When making music, I love working on my own. I really do. You can just get on with it; there’s no-one, with their wretched ‘opinions’ (*makes rabbit ears with fingers*), to over-complicate matters. There’s no-one to dilute your ideas with elements of their taste. It’s a paradise….a fool’s paradise at times….but a paradise nonetheless. Yes, I’m a bit of a control freak.
You see, the music I make isn’t designed to reach a popular consensus. Neither is it designed to shock; but even though it’s fairly broad in it’s styles, it isn’t supposed to appeal to everyone. That’s the nature of ‘taste’. It’s an acceptance of difference: of sound; of ideas; of listeners; of preferences. What it does do is appeal to me. That’s why I made it in the first place. It’s all about having an ultimate belief in what you do; and knowing exactly why you do it. It doesn’t need to be widely (or even narrowly!) accepted; as long as I like it, that’s fine. I’m not running ‘a service’; and I’m not a musical altruist. All I want to do is like my own music and then share it, as maybe some other people might like it too.
I do occasionally listen to advice from others, even if I don’t solicit for it. And I do love to share the music. But only when I’ve lived with it for a bit, so I’ve normally filtered it and modified it and considered it. I know the sound in my own head better than anyone, after all.
There is a bit of a common issue nowadays, as music is able to be posted, pre-release, to gain ‘feedback’. Hmmm, feedback….an odd term. It can end up being more like market research (which is fine if you’re going for the ‘market’; or you’re looking to target a particular set of listeners). It’s like a preview-screening of a movie, where the audience doesn’t like the ending so the film-makers shuffle away and make changes. Nothing wrong with that I suppose… But the more opinions you solicit and the more you act on the various opinions, the blander and more middle-of-the-road something gets. It’s music by consensus.
My point is, have a belief in what you do……do it and know why you’ve done it. You don’t need a grand plan; as long as you know why you did it afterwards. That’s praxis.