Bowie's Approach

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Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Arpangel »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:32 amhttps://youtu.be/cNbnef_eXBM

About a minute.

I’ve seen that, and I watch a lot of videos like this, they are all very well, but I feel the people making them, always top draw professionals, like Bowie, they aren’t really speaking to someone like me, they are speaking to "their" peer group, people on their level.
It’s a different mind set, that I can’t get my head around, they don’t already have the baggage that a musician like me may have, insecurities, doubts, they are already secure, in the knowledge that they can actually do the business, they already have a certain degree of success, that I don’t have, therefore I can’t really engage properly with these videos.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

I understand and agree with everything he says in that minute. I don't have to be as good as him to understand and agree with what he says. 'Do what comes from inside. Take risks.' It's not a rarified atmosphere, it's just good sense.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by OneWorld »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:32 amhttps://youtu.be/cNbnef_eXBM

About a minute.

Erm.....what's he saying that's different from what most of us know already anyway?
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by OneWorld »

OneWorld wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:32 pm
awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:32 amhttps://youtu.be/cNbnef_eXBM

About a minute.

Erm.....what's he saying that's different from what most of us know already anyway?

Just been listening to an interview with Paul McCartney and has been asked about recording these days, with all the technology so freely available, computers etc. Sir Paul says whilst there are great advantages he says you end up with 100's of fragments, but you never get to finishing anything, and even when you return to one of these fragments with the intention of completing the tune, you don't seem able to capture the initial enthusiasm for it.

He went on to say that back in the day, you didn't have the technology and so you had to finish the song, that day.' He gave an example of a recording session whereby you had sort of knocked a tune together, but it wasn't quite there, they, (the Beatles and no doubt other musicians back in the day) were informed the producer was booked to arrive in say 2 hours time and so they had to finish the song. They didn't perceive this as pressure, but simply working to a timetable, turn up, get the job done and then go out to play.

Sir Paul was asked another question about their particular brand of music and he said, "We didn't have the technology there is these days, we couldn't write music and so we had to write memorable tunes, otherwise by the following day they would have forgotten the tune, so they wrote memorable catchy tunes"

If only it were that easy! The interview, which is with Jarvis Cocker, is at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gxdrjRqcZQ

I always find these sorts of interviews, a musician talking about music, very revealing and most enjoyable because a lot of what they say we (I think I speak for others) we can directly relate to. EG "What is the blo*dy chord he's playing" etc

Most encouraging was when asked "How do you write a successful song?" and he said "I just noodle about on the guitar, and whatever the tune, I stick with it, sometimes the second verse/chorus excels, comes out better than the first verse, then you see potential and work at it"

Doesn't always work for me though, it (the song) often gets worse as it goes along :-)
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

OneWorld wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:32 pm
awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:32 amhttps://youtu.be/cNbnef_eXBM

About a minute.

Erm.....what's he saying that's different from what most of us know already anyway?

I don't know what most of us know already, but when I consider the vast amount of forgettably derivative stuff I hear, then the only conclusion I can draw is that most people who write music don't know what Bowie's talking about, or maybe it's that they know it but they don't care because they're lazy or getting applause for what they're doing already.

I suppose I did know it before I heard him say it, although it's only recently that the second thing he said has really landed in me - maybe I'm a bit like a believer in church - I've heard the message before, but I enjoy a refresh once in a awhile.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Folderol »

OneWorld wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:36 pm If only it were that easy! The interview, which is with Jarvis Cocker, is at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gxdrjRqcZQ

I always find these sorts of interviews, a musician talking about music, very revealing and most enjoyable because a lot of what they say we (I think I speak for others) we can directly relate to. EG "What is the blo*dy chord he's playing" etc

Most encouraging was when asked "How do you write a successful song?" and he said "I just noodle about on the guitar, and whatever the tune, I stick with it, sometimes the second verse/chorus excels, comes out better than the first verse, then you see potential and work at it"

