Michael, why did you start relaxdaily?
There's a deeply rooted desire in me to create music. And while I enjoy listening to lots of different music, independent of genres, when it comes to creating my own, I tend to be connected to rather calm music. In the beginning I had the idea to only create one cool relaxation album. But the relaxdaily project quickly became a journey of searching for the right sound and feel and slowly creating one track after another, growing as music creator, and sharing my sound with others along the way. There's a voice inside me that tells me to find or create the right kind of music and bring together people who truly enjoy this kind of music. I want to create a meaningful soundtrack for many to enjoy.
What was your inspiration?
I once heard you don't choose your calling, it chooses you. Like with many things, the trough is somewhere in the middle. I was inspired originally when I saw a friend playing sounds on a keyboard. I was flashed. How was that sound possible? He puts his fingers on these keys and there you have such sonic beauty. Since then I'm on my journey of finding my sound. Probably a lifelong journey. Another inspiration is a lifestyle choice or promise. I personally get the sensation of being 'free' when I decide for my own what to do with a day, a month, a year. Even if there are times when I work almost 24/7 on a tune, a video, a project related issue for weeks (while paradoxically I believe humans should not work more than 4 hours a day), I have the feeling of doing something valuable. Something I decided to go for that feels right. Yet another inspiration is my somehow childish belief that, even if it's only music, it can have a positive effect on society. There's different music for different situations and different individuals. When my music can make you happy or benefits you some way, I'm happy, too.
Why do you film nature?
I like to be outdoors. I like when there are not too many crowds around me. Where I can focus on myself and my thoughts. Also I found I enjoy filming what I see.
I guess, most of us are happy living in a densely populated neighborhood, with all the amenities modern society has to offer. Need food? Don't have to kill a moose, go to the supermarket. Still, being at a wonderful nature place every now and then can be powerful. It's good for us, because it connects us with our origins, our roots. It can have a regenerating effect on us urban people. Nature is life. Filming it can bring a little of the original sensation to the eyes of others. I believe good looking nature oftentimes is a fantastic backdrop for relaxdaily music.
What camera do you use?
First I used a Panasonic GH2 for my HD videos, then a Samsung NX1 for my UHD videos. Today I record on a Panasonic GH5, but I always look for new small format cameras that might help with capturing a better image. I hope I can upgrade soon again. I want to capture nature in the most beautiful way possible.
What's your music recording setup?
I try to keep it as basic as possible. Relaxdaily N°001 till 107 were done with Reason as DAW on a Windows PC, N°108+ with Logic on a Macbook. For instruments I like a lot what Spectrasonics creates. Piano sounds by Synthogy. I can work with any guitar that holds it's tune and as a keyboard I like to use something that's as close as it can get to a real piano, especially for playing piano stuff (dear music instruments industry: we're faaaaaar away from that). Currently I like to use KAWAI's CA series electric piano for playing piano parts and the Studiologic SL88 Studio for anything else. I use Bayerdynamic Headphones (DT770Pro, 80 Ohm) for mixing and sometimes bigger loudspeakers for corrections. Currently a Universal Audio audio interface. I'm working towards getting my setup as small and light as possible, so I can create while traveling in the future.