The Back Cover
Occasionally music promoters or radio DJs want a quick summary of the artists they promote/play, something that gets to the point quickly and (ideally) piques enough interest to warrant further investigation into the artist or his music. So here's my version of that. This is akin to a quick blurb that you'd find on the back cover of a book, summarizing the book's content and context.
Reconsiderate makes music in the spirit of having something interesting to listen to. His target audience is himself, though you are welcome to love it too. Call it "a descendant of industrial rock and hip hop" if you must. Surrender like the ocean's edge as the waves wash over you, and bust out your calculator to decipher the puzzles. Your extended family will never be the same.
Setting the Stage
Music is the only thing I've ever been able to count on in my life. As such it's pretty important to me, both as an artist and also as a listener.
In some sense, it would be fair to say that making music is primarily a hobby for me. I make songs because I love doing so, and frankly couldn't stop even if I wanted to.
But in another sense, making music is a serious discipline too. It helps me to become something more than I already am, and as such is an effective tool for me to pursue my own personal growth and development.
Methods & Goals
Whenever I'm working on a new song, I go through a process of introspection, identifying areas of my life that need attention in one way or another. For example, maybe the way I'm thinking about a certain topic is kind of dysfunctional, and needs to be reimagined. Through the creative process, I can build a bridge from my current (dysfunctional) state to the new (imagined) future. Then, after the song is written and recorded, I can continually reinforce that "bridge" in my subconscious by listening to the song over and over again. In this way, making music is a way for me to reprogram my self and play an active role in determining the way in which my life unfolds.
That's how it goes when I'm writing lyrics, anyway. When I'm working on the instrumental components of my music, I tend to take a very experimental approach. For example, I'll arbitrarily select or randomly generate a time signature, key, bpm, etc, and then build up the song within those parameters. Typically, I'll go out of my way to try things that I've never done before, pretty much just for the sake of doing so. Sometimes I will have a sense of how I want the song to progress ahead of time, but usually it's just leaping into the chaos and feeling things out until I like the way it sounds. This process helps me to grow as well, though admittedly more as an artist than as a person. This aspect is more purely fun than it is functional.
Chaos-surfing and esoteric methods for self-determination aside, I also just want to make something cool to listen to, something that I myself will enjoy. When it comes to my raps, that just means really dense and highly technical rhymes that express coherent content with a purpose. If we're talking about my free form prog, that's more an expression of my super eclectic tastes. I like creative works that can be described as complex, weird, unique, experimental, intricate, unconventional, stylized, etc. Those kinds of things always challenge me, and I appreciate that. So I generally aim for that in my work as well.
Terminology & Philosophy
The word "reconsiderate" is more than just my stage name. It's also an adjective that you can use in any context you like. It means "able, willing, and ready to adapt".
Essentially, someone who is reconsiderate is very flexible, thoughtful, circumspect, open-minded, respectful, genuine, cooperative, sincere, etc. Note that this list does not include things such as nice, pleasant, easy to get along with, submissive, or the like. And it certainly doesn't include terms like traditional, normal, stylish, or hip. A reconsiderate person operates outside of the context of anything that is specific to a given culture.
To be reconsiderate is to be in a state of constant re-evaluation and invention. It is a very responsive way to be. You accept what you are given, keep whatever is useful, and leave the rest behind. You take responsibility for generating whatever more you may need, and you move on.
It's a personal evolution thing. Sometimes you get what you want and need, but most of the time you have to find or invent ways to thrive within the limited set of circumstances that you're presented with. Someone who is reconsiderate will happily change himself in whatever ways may be appropriate in order to accommodate the world around him, even if these changes come at the expense of his own personal comfort. This is an expression of moving from an egocentric worldview to one that is more altruistic, and identifying with being a supportive servant rather than a demanding tyrant who insists upon having his way. I'm exaggerating the metaphor, but you get the idea.
There is another meaning to the word "reconsiderate" too. It can act as a suffix, appended to a person's name as a title, much like you might use "PhD" or "esquire". For example, my full name is Anthony Joseph Arlotta Reconsiderate. You can see how it forms an extended version of the name.
The Past, the Present, the Future
I've been a fan of music for longer than I can remember, but I first started working with music in 1988. That was when I joined the percussion section of my grade school band. Almost immediately, my very supportive band leader recognized my talent & potential, and encouraged me greatly. This continued for some time. In 1994, I decided to quit the band.
Working with percussion at such an early age helped to set the stage for my musical pursuits, which are still very strongly rooted in rhythms, time, and sequencing. After I left my school band, I didn't really do much musically for about four years or so. I'd "drum" on my legs or desk, maybe write some original lyrics on occasion, play with recording devices, etc, but that was pretty much it. Nothing serious or disciplined emerged out of this period.
Eventually I got to a point in my life where a lot of things started to change very quickly, and I needed a way to deal with it all. I began to put substantial amounts of my time and energy into experimenting with creative expression through media such as poetry and beatboxing. In December of 1999, a close friend introduced me to Sonic Foundry Acid, which allowed me to creatively arrange and mix wave files using an intuitive graphical interface. It was love at first sight! In virtually no time at all, I began to spend pretty much all of my free time making little mixes and exploring the art of song arrangement.
While it certainly can be said that Acid was just what I needed at that point in my "career" as a recording artist, I pretty rapidly reached the limits of what I could do with it. After all, while it allowed me to mix existing audio files, it didn't provide any capability for me to generate my own music from scratch. Of course, that was something that I needed to do, so a logical next step was to learn to use different software that did in fact let me make music from scratch.
Thankfully, the universe always provides everything that I need right when I need it. So, another friend of mine gave me the gift of Propellerhead Reason, which is the main software package that I continue to use to this day. Reason provides various synthesizers and effects modules, so it was pretty much exactly what I needed at that time.
For the next couple of years, making music was pretty much the only thing that I put any energy into. School? Work? Building or maintaining social connections of any kind? I'm good, thanks. Got my music...
In December of 2001, yet a third friend introduced me to the local open mic scene. Before then, I'd never even heard the term "open mic", so I was pretty flabbergasted to discover that just anyone could waltz on up to the stage and give a performance right then and there to an in-house audience. It was too good to be true! With approximately zero seconds advance notice, I gravitated uncontrollably to the microphone and belted out some half-written lyrics and spontaneous freestyle beatboxing. It all happened so fast. The people in attendance were really taken aback, and responded with enthusiastic applause and cheering. I took that as a sign that I should do it more. So I did.
In the years that followed, I continued to perform at local open mics, exploring what it might be like to incorporate live elements into my work. It was a good couple of years, and what I did was generally well received. These days however, I no longer perform my solo stuff live. You might consider me a "studio only" artist when it comes to my solo work, at least for the time being. Performing in front of an audience is where I feel most strong and centered though, and also where I feel I have the most to offer, so I'll definitely jump on stage any chance I get. For example, since co-founding Conscious Object, I have begun performing live again! I love it deeply, and hope to receive ever more opportunities to perform as the future unfolds.
Regardless of how frequently I perform, the music-making continues, as it always does. I have no idea where this music journey is taking me or where I'll be in X amount of years, but you're welcome to come along for the ride if you like...