Why are you sticking to one genre?
Lately, “128 bpm progressive house” has become a culprit of mine on the blog, a symbol of really boring and predictable music. To be honest, it’s a little unfair, since I could have written any genre name in electronic music like that, and it would sound boring. Ideally, genre names would include a huge variety of music, but the majority often seems to simply stick to what’s popular.
Our sense of purpose seems to have gotten a little lost during the transition to digital compsing, leaving fantastic tools like pen and paper behind. I mean, rock music is about rockin’, jazz is about challenging norms, pop is about catchiness – but what on earth is the purpose of 128 bpm prog house? What’s the purpose of your music? Is your purpose decided by you, or is it decided/amplified/held back by sticking to a certain genre?
The woods vs. Disneyland
To make this more understandable, consider which play scenario that offers the most active creative development:
- A: Running around in the woods, pretending to be spacemen, using sticks as lightsabers, and trees as their spaceships.
- B: Running around with costumes in a space theme park, with toy lightsabers and small plastic spaceships.
- A: Tree: Literally thousands of possible uses!
- B: Toy car: Vroom. End of story.
Have you ever considered that nature might better encourage creativity than Disneyland®?
I can see the appeal of genres, and most kids would rather have go to Disneyland than run in the woods. Similarly, I imagine most parents would be reluctant to deny their child that trip to Disneyland. However, I’m sure that scenario A offers by far the most creative development.
Genres are imagination-killers
Genres are kind of similar in my opinion: They’re pre-determined, their properties are already defined, and thus they leave little to the imagination. “128 bpm prog house” is like Disneyland, and as the music producing manchildren we are, of course we want to go to Disneyland! Putting genres aside and focusing on storytelling is like choosing to play in the woods: It requires imagination and an open imindset. It’s not nearly as cool as Disneyland at first glance; but it has infinte creative and imaginative possibilities!
Comments question: What can an empty cardboard box be imagined to be? Here’s a few from the top of my head:
- Turtle shell
- Theatre stage
- Interdimensional portal
- A whole city
- Weapon of mass destruction
- Spaceship control panel
- Your mom