Doesn't always work for me though, it (the song) often gets worse as it goes along :-)

Thanks for this. Thoroughly enjoyed it :thumbup:
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Drew Stephenson »

I think there's a big difference between those who write for themselves (whether they're big as Bowie or small as me) and those who write professionally to order.
Have a look at the writing credits for the top 40 singles and you'll see huge numbers of tracks that have lots of writing credits, sometimes into double figures. Or maybe there's a name in there that actually represents a group of writers.
There's a lot of manufactured music out there (whether that's a good thing or not is a separate discussion) and when you're in manufacturing you have have templates and construction patterns and parts re-use and all these other labour- and time-saving devices.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Folderol »

I think there was a very good point quite early in the interview.
"If you can't remember a song, how do you expect the listener to?"
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by OneWorld »

Folderol wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:11 pm I think there was a very good point quite early in the interview.
"If you can't remember a song, how do you expect the listener to?"

Yes, that is the maxim I have always used. Thing is, I have concluded one of two things -

1. I have a very bad memory or

2. I don't write anything memorable,

either way, it isn't looking good.

And furthermore, come to think about it, I heard an interview with Ed Sheeran and what he thought contributed to his song writing success and he said, "Back in the day, I committed to writing one song a day, and concluded, given the profligate approach, it's possible I would one day write a good song" he said the main thing was, getting into the habit of getting something actually finished, similar thing as Dolly Parton once said "I have written something like 2000 tunes, just one of them made me a millionaire and I can't even sing it (the song from the Bodyguard) a few others did well too, the other 2000 odd, well I was working up to a good one" LOL
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

blinddrew wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 pmThere's a lot of manufactured music out there (whether that's a good thing or not is a separate discussion)...

It's not a good thing (even though it makes me look good by comparison). There. That's that discussion sorted!

blinddrew wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 pm...and when you're in manufacturing you have have templates and construction patterns and parts re-use and all these other labour- and time-saving devices.

IOW, the opposite of what Bowie's talking about. 'Don't play to the gallery.'
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Drew Stephenson »

awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:35 pm
blinddrew wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 pm...and when you're in manufacturing you have have templates and construction patterns and parts re-use and all these other labour- and time-saving devices.

IOW, the opposite of what Bowie's talking about. 'Don't play to the gallery.'

Exactly. Unless you're a professional song-writer who's paid by the session and has to churn stuff out that will be immediately digestible and instantly en vogue.
In which case you don't bite the hand that feeds/pays you and you produce whatever you're required to do.
The difference, I guess, between being a craftsman and an artist.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Terrible.dee »

OneWorld wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:36 pm
OneWorld wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:32 pm
awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:32 amhttps://youtu.be/cNbnef_eXBM

About a minute.

Erm.....what's he saying that's different from what most of us know already anyway?

Just been listening to an interview with Paul McCartney and has been asked about recording these days, with all the technology so freely available, computers etc. Sir Paul says whilst there are great advantages he says you end up with 100's of fragments, but you never get to finishing anything, and even when you return to one of these fragments with the intention of completing the tune, you don't seem able to capture the initial enthusiasm for it.

He went on to say that back in the day, you didn't have the technology and so you had to finish the song, that day.' He gave an example of a recording session whereby you had sort of knocked a tune together, but it wasn't quite there, they, (the Beatles and no doubt other musicians back in the day) were informed the producer was booked to arrive in say 2 hours time and so they had to finish the song. They didn't perceive this as pressure, but simply working to a timetable, turn up, get the job done and then go out to play.

