Truly Creative Music Makes Time Stop

Ok, I didn’t really burn my guitar. But it’s only got 5 strings on it because I broke one about a month ago, so I want to wait until I buy new strings before playing it.

All the previous songs on this site were recorded with just the 5 strings. Until I get my ass in gear and actually buy some new ones, I’ll work on electronic music or on my classical guitar.

I Burned My Guitar. Go Kill Yourself, Pop Music.

Click here to play the song if you are reading this post in email or RSS and can’t see the audio player above.

This little tune is an electronic track with beats that I added manually in Live’s drum machine to achieve an awkward, arrhythmic beat that doesn’t make any sense, but is somehow still appealing.

For the first few seconds of the track, I added a “vinyl” hiss effect. I used effect automation on the delay, panning and filters, so the song is continually in flux. Hard to get a hold of.

Hopefully, it’s a bit more interesting and challenging to listen to than the boring, predictable pop music that has been bombarding airwaves excessively in the last 10 years or so. Or perhaps it’s just my imagination, and this has really been happening for decades. It just seems more prevalent and intense in recent years, somehow. And I mean, “intense”, as in, intense in a bad way.

Yep, I’m a music snob. Oh well. *shrug*

But I can’t just pick on pop music for it’s ridiculous lack of creativity. All genres can fall victim to producing bland, unoriginal music.

Truly Creative Music Makes Time Stop

Photo of a creative-looking musical staff line.How often do you hear a song in blues, reggae, rock, metal, jazz, latin music or other genres that is totally fresh and original? That really stands out, makes the constant whirring of your mind stop instantly, grabs you and shakes your core, and rips you into the song? Makes you want to play it again immediately? Elevates your mood and mind? Inspires you with new feelings and emotion? Makes you think, “What… is… that… sound? How are they making that music? I’ve never heard something like this before.”?

Probably not too damn often.

Sure, there are tons of well-produced, well-constructed songs performed by skilled musicians. And the music sounds good and we can enjoy it. But it’s still rare to hear fresh, original music. Especially on the radio or a music video channel.

Luckily, there are artists like Patrick Watson, Andrew Bird and Gotye who are bucking the trend. They’ve all been able to produce fresh-sounding, unique music, while also having commercial success.

I recently saw Patrick Watson in concert in Vancouver, and it blew me away. I was so involved in the music. It was unreal and powerful. Time stopped during that concert. No drugs required.

The Technician and the Artist

There is a big difference between the technician and the artist. Between the imitator and the innovator. Between someone unconsciously playing their instrument, and someone who drops all thoughts, is intensely present and merges with the music. The “musician” disappears and there is only music.

The technician is limited by their technique. The artist uses techniques to reach high levels of creativity, but they aren’t bound by technique.

Technique, imitation and routine practice are extremely helpful in growing in our music, and they are tools that can lead to creativity. But we can’t be content with just this. There’s more.

A lot more.

Creativity in music isn’t going to automatically happen by spending all your time learning how to sight-read music, learning all your scales and chords, learning to play guitar licks at lightning speed or constantly obsessing over your gear and fussing with it.

You might become a skilled technician, but will you become an artist? Will your music profoundly affect people? Will your playing affect your own core?

Creativity flourishes in the absence of fear, self-criticism, judgement, stale rules, and in the absence of self-consciousness.

Creativity is more of an energy that we can cultivate throughout the whole day, by quieting our minds, by developing deep patience, by waiting (and not pushing), by being receptive and aware. And then, when we finally decide to pick up our instruments, by tuning into a feeling that inspires our hands, feet, voice and body to turn emotion into sound.

It’s not limited to just musicians either. Creativity can be tapped and cultivated at any point, by anyone.

What holds you back from being creative in your art, work or life?

Feel free to let me know in the comments below or just write your thoughts on creativity, in general.

Nacho del Sol

I'm Nigel. A wandering minstrel at heart. Playing for other wandering souls. Love full sun. Been known to indulge in sonic experiments. If I ever fake my own death, I will flee to Costa Rica and re-name myself Nacho del Sol. I will travel only by donkey and befriend all the locals.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: