Technology has a tendency to inflate the composition process.
Because when an artist starts with electronics, they can easily fool themselves into thinking that what they’re working on is better than it really is.
When the songs are buttressed by effects and computers and pedals and samples, they can’t always tell if the core idea is legitimately good, or lavishly produced.
Which doesn’t make the music any less enjoyable. I love singing in the car to top forty hits that are produced within an inch of their lives just as much as the next guy. But from a creative standpoint, we must be careful not to use fancy tools as pillars to hide behind.
Otherwise it sucks the soul out of the process.
Macleod’s bestselling book on creativity says it best:
Pillars do not help, they hinder. The more mighty the pillar, the more you end up relying on it psychologically, the more it gets in your way. Successful people, artists and non artists alike, are very good at spotting pillars. They’re very good at doing without them. Even more importantly, once they’ve spotted a pillar, they’re very good at quickly getting rid of it. Good pillar management is one of the most valuable talents you can have on the planet. If you have it, I envy you. If you don’t, I pity you.
And so, the questions we have to ask ourselves are, what creative pillars are we hiding behind? What obfuscations are we leaning on to compensate for our lack of quality, talent and originality? And how many external tools are we giving too much credence and superstition in our work?
Good ideas executed will always have room to succeed.
Keeping it simple is great advice for injecting work with soul, but starting with simple is perhaps more important for sustaining.
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What technology are you hiding behind?
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