Why Do We Do This? (Another “Did I say that out loud?” moment)

Now I’ve got some time off the day job, I’m recording some new music; mostly stuff that has been sitting on my hard-drive in demo form for ages. Trying to take my time but I’m always aware of the ticking clock on my holidays (literally…my upstairs clock is louder than a 12ft metronome).
Anyway, it’s given me some time to ponder the machinations of time, space and the universe. Well… not really; but it has occurred to me, in some sort of existential way, that what I’m doing with my music is possibly a bit futile…I mean, what’s the point?
Now, that sounds a bit more fatalistic and negative than I wanted it to sound…. what I mean is, I am driven to think-up, record and share my music, even though I’m aware that I’ll never get any significant financial benefits, or adulation; in fact, I can live without the adulation. So why, exactly, do I (and countless others around the world) spend hours playing, programming, engineering, tweaking, mixing and uploading my tunes? What is so important about getting the music heard? Or, in the case of all the ‘real’ musicians out there, what is the importance of playing live? We call ourselves “semi-pro”, “independent” and “gigging” musicians, but aren’t we just self-indulgient ‘hobby-ists’ or ‘enthusiasts’ (I’m positing a rhetorical question here; I’d never call myself that!) like stamp-collectors or trainspotters?

I could be walking around the shops, or going for a hike or bike-ride, or visiting friends and colleagues, or traveling, or mowing my lawn…… erm….maybe that almost answers my question!
Instead, I’m sat in a warm, comfortable room, surrounded by machines and gadgets that glow, hum and flicker. And I’m trying to put what’s in my head into some kind of order in order to record it.

I could even go ahead and keep the music to myself…but I don’t…..I have to share it. Even though I mainly record the music for me.
Sometimes expression has to take precedence over practicality, or logic. And that’s it, I guess. Expression. Without an audience, there is no expression; there has to be a receiver. Music has been the centre of, firstly science, then creative arts, then popular culture for millennia; and even though I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to ‘say’ through my music, I do know that I want it to be heard; and I want it to touch or affect people, positively or negatively. It’s part of human nature.

OK, enough of the bollocks…..I’ve just realised that I may have thought about this too much, and I’ve not researched anything…so it’s just a rant!

If you make music, you may have a view on this.

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