Julien BAYLE is a great friend of mine.
He’s a producer, digital artist and musician and he will be writing the preface of my next book ‘The musician samurai code‘.
We used to work together as public servants and we used to be dreaming about the fact that one day we could have a great life out of the matrix : ours.
I did so one year before him but right now, Julien definitely changed his 35 next years.
Of course it wasn’t that easy and it implied time, many doubts, a few financial issues and a lot of personal growth steps to undertake full responsability for his own life.
But he definitely made it as he consicously made the choice to be happy.
He changed his life and made his wishes come true. He found his freedom through a fulfilled musician’s life.
He diid all the job, but I’m very proud that he asked me to help him on his path through my experience and my coaching skills.
Now that hard part is over, he works on various projects as an digital artist, creating his own visual and musical material.
But he is also a certified trainer and an upcoming guru for the last release of musical software Ableton Live as he has been asked to write a dedicated book about this software’s last release. The book will be published and available in the year to come.
Three years after I left my public organiszation, and two years after he did, we regurlaly work together thinking about new stuff, new concepts, new ideas and new projects. You can find some great pictures about our working sessions on Flickr right here.
I made an interview of him a few months ago on this very same blog right here but I wasn’t thinking that he could become the great man he became that fast.
But he avtually did.
Here’s an filmed interview he made a few weeks ago where you will encounter simple and genuine success.
Enjoy as I did while watching this small and pleasant footage.
Find more about Julien on his website.
This man (left side) I’m talking with is Julien BAYLE.
He’s a great friend of mine.
He’s a great father, a visionary musician, an inspired entrepreneur and, eventually … a wonderful human being.
He’s now a brain with no more limits.
He’s now able to see far beyond the pictures his eyes send to his brain cells.
He’s now able to see what’s invisible to 99% of human kind.
I know him from the place we used to work together and where we nearly psychologically died.
So to speak.
Hopefully, we escaped before our brain cells signals level fell down to zero.
He did too in 2010.
I’m proud to say that, for a small part at least, opening the door of my own freedom, gave him the strength, the bravery and somehow, the example he needed to do the same and let himself be happy.
Today, without a shame saying it, I can tell he inspires me as much as he would say I inspire him.
When I’m Morpheus, he’s my Neo. When I’m Neo, he’s my Morpheus.
We were dreaming of this kind of freedom for soooo long.
He was stopping by my office, having a seat saying to me ‘Let’s do something Laurent. Let’s do something. There must be something we could do to be creative, to be happy, to be ourself’.
Sometimes, I was dropping by his office all of a sudden, in a hurry, out of breath, shutting the door behind me and telling him how much I was unhappy and wondering if it could be possible for us having the professional and personal lives we thought we truely deserved.
Today, we’re over this troubled period.
We’re having lunch together once a week.
We sit and say each other, the look in the sun : we made it.
As entrepreneurs, men, fathers or musician, we share ideas, concepts, personal ou professional issues.
It’s during one of these sunny-full-of-breathing-and-inspirational lunchtimes that the idea came to me that Julien could talk on this blog.
Because he’s one of the musicians I’ll be interviewing for my next coaching book (the musician coaching guide) and because he’ll write the preface of it, I thought he could tell us how he sees his life as a musician and, as the same time, as an entrepreneur or as a father.
This man decided to face his fears and to re-design his 35 next years.
For sure, our society would like us to be in a small box strictly designed with one label : lawyer or enginneer. Artist or entrepreneur. Both seems impossible.
My own path, and eventually this blog, show this is so untrue.
But today, it’s Julien who will tell you how much his company, Design the media, helps him to design his life as an artist or as a man.
He’s here to tell you how the connections are made between the several sides of our personality and how his entrepreneur issues or successes can help him to be a better artist or programmer.
He talks about passions, purpose, comfort zone, going deep down Alice-in-Wonderland’s rabbit hole, his daughter Alice …
And so on and so forth.
