Make Better Music 73: Mindful Qualities

The achievement of great endeavours rarely comes cheaply

mixing desk by grooveaddicted

I confess to being one of life’s great optimists – a core belief is that a positive mental approach will help predicate a successful outcome.

To create great musical output, it is important to be in control of, if not ideally to master, your creative environment.

Assuming that modern music creators embrace contemporary technology (i.e. not seeking that ‘retro vibe’ of 16-track 2″ tape, etc.), a reasonable amount of computing competence is required in order to record and produce your musical masterpiece. However, I strongly urge resisting the  ‘endlessly chasing the latest sound/effect/widget’ syndrome.

Ensure that you are fully utilising those resources already available – plenty of great music has been made on relatively unsophisticated equipment.

Concentrate your time instead on the quality of your work – at a musical, lyrical and technical level. Quality requires a mindfulness and quietness to allow ideas to form, take shape, emerge and grow. And be ready for their arrival at the strangest of times – while at the shops, out walking, riding your bike or driving in your car. It’s essential to have some kind of notation equipment to capture the moment… be that a Dictaphone, your smartphone or even a simake better music. Trebuchet magazinemple pen and paper!

Judgement and experience also matter. Having the expertise to determine which ideas are of a higher value and which are to be discarded can save hours of wasted time chasing down creative cul-de-sacs. I also believe that some high concepts or truly original ideas do not come from us but through us – as if we are almost artistic receptors, tuning into the great creative unconsciousness. Many artists talk of waking up with melodies, lyrics or even entire songs already fully formed inside their heads.

Other key ingredients of creative quality include patience, dedication and persistence. The achievement of great endeavours rarely comes cheaply and we are often called upon to forgo a comfortable life in order to feed our creative process.

A true artist should not flinch from the sacrifice of time and energy essential to the production of great quality art.

In the studio w/Manraze – ‘Bittersweet’

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About Simon Laffy 11 Articles
Simon entered his professional music career at the age of 20, signing three major recording contracts and working as a composer, performer, producer and live artist. He has written and performed on 35 albums, composed film soundtracks and themes for television, and played live performances in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.

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