it’s moments like these when the purpose of this blog truly shines. this compositional practice is meant to be personal and exploratory, not broad and general (although some sentiments may feel that way to you). on a day like today, when i question the path i’m choosing to take, i have this space to slow down the barrage of judgement. breathing at the pace of the blinking cursor, i scrape a bit of control back to my corner.
what’s the point of music? for me, it serves a variety of purposes. it’s a release of unexplainable emotion, a conduit for vision, and an entertainment platform. it’s also a workout supplement, an everywhere supplement, and a relatable conjoining of identity and growth. to explain this last point further, a person brings their history to the auditory examination of music. their personality combines with the twinge of advancement experienced by the artist of that piece. all music transports its composer, and its listeners, on a one-way ride to a new state of mind. once the music’s over, i’m abandoned to the white noise of reality, confused by this silent environment.
taking all these diversifications into consideration, i can see why i’m pulled in several creative directions. part of me hopes to be a producer laying down fire beats, and another resides in the ambient, selfless minefield of indie music. i hear screamo rap and reach for the software. then i melt into contemporary, minimal classical compositions and slink through improvisational progressions on the piano.
the main differences between these two modes of expression reside in their complexity and physical output. while a beat is as sophisticated as my limits, loops consisting of piano and drums have a certain skill-level threshold, since I am no maestro on either instrument. but that simplicity is what draws me in before its manipulated by abrupt cuts and blocky sections. not only is the style appealing, but the composition is much more representative of my organic ability to utilize tools in the present for tonal output. when popping off with beat-making software, it’s mechanical and abstract, leading to an eventual disenfranchisement of the motif. alternatively, the beautiful, common, and unique strikes of keys and drum pads only flow out of preference from over-saturation. their admired, addictive qualities, stemming from the randomness of a specific moment in time, frame these simple loops as eternal monuments of a specific mood. each is distinct.
thankfully, this is the encouraging response i was hoping to glean from thirty minutes of typing. under the monotonous movement of the sun, i lose track of motivation and reason. connections falter and circuit breakers flip off. it’s this concrete assemblage of principled american-english that reunites my exhausted soul with the exceptional bliss of performance.
and here, now, the true contrast between programmed beats and played music is unveiled. it’s the exercise of notes to action that drive my work further. in software, sound is selected and rearranged. but in live performance, it’s a translation from spirit to mind, from mind to technique, and from technique to noise.
it’s like learning from a textbook versus absorbing culture straight from the source. both may be about the same topic, but the latter is enriched with the authenticity of instinct and adaptation. it tests the flexibility, reactivity, and plasticity of our inspiration.
it’s a challenge fit for a true follower. we’ll see if i survive recruitment.
– D K T