On Music

Furious B

Aug 9, 2002
This is kind of an abstract post on musical philosophy. It’s in a stream o’ consciousness form. Could be super profound or it could be shit. I haven’t decided yet. Hopefully, though, some neat discourse will ensue afterward:

I’ve met MANY people that say that “music is my life” and that “I couldn’t live without music.” I don’t think that they may actually realize that the love they have for music may not be love, but more so a crutch and a dependency. I’ve never disagreed with the notion that music is important (it’s a MAJOR component in my life), but I’ve always found the notion that music being the base of someone’s life, to be rather absurd. In fact, for this VERY reason, I think there been a lack of GOOD and UNIQUE music out in the world today, or at least a decrease in it.

How can this be?

In biology there is a term called “Hybrid Vigor.” Look it up. This notion basically says that when two opposite type animals or plants breed they give to that offspring a WIDE range of differing characteristics (genotypes, phenotypes, alleles, etc.). When this happens for the whole species, this allows for when a virus may come or certain predators attack, there is less chance that it will wipe out that entire species as some are less capable of fighting a flu, some can’t run as fast to outrun certain predators, etc.. Hybrid vigor is something that allows for BETTER offspring.

So what’s the point? How does this apply to music?

When musicians look at THEMSELVES (i.e. other musicians) for inspiration that usually got their inspiration from other musicians, the offspring is a HOMOGENEOUS result. This in turn creates WEAK offspring (music), uninspired and dull. This is inbreeding to a certain degree. Why is it that a band like Agalloch can create so much interest? I believe it is in part because of their influences outside of the music realm. This draws others in.

The answer for better music is not to get more music but LESS music. The inspiration can then be drawn from real life experiences and thus creating a more vivid and genuine portrait of the art. There are exceptions, but should be a supplement to and expression of life (or death). Overall, it seems as though both musicians and music lovers would benefit from this philosophy or “theory.”

I like to think of music as the soundtrack to my life. My life is NOT the kaleidoscope to music. Big difference.
I don't understand how some people listen to music 24/7. I've never been that dude, I need a break from music many hours out of my day. The listening to music in nature thing is also really bizarre to me, I just don't get that at all.

Also concerning your point a little more directly, I have known many artists who prefer keeping their outside influences as minimal as possible. They do this in order to produce a more "pure" art from their person, or at least one that isn't directly influenced by similar mediums. Sorta like people who read a book on Jackson Pollock to make the turkey dinner to end all turkey dinners, or something.

Finally I just noticed your avatar. Good show!
nice avatar :lol:

music is a really important part of my life, i would say life would for sure be a lot bleaker without it. hearing awesome music inspires me more than anything to pick up my guitar and come up with shit of my own, and i don't see anything wrong with that. but i also get inspiration from nature, art, and life in general...musicians drawing inspiration only from artists within their own genre are like animals at the zoo eating their own shit.
I use music to help me concentrate, or to help me work or excercise.

I use it for fun, I use it when I'm experiencing a strong emtion: anger, sadness, etc.

I use it as a form of entertainment when I've gotta sit around on a bus/ferry/etc.

But I could just as easily go without for a while.

I listen to music in nature usually only if i'm in nature trying to get somewhere, like the shortcut to the candystore (at the base of the biking mountain) is through all these old logging roads.

Meh, I listen to music anywhere from like... 2-15 hours of a day. :p
cthulufhtagn said:
musicians drawing inspiration only from artists within their own genre are like animals at the zoo eating their own shit.

Wouldn't that be "animals at the zoo eating other animals' shit?"

edit: good read btw, I agree but I don't have the patience to add on to or comment on any specific points.