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Monday, 7 May 2012

Trance Music is (I feel) like Post-Modern Art

Trance Music, in my opinion, is a lot of like Post-Modern Art - It is always finding new ways to be contemporary and unique, and then to reinvent itself over again.

I once took a University course on Post-Modern Poetry in my final year.  I remember asking my Professor at the end of the course, just days before the final exam, "Sir, What exactly DOES the term Post-Modern mean? How does one define it?"  With a sudden seriousness of expression, my Professor turned to me and said rather bluntly, "well, that is your answer.  There is no definition.  If you could define it, if there was an answer, it wouldn't be Post-Modern."

His rather ironic reply stuck with me over the years, and I began to eventually correlate it with the experience of creating Trance Music.  Well, Trance Music is an art-form, as all types of musical genres are.  The main idea tugging in Post-Modern art is that it cannot be defined or pulled into any one type of 'defining' structure.  It's a break-down of convention, it's an attack on what is expected, the 'norm'... it's really all over the map.

Before dipping my imagination into the vast expanse of creativity that the world of Trance Music begs for,  I started my songwriting career writing pop songs.  You know, the standard 3 minute and 40 second songs that blast our radios every day.  The song structure is often the same, rarely straying too far from expectation or convention of the norm, though contemporary times are starting to see some progress.  Commercial pop songs almost always secure a catchy introduction, followed by a verse, a pre-chorus, chorus, second verse, chorus, bridge, and finally, a final chorus.  There is not a whole lot of variation and you better make sure that every one of those 3 minutes and 40 seconds contains a mix bag of hooks in both melody and lyric.  Otherwise, your song might just well be sunk.

Writing commercial pop music can be compared to the sensation of wearing water wings in a big pool of murky dark water - That with a proper song structure in place, no matter how grey, murky and uncertain the music industry can be, at least you can rest assured you will float.

But that safety net for me was all over the day I was introduced to the unpredictable world of Trance Music.  I can remember talking with different producers over the direction of some tracks when I was just getting my feet wet in Trance songwriting a few years ago.  "What do you mean we might scrap the second verse?" I gasped.  That's Crazy, I thought! Who would do that in the pop world, the song would most likely wither and die before even getting started.

In fact, it felt at times that the more I tried to insert some kind of steady, expected structure into a Trance song, the more it was doomed to fail in the Electronic Dance market.

That was when I began to realize the character, the texture and the vision of Trance Music.  It is limitless.  There are no ceilings to bang your head against, no skylines, no mandatory boundaries sticking like glue over the melodies and lyrics that float along the drums and synths.  It is a new world of music that is purely post-modern in nature.  It is pure in thought, free in form and rich in imagination.  You cannot put a brace of structure around it because it in fact breaks down commercial structure to create something so unique and uncharted.

Writing Trance Music has truly been the most freeing and rewarding experience in my whole artistic career and life (even more so than the time when I was 6 years old and given an abundance of crayons, and told to go nuts colouring).

Now that I have found a beautiful open field to run in, a blank canvas of any shape and size to paint on, and a giant galaxy of stars to swim and sink in, why would anyone want to turn back time and be fenced-in ... ?


2 comments:

  1. Woow i like!! (y) is very cool!! and interesting

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was amazing!! I love your empathy in trance music.. I've found solace in trance through out my life and this is the first and only response that I've ever read.. Amazing!!
    "It is limitless. There are no ceilings to bang your head against, no skylines, no mandatory boundaries sticking like glue over the melodies and lyrics that float along the drums and synths. It is a new world of music that is purely post-modern in nature. It is pure in thought, free in form and rich in imagination. You cannot put a brace of structure around it because it in fact breaks down commercial structure to create something so unique and uncharted.

    Writing Trance Music has truly been the most freeing and rewarding experience in my whole artistic career and life (even more so than the time when I was 6 years old and given an abundance of crayons, and told to go nuts colouring).

    Now that I have found a beautiful open field to run in, a blank canvas of any shape and size to paint on, and a giant galaxy of stars to swim and sink in, why would anyone want to turn back time and be fenced-in ... ?"

    ReplyDelete