Opus 1

I have a problem: I have more musical ideas than I know what to do with. I’m still trying to make my first piece sound good with Hollywood Orchestra. Meanwhile, I’ve mentally composed at least 4 other works that I’m itching to make audio files out of. I feel like a cashier having a long conversation with a demanding customer who’s holding up a queue. Only in this case, I’m the one who keeps adding shoppers to the queue.

It’s strange because usually, composers seem to have more problems with the creativity. There appears to be quite a few software-savvy composers out there with lacklustre melodies. I come up with melodies that I love, but then I try put it all together on my DAW, and it doesn’t sound as realistic or powerful as what I heard in my head. The software defeats me.

The obvious solution is to be patient and go on. I’ve only been using Hollywood Orchestra for a grand total of four days.

There’s another problem though. I’m getting bored. To be more exact, I’m getting sick of working on this piece. I like it, but I’ve listened to it so many times that I’m not even sure what it sounds like anymore.

I’m not going to abandon it, but I’m increasingly tempted to start a new composition, just to give myself a breath of fresh air. The rational part of me thinks that that’s sensible, since I have no deadline and no obligations, other than to myself.

But a part of me resists because it feels too much like giving up. There’s a voice in my head telling me that I wouldn’t be bored if I had more self-discipline. It’s the same voice as the one that urges me to finish every book I start reading.

Despite what I’ve written here, I’m not anti-technology. I’m just anti-new technology. For the moment, I think I’ll work on my first composition in short bursts and try not to get stressed over it.

2 thoughts on “Opus 1

  1. I finish books I’m not interested in for the same reason. I also tend to have about four to five melodies going in my head for arrangements at once, and work on them all at once. I don’t think it’s giving up if you start something fresh, as long as you go back to working on your first piece and finishing it. Sometimes, we just need a break, because it is so tiresome listening to a piece you’re working on over, and over, and over again…that’s why when I’m done I don’t start mixing it until the next day, so my ears can rest and listen to it with a fresh perspective. I’d at least record the melodies going in your head somewhere so you don’t forget them and have them to work on, I’ve had that happen to me too many times and it’s driven me crazy!

    Working with software is a whole new beast, it is frustrating! That’s also why I just got a keyboard, because I couldn’t wrap my head around using software with only a computer. But just think: once you get over the steep learning curve, you’ll have a whole new skill under your belt :)

    Getting bored is no good though, maybe try working on something else shorter? Then you can take whatever skills you learned from that and go to your first piece again with fresh perspective! If reworking it with Eastwest is being weird too, perhaps just starting that fresh would help instead of trying to fix what you did with the free VSTs? Just figured I’d throw some things out there haha.

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    • It’s nice to know that other musicians go through the same thing. When I started working on my first composition, I thought I’d never get tired of it because I was so excited to be finally composing. Now, I know better. It makes me wonder if great composers like Beethoven ever got sick of listening to their pieces.

      Thank you for your generous advice. I have saved my melodies; I recorded them with my horrible off-key singing. I’ve decided to stick to my first composition for the moment, though. Even if I started another one, I’d just run into all the same problems that I have right now, since my main problem is that I don’t know the software I’m using. I don’t want to start fresh, since I’m slow at getting the notes down. But thanks for the suggestion!

      I’ve found a way of dealing with the boredom. Whenever I get bored, I browse the internet for logo and album art ideas. After a while, I go back to composing. It’s not perfect, but it distracts me from the frustration. This way, I can compose without getting sucked into a second composition.

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