Bassist & Design

Bassist & Design


Hello, it’s Kenji, and I’m the writer of the day 17th of WOVN Advent Calendar 2021.

I’m not super active on music currently and not sure if I have to say this, but outside of my professional work, I’m a bassist, which means I’m in charge of bass guitar in a music band.

 I’ve been playing bass for almost 20 years, including multiple hiatus. I’ve also been lucky enough to play in different bands, both in Japan and the United States. I often had chances to tour other states & towns with a lot of talented musicians.

 I consider myself a bassist-like guy, and others do too. It's a complement as I’ve been wanting to be that kind of person from a certain age. I get so happy when someone says that I look like a bassist, to the point that I want to buy them a drink.

I wasn’t really interested in playing bass at first, and I didn't even understand the role of the instruments and why they are so important. The sounds of bass are not clear and obvious if compared with other instruments such as guitars and drums. And I was one of the kids who didn’t get what bassists were doing on the stage.

 However, once I formed bands with other musicians, and started playing, learning and getting to know new music genres and styles, it didn't take me so long to find the real role of the bassists. I was also impressed by how influential they are to the band and music.

 In the end, I decided to be a bassist.

2016, some festival in Brooklyn NY (I haven’t played bass for any shows since this time)

During that time, the role model which I wanted to be in the future overlapped with the role of a bassist too, and it could be the biggest reason why I got into bass.

 Let’s start with explaining the role of bass with some examples.

 No Bass, No music = No structure, no house

 Please picture a simple 4-piece band.

 Vocals: naturally, singing
Guitar: adding memorable melodies  
Drums: consistently keeping the beats, and adding percussion sounds to break the scenes
Bass: mmm, hard to describe

 Let’s use a house and some objects as examples

 Vocals: main object, such as flowers, art pieces or other decorations
Guitar: furniture and interiors  
Drums: doors, staircases or other main construction parts
Bass: the structures - the frames behind the wall

You can’t even see the frames as they are hidden behind the wall panels.

It is unpretentious, but if there are no frames, you can’t even build a house.

 If random furniture and doors are built, but there are no structures or main frames, you can’t consider them as a house.

 The role and functions of the bass is indeed, to be the bottom elements and contain multiple sounds on it.

 While vocals, guitar and drums are adding memorable elements to control the impression of songs, bass is the bottom plate which contains and connects them.

 In other words, you have such a great singer with a great voice, technical guitar player with emotional notes, and powerful drums which never go off rhythm, but no bass, then it cannot be considered as music. In the recording process, bass is always recorded as the first track, but bass also can be the last piece that connects each sound element with each other and finalizes it as one song.

 Bass must exist, to make music as music, but also must be solid and stable. If not, it can ruin other great music elements easily.

 To bring out the best in others, you must be a solid frame for them.

The time when I was dreaming of my future role, I thought bass is the exact role model I want to be.

The role, and to be model

 Being a designer is technically my role, but if someone asks me what’s my title & position in this organization, it’s hard to answer now.

I guess because what I do in WOVN is not limited to design related matters, as all my knowledge and expertise from my unique previous experiences can be helpful resources for this young organization. Actually I do have following things as my resume in English:

-   Problem solver
-   Design Ninja
-   Thank God, we have you.

 However, I think I am supposed to be and want to be someone like a bassist and designer, who can be an actor behind the scenes to make other teams active and better, especially this is the time for WOVN to be growing.

 There are many members in WOVN who are titled as “designer”, however I’m the only old school traditional graphic designer, as others are designers specialized in UI / UX to develop the company's product and services.

 My roles include visual assets for the marketing and sales team, improving and coming up with the system and image library to make WOVN’s brand spread more, and even making novelty goods for some events and branded gifts for WOVN members.

 If you are an artist, what you make can be artworks and masterpieces, but what I do is design and if you don’t have purpose or goals to accomplish, the outputs won’t be finalized contents.

 Bass for band and music.

Being a designer to the team to achieve their goals.

And of course, the product and service of WOVN is here for society and the world of internet.

All these 3 things are existing, to make things complete.

The name of bass and bassist are literally to be a bass and have to be solid and stable.

Basses don't always stand out to be recognized, but they have to be there to complete music.

I want my presence to be a bassist in WOVN, and I believe what WOVN is supposed to be should be a bassist in the world of internet.

# Writer Profile
Division:Solution / Design
Time at WOVN: 5 months   

Thank you !!
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