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15 questions - to all members of Muffwiggler
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author 15 questions - to all members of Muffwiggler
Daisuk
Inspired by the 15questions.net website - where various artists are asked about their music making process and thoughts about music in general. I thought it might be interesting to ask people on here to give their answers to the questions asked - it would be interesting to see what people say, and maybe by taking the time to answer the questions, you'll get to reflect on your own process somewhat.

Here's and example:
https://15questions.net/interview/fifteen-questions-vladislav-delay/pa ge-1/

And these are the questions:

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)

---

I actually deleted a few of the questions, as they seemed kind of boring to me, but feel free to add the answers to them if you wish. smile
stk
Quote:
And these are the questions:


sure, why not.

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

Approximately 1994. The Cure, Pink Floyd, Neurosis.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

Always the last album. Always moving forward, the last thing completed is always the pinnacle.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

Time, only time. I have a hundred (maybe more) albums seeds in my head (I tend to think in albums). But reality commitments - money job, family - slow things down.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

Totally variable. Many things can spark a beginning; a synth drone, or a guitar jam, or a vocal idea, or maybe a mangled timestretched sample, or a drum idea.
The initial seed is not really relevant - I find more times than not it has vanished from the finished piece. What really matters is that you start. Art is cumulative.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

Art gives back what is lost by taking. The role of the artist is to be the tree; inhaling the poison and converting it to life essence. In the process we tell stories, usually the same stories that have been told for a long time.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

I don't think the abundance of music makes any difference, or has any effect on the value of music. There is still great music and mediocre music, it's just easier to find more of both.
Whether you choose to give payment to the artist for it is a personal decision. (For the record, I think it is a good indication of your character if you choose to pay or not.)

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

The role of the listener is as interpreter. Art is not truth - experience is truth.
To expand; all (sincere) art was once truth - at the moment it was conceived it was the only truth, the only reality.
Thereafter it's just an artefact. The role of the audience is to take this artefact and recreate their own version of its reality. It is the intention of the artist that maybe the listener can get close to that seminal truth.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

Tomas Dvorak
The Hope Circuit


What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)

It's a very tough call to make cos it would be different every day. Today, two:


It's my most recent album, therefore my favourite. It captures the overarching concept of that collection of music perfectly, and I really like the words. It still resonates with me, and it's great to play live.

[bandcamp width=350 height=470 album=1168281750 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false track=3999444125]
A track from an ep I released almost 14 years ago. It is radically different from anything else I have done, and it still sounds exciting to me.


cheers,
Skye
Daisuk
Hey, didn't see this until now. Thanks for taking the time. Loving that track of yours, great work! smile
numan7
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

i think i was about 5 or 6 years old when i began making things up by myself. my earliest influence was probably the austrian composer franz josef haydn (since that's who my mum usually played on the piano).

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

i'm not sure what "incisive" means in this context (inspiring?)... hmm, back in my piano playing days, i remember feeling somewhat in awe of my teenage self when i was finally able to play frederic chopin's 'fantasie impromptu' smoothly and at speed with each hand completely independent of the other (afterwards, things like improvising over the blues-progression seemed much, much easier too).

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

i often feel as if i don't really care enough about anything in life to write music about it anymore. i'd rather go for a walk outside than spend hours in a studio tweaking some damn recording.... maybe i should move somewhere where it (still) snows in the wintertime; and then music-making won't seem like such a bummer compared to being outside.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

i have almost always started with an idea for what the piece is supposed to be about (everything is a soundtrack for something...).

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

i think that the art should speak for itself. the more i know about an artist, the less seriously i tend to take the artwork (not that that's a bad thing though).

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

i could care less. i often think of music as a form of mathematics. and i think of mathematics as this eternal thing, both infinitely and infinitesimally valuable (and thus incomparable to material things such as candy, cars, clothing, companies, countries and so on that hold finite values).

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

i try not to think too much about listeners.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

* salvador dali
* giatti di bondone

(i.e. only dead people deserve attention)

What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why?

i honestly don't know... i guess it depends on what you mean by "best" (which i often equate with "shortest", "briefest" and/or "quietest" when it comes to music).


cheers
hsosdrum
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

When I started playing drums at the age of 10. My earliest influences were Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Tschaikofsky.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

The first time I heard compositions by John Cage and Harry Partch.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

My main compositional challenge is usually the lack of an original idea. My main production challenge is my lack of skill as a keyboard player.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

I usually start by laying down the background pads. I tend to hear music on a textural and rhythmic basis, so creating the background textures usually points me in the right direction for realizing what's in my head.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

The purpose of art has always been to tell the truth. Exactly what truth is being told is up to the artist and to the person who is experiencing the art. Attempting to say something specific with your art is no guarantee that a person experiencing your art will receive your intended message. That's why it's art. If you want to guarantee that your message is received as intended you need to become a writer. (And even then, your message will rarely be received exactly as you intend.)

