Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

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nickture
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Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby nickture » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:58 pm

I've been thinking about this for a few days now, and I'm interested on hearing others' thoughts/opinions on it. Why do you write/create your own music? This is a completely subjective question/answer obviously...I'm sure that there is some level of satisfaction with seeing something go from abstract thought to a finished physical thing, but I'm more interested in the deeper reasons why we write our own.

Don't get me wrong, I like doing covers song as much as the next guy/girl; it is oftentimes (for me, anyways) less frustrating than trying to create a complete composition/song from the ground up. Personally, I like doing covers because I can almost "hide" behind the emotions/thoughts of the original songwriter. I feel "safer" expressing someone else's pre-conceived thoughts or feelings than my own. That's an odd way to put it, I know...it leads into my next thought about self-made music.

One thing about making my own music is that I feel I really expose myself in a very raw way. When I write a song, especially about something that triggers a strong emotion or emotions, it's almost as if I'm taking a piece of myself that I keep hidden and I show it to the outside world. I never feel like I can properly express these inner thoughts with words, so I always end up somewhat satisfied with whatever it is that I've made but I'm left wanting more. Wanting to be able to leave more of myself out there in the words and the sounds. On the flip side of that, I tend to get really self-conscious about exposing myself like that. Fear of rejection, or humiliation, or whatever.

I still get plenty of satisfaction out of writing my own music (and not sharing it quite yet), but I suppose it's all part of the growing process of being a musician. I may never feel totally comfortable releasing my deepest and darkest thoughts/fears outside of my own headspace, but I'm getting there slowly and surely.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this! :)

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sysrqer
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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby sysrqer » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:00 pm

Honestly, I don't know why. I feel impelled to although as the years pass by I become more insecure and less confident about it. To me, as a general rule, making covers is pointless, I've only been interested in making my own music, I enjoy lots of covers but, perhaps as a result of my own lack of confidence, I've never felt that I could add anything to any song to make it worth the time to cover anything. I don't sing or write words but the music feels like a direct expression and that alone is enough for me to feel exposed. I dislike people hearing my stuff but making it is something that gives me a certain amount of joy, almost I high in some ways.

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby folderol » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:15 pm

Dunno. It's something I've always done as long as I can remember. An idea comes and I have to do something with it. The most insistent ones seem to wake me up in the middle of the night. They almost always turn out to be the best ones - for some undefined value of 'best' :roll:

It is extremely rare for me to decide "Hey. Today I'm going to write a song"

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby ufug » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:22 pm

Good question. Why do we follow any of our interests? I think because the completion of a puzzle rewards our brain with delicious chemicals, and our individual experiences lead us to be attracted to different kinds of puzzles.

I've have tried to play in cover bands a few times over the years, and I have no interest--I get no satisfaction from it and get bored. It's no fun (no disrespect to the amazing musicians who love it and are quite expert at what they do). The only time I can kind of do it is if there's a lot of improvising, which is closely related to writing.

I am definitely attracted to the puzzle of writing and playing original music though. All aspects of it. Either mine or working on enhancing somebody else's original music. Lyrics, arrangement, harmony.

It can be easy sometimes, and frustrating sometimes. But it gives me a lot of joy, that's why I do it.

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby bhilmers » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:14 am

When an idea is in my head I find it immensely rewarding to get it out and push it back in through my ears.

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby lucidbeaming » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:05 am

The oldest painting we can document was made 40,000 years ago in a cave in Indonesia. It's a stencil of someone's hand. A primal desire to say "I was here."

When I get a song far enough along, I can hear something real that connects my life to the world around me. For the kind of music I make, sometimes that looks like the glass on the street after a car crash. Residue of some kind of random collision.

Most of what I make fails. I work through it and there's just no connection in the song, I abandon it or cannibalize it for another track. For my last album, I had around 110 song files that I had started but just didn't work, no real connection to them. I ended up with 15 that had something worth finishing. It's worth the work just to end up with anything that feels real.

Lots of technology goes into it, but in the end not that much different from some guy blowing pigment around his hand in a cave. 40,000 years later and I'm talking about what that guy did on a computer network. Nobody cares about the guys in his tribe that gave him grief for doing it.

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby chaocrator » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:21 pm

well,
1) because no one else does the music that sounds exactly like i want and/or performed exactly the way i want
2) because i can
3) to be a celebrity, at least locally.

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nickture
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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby nickture » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:26 pm

Awesome answers, thanks everyone for the input! I like to pick the brains of other creative people to see how they tick :wink:

Some of you have mentioned that writing your own music equates to something like a puzzle (and the enjoyment that comes out of "solving" or completing one). Do you ever find that the non-musical side of things (OS and/or hardware configuration, learning virtual instrument software, learning/configuring a DAW, etc) distract from the creative process? Or do you enjoy it just as well?

Thanks again for indulging me in my questions!

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:31 pm

nickture wrote:Do you ever find that the non-musical side of things ... distract from the creative process? Or do you enjoy it just as well?


