How does your emotional turmoil (+ or - ) relate to your artistic expression, and output?

I feel all too typically dragged down by negative experiences to the point of not doing anything, or being so happy I want to stay into the flow. No, I’m not manic depressive ;P

Just looking for other people’s experiences and “coping mechanisms” - artistically :)

Comments

  • edited April 15

    Write what you feel seems awfully trite... but what the hell do I know.

  • edited April 15

    Nothing really changes the nature of my artistic output, which is fairly well designed on a long term basis. I find that difficult times or experience motivate me to act in the face of adversity while positive circumstances can make me become more lethargic.

    Overall, I think the additional resources and stability provided by a comfortable situation probably counteracts the effect of being a bit more relaxed about pace and overall my output is similar -- I make more consistent but slower progress in comfortable circumstances and rapid but chaotic bursts of output in difficult situations.

  • A religious aside underlies a lot of my answer.

    I have been Hindu most of my life, and previous lives ;)

    'Yoga' in Hinduism is a much broader concept than you usually hear in the west. There are 4 major types of yoga, devotional, good actions 'karma', knowledge, and dhyana - I don't know a great translation for dhyana but sort of concentration in a broad sense. But you would think all yoga is dhyana yoga if you learned only from the west.

    Driven by the pursuit of karma yoga, I've worked mostly in foster care for a couple decades. As you could imagine, I've seen a lot of horrific stuff there. What you'd be surprised about is that most of the horrific stuff is a full view of how horribly society's priorities are for profit over people. Not child abuse, which is relatively rare. 75% of kids are in foster care for 'neglect' which often conflates with poverty in the U.S.

    So I stay in a low grade rage most of the time. There is a lot of music driven by that. I sometimes have acute sadness from things I've seen, lots from that.

    But the actual playing of music is my dhyana school yoga.

    So you could say in sum, most of my music output has been driven by a long term strive toward emotional harmony which drives me through a path through and above darkness.

  • edited April 15

    @Multicellular said:
    and previous lives ;)

    Off topic:
    With the current curve of population growth and accommodating for the duration of our lifespan, then accounting for the input of fresh souls that would be needed in order to sustain the rate of new humans created, there is only a very small statistical probability that any specific living individual would not be a 'first-time-human'.

    I heard that logic somewhere recently -- thought it was in interesting philosophical observation. This would only be a valid statistic if souls are subject to the same linearity of time as human experience.

  • Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

  • edited April 15

    I often need to trick myself into getting started by starting small. As in “ I’ll just open Ableton to see which version is installed”, or “what does that new plugin sound like”. And pretty soon one thing leads to another and I’m making something new.

    @OscarSouth
    I could talk about this for days - I highly recommend Seth Speaks for a fascinating overall non religious perspective on the basis of our reality.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007QQU9DO/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  • edited April 15

    Oh yeah the main 'productivity aid' that I employ is self superimposed 'hard' deadlines. Recent example: last week a colleague of mine came to visit and we set it in stone in advance that we'll record a Live Coding video of a new song during that visit. Cue multiple days with little sleep, a lot of pressure and an awesome video!:

    Without that pressure, I would have made progress but would never have completed a full track, let alone recorded a video. I took a few days off creative development since then to 'cool down', but even if it had balanced out overall in progress, without the added pressure of the rapid burst of progress, I wouldn't have made the video.

  • Great video, thanks @OscarSouth
    I can imagine that synergies between multiple participants is a great motivational factor.

  • edited April 15

    @cuscolima said:
    Great video, thanks @OscarSouth
    I can imagine that synergies between multiple participants is a great motivational factor.

    I get a ton of stuff done by being in groups even though we are not always the traditional 'set up and rock out' group I grew up with. This weekend for example, I was motivated to work on presets for songs on the Moog Sirin because band practice is next Thursday. I was harassing a friend that is part of our group over text, despite living far away at this point, about recording some stuff in Fieldscaper for the outro of a song. Texting an artist about some art for a video also just because I want to give a progress report at next band practice. We don't really have a deadline.

  • edited April 15

    I find the music I make when going through hell is valuable to get through it (the natural therapeutic escape) but difficult to listen to or use for a long time after. Thus I try not to put any pressure on it to be 'a thing' during those times other than an activity. That being said it has been nice at times to eventually get back to (either by salvaging/continuing bits or simply listening to them) and see that there was value to it aesthetically/creatively and in some ways it survived or maybe even transcended the storm. Can be pretty painful though to listen back to some 'hell tracks' and hear nothing but failed misery. But that is why we invented the almighty delete.

