So I posted this on my blog the other day, some of you on Twitter might've read it already:


This was really weighing down on my heavily for a while and I was just wondering basically, if anyone here had had a similar experience? It'd be cool to hear about it if so.




Unaware of your musical interests but in case you would like an exploratory trip, browse through this post - Inspiration from the world of music production .

Sometimes dry periods of interest or inspiration last longer than we want. I've experienced something similar but that only made my interest in modern music more focused, as well as had me explore the area of film scores, contemporary classical composition, and sound design in music (there is!). A spoke in the wheels for sure, but it did not impair my abilities to create, only had me back off and reconsider the acts of listening and composition.

The music industry has nearly imposed this model of briefly targeting listeners at the peak of their interest; you can usually tag a generation with a few artist names that describe an half or whole decade nicely. Radio people seem to have it in their head that music taste is locked in the late teen years and then use that to define and control their audience groups.. But I might be wrong.

Having said all this, I've just borrowed two more books on music, so certainly a complex question.

  • Good feedback Georgi, appreciate it. Studying the music + sound design of film has helped me explore a different area of music + a different use of music so I'm definitely going to continue down that line but I totally get what you're saying. – JTC May 6 '11 at 7:37

probably stating the obvious re sources of inspiration, but it is important to remember that inspiration often comes from action ie through doing. If you don't feel inspired or don't know how to approach something, try doing the totally wrong thing. Inevitably half way through doing the wrong thing you will stumble across something or react to something that may spark your imagination towards more interesting territory.....

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    Such a good and simple suggestion. Cheers Tim. – JTC May 6 '11 at 7:40
  • Sounds kinda like Brian Eno's Oblique Stragtegies cards. I found an online version! stoney.sb.org/eno/oblique.html – g.a.harry May 6 '11 at 10:43

I'm currently in a very similar situation.

I spent most of my late teens and early twenties writing prolifically (350+ songs) in all kinds of genres, simply for the joy of it. Then, somewhere about a year ago my entire brain just seemed to dry up. Everything was too obvious, too derivative, too this, and too that. It had all been done, and better.

Haven't quite managed to kick myself out of it. This may be a cop-out, but I think it's a consequence of the tendency to be over-analytical. To obsess is to eventually come to know (or think you know) everything about whatever it is you're obsessed with. Couple that with a desire for individuality and originality, and every time you sit down to do something you find your ears filling up with clichés and references, eventually driving you nutz.

I've stopped trying to make music (actively trying only makes things worse) and have been taking some time away to work on other things (sound design for one) until I can find the joy again. Hopefully that'll be soon. But if it never comes back that's ok. It was something I did, and did well, and now I'm just interested in other things.

@georgi.m, I think the radio people want that to be true. It makes people easier to categorize and market too. But over the last 10 years I've moved from "alternative", to math-rock, to counry, to metal, to canadian indie-folk-pop, to electronica, to IDM, to ambient, which is where I currently find myself. Though I can feel it starting to slide into neo-classical, which I'm sure will eventually turn into classical proper.

To live is to grow, no matter what the advertisers tell you!

  • If certain punk bands can make 10 albums based on the same repetative 4 notes, I'm sure you can find a niche in the music industry if you wanted to. – Utopia May 6 '11 at 1:39
  • @Utopia, Yours = Truth – g.a.harry May 6 '11 at 3:02
  • :) . – Utopia May 6 '11 at 3:06
  • @g.a.harry that's exactly what happened to me dude, I used to write music all the time because it was satisfying, but recently it's stopped becoming satisfying. However, creating a monstrous growl, or an impact that sounds HUGE is giving me great satisfaction now, hence my suggestion that this is my evolution. Good to know other people are going through the same though, thanks. – JTC May 6 '11 at 7:39
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    @Joe, The next step for me (and I think maybe you too) will be to elevate sound design from the level of ear candy to the core of the music itself. If you've never heard of this guy (Amon Tobin: soundcloud.com/amon-tobin/sets/isam), check his shit out. He is a sound design music master. Find a copy of Foley Room. It'll melt your mind. – g.a.harry May 6 '11 at 12:01

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