Hence, be my guest and Enter the world of Julien BAYLE.
Listen to him and learn how to Design The Media, your music and eventually … your life.
Hi Julien, could you tell us who you are and what’s your professional and personal life are about ?
I’m Julien Bayle, 36 years old, living in France with Angela & Alice, father of the wonderful Alice.
I’m both a minimal digital artist, making music and digital installations pieces too, but a programmer & developer too.
Some people are saying I’m a bit “everywhere inside technology & art fields”. I like these words.
How do you handle the idea of being, at the same time, an entrepreneur, a musician, an engineer, a programmer ?
I cannot dissociate my different parts, it would really be like cutting myself into pieces!
I’m making music, from guitar to electronic music, since 25 years and I couldn’t live with this.
I’m programming & designing things, from hardware to software to many more stuff, since more than 14 years.
Both of these worlds are totally related, and more today than ever.
I cannot imagine to design softwares only for designing softwares. I’m talking about the purpose of things. My softwares are tools used by a lot of people who make music and sound design.
For instance, I made strange sequencers (http://designthemedia.com/theprotoclidean, http://designthemedia.com/uncannysequencer & more) and their purpose is to make different and unique music by introducing probabilities.
So if I have to focus on the answer, it would be : “even if I wanted to only be one thing, I absolutely couldn’t !”
How do you connect all these different parts of your self ?
I think I answered a bit before.
Everything you do, you do on your very special way. It makes you unique.
I’m totally convinced I’m unique and this is just because the connection between all of those parts is me.
I have an unique DNA, as you, as everybody on the earth.
How one can handle to start a workday with a piece of music or a new application for Ipad for example ?
I’m a passions-driven guy.
One of those who can passionate focused and fan people and, sometimes, who can give you some headache talking about his stuff.
I assume that totally.
At anytime, my passions stimulates me by making me watching this, listening that, entering in this or in that totally new framework to develop iOS applications etc.
My workdays aren’t linear and straight, as my sequencers I quoted before are.
Passions drive me to study a topic, to decide to go into it, to begin or not this project. Then I begin to focus on the purpose, sketching, trying to forget totally the technical sides of things.
After that, I can be that hardcore coder you never knew! I really can focus strongly and put my whole energy into the task.
If you have understood that, you’ll easy understand the way I’m entering into a musical studio sessions: it is the same!
Except I only have the purpose to follow my mood, my state of mind. This is the beginning.
I feel a very huge similarities between designing music & designing softwares. I’m talking about creative softwares, not that kind of billing or accounting softwares, you got it?!
In which way do you think that being an entrepreneur has an influence on your art ?
Being an entrepreneur taught me A LOT.
I learnt how to become responsible of everything, and each day ; how to take the rightest decision at light speed, how to increase my comfort zone in order to decease anxiety which can appears in some situations and which can stick you a bit , trapped in your fears, how to like to risk a bit more than before, how to do your best to try to become more & more unique and then, more visible on the planet.
All of that help me a lot in my head by giving me like … super powers. really. It just means I probably earned a better self-esteem and confidence in myself… on course this is very personal.
So my art is probably more risky, more personal, less mainstream. Because I want to express my inner feelings and I dropped some fears around the fact I could be misunderstood or criticized. I’m not saying I don’t care about that, but I just learnt it was the rule of that game.
Do you use musical inspiration to create products ?
If I talk about my music products like sequencers, fx & iOS applications, I’d say yes obviously.
But because I’m not that guy staying in the same field more than 5 days, I everytime have new ideas about new things to produce.
And I can say yes, for these too, my music is an influence.
Making a lot of Ambient electronic music, I cannot dissociate my mood, everyday, from my music.
It is a bit like if I lived in an ambient music bubble.
This music makes me being well and when I’m trying to produce ideas, for new products for instance, I feel that energy which drives me a lot.
