why music?

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I’ve always actively sketched and created characters as a hobby and a passion. During the years just after high school through to my first job, I produced a large volume of drawings and ideas. Soon after this period I crashed into a creative brick wall at about 100 miles an hour. It took me a while – and a stack of empty sketch books – to realise something wasn’t quite right. As any boy does, I played console games excessively and occasionally rode my skateboard (or bmx). I needed a way to focus my creative energy, that also provided the same feeling in return that drawing once offered.

I chose the electric bass – for reasons I can’t recall – and what a discovery I made. Music I had grown up with, music born and bred in the Motor City, was so heavily influenced by the bass and a bassist that defined the electric bass – thank you James Jamerson. Incidentally, my first bass was a Precision copy, which was bought about a week before I learned of James Jamerson (the Fender Precision was used by James). Starting out on the bass and learning Motown tracks was not to be described as jumping into the deep end – it was more akin to base-jumping in a cyclone. It didn’t matter, I was hooked. I totally sucked, but I was hooked.

Four years into my musical journey and I am still hooked. Along the way I picked up guitar, harmonica, bongos, a little bit of keyboard and a lot of percussion (tambourine baby!). My guitar playing has improved since joining Atlassian – some of the guys I work with have over 20 years experience in music – though I still maintain my key focus on bass. Playing other instruments helps me to understand where the bass resides and to be empathetic towards other instruments and players. I would love to play the drums to improve my understanding of groove! Although that would definitely cause a few domestic issues.

I guess it’s also important to note that I record and mix my own material. My experience in that area is very limited, however, I find it a valuable method for analysing my playing abilities. I also like to use design analogies to make sense of music theory and technique, however, that’s for a future post.

To get to the point of this post – Why music? I wrote this to explain my history in music – if you happen to come across a track on although.net.au, you can then place it in context with my experience.

PS. A couple of months after I started playing bass, my sketch books were dusted off and new ideas formed. My style had grown, though the feeling remained the same. Although one thing was different, I’d rather play music – it’s how I like to sketch my ideas these days. Thanks for listening.

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welcome to the world

Howdy!

My name is Jason Taylor. I’m a user interface designer born and raised in Sydney Australia. During the day I work for Atlassian, a software engineering company producing tools for development and collaboration. During the night (and over the weekends) I create music, illustration and an occasional Fimo sculpture.

Blogging is an integral part of the Atlassian workplace culture and after a year of service I too thought it would be interesting to impart to the general public my opinions, thoughts and most importantly, updates to my personal site – www.although.net.au.

Content on this blog will revolve around: my personal experiences in user interface design; commentary on my personal site; design work that may not make it to my personal site; and potentially, our two cats Jay and Scooter.

Despite being my first personal blog post, I am no stranger to the practice…in fact, here’s a couple of posts that made it to the Atlassian Developer Blog.

Welcome again! Hope to see you again soonish!

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