Anyone else go through periods where they don't care for "electronic" music?

  • The last month or so I have been really turned off by making music on my computer or listening to electronic type stuff. I have been playing classical guitar, piano, and bass everyday and have been learning all the parts to Beatles songs and listening to a bunch of bebop and delta blues stuff. I feel like I've grown a lot as a musician which has been hard, for me anyways, to do while working with the monome or samplers. I guess all musicians go through phases where they want or need something different to feel like they are being honest in expressing themselves but I still feel a little lost. Any advice or accounts of similar situations is greatly appreciated.

  • I'm in a similar position myself. I've gone back to a rock album I started 18 months ago and haven't really touched the monome or a synth for a couple of months. For me it's just whatever you're enjoying at the time. I'm 30 and I still dont feel like I'm any good at anything musical and rarely finish much but I can't stop trying for some reason.

  • DEFINITELY. as a matter of fact, I don't usually listen to any of the "styles" that I create (as misk) when i'm writing music.

    not just that but the electronic music that I usually do listen to is all the weird stuff. all the "producer's producer" stuff - like autechre, j dilla, etc.

    I LOVE the local natives, the antlers, and vacationer. I feel that the local natives' second album actually touched or even surpassed what they created with their first album, which is a rarity.

    don't worry about where you're going musically - as long as you're working on it every day, I feel there's something to be gleaned from it.

    I also recommend Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" - great book on creativity and understanding when you need to kick your own ass, and when you need to make sure the house is clean enough for the muse to cross the threshold :)

  • personally i very rarely feel that 'electronic' as a moniker for music makes much sense. you mentioned the beatles, whose later albums are notorious for using all sorts of studio tricks which even today are very hard to replicate live. pretty much all rock music uses loads of electronic devices in the making.

    i've had people tell me that they hate electronic music, then they turn around and are listening to postal service. i had to laugh.

    all that said, i love music that does not rely on any electronics other than the mic and recording devices.

  • I burnt out on my workflow about 20 years ago. I was tweaking individual notes all day in a sequencer, and I couldn't actually perform any of the songs I was writing. Even when I wrote easily playable parts, I'd need more musicians than I could afford to hire.

    So, I took a little break. Played some piano. Didn't record anything, didn't write anything down. If something fell into muscle memory, it was worth keeping. Otherwise, I let it go.

    That lasted about 12 years.

    I got back into it a little w/ GigaStudio, when I saw that developers were starting to reinvent what controller interactions a bit. (keyswitching was huge...) Toyed with FL Studio a bit, and GarageBand, but I was really struggling with not wanting to "go back".

    Then, I started hearing about Ableton Live, and how I might be able to create the kinds of music I want to in realtime with that. I was skeptical, but dove in when they announced Max For Live. And got heavily into Max.

    Fast forward to today. I can play a bunch of instruments at once, and tweak their parameters in realtime. My studio fits in a backpack. Yet I'm still not performing.

    In fact, I catch myself tweaking the workflow all day instead of creating music.

    I'm not ready for another 12 year break, but it's time to do something...


    I'm not kidding. it sounds like a self-help book, but it's the most acerbic kick in the ass you'll ever get. This guy does not fuck around. as a matter of fact, i've never finished it because i read a little more and get so inspired, that I throw down the book and make *something*.

    yes i write music, but i also LOVE sound design. I'll spend hours creating a kick from scratch, or resampling elements of a bass line 8 times just to get it right - it's all apart of the process.

  • I should have clarified that by electronic music I mean the few artists who are considered as such and who really get my brain going. Tehn, flylo, daedelus, samiyam, amon tobin, and bogdan racynski. I think my situation boils down to a struggle to find whatever makes you unique as a musician/artist and taking that as far as possible. I don't think I'll ever get there fully and I honestly don't want to look at that songwriting beast directly in the eye because it can be a pretty weird spiritual process. @gtz I feel the same way. I can spend a lot of time finding samples, tweaking them, making them sound like something other than samples, programming shitty plugin synths to resemble real instruments, chopping drums, learning new software. None of that, at least at the moment, is as gratifying as turning my old tube amps to 10 and standing in front of a drummer to see what goes down. I used to look at the guitar everyday and think, "I'm going to get you, you asshole." That feeling is starting to come back and the things that have come out of my guitar through improvisation and collaboration with other musicians makes it really hard to want to go back to the other way. I don't mean to knock the monome or any electronic instrument. Making music with the monome has given me a broader sense of composition and the kind of sounds I really want to go after. Now maybe it's time to make some music that others want to sample.

  • it occurred to me a few months ago that i spend all day in work on a computer and then usually come home to spend more time on a computer making music. i've stopped using the computer for music the last while. i even just record to tape.

    feels great!

  • It comes and it goes. I spent a decade+ building electronic music gear, but not making music. Decided to go digital, and study it a bit. But. Most of my musical output has ended up in choral singing; I'm even getting interested in singing arias, for heaven's sake. I still like electronic music and stress about not making or gigging.
    What's been really great has been the inadvertent acquisition of a musicological education, so I have a better understanding of how musical traditions have evolved, and how much of it has been driven by technology.
    Any way, if anyone's looking for a book to shake up the creative flow, Julia Cameron's Artist's Way worked wonders for me.