Sunday, June 26

The self-torture of an artist

"You cannot force good music, as creativity will rise and fall"

This statement is very true.

I'm no stranger to 'writers block' or just lack of creativity in general sometimes, as I'm sure most producers aren't either.  It would be inhuman to be able to keep writing constantly and for the quality to remain so high.  Even your favourite artists will have a stack of tracks that have probably never left the confines of their own studio - that's just the way it is.

I'm my own biggest fan.  I write music for myself first and foremost and I enjoy listening to what I write, which is healthy I think.  Recently, I found myself listening to some of my stuff and thinking, how the hell did I do that?  or will I ever be as good as this again?  Of course, the answer is yes.  I always tell myself that anyway, as I always strive to do better than with previous works.  It's hard though, because during the low points, you have to stay positive and break out of that bubble you find yourself trapped in and move forward.

To expand on that bubble thought; we are the creators of these walls and confinements.  Forced by our set of rules or style of how we should be writing, but also we have the means and tools to break down any walls we build.  The other problem I have is my need to feel like what I'm doing will be remembered in years to come, or my yearning to make timeless music each and every release.  It's a constant head fuck when you are in this mode of constantly competing with yourself.  It is almost masochistic in a way.

Anyway, I just felt like getting that out of my head.


Anonymous said...

I'm in 100% agreement with you there mate.

Creative block is something we all deal with, and in a way I like to use it as an excuse to spend time exploring other avenues of creativity, gaming, watching, or listening. I find the combination of doing something different to production, or going somewhere different helps spark ideas that can bring about the onset of some creative juices.

I also feel somewhat trapped by what I'm producing. I worry that my older production defines how people view my persona, and that my current sound - despite being whre I want to take things - might not be where people xpect or want me to do.

I'll always try to create music for myself first and foremost, but how much should I let my self-consiousness define how I produce? How much should I consider other people when putting together tracks? How much should I be thinking "where will this get played or sold, and how can I make that the best listening or buying experience?" - or should it be an entirely selfish process where I merely pander to my own desires and potentially end up with something so far removed and abstract, that it really has no place in anyone's musical catalogue.

I actually always wonder how other people listen to my music - not where and when, but how they actually percieve it - how they experience my music, and how it might make them feel. I'm intreagued to know if they get similar feelings to me, when I listen to an artist. Something I'll never know of course, but it certainly provokes some thought (hopefully).

Grinch said...

I be lying if I didn't say that I agree with both your posts.

Its actually semi-funny that you posted about this today because the first thing I watched @ work this morning was a lecture by John Cleese on creativity.

He makes some great point about creativity in the lecture in regards to writing scripts but im sure it can be applied to making music.


I cant speak for everyone but I know when I listen to your tunes, they put me in a deep thought type of mood. a couple months back I bought your album "Metafiction" which is brought me to so many places within my own mind, that I cant really explain it.

@ both of you
How does your own music make you feel?

Anonymous said...


For the most part my music excites me - even if it's not an exciting track per-say - I get excited because what goes through my head is "ooh, I love this, and other people might too!" - the fact that my self expression could give someone else enjoyment is brilliant - so I get kinda hyper, and I listen to it over and over.

If I listen to it over and over, and it gets boring, or I get sick of it - I know it's not to be, and I tend to ditch it, or take it in a completely different direction - but if I still like it after repeated listens, I tend to finish it and put it out there.

ASC said...

Thanks for posting Grinch. To answer your question, I love my own music. I usually get lost in it, as I spend a lot of time on the small intricacies which other people probably don't notice right away. That's the sort of thing that makes my brain tick.

I'll check out that John Cleese video too that you linked. Thanks for that

djemptyx said...

"i try in vain, disconnect my brain..." routine gives way to routine gives way to routine gives way to... 1, you lock the target,
2, you bait the line,
III, you slowly spread the net
an' fo' you break the chains of routine

everything is going extremely well. you are the brain and central nervous system..//

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