Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Musicians


Musicians create intangible product with no apparent objective value which (usually) takes a few minutes to experience and then relies on the hearer’s sensory memory to answer the question, “So, whaddya think?”

Couple this with the insecurity of waking up in the morning and not knowing if you have any good ideas left, and you have a recipe for madness.  It’s surprising more musicians aren’t a bit nutty.  In fact, in my experience, most of them are shockingly decent and sane people.

Maybe that’s because there’s something that drives them.  “Passion” is the first word that comes to mind.  Everyone I know who got into the music business got into it first and foremost because of their passion for music.  There was not only an appreciation for it, but a burning desire to create it.  I’m not entirely sure where this impetus comes from, but it’s the same thing that has driven humanity to all of its creations and discoveries, from art, to science, to architecture, and everything else we've achieved.

Unlike these other things, music suffers from intangibility.  It’s not a concrete “thing” that can be handled or admired - it’s merely a bunch of waves moving through the air that come and go.  It could be argued that video has the same “problem” but try pausing a video, then try pausing a song, and you’ll notice a difference.

In spite of all this, music has a power that runs through the globe and its history.  Every society seems to have had a strong sense of music, and  today there are very few who don’t listen to a great deal of music.  It speaks to something deep within us and has the power to move us in a variety of emotional directions.  It is also a core element in most video as well.  Music is listened to without video, but not often is video watched without music.

So in the field of production music, composers have a great and strange task at hand.  We are attempting to write music for video that does not yet exist, in the widest variety of styles and emotions to fit every conceivable need.  Imagine - creating an intangible product for an as-yet invisible end.  Again, I wonder that these composers are as seemingly normal as they are.  (Well, most of them.)

In light of all of this, it’s not a wonder that passion is the driving force.  What else could push us onward like explorers into a great unknown, invisible world?  Either that or we’re all just nuts.

-Dave Hab