I have been focusing most of my free time this week on my own music. Covid has stopped any live performances from happening and, after doing my stream of the album, I decided to turn my attention to working on something new.
That is both a daunting and exiting task. Playing with ideas and finding new limitations to base music around can feel refreshing, but can also be massively aggravating. Experimentation often results in failure to create good music and a lot of humbling learning experiences.
That’s the loop I’ve been in for the past few weeks. Trying out ideas that often fall flat or don’t quite resonate with me. It’s been such a long time since I’ve worked on new stuff that I feel like I’ve lost many of the skills I used to make “Made In Japan.” To the point where listening back to it now almost feels like somebody else created it. I guess, in a way that’s true. We move through life and the ideas that drive us change.
What should music be for its creator? I’ve never been one to try and base my music in a particular style or genre. When I have, I always end up feeling restricted and dulled by the experience. The artistic process starts to feel formulaic as creativity is replaced by production line composition and creation.
Jon, a very good friend of mine, said “you should stop thinking so much,” when I mentioned this to him. I think that’s a good point, but it’s a piece of advice that I find the hardest to take.
I think the greatest and worst part of any form of creation is you never feel like you can master it. That’s why I will never get bored of music, but at the same time feelings of fulfillment and achievement are few and far between.
Starting again on new work after a year of mixing and mastering feels like a new mountain to climb and I’m still on the approach; nowhere near base camp. The one thing I do know is it will get better with time but, whilst I’m in this situation, it’s always good to hear completed works by great artists.
“Fruits Of the Spirit“ is a great example; short and to the point with traditional samples and classic hip hop production, with a silky vocal delivery from Jay Electronica. It gives me hope to carry on with my experimentation. If anything pays off I will let you know next week: