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> Something is missing though. I know what it is. I've lost
> that feeling of exploration.

I suggest reading about the creative approaches of Brian Eno, John Zorn, 
Iannis Xenakis, respectively.  These three have been very inspirational for
me.  Creativity (maybe paradoxically) is something I read a lot about.  In
an effort to get others creative juices flowing, I suggest we each share
some creative techniques that we regularly employ:

1. graphs
    -when I feel limited in a particular piece I'll often work from a 
for instance, my ambient project used to play a chart of stock market
returns over the past 50 years.  very fun!  we would "notate" the graph 
colors for moods (blue=sad, red=intense, green=layered, etc) and indicate
how long (length of time) each section would roughly take.  some great
results with this one.

2. musical personalities
    -each person in the group takes on a musical personality.  e.g. "It is
2030 and you're playing in the hottest reggae-goth club in New York City.
Your fans view you as a cultural icon but you live a reckless and
overindulgent life.  You've been tripping for three years since 
altering your DNA in a dark alley surgery--merely on a dare from a friend.
These past couple weeks, you've begun to regret this decision.  Your
childhood hero was Bach and you love playing Perfect 5ths."  This one is a
lot of fun.  I think Eno uses this as well.

3. game pieces: like John Zorn's "Cobra"
    -games give people an excuse to act in a way they normally wouldn't are
perfect for breaking musical habits.  Currently, my project is 
with elaborate signaling according to the rigid rules of Zorn's game 
I think we've grown enormously since we started this one.

Now your turn!