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SmokeyVW
Forum Full Member


Registered: 06/13/06
Posts: 7050
Location: N/A
 
Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 03:33 PM CDT

Between some posts by Chronologic and Bud I got to thinking about why I create music.

Mostly, I apparently am not in control of the process I go through to make up my songs. The chords and melodies, the lyrics, even the arrangements seem to happen outside of my explicit control. I basically backfill to explain the process, but I don't know really where it comes from. I just make it up as I go along. Sometimes I cite the Muses, but I'm not sure that really makes any sense.

Sound familiar? I hope so, otherwise I'm a basket case. I would hope most music composers don't really know why they do what they do.

The more I try to control what I do, the worse it gets. It's best when I let it flow and don't worry about the consequences. So the flow of songs continues - mostly out of control - and yet I feel like it's my own stuff. Go figure.

I guess I really am a basket case.
ziti
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 1588
Location: Littleton, MA USA
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 06:36 PM CDT

no, smokey one, i dont think so. You are NOT a basket case, you are truly blessed.

while you seem to be striving to explain the conception and construction and recording of a song, I have long felt the same way about improvisation within a live band setting. How do I do it?? I am not thinking scales (although I am), I am not thinking about rhythm, and yet I am. But when I start, I hear the opening phrase i play and i just know the rest (if I play an interesting, melodic enough opening phrase anyway). And on a completely great night, I can follow that opening phrase, and tell a total story.

The mystics all talk about how music does not come from you, but rather through you, if you are open to it. Not all persons are able to achieve this, because they let too much thought, too much ego, too much training or too much sense of self importance to be led by the spiritual into areas that are unknown.

The creation of totally spontaneous music is the most spiritual of experiences. Enjoy your process. Greatfully accept the music as it arrives via God's Fed Ex...and goodness gracious, dont stop!! The world needs it.

awigze
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Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 2307
Location: , The Republic of Texas
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 06:37 PM CDT

You're a basket case ....
like most of us.... Sometimes I just start with a backbeat and the rest kind of floats around in the ether until I catch it.... or it catches me - or whatever. Sometimes it's just a variation of a repeating theme - or serendipity - or a melody that has been floating around inside me for years and then the time and software is available and it expresses somehow... We are not so much musicians as much as we are guides of our own music journeys.... manipulators of our ever changing idea of what 'it; is supposed to sound like.... gee, Iam a basket case too..
I hope this helps ; )
Andy

Music is the master link in the chain of the tribes of mankind! -SloParts
and so it goes...
jiguma
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Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 2693
Location: Pambula Beach, Sapphire Coast, NSW Australia
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 06:53 PM CDT

Maybe we're all basket cases Bill Smile

I have musical ideas/thoughts/interruptions floating in and out of my head most of the day and night - a song happens when I can hold onto one of them long enough to write it down (a lyric) or record it (a musical phrase). As long as I get it recorded in some way, it may get developed. If not it just joins all the other musical chatter in my head, and might get grabbed when it passes by my consciousness another time - or not. This process can continue for quite a while even if I have some musical plan, as lyrics seem to come often just as I'm falling asleep, and unless I write them down, they can be gone in the morning.

Fran, I wish I had a similar experience playing solos live - Usually I just go "aaaaargh a solo!" and bumble through it Smile

Neil
Cool
ziti
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 1588
Location: Littleton, MA USA
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:15 PM CDT

i wish it happened all the time neil...those special moments are soo rare. but it is an amazing mystery as to actually HOW it happens
Ed Hannifin
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Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 3459
Location: , MA USA
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:18 PM CDT

Bill, it's totally cool that you're talking about this, because from my point of view this is one of The Big Things Worth Talking About.... I've been participating (or trying to) in a similarly themed thread over on the Guitar Player magazine site...

It's hard to talk about and tends to cross lines where we might be talking about psychology or spirituality or creativity or practically anything, but I think it can be talked about and I think it's worth the effort...

The way that I experience it these days, I think we've all got a connection to the energy and intelligence behind life-- when our mind is clear and flowing we connect easily and naturally to that, to what Buddhists call Big Mind. When our mind is clear, we feel centered, we feel at ease, we feel secure, and it's effortless to tap into a larger sense of ourselves and into a larger source of wisdom and creativity. Those are the "in the zone" or "in the groove" moments...

We can also experience ourselves through our "personal mind" or our smaller sense of self, and when we do, we tend to feel insecure, we get "in our heads" and we try to intentionally think our way through life... We get caught up, we get blocked and troubled and all the other stuff that flesh is heir to...

I find it's helpful to learn to recognize when I AM caught up and in my head, and I also find that it's helpful to know that there's another option--that at any moment, when I drop out of my own thinking, I can get clear and calm and back in touch with my larger self. It's also very, very, very good to know that the larger, flowing state is the default state, that it's natural, that I don't have to do anything to get there except maybe realize that I've stepped out of it... It's good to know that the river from which we dip love, and peace, and creativity and good will is running all the time... It's good to know that I don't need a drug or a new piece of gear or a secret decoder ring to get there...

And it's funny, too, that we're here making music together, and we don't talk about this very much, so I'm glad you're pointing in this direction...

Ed

"We have to remember...when it's surrender that's called for, it's not surrender of your brains. It's surrender of your ego. It's a different thing." --Bruce Cockburn
SmokeyVW
Forum Full Member


Registered: 06/13/06
Posts: 7050
Location: N/A
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:22 PM CDT

Quote by: jiguma
... Fran, I wish I had a similar experience playing solos live - Usually I just go "aaaaargh a solo!" and bumble through it ...

One time, just once, I experienced the thrill of doing an unplanned improv guitar solo in front of an audience. My friends (our band) were playing a paid gig and one of our original songs in the set was supposed to have an elaborate organ intro... but my friend's B3 got damaged en route (that's another story: he forgot to lock the tone wheels and it got clobbered by every bump in the road).

So I started out playing his main line and then just fooled around with it from there... amazingly I somehow got it back to the point where the vocals needed to come in, and we carried on from there.

It was a total blast for me. Although I couldn't have ever played whatever it was I played ever again.

I still fondly recall the thrill of playing live before an audience. It's a drug-like experience.
Doadars Uncle
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Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 1643
Location: N/A
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:23 PM CDT

I don't have a lot of time to write. When I do, the music purges. I imagine myself as a mad scientist not allowing others to enter the room. "No - I'm not finished..." "Shh, not yet, back, back..."

I try not to look at it as pathetic. Although, I have learned how to curb my bad manners a bit when I think I'm on a roll.

I want more time. Think of what we could do with more time!
bud
Forum Full Member


Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 3815
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:27 PM CDT

Quote by: ziti
i wish it happened all the time neil...those special moments are soo rare. but it is an amazing mystery as to actually HOW it happens



Jerry Garcia was quoted in a book I read about the Dead finding the sweet spot during a show where everything felt just perfect...for seconds at a time.


It's better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.
 
mowguy3
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Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 248
Location: Sarasota, Florida United States
 
Re:Out of Control
Sunday, May 03 2009 @ 07:31 PM CDT

This recording of my own music and lyrics is very new to me. But I have written most of my life. For the most part what I write is because of something. There is a reason for the words, at least in my own mind. So I have a mental idea of what it is I want to say. Words and phrases come to me all the time and there are scraps of paper all over the place however I am only thinking about the lyric I am trying to write at that time. After the lyric is complete I start thinking about the music in the same way. All of the extra sentences and paragraph's as well as riffs and musical ideas are saved. Most of the time the saved word phrases are never used and I have books filled with them.

Slow is a good way to start!