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:
    Heaven knows I'm miserable now.

    Sorry to hear that. :(

  • My emotional turmoil directly effects my artistic expression.

    I write my best lyrics about how sad, lonely and inadequate I am.

    Playing when I'm sad or stressed is the only thing that TRULY makes me forget the stress, even for a minute.

    When I'm TOO stressed or depressed however, I don't want to do anything but sleep. No wonder I've been so tired lately...

  • I find that more important, for me, than my emotional state, is the state of my will to play. I easily feel the ebb and flow of my determination to believe that I can really play. And, indeed, my belief that I can play trumps whatever technical skill I may have acquired. Obviously, if I don’t believe I can play I literally can’t. More interesting, however, is that when I believe I can, how regularly surprising things happen. Literally anything is possible.

    Of course, my poor evaluation of myself emotionally can cause a decay of will to believe that I can play, but not always. And emotional tides can be about so many different things. If my belief in myself is not the issue than even in poor circumstances (like creating a good piece the night before eye surgery last week) my willpower remains intact as creation happens.

  • We fear change

  • @OscarSouth is that you live coding (sonicpi) or are you pressing "hotkeys"?
    Nice bird sounds and harp.

    Some things never change @u0421793u0421793 like people's behavior (which i find frustrating)

    My emotional turmoil directly effects my artistic expression.
    I write my best lyrics about how sad, lonely and inadequate I am

    @Daveypoo I have experienced the same. My biggest problem is coping with scope. Small things leading to big things and feelings getting the better of me by not breaking down problems into smaller bits.

    It is a little bit like staring at a blank piece of paper wanting to write but not knowing where to begin (so many things to unravel) — I suppose just stream of consciousness "writing" would work. Make a mess now and edit later.

    Just start. But sometimes feelings get in the way (sigh)

    @Multicellular

    Driven by the pursuit of karma yoga, I've worked mostly in foster care for a couple decades. As you could imagine, I've seen a lot of horrific stuff there. What you'd be surprised about is that most of the horrific stuff is a full view of how horribly society's priorities are for profit over people. Not child abuse, which is relatively rare. 75% of kids are in foster care for 'neglect' which often conflates with poverty in the U.S.

    Sad to acknowledge.

    So I stay in a low grade rage most of the time. There is a lot of music driven by that. I sometimes have acute sadness from things I've seen, lots from that.

    very interesting. How do you keep the anger/sadness from running away? write about it? talk about? obviously music, but what is the seed — the first mark on the paper?

    @LinearLineman

    Of course, my poor evaluation of myself emotionally can cause a decay of will to believe that I can play, but not always.

    very true. glad you work thru it.

    @dougdi

    I often need to trick myself into getting started by starting small. As in “ I’ll just open Ableton to see which version is installed”, or “what does that new plugin sound like”. And pretty soon one thing leads to another and I’m making something new.

    cool trick :smile: I'll check the book out.

  • Thanks everyone for your feedback, honesty, and lack of trolling :smile:

  • edited April 15

    @audiblevideo said:
    @Multicellular

    Driven by the pursuit of karma yoga, I've worked mostly in foster care for a couple decades. As you could imagine, I've seen a lot of horrific stuff there. What you'd be surprised about is that most of the horrific stuff is a full view of how horribly society's priorities are for profit over people. Not child abuse, which is relatively rare. 75% of kids are in foster care for 'neglect' which often conflates with poverty in the U.S.

    Sad to acknowledge.

    So I stay in a low grade rage most of the time. There is a lot of music driven by that. I sometimes have acute sadness from things I've seen, lots from that.

    very interesting. How do you keep the anger/sadness from running away? write about it? talk about? obviously music, but what is the seed — the first mark on the paper?

    Yes I write about it. I'm not sure it ever really goes away. I merely get occupied with what I'm doing in the present. I can bring up images, statistics, quotes from kids and families at almost any time and feel it again.

    The contrast, or perhaps the reason my rage is merely low grade all the time is that my own personal life is fucking blessed. I have a lovely, intelligent, and creative wife. A loving and fun to hang out with kid. If I have any problems with friendships it is that I have way too many friends and not the time to see them.

