Author Topic: How to stay interested in music?  (Read 24240 times)

ambient789

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How to stay interested in music?
« on: January 09, 2009, 09:56:37 PM »
Hi,

How do you keep your music interest alive? I am now finding that I really enjoy quiet, no sounds at all.
It used to be that I would always have music on in the background. I don't quite know what has changed.
Possibly, since I'm older now has something to do with it, but my priorities haven't changed all that much. Suggestions anybody?

 ???

deepspace

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2009, 12:46:36 AM »
I'd say go with what you feel like.  When you feel like silence, go for that.  Otherwise, if you force yourself into listening to music, then you won't know exactly when you felt like music again. :)

Your post suggests that you want to listen, but don't know what to listen to.

There are a couple of great new Hypnos releases.... ;)

No, seriously, I've been getting off on J.S Bach a lot recently.  something about the infinite expansion of baroque just rings my bell and makes my brain buzz with pleasure. but yeah, sometimes it all gets too much, and I come back to silence too.


Wayne Higgins

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 08:14:27 AM »
The problem with music is that if one can hear, and music is plaing, one has to listen.  I read once on this forum a defintion of ambient music as "silence enhancement."  I live in the country, and there are many times I just want to hear nothing.  It's not that I don't have a desire to hear music, it's more like I need a rest.  The interest in music is always there, but I have to clear out the memory bank every now and then.
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APK

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 09:30:27 AM »
1 - Having music on all the time in the background can be like having the tv on all
the time ... subtly annoying, invasive, and too busy.

2 - I think when you are older you are more inclined towards music that fits your mood
(rather than adapting your mood to the music), and its not always easy to find music
that works over a whole album.

3 - Quiet is well worth listening to  :)

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hdibrell

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 10:36:38 AM »
Quote
Quiet is well worth listening to 
My thoughts, exactly. I love to sit out almost everynight and just listen to the quiet sounds of the country. My wife has to have the TV or radio on at all times. Drives me nuts!     Harry
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.

Mark Mushet

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 12:32:27 PM »
It will return. But this is cause for alarm:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7821612.stm

The need for distraction is obviously in overdrive in our self-absorbed-beyond-redemption society.

To see music receding as an option is concerning.

ffcal

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 01:33:54 PM »
It's not that I don't have a desire to hear music, it's more like I need a rest.

I agree.  My ears definitely need a rest after an extended session of concentrated listening, whether to others' music or to my own stuff.  I also find that music can sometimes become too much of distraction when it starts to become the soundtrack of my day.

Forrest

deepspace

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 05:03:34 PM »
It will return. But this is cause for alarm:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7821612.stm

The need for distraction is obviously in overdrive in our self-absorbed-beyond-redemption society.

To see music receding as an option is concerning.

This is a vastly fascinating issue to me- I don't really see it as negative either, especially in regards to music.  I've played games since I was a kid, and my family plays games now, and I've noticed the massive change in society's perception of games very recently, as recent as a couple of years ago, mainly through some pivotal games, such as the mmo's, GTA, guitar hero and the emergence of the wii.  They're going to loom large on our cultural horizon for a while folks. 

If you're concerned for music's sake though, you should probably stop now.
Music is one of the most cherished part of any game designer's ideology, and just for an example, music play a massive part in those games i mentioned.  We have new classical music, being written for a massive audience, and being played by massive 'game soundtrack' orchestras around the world. The fact that kids playing a game like Oblivion (to pluck one game out of the void) while listening to Jeremy Soule's soundtrack music, is brilliant. They're hearing something that is usually distinctly out of the listening habits of young people.   Or take EVE online, which uses hundreds of ambient pieces by Jon Hallur.  Since when have young kids gone bonkers over music that sounds like non-top 40, and sounds more like Debussy, Vaughan Williams or the Bladerunner soundtrack?  Never.  Also, the Grand Theft Auto series brings stacks of music (including Steve Roach) to a massive audience.  Spore features Brian Eno and our own Saul Stokes.  Music for games has come a long, long way from the bleeps of pac-man (as cool as those bleeps were).  And this music is going into their heads.  The fact that they're creating wonderful associations to the music is a bonus.

