Compose, don’t de-compose

So often while composing I will deconstruct the music so much I forget about the intention of the music. I might gets sidetracked into focussing on the production and forget to pay attention to the big picture. No one has ever said “I really connect emotionally with that 2dB presence boost on the piano.” Or if they have, they aren’t the type of people that I know.

So what happens when you over think things? Well in life in general I find that the more I follow my gut instinct, the more correct I am. Rethinking leads me to doubt my decisions, to waste time deliberating, and to even feel unsettled once I have made a decision. It is like I am left wondering “What if there was a better way to do that?” Now, there is nothing wrong with reflection. As Plato said “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This is a phrase I often think about, but the problem is when you regret things and think it could be better but refuse to see that things are always in transition.

If we get mired into believing that our singular performance captured in the studio is the only way this piece of artwork can and should be appreciated, we are doomed. I’ll bet that Michelangelo would have wished that he could have carved many David statues, each suiting himself and the intended audience. This should be the way we view music. Ourselves and our audience are constantly evolving and it is not only acceptable, but should be recommended that live performance varies from the recording. I remember Jimi Hendrix saying that people were upset because during his live shows the music was different than the recording. His comment was something like “Well, go home and listen to the recording then.”

Maybe the production of your most recent track isn’t as good as you would like, maybe you wish you had used a different kick sample, whatever. The point is that you are going to change and in 2 years even a perfect piece of music might not be what you want anymore. Your tastes change, the publics taste change. So much changes that it we get attached to the now, it quickly becomes the past.

I believe that it is more important to just get it out there and let the world sort it out. Too often I will sit on a track waiting for the coal to turn into a diamond, never realizing that releasing it and then performing it is the process to turn it into a diamond.

A side benefit is that in today’s world there are many musicians and if you are not constantly moving and creating, you get more or leads forgotten about. People’s attention gets grabbed by whatever is in motion, new, exciting. It is up to you whether you want to be in this crowd on the cutting edge, willing to accept some mistakes. Sometimes our mistakes can actually create more interest than our achievements.

In an attempt to follow my own advice, I am working on my year long song a week project called “≥ LAZY”. Check it out here…

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