Why make music?

July 7, 2006

It’s a sad fact of life that if I want to get anyone to listen to any of my music, I’m going to have to do a bit more than just posting the files up here! Whether I like it or not, I guess everyone is a marketer in the blogging world, and self promotion is a necessary evil to raise the blog above the background noise.

So, in doing this, I got to thinking why do people make music (or I suppose more accurately why do I make music)?

Well, aside from the astronomically tiny chance that I’ll make a ton of cash, I (and most other people like me) claim to make music for their own enjoyment. I try and capture ideas and sounds that I would like to hear. In reality, that is only part of the reason. Whether or not anyone will admit it, there is a natural human desire to connect with other people and music is a pretty good medium to do that. The thought that someone else gets pleasure from, or experiences on an emotional lever the feeling of a piece is a strong motivator – it gives meaning and purpose to the otherwise seemingly non-productive task of producing noise.

Anyone who has experienced the awesome buzz of performing in front of an appreciative audience will understand the emotion. A great gig is a two-way conversation between the band and the audience – each side can move the other to greater heights on an emotional wave.

Although in a recording you lose that direct link with the audience, I still think that conversation is somewhere in the back of most performers minds. A little thought that is imagining what it would be like to hear the track for the first time as part of the symbiotic performer/audience collective.

I don’t really know how many of my tracks work on that level. Most of the ones I have gigged have gone through a period of organic change in response to audience reaction and now sound very different to the form they are presented here – in particular, the songs that start life as a solo studio project tend to evolve further as real musicians play them and impart their own character and viewpoint to the conversation.

So although I originally started this blog as somewhere to publish my tracks, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that I have to try and start up that great conversation again. Allow the feedback of the audience to influence the performance. In time I will be re-working some tracks, dropping others and sharing ideas with other lone performers to create a collective work that is greater than the original idea.

What you see here therefore is the embrionic idea – the feedback isn’t as immediate as with a gig, but this Great Gig in the Web has the potential to offer just as much enjoyment.

For both performer, and audience.

Todays track: Download “Troubadours and Fairytales”

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2 Responses to “Why make music?”

  1. Tim Says:

    There is only one real reason to make music and it’s the one I employ on a daily basis … because you enjoy it … anything else is window dressing!

  2. ukchill Says:

    Doesn’t it make you feel better when someone else appreciates what you do though?

    That has got to add to the enjoyment!!! Sure does in my book.


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