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Re: Why I make music
Title: Re: Why I make music
Have been following the "Basic intro-sampling debate-why and for whom I write music" thread -- don't find it boring at all, and thought I'd throw my two cents in.
I write and play music for: money; getting in touch with my spirit; impressing other people and compulsively proving my self-worth due to faulty early neurotic programming; inspiring others; connecting with others; the joy of creating something new. And perhaps other unconscious reasons, too.
My money gig right now is scoring a Nickelodeon children's cartoon. I feel lucky to have this job -- it allows me to live in NY, take only the other work I want to take, and gives me free time to work on my own artistic projects. I also enjoy the interchange with the people at the network -- I enjoy the critiques from non-musicians, because they often see the forest, not the trees. "Hey, that sounds too scary -- it's scaring the kids!" It brings me back to the way my music is heard by non-musicians, and keeps me from getting to lost in the "wow, what a cool ring-modulated effect on the conga" thought train.
Of course, sometimes it's a pain in the butt too --
I got into looping last April or so -- I had been producing CD's of original music on the computer, but really didn't enjoy the mostly left-brain computer process of detail-oriented work. Looping gave me the possibility of improvising, of getting a flow going that I find really magical and a great balance to my other work. Putting that together with vocal studies of Indian raga (which I dabble at, wish I had more time and discipline) has given me a musical framework that is bringing something very different into my musical life. I was inspired by Matthias Grob's early posts and notes about the EDP, and have been using looping to explore flowing right-brain states of consciousness that I don't ordinarily get to -- sometimes I create a loop to balance out my current psycho-physiological state (I usually know when I hit it), and literally go to bed with it -- I have speakers in my bed and wear a headset mike, so I can sing to myself in bed. This is music as healing, I guess, or a kind of yoga.
I've also been doing live performances where I combine loop-improvisation with songs and spoken word -- this is fun, and scary, and rewarding in that I seem to be creating something that is uplifting and inspiring a lot of people who hear it.
I both do and do not trust a roomful of "stupid people" -- it's often easy to get a big response by playing a mediocre set, if it's tuneful and rhythmic enough, for an unsophisticated audience. What I enjoy is doing something that is meaningful to me -- which may sometimes be rhythmic and tuneful and other times be atonal and "weird" -- and touching my listeners. When absolutely nobody in the room is being touched, I think something is off.
I guess my bugaboo is the critical head -- I don't think much of "advancing the art", of the constant modern necessity for originality. I like whatever touches me at the moment -- and it could be Ligeti, or raga, or the Backstreet Boys.
I much prefer music that