Yes, tinkering around with my hardware and software is distracting from making music, but it is actually because I enjoy tinkering that it is such a distraction :oops:

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby baconature » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:10 pm

Why do I write music? As stated by chaocrator, because I can, is subordinated only by the joy that doing so provides. I see several functions in life experience that can provide the inertia associated with writing music. One of them is this, “I can,” thing. Having begun my own song writing journey back in the early 1970’s, I have entered the “magic space,” often enough to sometimes realize when a thought can hold the amount of significance, required to become more than the chemical exchange within my brain. I sometimes think it is but a very private game that I play within my head. When this recognition, moves from the thoughts to an awareness of its potential, I tend to evaluate the content and completeness of the idea before I actually move toward acting on it. My own experience has shown that some of these thoughts will allow capture, while others are merely fleeting thoughts, unworthy of the pen and ink. I consciously evaluate the thoughts to say to myself, this is worth trying to write out, or this is crap. At this point, when the evaluation leads to an attempt, I move to the computer and begin. Many times the ideas become too illusive, like the dream that was in ones waking moment, fading as the seconds tick by. Other times they flow out in words or melody, like a river.

The first song I wrote had an expression of thought that I wanted to say. Putting the idea into a musical form, followed by playing it provided an avenue for expression that had been unavailable to me previously. Music is art. I now consider myself an artist whom works at the craft almost daily. I enjoy having created all these songs that I can now bring to others for their pleasure and appreciation. I don’t know that there is a higher aspiration than bringing others to the joy of a musical expression.

A couple of months back, I received the best compliment ever, after playing to this unique audience for an extended period. A woman in the audience told me, “My face hurts from smiling so much.” Now that to me is a worthy investment of my time and energy. I didn’t set out way back then, to find what writing music has created via the time and energy I’ve put into it. Yet recognizing the joy I’ve brought to others by doing an activity that I love in life is enough to drive me toward finding new ideas, creating the shapes, transforming the thoughts into this art we know as music.

The bottom line for me however is self expression. That is what motivated me to write that first song, and it continues to be a motivating factor. As a human I seek to express independent ideas that come along while still in this thing we call, alive.
Tom ~ Idaho USA

UbuntuStudio 16.04.2, Intel i5 3.30GHz 6600, Asus Q170Mc MotherBoard, 32Gb ram

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby jonetsu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:29 pm

I would like to submit a piece to the discussion. It's 3:37 long:

https://soundcloud.com/nominal6/tlucco

I never was able to do covers. Very early I played some well-known guitar licks and friends would go "aaaahhh" then I'd say quite shortly well, that's all I know. And I never digged deeper in 'perfectioning' playing other people's tunes, nevermind learning them.

Very early I created stuff. In other words, the pleasure and fun I had was to do stuff out of nothing. Maybe because I was not able to do covers ? If I would have went the cover path, would I still be creating as much ? Don't know.

Today, I can play a single note on a synth and 'things happen'. If I let them happen. In fact, this happens so often that I have hundreds of sketches recorded, a good number of them could be developed into full pieces.

Even with this output I do not know. We all have thought about it. Music can be used to attract a partner, to express availability. Since ages this was one purpose, especially in tribal music. Then we have symphonies and elaborate harmonic works which if they exist to attract a partner, is a lot of work :)

There's also the feeling of sharing, especially when you know some people will listen to what you do. Not exactly 'finding a partner' more like communication.

And then there are mystical sounds, mantras, which have to do with vibrations. All in the universe is after all vibrating, and music we create adds to it. I think we should consider all these aspects in trying to find why we make music.

You know, I would like to be in someone's shoes who is listening to the music I make. In 2 years I have 10,000 listens on soundcloud and about 50 followers. First year with 3000, second year with 7000 more. It's nothing, but for me I consider it nice. And I learn from the comments I got. So there's some kind of communication in the process.

The piece linked above, Tlucco (which is 'occult' backwards) shows an instance of the creative process in which things simply happen. I obviously do not write pieces. They happen. And then some get refined to a certain point. Tlucco and others are some kind of snapshots in time of a person who was absorbed in a creative process and who pressed buttons, moved sliders, choose samples, choose synth sounds, played notes, adjust volumes, to create a coherent mass of sounds. What is behind this, what is expressed, is up to each individual.

When I listen to pieces I made I'm often surprised, in a good way. I made that ? Wow.

Is there any spiritual quest in making music, especially at the level we all are, eg. not making millions from songs ?

On closing may I suggest a book I'm reading now, by Daniel Levitin, "This Is Your Brain on Music - The Science of a Human Obsession". Levitin used to be a rock musician and mixing engineer then went neuroscience. IMHO, I find it's important to know some 'mechanics' of how it works, as we can put it aside eventually to find a higher meaning.

https://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/0452288525

Cheers.

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby chaocrator » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:38 am

nickture wrote:Some of you have mentioned that writing your own music equates to something like a puzzle (and the enjoyment that comes out of "solving" or completing one). Do you ever find that the non-musical side of things (OS and/or hardware configuration, learning virtual instrument software, learning/configuring a DAW, etc) distract from the creative process? Or do you enjoy it just as well?


it depends.
for electronic styles, technical things is often the part of the game.
learning how certain features of the instruments work is often the source of ideas how they can be applied here and there.
even hardware or software limitations can sometimes be helpful, because some works are too hard to finish when you have too many options to do things )

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby davephillips » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:14 pm

nickture wrote: Why do you write/create your own music ?


Because no-one else will.

Best,

dp

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby folderol » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:53 pm

davephillips wrote:
nickture wrote: Why do you write/create your own music ?


Because no-one else will.

Best,

dp

Really loving some of these answers :lol:

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Re: Why Do You Write Your Own Music?

Postby Baggypants » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Wait... You don't have to write your own music? How did I not know this? Oh thank goodness! I'm free! I'm going to dedicate my life to only playing scales while using every different setting on my synths and plugins. True undiluted expression!


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