I guess the next step for me would be to produce hardware for people but not only musical tools, but music machine related to well-being as if I wanted people to be better in their everyday life.
Which part of your entrepreneur side do you use to create music and vice versa ?
I could answer very briefly that my entrepreneur side who helps me the most is the fact I don’t focus on details at first, but in a second step.
When you want to express feelings through music, or photography, or anything else, you could become totally insane thinking about details first. It could drive you to say “omg, I cannot do it”
This part helps me to begin. Sometimes I focus on details later, sometimes, because the path drove me elsewhere I don’t even need to focus on details to finally express more.
On the other way, the thing that helps me to be a better entrepreneur is the fact I think I can reach some dreams. When I’m making music, if I achieve something, I can feel like touching a bit some dreams, like a plane can touch clouds. Then, it helps me to dream and dream a lot and to know that I can touch them. I can produce something I have in mind, and transform it into a best selling product. Yes, it works.
According to you, what are the reasons that make you unable to stay strictly locked in a labeled box such as ‘Musician’ or ‘Engineer’ ?
I can follow an idea fleeing even into the rabbit hole! It is energy & mind consuming. Then I ever need a secret garden, a place where, when I feel myself trapped a bit on the other side, I can have a rest.
I always worked like that. Playing in many playground, trying this & that, then, this again.
I feel well at the interface of things, connected, like a communication router, to a lot of very different worlds.
Mixing different territories as I’m doing everyday, I feel a lot of echoes, of resonances, because I’m both the emitter & the receiver.
Each part helps another one, you know.
It is incredible sometimes. I went to UK, to NY, invited to music & technology festivals, I remixed a genius artist from NY, I played with some more traditional musicians in Marseille, then I decided to code my own iOS application using C++ etc Do you think I’d be okay to 1) stay in a box, 2) a box with always the same label ?
I couldn’t because all these feelings don’t come into boxes, they are outside boxes. for sure, I’m outside and I feel them :)
“An entrepreneur design his company like he wants his life to be”. Do you agree with this statement ?
I totally agree. One day, you told that to me.
Now, better than ever, I feel that.
You want to be hands in the code everyday, if it is your choice, then don’t hire a coder and build the structure around you that will help you to make only … coding!
You want to design application but not to code, hire a coder and build the structure … etc.
Why the hell people often goes where they don’t want to be ? I begin to have answers to that question for myself and this is often a cause related to our own fears.
Using this statement, you have to know (even a bit) where you want to go in your life. Then, it will help to design you company.
I know a lot of people who made that but on the reverse way, and they complain today and dream about … their life.
I’d prefer to live my dreams than to dream my life and I had the chance to at least try to do that.
Living like a multiple-sides-designer must have brought you a great amount of freedom. Such freedom at a time must be hard to handle no ?
You seem to understand very well this state of mind. I bet you know it yourself, right ?!
It is as hard as good. In fact, it is often better.
It is hard when sometimes you have the feeling you have a choice to do amongst 50 ways. You could loose energy, roam into the maze.
Roaming isn’t bad. It helps you to find your virtual boundaries that will help you to focus your energy during a time period. But it is sometimes hard to feel that.
When you feel the freedom, you think you could every time do more. This is also hard because you cannot do everything at the same time.
Then, I learnt to delay, to fill my schedule progressively and not all the same week or even the same day!
I learnt to divide that infinite universe of possibilities into virtual smaller universes where I feel myself comfortable to work.
There are virtual because sometimes (often, I should say), I’m moving their virtual walls to another place, twisting the world as I want it to be.
It can sound a bit à la matrix when the little boy was saying “the spoon doesn’t exist” but it is also an old concept about our perception of the world and of ourself.
So yes, it is hard to learn how to do that, sometimes, but you can succeed !
Which sides of your life changed since you decided to live in such a free way ?
Every sides, of course.
I was a respected Security Architect IT Engineer in public services. Some people were nice, but a lot were just tight minded.
I felt like a person trapped. You probably felt this too: you have 1000 ideas and can propose the 1000 ways to achieve them, and even you propose to achieve them by yourself but that system doesn’t want to change anything, at the same time. Brazil’s Gilliam describes that better than me.
So yes, a lot of things have changed.
I was making music, hardware, softwares on my short spare time, eating my family time too.
Then I exploded: I didn’t want to live my so nice ideas, motivating activities only after this boring day job.
And now, the more than ever, I struggle against constraints in my life. Sometimes, the struggle is a very silent and subtle one, sometimes, my old kungfu has to be expressed.
I can say it works.
I’m sorry, haters gonna hate, but yes, my way totally works.
Could you describe one of your workday ?
I’ll do that simply by describing one of my real workday.
I’m waking up and enjoying my family, sometimes my wife doesn’t work, sometimes going to school with Alice. I really enjoy these moments.
Walking with her, I feel the day beginning and think about my little virtual spaces waiting for me to begin to work, to live.
Then I’m reading some emails, answering the more urgent ones (according to me). Then I’m beginning to work (music, code, design, whatever, you understood how I’m working)
Eating a bit, I meet people. I met a person who made a little interview of me, explaining the why/what/how/when/where of my latest iOS application project (an ambient generative music machine)
Then, I walk a bit outside, another way to try to make all ideas being more quiet, more relaxed… because sometimes they are boiling into your head.
Then, I write a lot. I’m using evernote, after to have used a lot google documents.
I’m using tools like that because I need to write & take notes & make sketches everywhere & everytime, another manner to illustrate my freedom too.
I couldn’t describe more, you’d have to follow me a whole day, I guess
What is your relationship vis-à-vis freedom ?
I’m my freedom.
The mathematical relationship could be “equal”.
As soon as a person understands that, he/she becomes almost free.
I often say to people: “don’t wait for being that one you’d like to be, but let be!”
It can begin today!
Freedom is just the state of mind where all constraints are annoying for you anymore, not the state of mind where there aren’t constraints.
A propos, what are your next dreams ?
My next dreams are more in the music territories.
The more I’ll walk, the more I’ll express myself through music.
I want to share feelings with people through music & digital creations, like reactive installations that would give a new vision of this or that concept to people.
I won’t leave technology ever, but I’d probably propose more tools like iOS application that everyone could use everywhere sharing their creations made with them with everyone in the world.
This definitive will looks like more focused on humans, even if it is already like that, finally.
What do you want in life ?
That’s a great question for sure. But far more vague than really relevant.
This kind of philosophical question always leads to such answers as :
- Be a great musician (what a program !)
- Dive to 35 meters deep (at the first time ?)
- Be a great father (for 1 minute or more ?)
- Be a better lawyer (for every kind of law in every country ?)
Vague questions lead to vague answers.
Fortunately, precise questions need precise answers.
So, a better question could be :
What small changes do you want to see happen in your life in the year to come ?
- Run a pentatonic scale at 120 beat within 3 months
- Be present 1 hour a day for my children from now on
- Reach 20 meters deep within 6 months. 25 meters within 1 year.
- Increase my financial law skills and knowledges up to 20% within 6 months
Do you get my point ?
In answer to one Diane OWENS wonderful blog post, here’s a list of small goals I learnt to build and update every month to plan the changes I’d like to see happen in my life soon.
- Before summer 2012 : working 1 week in a random french town different from Marseille.
- Within 6 months : create a new music band, playing on stage and begin to write my ‘Musician Coaching Guide’
- Within 6 months : 1 holiday week in Corsica, 1 summer Kung-fu camp week
- Within 6 months : change of house
- Within 1 year : be an expert in lie detection
- Within 1 year : swim with manta rays
- Within two years : My second 35nextyears project book is being written
- Within 5 years : Sell my french company
The basic principle is to try to plan the changes we want to see happen, accepting the idea that we could change of mind because, beyond a few months, parameters and wishes change too much.
In the coaching sessions I lead, I help people to set up their own goals so they can take full responsability to reach them.
With precise goals, exploration of reality is far more efficient. People identify the limits and achieve to well put the things they’ll have to overcome to succeed.
As a consequence, the action plan they will formulate will be far more realistic, human, vivid and energy-loaded.
So, remember this coach advice : the more precise the goal, the more likely it to happen.
Whoever we are, artist or entrepreneur, employees or headmaster, our action is constantly lead by two specific quests :
- One quest for the legitimacy we think we need to act, to behave or to make decisions
- One quest for the recognition we’re expecting for, after we actually made a move or did something.
To do so, we generally decide to build our legitimacy to act, upon our diplomas, our position, our skills, the vision we have on how the things should be done in the organisation we’re working for.
Whatever this organisation could be.
However, whatever the source of it, we do build our legitimacy on our own. Proud of our skills, we usually don’t ask for this legitimacy.
Pushed to the limit, such a behavior is like electing ourself as the president of the country we live in … but without an election.
On the other hand, we wait day after day for some pieces of recognition to come from this same people we took legitimacy from, without waiting them to give it to us : bandmates, coworkers, partners, customers. Whatever.
Pushed to the limits, this second behavior always leads us to wait for our entire world to fill in us with so much recognition that it would be like waiting for a bunch of men to irrigate the whole Sahara’s desert with bottles of water.
Unfortunately, this two behaviors are two great mistakes.
We should fight these two attitudes and actually do vice versa.
Just because :
- The greater legitimacy we can get, is the one that others decide to give to us
- The best recognition we can obtain is definitely the one we decide to give to ourself.
About legitimacy, concretely applied to our lives, the first rule should lead us to be aware that, for example :
- It’s not because we think that we are the best musician ever, that we are the best to lead a band
- It’s not because we graduated eight science diplomas, that our coworkers will accept us as a manager
People will give us this legitimacy through the actions we lead and the way we accept consequences.
About recognition, the great challenge we must deal with is getting to such a level of honest self-recognition, that we won’t have to wait it from other people ever again.
This is called self-regulation of self-esteem.
It means being gentle and nice with yourself when you think that you are destined to screw up everything you start. And, as the same time, it means to be proud enough of the little things you did and created without turning yourself into an inflating egotistic person.
A very strong lead to get to this kind of self-regulation is to decide to act for yourself wihtout trying to prove anything to anyone and without waiting for any approval of any kind at all.
Paradoxically, everything just said won’t lead you only to recognition and legitimacy.
This just will lead you to your freedom.
Why being a musician or a singer is it so important to so many people ?
Why being on stage under a thousand different lights does make people dream of an artists’ life so much ?
I remember when I used to play a lot with my cover bands for huge international events like birthday, wedding or local french companies evening parties, what was in the eyes of the audience (which could be up to 50 people).
There were so many of them who would have wanted to be with us on stage.
I could see this in their eyes.
So many of them were asking us to sing a song or take and play one of the instruments just for a few bars : drums, bass, guitar … whatever.
Now, a few years from this, through coaching sessions I lead and management consulting I provide, I realize that people I was playing guitar or were just making requests that are very close from what we can observe in our modern society.
Why do people want in 21st ?
It’s more than money, fun and pleasure.
Eventually, I think that, nowadays, people just want to :
- Be unique
- Feel important for a while
- Do something that worth
- Have someone who will remind of them
- Be loved
- Identified among a crowd
This short list just reveals our strong need to exist in a faster and faster crazy wold and to be clearly identified among thousands of people.
Just because that, if we can get strong concrete signs of our existence, we definitely feel much more alive.
And this is my point : I think that when someone wants to be part of a band a few minutes, or when he we wants to participate to an American Idol show or whatever, all of this isn’t about being a musician or being a singer.
I think it is just all about being alive.