“I prefer real music”
Why does rock music rock? Why is jazz music so smooth? Why does everyone say they prefer «real music, with actual people playing»? I could understand the argument, it’s easier to relate to music played by humans on tangible instruments, rather than a programmed series of 0s and 1s.
Still, I was puzzled at how people will recognise the skills of the ladies’ man who knows 3 guitar chords, while even decent electronic music is quickly dismissed as “not even music”.
Just minutes before writing this, I started considering that maybe body language is a hugely missing component from music production. Electronic music is created while seated by a computer; too often, I think that this lack of physical movement affects the music.
Rock music rocks because the band members are physically rockin’. Jazz music is smooth because the performers are physically smooth. You just can’t have a samba ensemble sitting down without smiling.
Fair enough, classical music was also composed in a quiet way, but I imagine that was different:
- They were banging it out on a piano – We’re clicking, copying and pasting. No wonder classical music often is very expressive, and electronic music isn’t.
- They were writing every single note by hand. I think this made their minds more calm, and immersed them more thoroughly into imagination.
- Classical composers had performers to express the life of their music – We have zeros and ones.
- They didn’t have any distractions. They were simply writing sheet music to express stories, just like I’m now writing these words. We’re clicking around, obsessed with adjusting parameters, and often completely forgetting the story.
I imagine someone like Wagner composing music with his entire body, moving around and using facial expressions. Going by the list above, I imagine him being completely immersed in his dream world.
Most of our communication is non-verbal: Body language, expressions, gestures, etc. Since many music producers aren’t even communicating stories, it means they have a considerable lack of communication.
Never be still when making music
If your face is identical and you’re sitting the exact same way when making music as when you’re checking e-mail, we can both agree that your music making could use some life. You might have realised the benefits of imagination, storytelling, and being a wizard, and that’s already a really important step. There’s even more that can be done though!
Have you ever tried creating super happy and energetic music, while sitting robotically with a straight face? Have you tried making an ambient/drone song while fistpumping fanatically? These examples show the importance of correct body language, even in creative processes. When I make music, I always use my hands, fingers and facial expressions to immerse myself into the world I’m imagining.
I wonder what a recording of my face when I’m making music would look like; one thing is for sure – it definitely does not look like I’m checking e-mail. My hand movements would probably be strange to some, and it probably looks like I’m in my own little fantasy world – in other words, exactly where I should be! :)