Songwriting and Philosophy
for the incurable computer musician
needs a wee bit of Philosophy.
So you want to write a song and you are going to do it with
the modern tools of production. Alright! You have come to the right place. I have uploaded a number of items, ideas, sounds and examples that inspire me. You probably noticed that these mega-buck software/hardware packages provide no instruction on how to write music--its all up to you to figure that out. A little bit of music theory helps. Most often, new composers need help with the
Arrangement and with the Form of their musical masterpieces. I am hoping to help you out. But what is most important is capturing
the vibration. Its difficult to describe without getting esoteric, but I will try.
When you listen to a piece of music that moves you, in one way or another, you have caught a
vibe. It may make you want to dance, to sing, to smile, to pretend your gas pedal is the kick drum--you know the music has affected you in a way that is important. When you write a piece of music, you are
creating a vibe that does this. The vibration is potential energy. You are creating an energy source. The important thing is the feeling, translating that through your hands to the keyboard to the computer. You know when you are "on to something"--it just feels right--and the song begins its mysterious process of propelling itself towards completion. I bring this up because there is a terrible tendency among electronic musicians to put using their equipment ahead of the STORY, the song, the feeling, the energy. This tendency is to be avoided if you are serious about writing music. On the other hand, when you are on the right track, the technology becomes transparent, simply a means towards the elucidation of this great idea you have. I have learned this lesson the hard way.
Sources of inspiration to write a great song arise out of great emotions, feelings and vibes. Of course, this is a simplification. Where do great emotions come from? Where do feelings come from? Do they come from inside me? Or from the outside? The naive answer is that these are indwelling happenings, like little jewels, that we bring out to show others. I like to posit a different view, that these sources of music inspiration are really something that exists within the invisible relations that connect people together. We are like radio receivers that "tune in" to a musical channel. Just reflect a moment on the music you really love and ask yourself why you like it. You can "relate" to it. The artist spoke in a way to you that "caught" you. I say you were just tuned to hear it.
So if its all a big radio wave, where is the station? How does one refine the tuning? Pull in the more distant and exotic channels? Are there muses? What are they really? Musical "geniuses" often recount their masterpieces came as a single vision, all at once. What was going on there? Yep, I'm gonna tell you. Read my articles. And today there are new questions: What's the relation to cyberspace? How is technology going to change the way we create music? These questions, I feel, will help tune the compositional tuning mechanism of the electronic composer.
To get you up to my speed quick, ponder, if you will, that Music is a universal media--the cyberspace of the emotions--much as how language moves out thoughts, music transports and packages our feelings. The whole thing is feeling and sharing. . To have something to write you must connect and feel. The one thing you can do to improve your musicality is to go out and live.
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