom so that I could practice singing without others hearing me through the thin walls. I was making good progress and then I fell in love and got married. Suddenly I had more bills and a new son and so all of my studio equipment went up for sale and all I kept was my acoustic guitar. Work and family was now my focus and so my dreams would have to be put on hold again for a few years.
During this time, my younger brother took a class on how to build computers and then after finishing it he taught me all he had learned in about an hour. I had already ran out and purchased a computer in order to write a book about guitar on and at the same time was teaching myself computer programming at home. I saw all the possibilities for art and music and became more and more eager to learn more. The problem was, now I had to do it all myself while holding down a job and taking care of a family. Even so, I pushed on and eventually started my own computer business. I used to to travel several miles to give in home computer lessons to adults and home schooled children. I also custom built computers for individuals and businesses and even wrote a few pieces of computer software that I sold as Shareware in the good old DOS and Dial Up Modem days of computing. Finally I was making money from something that I taught myself to do but my dreams of a career involving music and art were still on hold. Family had to come first, then work to pay the bills and in my few spare moments I could play my guitar and occasionally sketch and draw. It seemed like I had a very long road ahead of me and I couldn't even begin to imagine how I was ever going to get close to the end of it.
A few more years passed.......and I found myself divorced and living in a one bedroom apartment again. My kids were still my first priority and I began to teach them things I had learned about computers, music and art. For awhile I was satisfied with the thought that I could at least pass on my talents to them but it was my children that got me back into music again in a big way. After teaching all three of my sons how to play guitar, my youngest son really got me fired up again to write and record. I again dusted off my guitar and worked through the rust that had overtaken much of the playing ability that I used to have. The first big thing that I discovered was how my life experiences gave me much more to draw on as a songwriter plus it was good therapy that helped me deal with my failed marriage, among other things. My focus was not to be a star but instead to leave my kids a part of me that they could hear long after I was gone. You see I was in poor health at the time and my own Father had passed away at a young age. For all I knew at the time, I might not have been around much longer and I wanted to leave my kids something more personal than what I had from my own Dad. Thus the leaving of my musical legacy began for my children's sake and became the driving force behind everything I would do from then on.
Faced again with another challenge, I managed to reformat my thinking and teach myself how to record on my computer. I no longer had all that cool recording equipment so I had to use a free open source program called Audacity along with a clip on condenser mic that I bought at Radio Shack. After much trial and error I managed to get five songs written and recorded this way. My sister had given me her old Sony Mavica camera and needing a picture for the album cover, I stood in the bathroom, up against the door and snapped a grainy picture of myself. I put my picture on the computer and started the process of teaching myself how to make things look better with another free program called GIMP. Eventually I came up with a simple album cover for this 5 song EP I had recorded. I called the EP, "A Glimpse of My Soul" and made a few homemade versions of it, complete with CD Case and artwork that I printed on regular printer paper and cut out with scissors. I even went out to the store and bought a kit to put labels on blank CD's and designed a disk label to make the CD look more professional. This was the start of my journey to being a true DIY Artist and yet I still had a lot to learn and a long way to go. The digital world was taking over and I was struggling to keep up and not at all satisfied with my results......
So after reading this portion of my story, if you are still seeking the easy way to "get there", that is where those "Dream Leechers" that I mentioned earlier come into play but I'll save that for Part Two....
Next Time in Part Two of"The Making of a DIY Artist or How I Became a Jack of All Trades on My Way to Fulfilling My Dreams " -
How a homemade recording for my family ended up getting me heard all over the world
Gaining the respect of the public and my musical peers as a Singer/Songwriter and a Musician
More about the skills I had to acquire along the way to become a True Indie DIY Artist
Learning the Hard Way about those pesky Dream Leechers