Music Production - Sometimes, less is more
Today is National Simplicity Day, so what better time to talk about my approach to writing music and how minimal music production can have a positive impact on daily life.
National Simplicity Day was founded in honour of Henry David Thoreau, an American philosopher and poet writing in the 19th century. It's amazing to think that in an age where technology was only just beginning (Thoreau was born in the middle of the industrial revolution), when the first computer wasn't to be invented until 80 years after his death, someone was writing about simplicity and would end up having such an impact in today's society of screens, flashing lights, and loud noises. The main interpretation of this is to put aside all technology for the day and immerse yourself in nature. I'd like to take that idea and reflect it in music production.
APPROACHING THE STANDARD
As a music composer, I've discovered and listened to a lot of music genres over the years. At school, when someone asked what my favourite genre of music was, I said 'all of it'. The thing about music is, it's often an expression of one or a few people's emotions and outlook on life, reflecting how they've interpreted everything around them. I find that fascinating.
Listening to various styles of music, one would think I have an eclectic writing style, jumping from one genre to the next, merging different styles here and there, creating something that evolves and moves quite quickly. This is, in fact, the opposite of what I do. While I do think to myself 'what instruments shall I write for today?', I usually come up with a single melodic idea or chord pattern and progressively layer it, sometimes subtly altering it throughout the song before bringing it back again in its original form at the end. I find this kind of writing quite therapeutic, calming and, ultimately, nice to listen to.
IN THE BACKGROUND
At university, whenever doing coursework I would put on some instrumental background music. I found lyrics quite distracting and once wrote out the whole chorus of 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen in a history essay about renaissance music before I realised what I'd done. Thank goodness for proofreading. In my defense, this was at 11pm at night so I blame fatigue for that. Anyway, I soon fell in love with film and video game music, which have the hard job of trying to stay in the background while also instilling emotions within the viewer or embellishing on-screen sequences without being distracting. I soon found myself listening to these music soundtracks before bed, in the bath, on the bus and realised they were a way of keeping myself calm, relaxed, and happy amid, what can be, the chaos of daily life.
We all have those days where everything goes wrong, stacks up, and we feel like we have no breathing space. For some, those days turn into weeks and before you know it, that's your life. Every day. We all need a little 'me time' where the phone is on silent or, better yet, switched off. We kid ourselves that sleep is our 'me time' but that isn't enough. So, today, on Sunday, this day of rest, go for a walk; have a bed day; run yourself a bath, and have a listen to my chilled music productions here if you like!
If you are looking for a music theory, music production, or music composition teacher near you, I offer face-to-face music lessons in Wells, UK and online music lessons to anyone worldwide. I also have 1000+ royalty-free stock music production tracks available to buy and am available for hire for original music compositions. Feel free to get in touch!