[Please feel free to jump this introductory pre-amble and get straight to ##THE POINT##]
While I'm only a provincial amateur musician, I was fortunate to study and work in London for 10 years.
During this time, I played in many good but easy going amateur groups (mostly orchestras, concert bands, brass bands) which more often than not attracted regular attendance from top professionals and upcoming music college students eager to get one thing they couldn't seem to get enough of in their professional careers - the chance to socialise in a relaxed environment while still being able to make great music.
Having returned to the provinces I've been able to play with all our top local bands, even at a "semi-professional" (i.e. paid!) level - no doubt thanks to the experience I gained in London and originally still having lots of time to practice.
But more recently I've been failing miserably just to find a nearby, easy going group to play in ... one not bogged down by egos and politics ... one that will fit around my ever increasing work and family committments and decreasing spare time ... one where I can be free to play well on the days I am in practice and not so well on others ... that can still make great and entertaining music ... and even allow me to indulge a growing interest in arranging, computerised music and recording, by which means I hope to make a more permanent mark on our local music scene than is afforded by playing alone.
Maybe that's an impossible goal to aim for ... but I've been really impressed recently by the samples posted here in the Listening Room ... both those which use live recorded instruments/voices but even more so those making best use of sample libraries such as the Garritan ones ... getting results which I feel I may one day be able to emulate/achieve myself.
I'm so impressed, in fact, that it makes me think:
"Wow! if I could make recordings like that ... I could achieve all I want to do and without needing to play in a band!"
... or at least I might be so unrestrained by the need always to have to work with and around others that I might achieve so much more in what little spare time I have.
While I'm still near the start of my learning using sample technologies (and a decent sequencer!) I'm interested to know what life might be like in years to come and what risks/opportunities to look out for perhaps, or at least learn from the experience of others ...
So ... my question for all you guys who are much further ... maybe at least 5 or 10 years? ... down the line is this:
Picture yourself in a George Bailey type scenario (as in the film "It's A Wonderful Life") ... imagine you are able to see your life as it would be now but NOT having had access to any recent home computer music technologies (but perhaps most particularly sequencers and sample libraries) ... and were limited to largely acoutsic and manual modes of music production.
More specifically, you might be able to ask yourself:
How would your life be different?
How have you/your family/firends benefitted from these technologies?
What do you do now (or what do you feel you have achieved) that you wouldn't otherwise have not been able to do?
What do you feel you might have missed out on? ... Do you wish you had spent more of your time doing other things?
... or any other similar questions you care to answer!
Hope this makes sense ... and provokes some interesting thoughts and comments ...