Philosophies of Music

I’ve been on a Jacob Collier binge lately. His music is so complex that most of it honestly goes over my head, and I’m trying desperately to understand it. How one person so young can have this much mental bandwidth is beyond me.

Inevitably, you will come across some interviews with him where he talks about music theory in depth and some of the approaches he takes when arranging or composing. One topic particularly stuck out to me, and it’s about how he thinks about what he’s doing.

To summarize, he likes to find ways to create moments of tension then release. He also likes to subvert expectations by creating tension, then going somewhere completely unexpected, then ultimately coming back home. The moments of unexpectedness can stack on top of each other, and you’ll end up somewhere crazy. But he still returns home.

There’s no one epitome I can give that would show this, but all of his music has this to some degree.

Rick Beato briefly discussed some problems with the pop music industry in some of his videos. He pointed out that there are no moments of tension and release at all in pop music, and if there are, the buildups are so short that the effect is stunted.

He compares pop songs to junk food.

These two dudes helped me understand what I like about the music I like, and why I don’t like what I don’t like. Many genres of music are cyclical, with the same four chords repeating endlessly. Simple melodies. Ideas condensed to get the job done quickly and cheaply, like a TV dinner.

I suppose comparing my own tastes to a lavish, gourmet meal would be pretentious of me, and I’d love to say that I have guilty pleasures, but I don’t really think I do. I like pop from the 80s and before, but those pleasures aren’t guilty. At least not yet.

So with these thoughts, I’m going to continue pseudo-composing / arranging things, following this formula I’ve found.

Here’s one track I really like, and it’s one huge moment of tension into one huge moment of release.

It’s about ten minutes long.

If ten minutes is too long for you, or if you’re having a hard time paying attention to the whole thing, it might just be because you’ve had too much junk food in your life. But give it a shot. It’s totally worth it.

bleh.

I wish I was able to make money doing things I do on a normal basis.

This blog is one of those things. I’ve heard there’s money to be made with blogging and ads, but I can’t imagine that anyone would actually want to come here to read my musings. I’d have to turn it into something more specialized.

I wish I could just make content about everything I wanted to. I want to publish analyses of the music of the Disney Renaissance movies. It’d give me a reason to start watching Disney movies.

Maybe some videos or articles covering trends of contemporary Christian music. Things I’ve been immersed in, but and nobody to talk about it. Or so it seems.

I like thinking about and talking about music, so I guess the next few posts will be about that.

In

I usually like learning things about myself, but sometimes I have to face harsh realities that I don’t want to think about. This happens whenever I get out of my comfort zone.

For the last few years, I’ve taken yearly trips to New York to see the other side of my family, and I’m always exposed to bits of myself that I don’t like. Here are some examples:

  1. I’m really bad at hiding my irritation with people when I spend long periods of time with them.
  2. I subconsciously refuse to give validation to people who say things that (I suspect) are saying them for validation.
  3. I refuse to acknowledge the efforts of people when they’ve come to the wrong conclusion about something, even if I can see it took them a lot of effort to arrive there.
  4. I have a high tolerance for physical labor but an extremely low tolerance for mental labor.

Now that I’m aware of these faults of mine, there’s no logical step forward other than to work on them. I was aware of points number 1 and 4 a while ago, but just refused to admit that they were problems for me.

I should pin this post somewhere.

May

It’s getting a lot more difficult to think creatively as I get older. There isn’t much idle time for me anymore, and if I get some, I’m usually spending it consuming media in some sense.

Most of my non-idle time is spent learning about things, watching “edu-tatinment” Youtube videos, or just playing video games. I spend another huge chunk of my time doing things I’m committed to, like church. There’s a huge list of things I do in the post before this one.

So suffice it to say: I don’t know what to write here. I’m mostly writing as a formality, and I even missed the day I was supposed to post.

Sorry, April. You were kind and unkind to me.

This year has just flown by.

Eld

They say a few things happen when you get older.

First, you lose your creativity.

Second, you stop appreciating the little things in life.

Third, you lose all the time you have for yourself and the things that you love.

It’s all happening.

It’s true that I haven’t been stopping to smell the roses as often, and many attribute this change to the increase of activity that takes up mental space. But I feel as if I’ve smelled the roses so much that I’m just tired of them. There’s a rose around every corner, and I appreciate them all–it just takes a spectacular one to impress me.

My creativity is waning because I’m at a loss of where to use it. Creativity is one of those skills that is much harder to develop than to lose. You have to keep working at it to keep it sharp–sit idly and it’s gone.

Now, I spend a lot of my time learning about things I love, practicing them, executing everything. It’s fulfilling, to a certain extent. Sometimes I just want to do something else, and other times I wonder if there’s anything more. Some ennui is beginning to come over me, and I’m not even working. I hope this isn’t early-onset depression from a lack of direction in life.

But this is what I wanted. I don’t want to be hinged on some salary. The last few months I wrote about how I never want to return to the rat race, and I don’t think I’m going to change my mind about that soon.

I can’t help but notice how much and how quickly my attitude toward money has changed in the last few months. Several months ago, I would have balked at the idea of thinking so much about money, about thinking of ways to minimize cost.

Now, however, I’m constantly brainstorming ideas of how I can make my penny stretch further, and where I can put my money so it makes me some more.

Many of the most successful people in the world have, at one point, lost everything they have.

I hope it doesn’t happen to me, but maybe I should.