Musical Direction

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by burntgorilla, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    The title isn't too appropriate really, it's a catch all for me right now. I don't think I've lost my musical direction, as such, there's loads of things I want to try out and learn. Anyway...

    On VH2 last night, there was a live concert from Radiohead, which had lots of their newer stuff. When I first bought Amnesiac and Kid A, I did the traditional "***? I want Paranoid Android!" thing. However, gradually, I've come to realise that these albums are great, in their own way. While I was thinking about this, I noticed that, almost subconsciously, my music taste has been moving further and further away from what I would consider the "norm". One of my favourite bands is Muse, I like them because they're a bit different than what's out there. The same with Dream Theatre, Nine Inch Nails, etc. I then realised that I find rock boring. That was a bit of a shock, considering I always thought of it as my type of music. I'll give an example - Audioslave's new album. I'm not saying I don't like it, but it's just.. run of the mill, there's not really anything on it that hasn't been done before. I'm finding that I'm on the lookout for innovative, different music, and I guess my gradually shifting views on Radiohead reflect this.

    If you don't listen to Radiohead, this might be a bit lost on you, but I would encourage you to check them out. My favourite Radiohead album used to The Bends. Now, I find it insufferably dull. It's just Rock, plain Rock, nothing leaps out at me really. Listening to Kid A/Amnesiac, I'm constantly noticing new layers of sounds, seeing how they've pushed at what I would call music. Take Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors, for example. Does it go anywhere? Is there anything you would call music in it? But I love it for that bizarre scratching bassy sound.

    Of course, playing bass and keyboard myself, this has sort of spread to my playing. Right now, I'm listening to Classical Thump. Probably more accomplished, both technically and musically to anything Radiohead have produced. Yet at the same time, I'm bored, I don't want to be a "look at how fast I can play !" bassist. I was trying to learn double thumping, and now I don't really see the point. Why just imitate Victor Wooten? I won't be as good as him, and it will be painfully obvious I'm imitating him. Plus, it's not good for actual listening, as opposed to admiring his skills. In some ways, my decision to play keyboard has rescued me here. You can't really get bizarre sounds out of bass without effects, of which I have relatively few, while my keyboard has a synthesiser than produces completely bizarre sounds. I said earlier that I have lots of areas to pursue. By that, I meant styles, like blues, funk, jazz etc. But, in a way, they're like rock, but not as mainstream. I want to make music that's different. That might smack of arrogance and teenage angst, so forgive me if it does.

    To create another analogy - Pink Floyd. The first time I listened to The Dark Side of the Moon, I couldn't see the fuss, I couldn't even see where the music was. I'm listening to it again, and now I'm beginning to appreciate it properly. They're different, unique, even today. That's the kind of music I want to make. But at the same time, I'm kind of lost. Firstly, of course, I wouldn't know how to make something like Pink Floyd, but I guess if I have to read a book on making unique, personal music, I'm kind of missing the point. By the way, I know that all music is personal, and unique to a degree, but I hope you understand it in the context that I mean. I said at the beginning that I hadn't lost my musical direction. Having written this, I'm beginning to think I have, but not from lack of options, rather an abundance of them. I visualise it as if I'm being pulled by all these concepts, ideas, styles, techniques in all different directions at once, with the result that I'm not progressing in any direction.

    I'm not totally sure what the point of this post is - I suppose advice would be nice, but I'm not sure what I actually need advice with. Likewise, surely every musician feels this tug? I guess what I'm really concerned about is my growing interest in what I will call "electronic" music, which I will define as "Radiohead's weird bits," though I'm aware that's not electronic music as a whole. I think of electronic music as entirely computer based, while that's not really what I want. Radiohead songs are all based on keyboard, guitar, bass and drums, but distorted and used in such a way as to be unrecognisable, as opposed to make by moving sliders on a computer. It's making me question what music actually is. I doubt that much of Kid A follows the typical composition methods, I would think that they threw them all out. Of course, music isn't defined as being based in theory, but what is its definition? Are the tape recordings in Pink Floyd's songs music, even if they're just laughter? I'll stop rambling here, and maybe someone else has an idea of what I'm thinking, and can express it more eloquently than I can.
  2. mu·sic n.
    1.The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.

    2.Vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm.

    3.An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds.

    There ya go :p

    I don’t think you should be too concerned with your interest in "electronic" music. Maybe you should embrace it.You could find some direction or influence there. I feel a computer generated note or triggered sample can have just as much impact as a double thumbed triplet with a twist ! Depending on how the musician chooses to use it of course.
    Also I believe all of these definitions of music (melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre) are to be determined by the musician. This is what makes music so cool. One mans intolerable noise is another mans master piece.
    Also a good bass/electronic music cd to check out would be Squarepusher's Ultravisitor.This disc is killing me! :D
  3. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Nothing to be afraid of with electronic music... Kraftwerk and Jean-Michel Jarre have inspired me as much as any bassist.
  4. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Hmm, give Garbage a listen.