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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
How to get inspiration?
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cyxeris wrote:
I keep alot of photography books around for inspiration. The more horrific and troubling, the better. I have some of those "20th Century's Greatest Photographs" type books, and I'll go though those until a few images start to affect me, then use that as creative fuel.


You might want to look for "Car crashes & other sad stories" by Mell Kilpatrick. A beautifull book of carcrash photos from the U.S. in the 40´s and the 50´s. Very stylised, horrific and touching. Released by Tachen.

I do have to warn you that it might be best to keep it away from small childeren since it deals with dead people in wrecked cars. Beautifully lit B&W photos of dead people, involving the wonderfull cars of that age but still dead people. This man used to listen tot he police radio and work free-lance for newspapers. A facianting book.

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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
"Car crashes & other sad stories"

I think the only inspiration I would get from a book like that would be the inspiration to throw up Exclamation no doubts it is a fascinating book Cool

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
Kassen wrote:
"Car crashes & other sad stories"

I think the only inspiration I would get from a book like that would be the inspiration to throw up Exclamation no doubts it is a fascinating book Cool


Well, I did wonder. I grabed that book to get the details right and wondered what music I´d write based on it. I was thinking about some timestreched metal sounds; the cars tend to be more in the picture then the people. But hey, he likes horriffic photobooks.....

The interesting thing is that many of those photos like strangely serene. There´s something about the aftermath of violence. In Bekgrad I tried finding a photo book of the buildings they have there that were the target of bombs but never cleaned up, some of those look quite beautifull in a "frozen" way. Didn´t find it in the time I had.

I suppose that if you look at this thing like "the traces of some force" then it even makes sense to get compositional inspiration from it, aside from the emotions also involved.

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:

I suppose that if you look at this thing like "the traces of some force" then it even makes sense to get compositional inspiration from it, aside from the emotions also involved.

right, like Stein did for "utmost savagery"

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uh... me? Yes, I like to work with material that matters. As for inspiration, to me music simply shows up when I imagine it. However, I do need some content to work with. In the case of the "Utmost Savagery" series, those themes are hard to handle but I found it worthwhile to have a go at it. The program music of composers like Liszt doesn´t quite do it for me though.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It did strike me as odd that somebody would start his process from horrific immages, but of cource; who am I to judge? so I threw in what I though might be a interesting tip.

Over the past days I spend some moments thinking on this and it occured to me that photographs like these (and say, world press photos and so on) will cause a state in between the artistic apeal of the beauty of the photograph and the emotional repulsion of the subject. I think this state might be akin to the push-pull of the unexpected against the predictable in good melodies, the contrast between harsh and smooth elements in many soundscapes and ambient pieces.

I might try this technique myself soon, I think there may be a lot to it if you can get the frame of reference to transumte one (multi level) contrast into another (probably more linear) one. Would you care to comment on this, Cyxeris?

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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
Would you care to comment on this, Cyxeris?

He left the forum a long time ago Crying or Very sad

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Not really, Jeremy will be back.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ah, yes, it was a fairly old post I had previously overlooked.

Oh, well, it´s still a beautifull book and some interesting thoughts....

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
... Jeremy will be back.


I look forward to that...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ooh yay, my composer's block is gone!! Here is a track I finished last night.
It still needs additional mastering, but other than that, I hope you get the general idea, and I hope it brings some inspiration to you all Wink

edit: I've moved this song to a more appropriate thread 'Online Music >> What can happen after "Radio Silence"...' Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

That is a good track, but I don't know if it belongs here in this tread.
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opg



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here's my two cents:

First, I ALWAYS found that buying new equipment hinders creativity, especially if it isn't an absolute necessity. When I was a kid, I had next to nothing, and I was always, as Homer Simpson once said, trying to "max the envelope, overshift the extreme, and so forth." Basically, I was doing kid's versions of circuit bending.

For example, my first big keyboard (after the Casio SK-1, which I still have 18 years later) was a Yamaha PSR-510. I quickly got tired of the Yamaha factory sounds after I learned how to sequence, so I started adding guitar pedals to the output, duct-taping the pitch bend up as high as it would go and playing the highest notes on every instrument for those odd harmonic sounds, etc.

I then discovered the "tape adapter" which finally allowed me to get good recordings (instead of holding a tape player up to the speaker). A friend of mine made a splitter for me (before I knew those existed), so I could have the tape adapter and my guitar going into the tape recorder.

That's the way I found out I needed things. I said, "I need something that does this, so I'll have to see if it exists," rather than "If I had the Korg Triton that my friend has..." With equipment and all the great sounds out there, it's basically a curse of democracy: too many choices.

Secondly, what I have done recently after a VERY long musician's block, was to go back through all of my unfinished songs- things I gave up on because I ran out of those creative juices. I made a list of all of them and wrote down each thing I did or didn't like about each song. I also labeled those things as what type of musical element they were: good synth instrument, melody, effect, rhythm, etc.

From there I was able to sit back and think. "What would be good with what?" It is also important to mention that I always have musical goals. Sometimes relatively simple, sometimes almost unattainable - like getting the most analog, saturated, synthetic OPL3 tom sound I could - that didn't have too much bass - and create a rhythm using a few pitches and delay.

I keep these goals in the back of my mind, and I spend most of my time fiddling with the old songs, even the ones I don't like. That way, when I think of something to add to a crappy unfinished song, I may discover that the addition gives me an idea that pursuades me to create a new song entirely. Then I go back over the list. Then I remember my goals. Then that song might fizzle out, and the cycle continues. But I have noticed that the more work you put into tweaking something generally regarded as untweakable, the better it will sound.

Thirdly, owning a house that requires regular maintenance, working 5 days a week, and being married will add a lot of stress. You get into the "not enough time" deal. My wife went up to Maine for her research project for 2 months, and I finished two cool songs in two days.