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

Today people are increasingly treating music as merely the background noise that happens while they are doing other things. As the number of entertainment choices increases and the ability to receive that entertainment becomes more and more convenient, the less people dedicate time to the exclusive enjoyment of that entertainment. (Even though I consider music the purest art form, the sad fact is that for the vast majority of people in western societies it is nothing more than entertainment, on par with television.)

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

This ties in with the previous question. If a listener is to receive anything beyond simple aural stimulation from music, the listener must create an environment that allows them to experience music as a primary activity. That means dedicating the time they spend listening to music to that activity to the exclusion of other activities. Turn off your phone, don't wash the dishes, don't exercise, don't cook, clean or do anything else. Create a space that biases up your senses so you're ready to have an emotional experience, and then just sit and listen.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

Steve Reich
Steve Tibbetts

What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)

"Tickling The Dragon's Tail", a, 11-minute suite that I wrote, performed, produced and recorded back in 2008. In it I play Mellotron, synthesizer, piano, drumset, tabla, manipulated loops and a manipulated field recording of a train ride between Gotanda, Shibuya and Yamanote in Japan. It has the most cohesive narrative structure of all the non pure-drumset music that I've created. Unfortunately it's not up on Soundcloud or Bandcamp so I can't post it here.
andrewhuang
Great questions prompting me to finally make my first ever post. I'm also experiencing a bout of insomnia trying to sleep on the floor of my friend's studio where I'm visiting. smile

When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

A music teacher introduced me to Cubasis when I was quite young, definitely pre-teen. For a while I just copied my favorite pop and electronic artists which went from Ace of Base to Chemical Brothers to NIN. Around 14 or 15 it became more of a passion than a hobby and I started doing the same but with FruityLoops 3 and IDM artists. grin

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

I had a great high school music teacher who introduced me to tons of different genres and I remember one day sitting in his class and making the decision not ever to be bound by them. That's hugely shaped my trajectory, kept me pursuing lots of new things and also landed me many gigs I wouldn't have got if I were confined to a more limited range of expression.

The decision to use YouTube as the primary vehicle for my creative output was a gamechanger. That's been a whole other journey within the journey.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

Well I'm new to the hardware side of modular so currently a big one is: Not enough modules. grin

My largest production challenge right now is probably that I've realized I spend an inordinate amount of time mixing and ultimately am never 100% satisfied, so I'm trying to find someone to take care of that for me on bigger tracks. It's not proving easy because tunes with a lot of third party plugins and sends and sidechains are a nightmare to stem, and I'm in the midst of the upfront cost of trying a few different people out to see who fits best.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

Could be absolutely anything - a melody, a chord progression, a sample, noodling on an instrument, a rhythm, a sine wave. I can't think of anything I particularly do more often.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

This is a huge one I'm not about to get into but I'll just say my biggest priority is to push boundaries. Experiment, find something new, get listeners out of any boxes they may be in.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

I wouldn't say I value music less because of its abundance, but I would say it looks that way a lot of the time because I'm not able to spend as much time with any individual song / album / artists as I used to. I love what the internet has done for musicians though; I think the lower and middle classes of artists are flourishing like never before.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

It's hard for me to think of this in any concrete terms. It's about some kind of a connection. What I get out of music as a listener (or put into music as a listener) can be anything from emotion, to analysis, to inspiration...

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

Thomas Gill does not get nearly enough attention for creating the smoothest chillest modern funk jams: https://isthisthomas.bandcamp.com/

Knower rip my brain apart with their...hyperactive jazz-influenced EDM? https://www.youtube.com/user/LOUISGENEVIEVE

What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)

Incredibly hard to choose but I'd say this one is one of my strongest from a songwriting perspective. There was a period when I was playing live when I would do it at every single show.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qptGV7finFo
RhythmDroid
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
1997ish - 16 years old - Nine Inch Nails and Japanese pop / anime music


What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
1998ish - Seeing footage of Orbital playing live in the documentary "Modulations"


What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?
Failing to find satisfaction when adding that final "element" to make a song "the best in the world".
I'm also stuck in a paradox where I want to have all methods of synthesis and sequencing at the ready, but I make better music and have a better time when working with a limited toolset.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
A controller keyboard starts creating melodies and chords in a DAW, sending MIDI to a vintage external synth.


