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I play, write about and am starting to make electronic music

By January 7, 2019 April 7th, 2019 No Comments

That sentence makes me nervous, excited and unsure of what’s to come.

What counts as making music? In theory I make music every-day: the tunes and melodies rolling around my head in loops and sound-bites. Songs from the internal jukebox, tweaked and refined over many years or in the last couple of seconds. Then there’s all the real music stored in my phone, my iPod, my PC, my records, my CDs, my MDs, my tapes…whatever I’m feeling, whatever is to hand with me singing or humming along, my own interpretation. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t feel like new or original content.

On Monday 19 November 2018 after a morning spent setting up a new PC, the Ableton Live software and the multitude of packs, I re-visited a track I created back in the summer of 2016 at the Ableton Music Production course at Point Blank Music School, London.

 

How does this work again?

Perhaps I’ll talk about that weekend in a later blog. It was fascinating and whilst it was re-assuring just how easy it is to create the layers of a song, it hit home how daunting it is to create something special; something that’d give you goose-bumps, something I’d be proud to stamp my name on and release.

Back to that November Monday, I spent the rest of the afternoon in a self-doubt loop, trying to figure out where to start (again), which section of a track I should focus on and what sound I should start playing with. The thoughts and ideas in my head had vanished. My focus was on the structure and the detail; pointing and clicking with a mouse, my eyes glued to the monitor, like I do at work.

It was at the end of the day, that I realised that the square with lights on, sitting in front me, the Push, was what I should be playing with. This was meant to be fun, not work. I know that will come later with editing and mastering. After watching a few more of the excellent Push tutorial videos, the light-bulb went off – create loops. Just create loops. As many as I can and see where it goes…

…and that’s what I’ll do next time.

Over the course of this monthly blog I’ll write about the challenges and experiences of making music and the steps I took and continue to make to carve out the time to make music. I hope they’ll be of interest and selfishly, it’s good therapy.

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