Listening to Your Own Music

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Dear Readers,

I wonder, do musicians listen to their own music? I mean, I expect that most do during the pre-release stage. You have to. But it’s not like an artwork that hangs in your room, it’s easy to put music out there and never listen to it again.

My house is filled with paintings I’ve made over the years. I like most of it but I don’t spend time appreciating it anymore. It’s a thing on the wall that I just walk past and sometimes forget it is even there. I don’t really know how to market it and I haven’t really tried Etsy which becomes a problem of figuring out how to ship this stuff safely. (Also, how do you decide on an appropriate price? Time + Materials + Shipping? Random values in the hopes that someone comes along and thinks it’s worth paying?)

When people come over, I’m often just waiting for someone to say something like, “Oh, I really love this specific artwork here…” That’s when I pounce. “Oh you like this art, you say? How would you like to take it home with you for free?” So far, this has worked once. I did manage to trade one piece off to another artist for some of her art. Mostly, though, my paintings collect dust hanging on the walls.

The biggest problem with this is that I have limited wall space and I’m not sure that I truly want to live in a gallery of my own work.

Anyway, music is easier because, I don’t really have a lot of physical proof of my work. In fact, I don’t tell people that I make music. Sure, there are instruments around but the music itself is digital. Bits that exist on a storage medium and uploaded to other people’s storage for distribution to the rest of the world. Once I go through the motions, click a few buttons, and confirm that I own the rights to some samples – I can put something out and never see/hear from it again.

At first, I’m happy to see it go. It’s a relief to be done and I’m probably definitely pretty sick of listening to it by that point anyways from all the creating, mixing, and mastering! Eventually, though, I do come back and listen to it all again. Which is usually pretty great because I can finally just enjoy the music instead of trying to pick out all the things I need to fix or change about it.

Also, looking at and listening to the art I’ve created… well, it can be inspiring to see what I’ve worked hard to create. It is a source of motivation – a reminder when I’m down and not feeling like producing something that I can create these amazing things and it’s okay that I don’t feel like it right now. I can create, I have before, and I will continue to grow on this path.

Sometimes, listening to my own music is just what it takes to get the motivation to create that next song.



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