Sir Paul was asked another question about their particular brand of music and he said, "We didn't have the technology there is these days, we couldn't write music and so we had to write memorable tunes, otherwise by the following day they would have forgotten the tune, so they wrote memorable catchy tunes"

If only it were that easy! The interview, which is with Jarvis Cocker, is at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gxdrjRqcZQ

I always find these sorts of interviews, a musician talking about music, very revealing and most enjoyable because a lot of what they say we (I think I speak for others) we can directly relate to. EG "What is the blo*dy chord he's playing" etc

Most encouraging was when asked "How do you write a successful song?" and he said "I just noodle about on the guitar, and whatever the tune, I stick with it, sometimes the second verse/chorus excels, comes out better than the first verse, then you see potential and work at it"

Doesn't always work for me though, it (the song) often gets worse as it goes along :-)

Yep,

In my first band (We were signed to a major label deal.) I had to come in, pick up an acoustic guitar and say "Ok guys, check this out."

I HAD to pass that first level of QC. From the moment I wrote a song there needed to be enough there that I could sell it to the troops.

I could see it in their faces whether it was getting over or wasn't.

And then, in the studio.....there was no fooling anyone, what you heard on playback was the TRUTH.

If a song wasn't clicking, it wasn't clicking.

What I learned, once I was in the "Big leagues"....... (And full disclosure: I've been signed to three major label deals, and ended up getting dropped every time, so take my experience for whatever you think it is worth, either as a guy who "made it" to a degree, or a three time loser and failure...that'a up to you.)....I digress.....

What I learned once I was in the "machine" so to speak, is that to be a pro, you can't be taking weeks to do your job.

If you're a songwriter, you need to be able to WRITE SONGS....NOW!

So what I learned to do was LISTEN for the song, not force it.

I would quiet myself and LISTEN for what came to me, not forcing anything,

SOMETHING will always be there. It my not be the best....but it's what I have today as a song writer...THAT is what is coming to me.

This may sound a bit esoteric, but it's what worked for me.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

blinddrew wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:26 am
awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:35 pm
blinddrew wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 pm...and when you're in manufacturing you have have templates and construction patterns and parts re-use and all these other labour- and time-saving devices.

IOW, the opposite of what Bowie's talking about. 'Don't play to the gallery.'

Exactly. Unless you're a professional song-writer who's paid by the session and has to churn stuff out that will be immediately digestible and instantly en vogue.
In which case you don't bite the hand that feeds/pays you and you produce whatever you're required to do.
The difference, I guess, between being a craftsman and an artist.

May the craftsmen and the artists get together sometimes.

'Wrecking Crew'
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:20 am
If a song wasn't clicking, it wasn't clicking.

So what I learned to do was LISTEN for the song, not force it.

I would quiet myself and LISTEN for what came to me, not forcing anything,

Sounds to me like Bowie's first point.

So, what about David Bowie's 'it's better if you're in over your head' bit? If you know how to listen, you know how to answer this question.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Terrible.dee »

awjoe wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:29 am
blinddrew wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:26 am
awjoe wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:35 pm
blinddrew wrote: Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 pm...and when you're in manufacturing you have have templates and construction patterns and parts re-use and all these other labour- and time-saving devices.

IOW, the opposite of what Bowie's talking about. 'Don't play to the gallery.'

Exactly. Unless you're a professional song-writer who's paid by the session and has to churn stuff out that will be immediately digestible and instantly en vogue.
In which case you don't bite the hand that feeds/pays you and you produce whatever you're required to do.
The difference, I guess, between being a craftsman and an artist.

May the craftsmen and the artists get together sometimes.

'Wrecking Crew'

We have.

The only critical difference is between "Do-ers" and "Talkers"

You need to DO IT!

Maybe it isn't the greatest song ever....maybe it is....but you produce FINISHED product....That is the only difference between those who have "Done it" and those who wished they had.

So....DO IT!!
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Terrible.dee »

awjoe wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:12 am
Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:20 am
If a song wasn't clicking, it wasn't clicking.

So what I learned to do was LISTEN for the song, not force it.

I would quiet myself and LISTEN for what came to me, not forcing anything,

Sounds to me like Bowie's first point.

So, what about David Bowie's 'it's better if you're in over your head' bit? If you know how to listen, you know how to answer this question.