Of course, I'm sleep-deprived, the house is kinda dirty, I've gotten a little lazy about bathing, and I'm not eating the best food. "Let's see.....I've got rice.......and.......ketchup. Let's try that and see if it works........"
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Jabbo



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

don't, maybe it is even OT but I thought that replication is significantly different from reproduction:
One is making a perfect copy of something, or someone in these biohazardous days.
The latter implies something new is born from something that already exists, and not necessarily the same.

so I feel it is not bad sometimes to play the bass while there is Purple Haze playing on, continuing with the riff, and probably getting very bored of myself(this is me in some way)

On the other hand, I think, there is a mistake in understanding the kind of "message" that underlies musical form (if a form exists):
what and how music does to your feelings that language and conceptual communication don't?
And which form do your feelings get through expressive meanings?
Is there a hidden code for creation, or is it something extremely individual(I believe this)?
Language can bring people to a revolution, but music? I don't think so.
Music can make people cry for happiness without a word been said, like a gesture; words need a full explanation to make people understand what you are saying.
Actually there is a big difference, though they are very similar perceptual processes.

Another interesting link could be with the brain waves, like the mysterious 7.8 Hz of meditating Bhuddists which some scientists say exists (speaking of semiconsciousness) .

boh..............


ciaociao

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jabbo, we do have several threads that deal with that.
This is one of them: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-6578.html

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I would just like to point out that I love OPG´s post.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Kassen wrote:
I would just like to point out that I love OPG´s post.


Aww shucks...Thanks, buddy...
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envisioned.fallacy



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

personally i find looking at art, nature, or computers ( strangely enough) very inspiring..

If you have ideas, but you aren't using them, is it because you are unsure of how to? practise makes perfect, and if you havent played in a year that could be an issue.

heheh.. if all else fails just flip that switch.. ( or w/e your powering up method consists of) 'n' get your ideas down.. you'll feel alot better afterwards...
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opg



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If I decide to start from scratch, I simply think, "What is it that I'd like to hear that I haven't heard enough of or any at all in other people's music?" I write down what those sounds are, like toy instruments, automobile sounds, clicks and pops, video game sounds, whatever.

Next I will make a separate list of non-audio items that also invoke the feeling I get from hearing those sounds. For example, I would start writing down for video games sounds or toy instruments: 1980s culture, I'm 10 years old, television shows from the 80s like Transformers and A-Team, memories of my elementary school, etc.

I would then have a bunch of ideas that combine sounds I like and an emotion or feeling I want to convey with those sounds. I begin fiddling with synths and sound samples from there...
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orczy



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
If I decide to start from scratch, I simply think, "What is it that I'd like to hear that I haven't heard enough of or any at all in other people's music?" I write down what those sounds are, like toy instruments, automobile sounds, clicks and pops, video game sounds, whatever.

Next I will make a separate list of non-audio items that also invoke the feeling I get from hearing those sounds. For example, I would start writing down for video games sounds or toy instruments: 1980s culture, I'm 10 years old, television shows from the 80s like Transformers and A-Team, memories of my elementary school, etc.

I would then have a bunch of ideas that combine sounds I like and an emotion or feeling I want to convey with those sounds. I begin fiddling with synths and sound samples from there...


Interestingly enough, I am currently working in the opposite way. I do the pieces, and when listening to them in the following weeks, it is the ones that have the feel of a particular time or place (often childhood) that I end up using. Horses for courses.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: courage Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Kruge,

I do not think we may define some recipes or principles to reach inspiration. It is a state of creation some people are able to reach naturally to satisfy (and artistically express) their imagination. Personally, I am close to what the French classical composer Camille Saint-Saëns wrote about it:

“I am in the clouds only when I am working. But once I am leaving this indefinable state of waken dream, I become again down-to-earth and I am unable to understand how I have been able to do what I have done. Is this not some kind of definition of inspiration?”

I am often wondering how I do what I do, how I get a level of complexity I am unable to rationally explain after having composed it. It is a strange feeling, being inside and outside the common awareness of things and measure the absence of overlapping. I am not far of thinking there are several “modes” of perception of reality and we still have to learn how to bring up the creative mode.
Inspiration has a lot to do with the way we consider what we see and hear. If you have ideas and do not have the will of expressing them by turning on your instrument, then perhaps you ideas are not artistic enough. Personally, to get artistic impulses, I always discipline my mind to displace the order of things, to question that order until I realize any order can be changed in an artistic way if I have the courage to use my freedom. And if I do not have this courage, I go to a good art museum (alone) and I receive so many convincing proofs of courage there than I get immediately refilled.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: courage Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

tpc05 wrote:
... And if I do not have this courage, I go to a good art museum (alone) and I receive so many convincing proofs of courage there than I get immediately refilled.


Well said. This convincing proof of courage can be inspriational. Art museums are great, but there is inspiration all over the place. I get inspired by the people I meet here.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ask youself, Kruge, are you sure that you need this inspiration?
Are you really want to write music? =)
Isn't that a prejudice? May be you don't need this. May be you better do some office work? =)

I asked myself like this when I lost my inspiration being married. Embarassed

So I divorced and got my inspiration back. =)
Try to change your life.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dear Kruge,

Embrace your fears.

- William
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BTW: I haven´t seen Kruge around recently. Perhaps he is busy making music?

As for inspiration, the last 20 years I have basically been focused on actually having anything to say. I don´t count aimless jamming and practices as actual composition. I am not quite sure I actually need inspiration.. as in "something" which makes me sit down in front of the instruments and play them. To me, writing music is about writing in the sense that I have something to write about or work with. I know I can make music, but that doesn´t mean I see the point unless I have something interesting to communicate.

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