Creative Experiment: Baby Steps
For me to have a creative flow i generally need quiet to get my head in the right place. Playing live I do this at the moment that I tune before a show. Everything gets cleared out of my head and off I go into a show. It occurs me that I don’t do this when I practice and I probably should. Hmmm…
Daily Dose: Unnecessarily Complex
I find that not all musical situations lend themselves to healthy emotional or spiritual processes. There are times where attempts to educate and inform seem to fall on deaf ears which proves very draining. On the other hand energy derives from both the positive and negative.
Daily Action: Listen
I don’t expect to have an opportunity to offer much love to others in my musical situations today as they will be solo and left as a trail of 1’s and 0’s.
Today, Felicia Goldstein reads the Marine forecast for lake erie.
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Creative Word: Dwell, which has many meanings including living (in a dwelling presumably), a way of looking at the past (I don’t want to dwell on it), or an automotive term used with old school points ignition systems to set the number of degrees that the points make contact. Thus we are living, getting hung up on the past, and setting things that create a spark. That’s a lot for 5 letters.
World flipping: This is often a fun experiment and opens up new ideas about everything we think we know. I find reggae music very inspiring for this, where both the music itself and the sounds are a complete flip on what might be considered normal in other styles of music. World flipping is not taught enough in the school system. Much original thinking comes out of flipping a couple of concepts from the established dogma. The mechanical world has a system called Triz 40, which was developed by a Russian patent examiner who looked at over 10,000 patents and realised that there were only, 40 concepts ever used.
Daily Dose: Humour and Service
I once lost my sense of humour and vowed to never do that again. I have learned over time to take my work seriously but not take myself that seriously. The latter gets in the way of the former. With music we are often entertainers as well as artists and it is important that we deliver on both fronts. I have seen far too many artists take themselves far too seriously.
Service Call: Got any bass playing or recording needs? Maybe an ad in the yellow pages would be good.
Creative Word: Tame
This makes me think of the Pixies tune of the same name, which is structured in 3 lines per verse rather than the overdone 4 lines per verse.
Creative Experiment: Pre-production
I am trying to develop this list at the moment. In an ideal world, I will eventually arrive at a solid pre-production and production method that works for me. Stations work well, and I have these set up other than setting up a vocal mic on the stand (cables are already in place). What i want to get down is a song writing and production methodology such as:
Write lyrics. Structure lyrics. Add chords.
Figure out tempo. Create rough drum part for tempo. Put down rough guitar part to outline chords.
Tweak drum parts to final-ish parts. Add bass part. Finalize bass and drums.
Add better guitar part
Rhythm first, then lyrics. Sing parts. Add goo on top (keyboards, guitars etc.)
Mix it, master it, call it done.
Daily Dose: Control kills
My friend Ken Brown uses the phrase “left brain clamp down” to characterize this situation. It is OK for ideas (musical or otherwise) to have this sort of Gestalt thing going on where we have the shape but not the details. Often the best ideas and the best times in life come out where there is no structure.
Daily Action: Watch it Unfold
I enjoy doing a lot of things without controlling the situation and seeing how it takes shape. I often do work presentations and run work meetings this way because I find I get more engagement and deeper engagement from those around me. It can drive my managers crazy, which makes it all worth it.
Creative Word: Travel
Something for me that is overdue. Maybe in the fall I will take a couple of weeks off.
Creative Experiment: Habitual Habits
Some habits can actually aid in the creative process. One that I developed a while ago is that I outline the week and look at how the week will take shape. This enables me to know my time obligations and understand where creative activities can happen. Ironically, a small amount of routine enables me to be more free and creative. This is the life of the working person.
Daily Dose: Reach Out
I don’t do enough of this. I spend far too much time in my own head. On the other hand I have a strong preference to making music with others.
Creative Word: Convert, which has many meanings including convertible cars, in football to get a first down on a third down or score an extra point in football, a person who has changed religion, change money (convert from Canadian to U.S. dollars), or analog to digital conversion, which has religious overtones in some circles.
Creative Experiment: make a short film
This approach is what appeals to me about Ableton Live or Acid, or any other loop-centric software. I think as a writing tool it would inspire lots of ideas because time is no longer linear (I think the Russian film maker Eisenstein was the first to develop this concept). It is an interesting idea to think of different film directors and what they would do with music.
Grudges are the worst thing. It can take years to let go of things, especially with the ones we love the most. Forgiving is incredibly healthy, but sometimes can be difficult. It is also important that we forgive ourselves for our own mistakes so that we can be free of the past and not have it get in our way.
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