I'll admit I haven't listened to the interview. I'm a huge Bowie fan and am familiar with his songwriting techniques, so I suppose I already know what he's going to say....and I may be wrong....

...but if he's talking about things like "Get in over your head" then in my opinion (Take it for whatever it's worth to you.)....Then he is getting a little too abstract. The point is to SIMPLIFY the process, not to make it more inaccessible.

....And on that topic, what I'm saying (For whatever it's worth....I'm not Bowie.) is that you might want to try LETTING IT Happen.

If you quiet yourself and ask for a song, you'll get one...you may not LIKE it, but you will get one.

The main idea is to put your internal editor away until there is a finished song in front of you.

THEN you can say....."This sucks"....and keep in mind, it may suck for you, but it may be a hit for someone else.

What I am suggesting is what Keith Richards said. Something about: "Songs are floating around up there, you need to put up your finger and receive them."

I'm paraphrasing, but that was his point. It's also demonstrated in the way he wrote
"Satisfaction"
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:26 am

I'll admit I haven't listened to the interview. I'm a huge Bowie fan and am familiar with his songwriting techniques, so I suppose I already know what he's going to say....and I may be wrong....


It's not really an interview, it's a minute of Bowie talking. It's worth clicking and watching, if only for the joy of watching an intelligent person talk about what they know and love.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by OneWorld »

Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:20 am

What I learned, once I was in the "Big leagues"....... (And full disclosure: I've been signed to three major label deals, and ended up getting dropped every time, so take my experience for whatever you think it is worth, either as a guy who "made it" to a degree, or a three time loser and failure...that'a up to you.)...

For what it's worth, I perceive your contribution to the debate as the words of a seasoned practitioner who has certainly 'got it' There is a dichotomy that comes with the job when one is a performing songwriter. There is at one of the spectrum the more fanciful existence of a creative personna, at the other end of the spectrum the cold logic of an industrialist, after all, it is the music 'industry' we are talking about. And a successful musician (ok we'll debate the meaning of 'success' some other time some other place) has to compromise. But on many occasion, the consumers and their agents want a finished product. We could on noodling till the end of time.

Some at the very top of the heap, have the luxury of complete isolation in respect of their aspirations, and would do anything but play to the gallery, other workaday musicians might not have the choice. Be true to oneself of course, but at the end of the month, the mortgage has to be paid, people want results. To have even been considered once, let alone thrice, I would think is some indicator of your worthiness, but a 'failure' well we both know that is not the case,

As the great troubadour par excellence once noted "There's no success like failure, and that failure is no success at all" - did Dylan mean failure as a noun or verb?

I still struggle with the logic of that quip sometimes, but I sort of feel instinctively that it makes sense! For what it's worth I do admire your candour :-)
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Terrible.dee »

OneWorld wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:41 pm
Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:20 am

What I learned, once I was in the "Big leagues"....... (And full disclosure: I've been signed to three major label deals, and ended up getting dropped every time, so take my experience for whatever you think it is worth, either as a guy who "made it" to a degree, or a three time loser and failure...that'a up to you.)...

For what it's worth, I perceive your contribution to the debate as the words of a seasoned practitioner who has certainly 'got it' There is a dichotomy that comes with the job when one is a performing songwriter. There is at one of the spectrum the more fanciful existence of a creative personna, at the other end of the spectrum the cold logic of an industrialist, after all, it is the music 'industry' we are talking about. And a successful musician (ok we'll debate the meaning of 'success' some other time some other place) has to compromise. But on many occasion, the consumers and their agents want a finished product. We could on noodling till the end of time.

Some at the very top of the heap, have the luxury of complete isolation in respect of their aspirations, and would do anything but play to the gallery, other workaday musicians might not have the choice. Be true to oneself of course, but at the end of the month, the mortgage has to be paid, people want results. To have even been considered once, let alone thrice, I would think is some indicator of your worthiness, but a 'failure' well we both know that is not the case,

As the great troubadour par excellence once noted "There's no success like failure, and that failure is no success at all" - did Dylan mean failure as a noun or verb?