    The the music is a big pit for it ya. People that know me sometimes ask why my music is so dark - 'you seem like such a happy person.' I just need a few anecdotes to remind them what I deal with at work day to day.

  • @Daveypoo said:
    My emotional turmoil directly effects my artistic expression.

    I write my best lyrics about how sad, lonely and inadequate I am.

    Playing when I'm sad or stressed is the only thing that TRULY makes me forget the stress, even for a minute.

    When I'm TOO stressed or depressed however, I don't want to do anything but sleep. No wonder I've been so tired lately...

    Have your thyroid checked with a blood test. I went for 10 years without realizing my thyroid was slowly fading. One of the most common drugs is "synthroid". It's cheap and could lift that depressed feeling which is due to you blood chemistry being off. It starts to deteriorate around 40 and accelerates with work or life related stress. Many get addicted to the stimulation of caffeine and that doesn't help. Stress releases adrenalin and that also burns out your thyroid over time and you seek greater and greater doses of stimulation to get through the day. It's not emotional in many cases... it's bio-chemical.

    I still deal with sleep issues and function best after 10PM and my days roll over into "vampire" time. There's a lot of shame relating with people that just pop up in the early morning and hit the gym. Then they go out in the daylight searching for our caskets armed with wooden stakes. Their blood it quite tasty (wow, grammar/spell checker underlined this use of 'their'... the @LinearLineman will not like that).

  • Oh - I'm ABSOLUTELY addicted to caffeine. No doubts there.

    Yep, I'm a night person too. Interesting that you mention the thyroid - my father had thyroid issues when he was younger and has been taking medication for ages for it. That's something to consider - thanks for that.

    In all truth, the first thing I need is a good therapist.

  • @audiblevideo said:
    @OscarSouth is that you live coding (sonicpi) or are you pressing "hotkeys"?
    Nice bird sounds and harp.

    It's live coding -- the video was recorded after a pretty epic jam session, so I was just triggering code and commenting/uncommenting stuff from that session. I have a pretty well developed methodology for writing live coding code that minimises repetition and maximises expressiveness after having been written, so I can get a lot of mileage out of old code! In a concert I'd write it from a blank page. The language used here is Haskell with the TidalCycles pattern library providing a way to send OSC data, which is converted to MIDI by the SuperCollider language.

  • I think I often do my best creative work when I'm battling something. At some point, choosing to persevere and not give up seems to release a kind of gritty determination that often sparks creativity. Having to get myself together to find a way through something seems to shake off inertia and open up a well of creative ideas. You might say that a lot of the stuff I create from this inner place is kind of biographical or a kind of travel diary along the path of life.

  • @Daveypoo said:
    Oh - I'm ABSOLUTELY addicted to caffeine. No doubts there.

    Yep, I'm a night person too. Interesting that you mention the thyroid - my father had thyroid issues when he was younger and has been taking medication for ages for it. That's something to consider - thanks for that.

    In all truth, the first thing I need is a good therapist.

    I think therapy can certainly be helpful for just about everyone. If you are able to physically, basic Yoga can go a long way too. Not the woowoo hippie energy stuff (if that is not your bag / its not mine) just good old stretching to work out the tension and get the lovely mellow buzz. Hope to get back to it one day soon, I hope. It is amazing and much cheaper than therapy, lots of free vids of the basics on youtube and that is all you need, level 1 for life I say.

  • I can only really make music in a good mood and often I'll be in a very good mood to make music because I've come out of a low period.

    There are two things that help anyone with regards to moods and music:

    1. Constantly learning/improving
    2. Playing music with others

    Aside from those two, exercise is massive for me. It just makes me feel stronger and more confident in what I do musically.

  • It’s hard when you are emotionally/ physically drained or tired
    I don’t really make much music these days to be honest
    I can mess around a bit but actually creating a structured track never happens
    I suffer from a life threatening illness at a relatively young age so I have a lot of physical and emotional stress.

    Sometimes I use music creation as an outlet. As long as I’m doing something being creative even if I don’t keep or like what I create at the time I think can help.

    For me I think it’s more do to my energy level. I thought I would be like J Dilla in the hospital with his MPC making beats with a fury but sadly no haha.

  • Strangely I am no more or less productive if I am happy, sad or inbetween but invariably feel better overall as a result of being productive

Sign In or Register to comment.