The fact that some bands are now releasing albums on Guitar Hero (as much as I despise that game) shows that people want to be more active in their response to music:  so they are merely pressing buttons to the rhythm, and trying to get a score-  but they are still enjoying the music, and in many ways, it's just another form of dancing, or enjoying music.  When people dance to music, they're just shaking their butt, so why is this worse?  But why are they doing it?  I think people stay indoors a lot more these days, and where in the past they would go out and nod their head (or their butt) to a live band in a club, (let's hope they don't stop completely) now they're doing it in their living room.  While I cringe at the thought of doing this, Gen Y's seem perfectly comfortable in doing this.

I see gaming as the ultimate form of opera.  This may seem like a whacko observation, but opera came along in the 17th century and bought together music, staging, literature, costumes etc into a cohesive whole.  Gaming is bring together graphic art, music, literature, lifestyle, movies, sport, interactivity (i've probably left out some others) into something amazing.  It kind of had to happen- it's the next step beyond the linear delivery of the movie or the book.  Not that it will replace those, as people don't want all of their senses to be engaged all the time.  As for music disappearing....there's not a chance it ever will.  Music is something we will always do, and it actually prospers in the face of adversity.

I'm not saying we should all become game music designers either, but I think the palette of acceptable sounds, for the new audience, has increased massively, and is bigger than ever.
 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 05:20:31 PM by deepspace »

judd stephens

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 07:15:26 PM »
Hi,

How do you keep your music interest alive? I am now finding that I really enjoy quiet, no sounds at all.
It used to be that I would always have music on in the background. I don't quite know what has changed.
Possibly, since I'm older now has something to do with it, but my priorities haven't changed all that much. Suggestions anybody?

 ???

In the realm of ambient, maybe you would suffice with some really minimal work.  Just something to ease you back into the world of sound, or perhaps to stay there, in that zone.  Just a note here, a sound there, and it doesn't disturb that overall place you're at right now...

ambient789

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 11:14:23 PM »
Thanks all, for the wise advice.  :)

When I do feel like having the CD player on, I do enjoy
Arun Amin -- Mantra For Transformation  (Om Namo Bhagavate)

It's not music. It's just a mantra repeated at what seems like specific intervals, with different nature sounds in the background. I play this quietly, and I find it really intriguing.

I probably do have a bit of a music burnout and will just have to be patient with myself.
 

9dragons

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 02:39:06 AM »
Music burnout is real, such a strange thing. I would try (and actually have been trying recently) listening to something completely different. Medieval traditional music, instead of electronic ambient. Turkish Sufi music instead of dark ambient. Guqin instead of spastic beat driven electronica. It's amazing how going back to the un-electronic roots can clean the pipes out at the right time. Feels good. Then I find that I slowly start to crave the ambient again. It is a good feeling.

Or, of course there is the idea of listening to nothing at all, which is more than fine. Take some late night walks, spend the evening with eyes closed, listening to nothing more than the mind behind the eyes, or reading by the light of candle. Very nice...

Mark Mushet

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Gaming culture and music (was: How to stay interested in music?)
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 01:42:11 PM »
It will return. But this is cause for alarm:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7821612.stm

The need for distraction is obviously in overdrive in our self-absorbed-beyond-redemption society.

To see music receding as an option is concerning.

Music is one of the most cherished part of any game designer's ideology. Since when have young kids gone bonkers over music that sounds like non-top 40, and sounds more like Debussy, Vaughan Williams or the Bladerunner soundtrack?  Never.  Also, the Grand Theft Auto series brings stacks of music (including Steve Roach) to a massive audience.  Spore features Brian Eno and our own Saul Stokes.  Music for games has come a long, long way from the bleeps of pac-man (as cool as those bleeps were).  And this music is going into their heads.  The fact that they're creating wonderful associations to the music is a bonus.
I'm not saying we should all become game music designers either, but I think the palette of acceptable sounds, for the new audience, has increased massively, and is bigger than ever.
 

I'm sure I'll get a lot of disagreement here and I'm up for a change of heart on the matter, but here goes...

I don't know where to start with this. Game designer's ideology? What ideology? That they want to make a ton of money making "cool" games?