I still struggle with the logic of that quip sometimes, but I sort of feel instinctively that it makes sense! For what it's worth I do admire your candour :-)

Thank you for the kind words.

But, as I'm sure you know, anytime I refer to my "resume" some people may think "Oh! Let's hear what he's got to say"

Or may say "Loser!"

So whenever I give my take on topics like this I like to say what I have and haven't managed to accomplish, so people can decide for themselves whether it's worth listening to.

After my "artist" years I was on the L.A "Writing circuit" Which is essentially a large group of songwriter/producers whom A&R guys will pipe their artists through in hopes of getting something better than what they already signed.

(Which never made sense to me, if you need more "filler" sure....but if you didn't have that "hit" to begin with, why sign them?...Well, 90% are female, so I suppose the answer is obvious.)

The key word there is writer PRODUCER....meaning you HAVE to give these people finished product. You HAVE to tune the vocals, you HAVE to stack harmonies on the chorus, you HAVE to write a bridge.

If you email these people a track that sounds like crap, where the lyrics aren't finished (And GOOD) And the song isn't properly structured and complete....well you won't be getting another job.

So, I would just encourage any "up and comers" who are reading this to FINISH their work. Don't have fragments lying around and think "I'll get to that later, It'll be great."

NO! Finish it NOW! TODAY!

Even if some of it isn't as "genius" as you might have hoped. FINISH IT! And do it QUICKLY!

I can't stress that enough, as you said, some on the very top have the luxury of being lackadaisical, but for everyone else....and this counts even for acts that have had notable success....It is expected that you can do your job.

And if you are a songwriter/artist that means you can supply people with finished, quality songs...ON DEMAND and ON TIME!

I would have loved to have been in Bowie's era, when songwriters were pampered. But I wasn't, I don't do it anymore, but when I did, I had to be competitive in the era I was in.

And that meant FINISHED product.

But hey, I've used Bowie's techniques to help me get there before. Bowie generally has a lot of useful advice for up and comers.

He's one major artist that didn't mind sharing useful wisdom.

There are a lot less helpful people you could listen to, if you want some tips on writing, Bowie is a GREAT place to start.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by awjoe »

Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:26 pm
Some at the very top of the heap, have the luxury of complete isolation in respect of their aspirations, and would do anything but play to the gallery, other workaday musicians might not have the choice. Be true to oneself of course, but at the end of the month, the mortgage has to be paid, people want results.

Motivations for songwriting vary, for sure, and one of the most common of course is getting paid. The motivation, workload and lifestyle of the songwriter are a story in themselves, but in the end and aside from that, the song is what it's about. Does it talk to me, does it move me? That's the main thing I care about with music.

Terrible.dee wrote: Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:26 pmI can't stress that enough, as you said, some on the very top have the luxury of being lackadaisical, but for everyone else....and this counts even for acts that have had notable success....It is expected that you can do your job.

And if you are a songwriter/artist that means you can supply people with finished, quality songs...ON DEMAND and ON TIME!

And I can't stress enough that, for me at least, it's all about the song. So two big questions arise out of that:

* The people who wrote the tunes that move me - what was their approach to it?

* More importantly, what approach shall I take to it?

I would imagine that in a lot of cases, 'on demand and on time' was a huge factor in the creation of some of my favorite music. And recently, I've been in an 'on demand and on time' discipline with my songwriting, and it's been very fruitful. So I think there's a lot in what you say, in that part of what you say, anyway. I don't think it's the whole story by any means, though.

