Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Music Producers - Musical Multiple Personality Disorder

Producer's Journal
The Deep Dark Secrets of Music Production 
Nobody Wants to Talk About
Perhaps only other producers will be able to relate to this dark secret of the business, but many of us suffer from MMPD (Musical Multiple Personality Disorder).
   It starts off innocently through study of music and music appreciation, but like a gateway drug, leads artists to want to actually create music in genres outside their natural areas of expertise, to explore, collaborate, innovate, and finally bend and twist genre on it's head...And then, it's too late; you are hooked.
You start to notice it when you hear a track in a genre you never liked and suddenly have a wave of immense appreciation for the songwriting and production, or worse yet, you can re-imagine the song in an entirely different genre/arrangement. These musical "hallucinations" can have far reaching effects, including a sometimes excessive build up of interesting, but unrelated tracks in one's music catalog.
For producers who come from the performing/recording artist/band world it can be even more traumatic.
An artist with a band or specific solo project already has identity issues, often using one or more obfuscated identities to represent their 'creative selves' versus their 'business selves', and their 'everyday selves'.
   For those afflicted with MMPD, the compulsion to analyze music and engage in unsavory acts like: research, study, practice, collaboration, experimentation and ultimately becoming involved with 'foreign' genres, becomes irresistible, pulling countless producers down a long hard road of musical addiction.
For the performer turned producer, coming down from a 'one genre' focus and having to enter a beginners mind in unfamiliar territories can be a challenging transition, but the lure of "mind expanding" musical experiences often proves too compelling for an artist just leaving the exciting world of long hours, late nights and too much cigarette smoke.
   Side effects of MMPD can be a heavy level of appreciation for cultural diversity and an open mind.
Often times artists with an established following can suffer the stigma of being accused of lack of focus or betrayal of genre/fanbase. Without a community of other producers willing to come out and openly discuss this 'seamier' side of the business, an individual producer can feel isolated and lock themselves in their studios for hours if not days at a time.
If any of these symptoms or conditions sound familiar to you, you may be afflicted. You may be a producer.
Until now, it had been thought that the only cure for this affliction was a steady job doing only one kind of music (or in extreme cases, no music at all!) for the rest of their life...For some, that cure is worse than the disease.
I am happy to be able to reveal to you today, that the real cure is much simpler, free, and readily available!
The secret? Having a good sense of humor, a healthy dose of ambition and perseverance, and finding a supportive place where you can openly declare:
" I am (insert your name here) and I'm a Producer";)

Happy Holidays,
T. Reed - Composer/Music Producer

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