It's been 2 years now since I wrote my 5-part story on how I found animation and by what means it developed. These were written by me as a means to introspect. I was lost on where to go next and had to steer myself into a clear new direction. The same thing could be said for my music. These past couple of years I have felt lost. I think I was 8 when I started out. That means I've been a musicians for over 15 years! -Although I say this reluctantly... Over the past couple of years I've lost confidence and direction. For a while I thought the passion was gone, but I have reason to believe it's still here. I want to bring it out again, and that's why I'm writing this.
Each of these blog entries discuss the following topics:
- Reasons To Create (Philosophy, Motivation & Inspiration)
- Creative Developments (Audial Style, Skills & Habits)
- Outcome (Experience, Dedication, Achievements & Continuity)
=== AN EMPTY STAVE [1998 - 2003] ===
As mentioned before, I was 8 when I first picked up an instrument, although I was possibly already interested in playing music at a much earlier age. I am unsure as to why this eventually happened. My earliest memories of music involve a little keyboard I got as a toy (the closest resemblence I found on google was a Starmate 8906) and percussive instruments in kindergarten. There's also faint memories of pianos and guitars at people's homes, both of which interested me greatly (or any instrument for that matter). Of course I wasn't allowed to touch them.
When I was 8 years old, my parents let me partake in a musical orientation course. I'm not sure if anyone heard of these things but they are great! Basically I was grouped up with a bunch of kids for a weekly instrument tryout. Every week they showed us different instruments until eventually we all made a choice and signed up for lessons. Apparently I had a talent for many of these instruments but I remember I really wanted to be a drummer. My parents did not allow this so I decided on playing keyboard, by logic that this was the most versatile instrument and allowed me to play any instrument there is.
Next came lessons. They came attached with stuffy teachers and were overal a weird mix of boring yet interesting. Learning to read notes and timing them accordingly wasn't that hard, but getting used to clefs, time signatures, key signatures, terms and notations was very tricky. Then again, I was in keyboard classes. It took me years to realize they were very different from actual piano classes. Most of these things I did not have to worry about that much; half of the work was getting to know the chords and getting the keyboard to do things automatically for me. I tried to compose stuff of my own, but I remember I didn't write it down correctly. Too bad I lost these short "compositions".
When I was a young teen, the school started organizing small performances. This meant I had to get up the stage on my own, playing a song I had learnt earlier that year. I also performed for my classroom in middleschool a couple of times. At some point I was going to perform a song which my father then expressed disdain for. It made me panic and I tried everything in my power to bail the idea. I was overfilled with guilt towards my teacher, who had copied a bunch of lyrics for the whole class to sing along to... Another case of stage fright occurred to me during band lessons when I was about 12 years old. These lessons were a lot of fun, until I heard there was going to be a performance at the end. I did not realize this and felt deceived upon hearing the news. The performance went flawless and yet I wasn't happy. Everything that had been leading up this moment caused me stress. My joy was gone. I decided to quit.
My mother caught up with me to tell that I was some sort of prodigy and the school offered me free lessons for an entire year. This information completely fucked me over as a teen and I started to think of myself as some sort of musical genius in the making. Maybe I just misinterpreted the information, as I found out years later; it was merely my teacher who was interested in doing private sessions at our home for free. I think I would have felt easier with that, but I don't know. He was the coolest teacher I had by far, but I was pretty much through with it all.
There's definitely been some songs that managed to influence my compositions this early in my musical carreer. Though learning to play songs by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers definitely influenced the way I composed my music, Coldplay was the first band that actually touched me on a deep level (with Trouble in particular) and made me want to start a band of my own. I was really into videogame music as well, with Koji Kondo (Ocarina Of Time), Motoi Sakuraba (Golden Sun), Nobuo Uematsu (Chrono Trigger), Jun Ishikawa (Kirby Super Star) and Kozue Ishikawa (Link's Awakening) in particular. It is no wonder I occasionally found myself on OverClocked Remix. Another great influence was Gigi d'Agostino's italohouse.
- Reasons To Create: As a kid I was open to learn new things so maybe I just went with the flow. Playing the keys wasn't something I particularly hated so I went with it. I could tell it made my parents proud, and maybe that was enough? There was the occasional jealousy towards other keyplayers. I don't think I deemed myself particularly good.
- Creative Developments: Very little. Hitting chords with my left hand while playing melodies with the right isn't exactly difficult. These were the usual lessons for 5 years. While I developed a knack for chords, sheet music went way over my head as I played most of everything by memorizing it. I guess it's been pretty useful though, as I've noticed some self-taught musicians don't really understand the logic behind chords.
- Outcome: In relation to piano, keyboard might have been a pretty bad choice. Then again, in relation to a drumkit, keyboard was a very good choice! Maybe I wasn't set up for playing piano concerts, but at least I learned some basic tricks and theory. Plus I found my way into music software! In the end I didn't do much keyboard drumming but I'm glad I made my way into music at some point.
"i would strongly advise taking lessons, its always good to have a mentor to guide you along with your learning, if you teach yourself, you have higher chances of forming bad habits, and bad habits are hard to unlearn"
"It means if you practice something a certain way for a long time, it will be stuck with you. If you practice proper technique all the time, then you'll have proper technique. If you practice improper technique, then you'll be stuck using improper technique until you practice proper technique, which involves unlearning and relearning."
"You are also extremely ignorant to think that you don't need music theory to write music, because you use it even when you don't realize it."
"If notation is chain and ball, then chord and harmonies are cage and prison. Locking yourselves in the prison of sound, and fooling yourselves to think that you're free to choose whatever."
"Personally, I find that theory has helped with my appreciation of music."
"To an anarchist, statism is a threat to the people. To a music anarchist, theory is the threat to creativity."
"The audio portal was initially launched with sounds effects. Few who submitted sound effects could understand the, "don't upload sound effects if you didn't create the effects yourself" or would just upload sounds of them farting, etc. So it was removed. Waste of time."