i’ve been studying music as a hobbyist the past couple of years, and researching how composers create their works. there’s a lot of talk about hearing the music in your head and having to get it out in a specific shape/form. this also seems to be the slant on a lot of sales pitches for new machines- devices that can capture a beat or melody that just landed in your head at 3 a.m. when you bolted upright in your bed.
but for me, i never ever hear something in my head… and this kind of worries me as compared to this romantic vision of a creator having this flash of inspiration and then this urgent need to externalize it at all costs. i’ve found a lot of writing about the tortured artist myth, saying that these musicians don’t need to suffer in order to have these great moments, but i haven’t really found anything talking about musicians who don’t automatically hear music internally and then create it in the real world.
so when i make some music i feel more like an editor… trying to create random content that i then curate into a direction to intentionally travel further. to that end i love having limitations and have a rule to avoid DAW’s like ableton because there are just too many choices- since i don’t have a particular sound in my head when i start, the ability to twist and tweak a sound endlessly means i never produce anything concrete because i’m always thinking “what if i changed the sound in this way, maybe that’s better, etc.”
i realize that hardware often also has an infinite number of possibilities depending on the configuration, such as the new isms case. but somehow having a tangible, and physical limit that i can see and touch is more symbolic in my head than the digital world of a laptop where, for example, the internet never seems to end. so i’m just wondering:
does everyone here hear music in a particular way in their head that does not exist, and then try to make it in real life? and then related to that, how do you deal with limitations of how that sound can be made with software or hardware? basically meaning, how do you know when its done if you don’t have a very clear goal from the start?