Creativity

Facing the blank page

This is where it all begins. Creating a new project in my audio creation software.

This is how the blank page looks in what is officially called the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The one I use is Logic Pro. This moment of not knowing what the next step will be is the most difficult part of the whole music creation process for me.

Over the past four years, I have intentionally kept myself busy fulfilling music track requests from others. Why? To avoid this moment: opening a session and not knowing where to go. When someone asks me to make a music track, and gives me a video, audio, script or screenplay, it is easier for me to get involved in the creative process. Also, when I was in a band, getting together, and just talking, playing riffs or a few notes, it was much easier to start creating something.

I find it much easier to complete a track when I've made a commitment to someone else, and we've agreed on a deadline. And I have succeeded with this approach every time. It has been four years since I've started. Sometimes I was able to crank up a whole 3-min track in a few hours. When you've set a deadline with someone and their project relies entirely on your work, the pressure makes you fly.

But facing the blank page on my own, oh boy. Always felt like an insurmountable problem. It still does. Even though I've managed to start many projects by myself, I haven't finished a single one of them to this day.

The whole process of working with "orders" started to feel a bit lifeless for me last year. I have always delivered the music I was asked to. Even though almost everyone I worked with was happy with the result, I lost the magic at the end. Something didn't feel right. And I just stopped composing. It was like the whole situation just faded out on its own after this moment of doubt. And with the fade out came the fade out of the modest income I was getting by composing music for media. And of course, I was obliged to get back on the job market. I haven't opened a new session in my DAW for almost a year since then.

But these last few weeks, something happened. I guess time did its thing and just cleared the way. I spent the year thinking, making calculations, analyzing, and imagining what I could do next. Many combinations were possible; some of them didn't even include the music. But then it struck me: I need to let go. Music needs to be an artistic endeavor. It is not meant to be an income stream. The goal is not to find a new occupation. The goal is to create music. It's as simple as that. Authentic, sincere, as original as possible, and not influenced by external factors. It is obvious that the time for my first album has arrived.

And now I end up here again, facing the blank page.