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Topic: Listening to Your Own Music

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  1. #1
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Listening to Your Own Music

    Well, as I am typing, I am also listening to Electric Eclair (by me). I am wondering how much other composers listen to their own music, once it is finished? I find that I frequently listen to mine for an hour or more at a time. I used to to listen for ways to improve or revise, but now I listen to it because I like it. Sounds like a big ego, but I guess if I don't like it, no one else will. Actually, the more I like what I have done the more likely I am to begin the next. The music puts me in a good frame of mind, and so I frequently listen to get my self in the mood to work on new music.

    I am interested in other composers habits and feelings regarding this.

    Richard

  2. #2

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I often listen to anything I'm currently working on obsessively, in an attempt to hear it objectively, which of course, you can't. And I tend to like what I'm currently doing. Then I burn out, start a new project and obsess on that. I rarely listen to old work that I've done.

  3. #3

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I personally have no beef with listening to my own music Part of the reason why I started writing in the first place, back when I was in 8th grade, was because I was sick of listening to the radio. So I made my own songs to groove to. Ever since I've started, one criteria that's remained with my music, even as it's gone far beyond simple little dance tune ditties, is that I should be able to stand listening to it.

    If nothing else about modern music gets to me, it's that often it's written in such a manner that becomes unbearable just to get the composer's message across. I appreciate and understand those approaches, but I'm one that wants to just kick back and lend an informed ear to a piece, not hunch over with the score and pick apart at how it was ingenously crafted. Not cringing because it's so deeply entrenched in its own mechanics.

    So yeah, I often put together playlists of pieces I've written that I enjoy. Not to bolster my self-esteem or ego, but simply because I write music to be listened to.

  4. #4

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I'm the same way. When I've composed something new I listen to it over and over and over and over, in a very compulsive way. I could listen to a piece a hundred times in a row, saying "ok this is the last time, really" on the last 50.

    It's weird, it starts off with listening for errors and spots for improvement, but then it just becomes genuine compulsion. It is literally difficult for me to *not* hit play one more time.

    And yes, I do enjoy it. That's why I wrote it. I wanted to hear something I like. Liking your own music is not a sign of a big ego. Why would you write something you don't like?

    I think that's part of the reason for listening so much -- not only do you *like* your own music, you like it in a very specific, very personal way. It's custom-written to your own tastes. There is no other music on earth that reflects your own personal aesthetic in such an accurate and personalized way. In this sense, every piece of music you ever write will temporarily become the best piece of music that has ever been written in the universe. It's real-time, self-indulgent, instant-gratification.

    There might also be an innate nurturing instinct involved. A piece of music develops and gestates in our minds for days/weeks/months, then finally makes its way onto a piano keyboard, score paper, and/or a computer. A new piece of music is a brand new creation that has lived inside us for quite a while and is only now seeing the outside world. In that sense it's like a child and we naturally obsess over it the same way we might obsess over a newborn.

    Anyway, I'm thinking too much. Simple question, big long inane answer.

    Time for some sleep.

    chris.

    chris.

  5. #5

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I love listening to the music I create. I mean, I write in styles and a melodies that I like, so everything I write is exactly the type of music I like to listen to. Even when I've written music for somebody else, it's still mine and has a certain flare that nobody else can really do. (Or maybe they can, but it's still not my flare )
    Tim

  6. #6

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I think with the amount of time one spends with a piece of music while creating it, one tends to develop some very deep relationship with it. It makes my wife jealous at times !!
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  7. #7

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I think that personal enjoyment of what we create is part of the big reason why we write. I think that a PARTIAL reason for my wanting GPO was to enhance that enjoyment further.

    I received some advice from a very wise composer who told me:

    "Enjoy your music, but never gloat".

    I have tried to take that to heart. It's one thing to enjoy what you have done and listen for mistakes and then listen again for pure enjoyment, but if when in the course of listening to it 100 times, you begin to really pat yourself on the back and get too prideful about what you have done, then you lose the ability be objective AT ALL. Once you think that what you have done is the cat's meow, you have given yourself no room to improve.

    It is impossible for ME to be 100% objective when listening to a piece of my music. But I try to be - esp, in the early stages of its development.

    So I say - as long as you can keep a HEALTHY respect for your talent and music, go ahead and listen all you can.



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  8. #8

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    It's amazing what you'll hear in you music after it's had some time on the shelf - or better yet - after you've delivered it to someone to listen to and consider. Listening to your own music through (what you guess to be) someone else's perception is enlightening - kind of vaults you up in altitude in order to hear your music in a different way. I have my online demo cues on my computer at work, where I can listen to it on headphones from time to time - there are some nice moments there...



    ...but seriously - it's hard to sit back and listen without your ears "taking out the Exacto" and trying to zero in on someting - you almost have to fool yourself into it sometimes.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  9. #9

    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    I find that whilst I'm workng on a piece, I concentrate on it totally - obsessively even - but when I have "finished it" I find that I can't listen to it for a few weeks or even months.

    However, after letting it mature quietly in a cold dark place for a month or so, I can come back to it and listen to it with enjoyment, becasue I have forgotten about all of the work/frustration/aggravation that went into creating it. Often I can't believe that I actually created it.
    Richard N.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom Crowning's Avatar
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    Re: Listening to Your Own Music

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    Well, as I am typing, I am also listening to Electric Eclair (by me). I am wondering how much other composers listen to their own music, once it is finished? I find that I frequently listen to mine for an hour or more at a time. I used to to listen for ways to improve or revise, but now I listen to it because I like it. Sounds like a big ego, but I guess if I don't like it, no one else will. Actually, the more I like what I have done the more likely I am to begin the next. The music puts me in a good frame of mind, and so I frequently listen to get my self in the mood to work on new music.

    I am interested in other composers habits and feelings regarding this.

    Richard
    With most of my songs, I go through different stages:

    1: When I compose, I don't 'listen' to my music, I live my music, that's
    different to what you describe.

    2: When I do the mixing, I mostly listen to single trackes and how they fit
    in the song. It's a very technical kind of listening.

    3: After that, when I do the premastering, I pick my music apart (the way a
    music critics would listen to a song), but I still don't listen.

    After 1+2+3, I haved 'listened' to a song for about 1.000+ times and can't
    stand it anymore. I need at least a week break before I can listen to it
    again, and that's the point where I can listen and enjoy it for the first
    time.
    And that's the point when I sometimes listen to a song 10x in a row just
    because I like it

    Tom

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