I recently recorded some music with an old friend of mine. We hadn’t recorded together in many, many years. It was striking how easy it was to work together again after spending a few minutes catching up. As we closed in on some ideas for our second track, an idea hit me when we were listening to the vocals. I had an idea to segment the vocal line into independent samples and control the rhythm of them using the sequencer. We also spent some time transforming the rhythm of another part to accentuate some subtle noise in-between two phrases of laughter.
My friend also works with another artist occasionally who is signed to a major label, and he remarked that it had been a long time since they had taken time to get an idea exactly right based on their vision. His other working partner preferred to move quickly and not spend too much time honing details.
I think there is a dilemma facing most artists, especially when using technology to realize ideas. Sometimes the vision of the idea is outside what preset workflows are available in the tools at hand. The choice presented is either to slow down and try out the idea by meticulously manipulating the raw materials or to simply let it go.
This choice is not always easy to make. I think I need to understand how much work an idea might be before I take the time to realize it. Interrupting the train of creativity can lead to losing the inspiration that propels me in the first place, so sometimes it’s a gamble. However, I’ve found that the times I do take the time to at least try them out doesn’t set me back too far if the ideas fail.
Thus, to me, it’s usually worth taking the extra time to slow down and temporarily sacrifice inspiration to follow through on difficult tasks. If the tools you have don’t make the realization process easy, then you might be on to something surprising, unique, or inaccessible to others. Try it out.Posted: May 2nd, 2012 | Tags: dilemma, ideas, time | No Comments »