Exaggeration gets things done
Some time ago, I read something very rare at a music production forum – a topic about inspiration and creativity! One of the forum members talked about how he really liked to exaggerate things when making music.
The idea made sense to me. In music, nobody ever intentionally tries to create something mediocre, since the goal of course is to make the best music possible from your current abilities.
In real life, people moderate their behaviour, and this is necessary. Moderation has little place in music though. If you were in a $1.000.000 make-a-baby-fall-asleep-contest, would you sing a lullaby, or simply use a rag with chloroform?
Exaggeration enables communication across languages
In all seriousness, I think exaggerations have several advantages when it comes to the communication of images, stories and experiences through electronic music. Instrumental music is abstract, and far worse for communicating than our voices and body language.
Imagine that you’re listening to an audio recording of a person, who speaks a language you don’t understand, with a robotic voice. You would probably conclude that you simply don’t understand him.
Yet, it would be very possible to establish some form of communication with him in real life. Intonation, facial expressions, body language and actions say more than 1000 words (or at least a lot of words).
This is where the exaggerations come in useful. Your music might speak a small, uncommon language. Still, with some extra distortion, exaggerated pitch bends, tons of sounds and effects, I think that communication is made easier for the listener. Throw in some cheesy samples, clichés and elements that people recognise!
Exaggerate not exaggerating exaggeration
I know, it’s good to be subtle. Every sound is a citizen, music is everywhere, silence is incredibly important, etc. However, like I’ve said before, I believe this moderation mentality doesn’t work well in music. If you’re going to make something mediocre, don’t do it half-assed; do everything in your power to let the mediocrity shine!
If you’re not exaggerating in electronic music, you’re not communicating properly.