Anyway, PM me a link to some of your stuff. I'm interested.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Arpangel »

I’m always making "frgaments" and always aim to come back later and make something from them, that’s how I used to work, but now, I cut the bullshit, and finish everything I do on the same day as it’s conception, immediately.
I have a computer full of clips, that will never get used.
I could plan, add, and overdub, but ultimately, they add nothing emotionally, to the finished product, it’s essence of the idea that really matters.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Terrible.dee »

Arpangel wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 7:48 am I’m always making "frgaments" and always aim to come back later and make something from them, that’s how I used to work, but now, I cut the bullshit, and finish everything I do on the same day as it’s conception, immediately.
I have a computer full of clips, that will never get used.
I could plan, add, and overdub, but ultimately, they add nothing emotionally, to the finished product, it’s essence of the idea that really matters.

Damn right!

There are exceptions to every rule.

But take my and this guys advice and see what happens.

Ideas need to be COMPLETE and Pros need to be able to FINISH their product in a workday.

If you are a songwriter, you need to be able to WRITE SONGS. And write them NOW!

You can always go back and improve things, but think how much better it is to go back and improve on a FINISHED song. (I didn't say perfect.)

It makes all the difference in the world.

It's the difference I noticed when I started working with pros.

They did not fuss over ideas or collect fragments.

They got the job DONE, and if an idea wasn't working?

They moved on to one that WAS!
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Folderol »

Hmmm.
Well I'm not a pro (and have no desire to be one), but my way of working is quite the opposite. I usually build up ideas slowly over days (sometimes years). Occasionally I take a quick scan through my music 'bits box' and it will suddenly occur to me that several tracks will fit together rather well and then there is likely to be a quite rapid completion of a new work.

I very rarely write songs, but when I do, the writing itself is usually complete in a few hours. For the supporting music... see above :lol:
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Arpangel »

We can discuss this till the cows come home, it makes no difference to me, how someone comes up with ideas, as long as they are good that’s fine, good to whoever likes them, one mans meat etc.
Also, it doesn’t matter who it is, amateur, profession, talking about how they work, they aren’t me, and it probably wouldn’t work for me.
I take bits from all over, ideas, methods, it’s a mess, but somehow, I seem to record stuff, that works, sometimes, I can’t even describe my working method, it’s a mish-mash.
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Arpangel
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Albatross »

Everyone works differently, well everyone I've ever met anyway.

I've loved Bowie's work since I first heard it, so rich and beautifully crafted.

I think that artists get put a bit on the spot though. Some reporter has a list of questions and the artist can either do a Dylan and sling the questions back with a shrug, or try and indulge the audience. But doing the arty interview is part of the game, or was.

Just secretly I don't think anyone really knows where the stuff comes from. One of my favourite of his albums is Young Americans and by his own admission he was so fked up when he made that he didn't know where he was half the time. How does one honestly make sense/formularise that? Genius I think is about the only way to put that in a nutshell. Rationalising post event is likely to be a good guess or for the camera me thinks.

Everyone works differently.
Everyone works differently.
Everyone works differently.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Arpangel »

Albatross wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:49 pm Everyone works differently, well everyone I've ever met anyway.

I've loved Bowie's work since I first heard it, so rich and beautifully crafted.

I think that artists get put a bit on the spot though. Some reporter has a list of questions and the artist can either do a Dylan and sling the questions back with a shrug, or try and indulge the audience. But doing the arty interview is part of the game, or was.

Just secretly I don't think anyone really knows where the stuff comes from. One of my favourite of his albums is Young Americans and by his own admission he was so fked up when he made that he didn't know where he was half the time. How does one honestly make sense/formularise that? Genius I think is about the only way to put that in a nutshell. Rationalising post event is likely to be a good guess or for the camera me thinks.

Everyone works differently.
Everyone works differently.
Everyone works differently.

The eternal question is can we really judge our own stuff, I look at Bowie and put him on a pedestal, and can’t imagine making work so beautiful and complex.
But did he think the same way? I don’t think that what I do is clever, beautiful, or appealing, I’m surprised when people like it, and even more surprised if they think it’s involved or complex "how do I do it" it’s simple I say, anyone can do it.
I think we all have this insecurity about our music, doesn’t matter who you are, Joe next door or Bowie, I think it’s good to be like this, it keeps us on our toes, like Bowie, eclectic, always moving on, constantly questioning.
The difference between me and Bowie is that I don’t have mass appeal, if you do, it somehow confirms that you’re doing the right things, being liked by a lot of people is a good thing, it would certainly make me feel that my work was worth it.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Albatross »

Though there's an awful lot of fans who couldn't care less about the music, its the image, the tentacles of the thing not the body. They want to identify with a tribe, be regarded in a certain way.

