Aaron Morefield's Personal Website

Home Blog About Calendar Music

Why so few posts

Jan 13, 2024

I’ve often wondered what my angle is; simple as that. To some level, the thing which holds me back is reverence and admiration for everyone around me. I’m young enough that I still look up to everyone around me, and I’m just old enough to know how much I don’t know.

I don’t have keys to success, I don’t have the strongest opinions or positions. I don’t know what to tell you about how to succeed. So much of who I am is constructed carelessly from the pieces of media and people around me. I am so thoroughly indebted to the people who made me that I am not sure where my original thoughts end and another's begin.

I often find myself processing moods in character; in a certain way it feels like an emphatic response; but as with any empathy, it’s impossible to know exactly how someone else processes an emotion. It’s one of the oldest cliches to speak of masks, to say that one is acting or performing. I view it a little differently, it’s more a justification. Like: how can someone I admire be wrong about something, and if I could imagine they wouldn’t be, then who am I to say I’m different than they are.

I imagine myself as a sum of people who I only know a part of.

The Death of Everynoise: a Personal Eulogy

Jan 11, 2024

The programmer who maintained the project everynoise.com has been let go from their position in Spotify. This is saddening for a few reasons.

In late 2016/early 2017 I gave a speech on my approximation for the most-one-hit-wonder. I poured through some playlists, calculated my best case and accounted for the many different versions of certain hand-waving dance songs to come up with a short answer of probably Deep Blue Something’s song Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And as I recall, I think, the audience kinda liked it, and I said well that’s this one thing I got.

As a young musician and developer I had so many burning questions that their database held answers to. Did Justin Timberlake actually succeed in bringing Sexy Back? Is by matter of simple plurality a song like Despacito actually enjoyed by people individually? Does DJ Kahled /actually/ hold the keys to success?

Then by procrastination-fueled chance, I came across a blog run by a developer and a music fan who was living (what I thought at that time) was my dream. To work at a big tech company, to gain access to the dev-privileged data would be to soothe the fire of insane nonsense that my fledgling code brain was convinced was just on the other side of a well-formed Python app and a few million (probably costly) API requests.

I’ll take a moment here to break the linear narrative flow and say that, as I’m sat in bed on a Wednesday night writing this blog post on my phone for what will hopefully be a Thursday upload, my wife looked at me with great concern and asked why I looked sad. And finding the way to communicate how a website that I’ve used is bringing genuine emotions to me is hard to do.

Over the years Everynoise gave me answers to questions I didn’t know I wanted to ask. It showed me many different ways to process music. For all my life I’ve performed music, sang, watched reviews, read blogs; I truly still found the site eye-opening.

To give appropriate credit, I’m sure much of the wonder was the work of the underlying engine which the team at Spotify has assembled. However the presentation and tactile exploration this site provided made wandering that algorithm fun.

On many occasions I would hoist my arms to 1’o’clock and 7’o’clock while earnestly describing to friends how density and organic feel could map sound. How clearly the anti-genre pattern explained metal as the opposite of children’s music. It tied King Gizzard to Slipnot to orchestral to blue grass. It charted the existence of donk, phonk, funk, ska and skunk.

What was neat was how the site never felt pretentious. It wasn’t a pissing contest about “oh, you mean you haven’t heard about Some Composite Made-Up Genre?”. It was simply a way to navigate a broad map of similarities. It was not just every, but any noise. All values impartially churned into a playground for the nerdy and noisy.

That all of this is going away as a matter of corporate-abstracted decision making leaves me a bit hollow. To paraphrase The Story So Far: man it's not personal, it’s just business, but it’s what made it hit so close to home; makes it cut so much deeper. (heavy gloom by a story so far). I’m not here to defend the business practices of Spotify, nor am I to say that the money to be made in the music industry needs to be distributed in a more equitable way. I (as I am sure many others) being both a musician and a developer can find sympathy in efficiencies on all sides.

All of this is to say: a parasocial thank you to Glenn. I would like to apologize for being so enamored with the product that I ignored the talent and development work that went into this. I don’t mean to throw too much flattery, but if you are ever to read this, know that your work has brought me insights, friendships, and of course plenty of new music. From one developer to another; may this turbulent job market find you on your best creative path. Thank you for the music.

A Restart

Jan 10, 2024

Somehow, every journal that I have ever started with remains about half full. I think the reason for this is simply that I view it as a way towards self-improvement. When I have many thoughts in my head, it helps me to sort it out. But there is something further to the output that a blog allows. It has an aspect of accountability, a kind of permanence which exists based off the frontend. It is something that you can shame me for, or ask me, or find by accident. This means that I have to be a little less stream-of-consciousness, and a bit more focused on topic. But, if you know anything about how I operate, focus is not the strength. When it needs to be, of course, I can lock in, but when I am at my best I am tying disparate ideas together to make something which feels whole. I have not made enough time to write this blog post tonight, so I will leave this open for now.