Process Vs. Product

It was pretty early into my teen years when I knew I wanted to be a musician. I was playing bass guitar in a band and playing mostly covers but we’d write the occasional original tune. At that point, being a musician in the loosest definition, I just wanted songs. I didn’t want to actually write them. I just wanted to have them, and to brag and to play them for people and be famous. I was in search of a magic button that just created fun songs that I could attach my name to. Of course, that’s not how music works.  Even when I started writing electronic music I still struggled with this. I wanted to obtain songs with my name on them but not bust my ass to create them. Looking back, that’s a pretty selfish way to look at music, and writing music.

Now into a few years of writing electronic music, I’m starting to really appreciate the process. And it’s not just the songwriting process I’m enjoying, it’s choosing the title, choosing artwork, collaborating with other people and learning from them. Even when a song is in it’s infancy, a title really matters to me. I’m not the kind of guy who can name a song “untitled_1“. Even little voice recordings on my phone have titles. Since I first thought of Poly Gecko as making mainly instrumental music, titles really would be the only word used to represent a song, so I instantly gave them more value.

Artwork is a fun process, too. Lately I’ve been really into visual art and photos. *cue hipster music (on vinyl)* I’m starting to really put stock into a good cover and visuals for a song / EP / album, etc. This part of the process however is a task that I can not perform. I’m lucky to have a few good friends who are talented with a camera and Photoshop to make things I envision come to life. My friend, and collaborator Karver Hitchcock have just finished a song, State of the Obvious and it’s now my duty to find or create artwork for it. Wish me luck.

But, okay, back to the actual songwriting. As you might know, I just finished my submission for a remix contest hosted and judged by Tupper Ware Remix Party, one of my favourite groups – certainly my favourite to come from Halifax (not to mention the FUTURE). Upon finishing the remix, multiple people were telling me “oh, you have to win”, “this is amazing! Nobody can beat this!” While I truly, truly appreciate those words and am so flattered by them, that’s not exactly how I’m looking at this. TWRP released the stems to their song, I experimented, learned a lot, worked on a deadline, and completed a remix that I’m really happy with. You could say regardless of the winner, I’ve already won. It sounds cheesy but that’s honestly how I feel. And besides, if there’s another cooler remix to The Hit, I really wanna hear it. Of course I would be honoured if I was selected as the winning remix but because the process was so enjoyable, I feel like I’ve already met every level of fulfillment.

The more I write music, the more I’m really developing a love for the process instead of just the end product. It didn’t happen overnight, but now I’m really beginning to feel it. It’s still so important to have an amazing end product because that’s what ears will consume but the real magic and fulfillment comes from the creation – because that is the art.

Have a good week,

Ryan

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