The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
I make what reflects my state of mind and as I purify myself as a person through prayer and mediation, my artistic output becomes increasingly positive, light-filled, sensitive, and healing. The political task of ALL people is to move toward non-violent and voluntary means of social improvement.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?
Definitely a decrease in quality as there are fewer "gatekeeping" entities. The venues for experiencing live music remain quality arbiters, thus live music seems to be doing fine.


Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
Come as you are, just be respectful to the artist and those around you, take what you want out of it. I'm not going to dictate how someone perceives or experiences my music or performance. My hope is that you'll be inspired. As an artist, you don't need to win over anybody. As a professional, you do.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yoko Kanno


What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)
It's not posted yet, because it doesn't have the lyrics recorded. It's my best because it has a solid, emotive chord progression, no added sonic fluff, all elements support eachother and don't fight. And the synth solo in the middle is so emotional and has this smoky lo res delay on it which feels like a warm October dusk.
CopperHydra
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?

I started writing music at about 13. At that time, I was influenced by Pink Floyd, Mastodon, Metallica, Shpongle, Sleep, and Kyuss the most.

What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

Learning to play music with my friend who had the wildest, crazy sense of meter imaginable.

What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?
Scoring.

What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?
A feeling.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?
The role of an artist is to change and subject the audience to the product/process of that. I try to write something new every time I write.


Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?
The value of music today in quantity is much less than the demand for it. Not to devalue music at all, but I would say there is such a high demand for music seeing as it's everywhere and yet most of it is under valued. If there's an abundance of music today, it's because of listener participation, accumulation and technology... we have yet to unify these in order to bring about the drastic changes necessary on this planet. So, until music is able to unify us and march us to prosperity, it will only aid in distracting us into oblivion along with everything else like office work and alcohol and TV sports and the lottery.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

You have to drop your guard in order to truly listen to something, especially if it's a shitty piece of music you're trying to tune out because it's driving you insane. You can learn something from that shit tune even if you're not a musician if you choose to be an active listener but if you're tuning it out, it's just background noise for whatever the audience member is actively trying to do. In order for this^ to be understood, and meaning drawn from it, one must study not only music but the reaction/ambivalence to it.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Amon Tobin, Ott

What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)
My favorite written piece of music is an insane keyboard piece that takes 6 hands and skillful use of portamento to play, it's never been performed since all my keyboardist friends now have debilitating alcohol problems. It's a eulogy for my friend who died when I was 17 which was the age and event when I decided to get sober.
oberdada
I'll skip some questions that are not of general interest.


The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

A question worthy an essay! I'd like to compare the situation of musicians and composers with that of visual artists. Contemporary art seems infused with the idea that relevant art must comment on or criticise the current society. The attitude of art pour l'art is no more in vogue. In absolute music however (if that old notion still makes sense), the connection between music and ideas is much more remote and there is not the same urge for the music to take a stance.


Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

Scarcity is usually a means of increasing value, so abundance would automatically diminish the value. I think there is some truth to that. The chances of having a piece of contemporary music canonised today seems smaller than some fifty years ago, partly because there are more composers today, and partly because the veneration of so called serious music is no longer what it used to be. Another consequence of the abundance of available music is to make it less likely to listen to the same piece twice, although listening habits certainly differ. If listening becomes more ephemeral, then probably also the music making does. What's the point of composing an elaborate work that will be performed once, or - even if available on the internet - with all likelihood listened to only once?


Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

No, it's the job of the curator, PR consultant, critic, gate keeper etc to win over an audience. Then of course the artist has to have something unique and musically interesting to offer in order to keep the audience attentive. And the musical communication process has traditionally been one-way, although the possibility to post comments on music that is shared online changes that a bit.


What do you consider to be your best piece of music, and why? (please post an example, if possible)


Might be my first animation, Le├žons de Pythagore from 2002. Why? How would I know!?
electrik noize
stk wrote:
Quote:
And these are the questions:




Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

Tomas Dvorak
The Hope Circuit



cheers,
Skye


d'awwww
A little late seeing this, but thanks for the shoutout Hug
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