Recently, someone sent me a link to Herbert’s Manifesto ( and asked if I’d read it.  I have now, and I’ve decided to write up one of my own, partly in response to it.

My first thought is to say that, while I like the idea of having a framework of principals you use in your creativity, I find it to be too limiting and ultimately destructive to the creative process if you aren’t willing to be flexible.   Raising these guidelines up to the level of ‘manifesto’ is, therefore, not what I’m doing.  This is partly response to his points, so it may not really work as a function manifesto anyway. goes..

Personan Contract for the Composition of Music:

  1. Any sound which I have access to and the legal access to use is allowed.   This shall include drum machines, synthesizers and their presets.   If my dog burbs and I can capture it, its fair game.   If I feel the composition requires a grand piano, then I’ll use a sample of a grand piano on a syntheseizer, because who has fucking room for a grand piano.
  2. Any sound generated at any time as part of any process is available for use.   I may have recorded your hampster passing gas in 1997, but if I find that sample works in a track I’m working on in 2018, then so fucking be it.
  3. The sampling of other peopls music is allowed but, since it doesn’t interest me, never happens anyway.  If it did happen, such use would be governed by copyright laws and getting the appropriate license.
  4. Synthesizers, my primary tool of creation, were not built to create new sounds but as emulators.  In fact, all of the bread and butter sound types have their equivalents in the orchestra (bass, pads, leads…etc.).   All sound is derivative.   Get used to it.
  5. The inclusion, development, propagation, existence, replication, acknowledgement, rights, patterns and beauty of what are commonly known as accidents, is encouraged. Furthermore, they have equal rights within the composition as deliberate, conscious, or premeditated compositional actions or decisions. (on this point, I absolutely agree).
  6. The mixing desk does not exist.  The software slate is always cleansed.
  7. If the preset reverb works, I’ll use it.  Because fuck it if I know more about creating space than the guy who programmed it.
  8. I don’t even get what the fuck this one means.  It’s my sample, and I’ll truncate what I want.
  9. meh…let em guess.   Most people don’t honestly care
  10. See #9
  11. Remixes should be completed using whatever results in the most pleasing outcome.  Fuck rules.


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