I know there's a boozer I sometimes frequent, little place with a really fantastic jukebox. The guys all say they love their music and talk about music a lot ... our vintage age wise and have attended lots of gigs and bought loads of records over the years. Fans not musos ... god bless 'em.

They put on their tunes, three for a pound, and then spend the three or four minutes crapping on about how much they 'love this band' and how they saw them in 70'something and how they had a drink at the bar and the drummer came out and had a beer and blah blah blah. I sit in the corner trying to listen to the song.

If that boozer sold records and merchandise they would buy them.

Its why I'll always maintain that if you want to rejuvenate record sales you need to get back to selling physical media in places where the 'fans' can congregate, dress up and be part of the rock'n'roll.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by Arpangel »

Albatross wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:47 pm Though there's an awful lot of fans who couldn't care less about the music, its the image, the tentacles of the thing not the body. They want to identify with a tribe, be regarded in a certain way.

I know there's a boozer I sometimes frequent, little place with a really fantastic jukebox. The guys all say they love their music and talk about music a lot ... our vintage age wise and have attended lots of gigs and bought loads of records over the years. Fans not musos ... god bless 'em.

They put on their tunes, three for a pound, and then spend the three or four minutes crapping on about how much they 'love this band' and how they saw them in 70'something and how they had a drink at the bar and the drummer came out and had a beer and blah blah blah. I sit in the corner trying to listen to the song.

If that boozer sold records and merchandise they would buy them.

Its why I'll always maintain that if you want to rejuvenate record sales you need to get back to selling physical media in places where the 'fans' can congregate, dress up and be part of the rock'n'roll.

I don’t look at any of this stuff in relation to age, yes, there were tribes, and you felt part of a "movement" it was great, I loved it.
There simply isn’t anything happening out there that interests me now, if there was, I’d be involved. My partners son listens to Kiss FM before going to work in the morning, total, and utter shite, I listen to Resonance Extra in the car and even that’s becoming really annoying, the types, the people, talking about their music, as a "philosophical tool" and how it relates to the space time continuum, please, just go away.
There are tribes out there right now, but they aren’t speaking to me, they aren’t aimed at me, there’s nothing I can identify with.
My philosophy hasn’t changed since my late teens, it’s always there, some tribes just seemed to express the same outlook on life, but I’ve decided clubs are bad, they are way too narrow, in their vision.
All of my hero’s are dead, more or less, William Burroughs, Lou Reed, Francis Bacon, Harold Budd, Ivor Cutler, Joe Zawinul, all I need is for Brian Eno to pop off and I’ll have a full deck.
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Re: Bowie's Approach

Post by BigRedX »

Albatross wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 4:47 pm Its why I'll always maintain that if you want to rejuvenate record sales you need to get back to selling physical media in places where the 'fans' can congregate, dress up and be part of the rock'n'roll.

You mean... like gigs?

For every band I've been a part of in the last 15 years has on average made more money from the merch table after a single gig then they have from 6 months of on-line sales and streaming revenue.

And as a punter, AFAIAC there are only two types of music - that which I like, and that which I don't. While there are genres that I will be more receptive to, there's no real rhyme or reason to what I actually like and don't like. There are plenty of artists who technically tick all the boxes for me to be a fan, but on a musical level I can't connect at all, and there are others who fall way outside of my musical comfort zone, but I love what they do anyway.

And I'm far more likely to buy a band's record/CD/cassette/T-Shirt off their merch stand after I've seen them play a great gig then I am to download it from an on-line source the following morning.
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