Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Composing the Music I Want To

I can be highly critical of my own artistic endeavors. I think this comes with the territory, and to a certain extent I think it plays a necessary role in achieving true satisfaction with the end result. When I was in grad school, I found myself adopting an interesting measuring stick to critique my compositions. It wasn't about the sound of a piece so much as how intelligently written it was, how sophisticated its construction, or how innovative its techniques.

I still like some of those pieces a great deal, but the truth of the matter is that most listeners won't be evaluating how marvelously intelligent I am to have written that piece of music. And they probably aren't going to spend a great deal of time considering how intricately woven all of its musical elements are. Most of them are honestly listening more than anything else for whether or not they like it. Does it hold their attention? Does it please them on some level? Do they remember anything about it once the last note has been played?

I find myself in an interesting process now of conceptualizing music for potential use in television and film productions. Although the time I allow in my life for composing is at this point a fraction of what I would like to spend, when I do have the time, there are a few ideas already taking on flesh in my mind. I'm not worried so much about how intelligently written, sophisticated, or innovative they will seem; on some level, I am just assuming that they will be all of those things because of who I am. My primary goal, though, is to create effective and evocative music. It's something that requires much less intellectual critique and allows for much more rampant creativity. And it's actually quite a bit of fun.

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