Do you ever struggle to understand how a particular musical moment, in piece you admire, actually ‘works’ from a compositional perspective? All too often - at least for artists I’m learning from - it’s not possible to refer to the score.
Through experimentation, I sometimes achieve a breakthrough of understanding. Or occasionally, the artist might reveal some critical fact in an interview. Very often though, the mystery remains unsolved.
This thread is for recording those wonderful ‘breakthrough’ moments, when we have closely studied a musical moment or a whole piece, then finally grasp something about the technique (broadly construed) that produced it.
Let me give an example. I’ve recently been collecting reference tracks for a new project, and in the process have been listening to Markus Floats, Photay, and JOYFULTALK among others. I became fascinated by Photay’s track ‘The Everyday Push’, especially the first couple of minutes, but couldn’t quite fathom what was going on (sampled? quantized? looped? sequenced? how was the slackness of that groove maintained?) My breakthrough came when I discovered that Photay had already released the Ableton Live set for this track. As is often the case - but not always! - the truth is simpler than I expected. I suppose the release of a public set short-circuited some useful detective work on my part, but I found it enormously helpful and the definitive insight let me absorb the lesson and move on.
Please add to the thread if you have experienced similar moments of demystification. I’ve framed the question in terms of understanding musical or compositional technique, but other sorts of musical demystification (around theory, process, motivation) are also welcome.