Anyway, Debussy, Williams and Bladerunner are rather, um, last century!  ;) I'd rather they listen to something contemporary. It's just that mainstream society is SO far behind that, as the old blues chestnut goes: "...it looks like up to me!" The top 40 has been shit for ages so anything to the left of that appears new and exciting. That, plus a piss poor education system that does nothing to foster music appreciation from an early age and, well, here we are.

I've always felt the majority of Roach's (and others') music too often aspires to soundtrack something. I like Early Man and many others but I do get the feeling it's all soundtrack music. Eno is long past his creative prime. I'm embarassed to admit I've not heard  Saul Stokes' music...yet.

As for acceptance of different soundworlds, I think that was brought to wider public attention in some measure through Cage, Sgt. Pepper and a whole lot of stuff happening in the 60s and even prior. If anything, this "new" soundtrack music (be it for movies or games) is, to me, overwrought, overproduced and pretty empty once shorn of its context. And moving sound objects around the room on a surround sound system is very, um, well, the French have been doing that with their acousmatic forms and diffusion systems for awhile. They just don't have cool visuals of a guy getting his head blown off to accompany it.

When movies were the ultimate thing, I recall that when Kubrick used Ligeti in 1968 in 2001 it began a long trend of...using contemporary music for horror and suspense (ie. Bartok in the Shining and Messiaen (IIRC) in his last film). I don't know that it really had people rushing to buy and listen to or think about new music.

I'd love to think gaming represents a new renaissance of some kind but knowing several people intimately involved in the creation of those games (including one you mentioned), I just see overworked young people in an overdriven economy dedicated primarily to naked commerce and distraction. Music appreciation doesn't enter into their lives.

petekelly

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 02:03:59 PM »

I have to say, I don't understand the whole 'gaming culture' at all. I last played anything
resembling a computer game, (an arcade game actually called 'Asteroids') when I was a teenager.

I don't feel I have missed out, I've known lots of people people spend heaps of time on them. I'd
rather spend time working on music instead.  I have to profess that I know very little about 'Music
for Games' (Ambient 5 perhaps ?)

I do know about music burnout though, personally I tend to do more photography when that occurs.
Yeah, sonic stillness is fantastic, but sadly unattainable in most people's lives.

cheers
Pete

APK

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 02:08:11 PM »
DSpace: "Since when have young kids gone bonkers over music that sounds like non-top 40, and sounds more like Debussy, Vaughan Williams or the Bladerunner soundtrack?  Never. "

Just want to add to Mark's post ... that maybe you are mixing with the wrong kids ;)
Lot of 'em are devoted to classical, jazz, and other things than pop culture.
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deepspace

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 03:46:15 PM »
DSpace: "Since when have young kids gone bonkers over music that sounds like non-top 40, and sounds more like Debussy, Vaughan Williams or the Bladerunner soundtrack?  Never. "

Just want to add to Mark's post ... that maybe you are mixing with the wrong kids ;)
Lot of 'em are devoted to classical, jazz, and other things than pop culture.

I teach primary school kids (from about 6 to 12), so I work with a lot of them, and the majority of them just take what's given to them via TV/radio.  They're all listening to Top 40 stuff- the thing is, when you play them something different, they usually love it, so they CAN appreciate very diverse music, but it's often not presented to them.  That's why i get excited at the idea of game music offering a missing part of what is actually on offer, because music in games is much more diverse and interesting now that what is on offer. 

Here's an example: Kid X only ever hears candy coated pop at home.  he can't relate to the music offered at school.  It seems stuffy and weird.  He plays world of warcraft:  which uses lots of atmospheric music- some in the style of 19th century romantic music, some ambient, some dissonant and creepy etc.  the following year, he is put, reluctantly, into the school band.  He notes how similar the brass section sounds to the world of warcraft intro...and creates an exciting and imaginative connection to the game.  Next time he plays the game, he notices the woodwinds in the theme....his friend plays in the woodwind section of the school band etc etc.  He develops an interest in orchestral music.  Where else would he have made that connection in order to build that self-created interest.  You could sit him down pre-world of warcraft and play him some brahms, but chances are, he would be bored.

