I’ve been thinking a lot about my artistic identity and the way I express that in my music.
Essentially, I have two modes of working, and the results are very different.
In one, I collect a bunch of sounds in a sampler or other device, figure out the range of parameters I want to play with in performance, and then press play and record and take it all in one pass. I records direct to stereo, so it’s got to be right in that one pass. This workflow tends to lead to very long pieces, some as long as 30 or 40 minutes which I then dutifully post to soundcloud with minimal editing work.
The second mode of working is inside a DAW (usually Live or Reason). In that, I similarly work with my synths and software, creating assets that I then structure into a song. This is done much more like traditinal composition, and the songs tend to be shorter with more defined verse/chorus types of structures. I tend to write these here and there over long stretches of time with the hope of eventually collecting them into an album. I spend a *lot* of time futzing with the structure and the mix.
For some reason, despite the fact my audience seems to be very happy with what I produce with the first, I feel compelled to torture myself through the second. I don’t know why…perhaps I think composition has to be a more *deliberate* act. Or maybe I’m just convinced something you work at like that is inherently worth more.
I am going to be all in honest here…I don’t like what I compose when I work the second way. I used to, but the tracks never come out sounding *right*. Somehow, even with all of their imperfections, the improvised tracks come out sounding more, well, me. They sound more NoiseTheorm.
So I am going to try going with method one for a while and see what happens. I’m also going to break down a few of the tracks for the new album that I’m not 100% pleased with into parts I can play with in the MPC and modular. Perhaps those tracks can be saved?
It’s weird…I never thought of myself as a ‘live’ musician. Maybe I was wrong about that? Maybe I just had to find my version of ‘live’.
Something to think about.