Anyway, you must know some cool kids APK. :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 04:40:45 PM by deepspace »

deepspace

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Re: Gaming culture and music (was: How to stay interested in music?)
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 03:56:08 PM »
Mark,

I don't think it's fair to say that game makers just want to make money and make 'cool' games.  While there is a lot of pressure to make games that do sell a lot, the game industry echoes the music industry as well. Independent game designers are out there on the cutting edge, just like in music.  And there are brilliant game makers also working at the top, having huge critical and commercial success at the same time.  Will Wright (Spore)  Myamoto (Mario, Zelda....my god, the amount of care he puts into those games is breathtaking), Blizzard (World of Warcraft) Bethesda (Oblivion, Fallout 3)-  These people are creating magic.  The fact that they are creating truckloads of money at the same time shouldn't be seen as a negative thing.  As you say in your last paragraph, yes there is that overworked, stressed side to game creation too, but that's in every single industry.  

And as for Debussy, Vaughan Williams and Vangelis being last century:  How should we refer to J.S Bach then? that's like, so 1700's!  What i'm saying is that just because it's old, doesn't mean it's irrelevant.  I haven't really heard anything yet from c21 that has knocked my socks off.  I happen to think ambient music and baroque music are massively similar and are trying to do the same thing basically.

I also don't think it's fair to say that the mainstream is so far behind.  That's like saying that a neurologist is so far ahead of a retail assistant.  It's kind of arbitrary.  We all live in our pockets of specialisation, and some of those kids in 'piss poor' education systems would wipe the ground with you in WoW pvp.  ;)  Which takes: strategy, planning, memorization, group work, timing, all the things those schools are supposed to be teaching.  If the teachers aren't being trained well (I teach music, I can tell you that they aren't being trained very well here in AUS), then they are going to go somewhere else to learn.  

I can understand why some people are resistant to games- from the outside it does seem like people are just blowing stuff up, but once you break beneath the surface (you might have to blow the surface up with a bomb though), you might be surprised.  Think about how some ambient music might sound to some outsiders.... "huh?  did somebody leave the dishwasher on?"  

Anyway Mark, I do see some of your points, and I understand your frustration with the issue.  I think they are true from certain viewpoints.  
But only certain ones. ;)

« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 04:14:55 PM by deepspace »

deepspace

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 04:00:10 PM »
oh, and apologies to ambient 789 for hijacking his thread! 

whoa, haven't i had quite the rant today!
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 04:29:14 PM by deepspace »

APK

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 05:01:40 PM »
"whoa, haven't i had quite the rant today!"   ;D

Quick response. Yes, I certainly have known many kids that lean a different way than top 40, but of course its primarily to do with a mix of parents, culture, class, and degree of exposure to stuff. Like father like son so often rings true. Which is not to say the majority of westernized kids aren't top 40 biased, most probably are.
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deepspace

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 05:07:37 PM »
"whoa, haven't i had quite the rant today!"   ;D

Quick response. Yes, I certainly have known many kids that lean a different way than top 40, but of course its primarily to do with a mix of parents, culture, class, and degree of exposure to stuff. Like father like son so often rings true. Which is not to say the majority of westernized kids aren't top 40 biased, most probably are.

Absolutely.  My kid is 6, and he'll happily put an ambient album on, or as i've been noticing recently, the Veronicas. :)   (They're from brisbane too did you know?)  So, i'm guessing, for him it's whatever moves him, and probably because he's heard so much ambient music, it moves him. :)

"Daddy, Telomere makes me feel like I'm flying through space...."

how cool is that.
 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 05:09:13 PM by deepspace »

sraymar

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Re: How to stay interested in music?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 06:50:38 PM »
I find listening to a variety of music helps. For instance last night I drove over to Redondo Beach for the first time in a long time and listened to the radio(So. Cal has alot of variety), some rock, some oldies, some blues, and some talk stuff. Then I stopped at a Starbucks for some tea and a banana nut slice, then parked the car over on Esplanade and caught the dusk on a very clear and almost warm January evening and watched the ocean while listening to an old cassette of a HOS program featuring the soundtrack to the English Patient.

It wasn't a video game but it looked kinda like this here:



Steve

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