Personal outdated sensebilities pt 2 (musician v.s. composer)

In continuation of my recent quest to root out the outdated sensebilities, a certain one has become more apparet to me
It will not be enough to just explore more types of music or even participate in them
I need to go even further and question my basic identity which has been as a musician
All of my aspirations and fantasies have revolved around people admiring me for all of my talents as someone who could play really well and be enteraining while doing it
But all along, I had this smoldering need to be more than that
There was a need to create music that attempted to defy traditions and contribute to the advancement of music as an art form
I didn’t necessarily need to be hugely important
But I at least needed to give a shit about being important
All of this was well and good, but there was a shortcoming
For all of the talent I posessed, I had no desire to become very accomplished at any instrument other than the drums

As I addressed in the last post, I should have used Zappa as an influence in more ways than just as a great musician and songwriter
Another influence has also been Foetus who is the artist who helped me think in terms of electronic compostition
The word “composer” has been tossed around when describing both artists
To me it was nothing different than a fancy way to say “songwriter”
Composers were classical and/or soundtrack type musicians that orchestrated tons of different instruments
Songwriters wrote pop music (and had composers write for the symphony that played for them on the big TV show)

Although I had admiration for the talent, skill and depth it took to be a composer, I never really wanted to be one
Maybe it as because I only do things that come easy to me, but if I get off on that tangent then I will go on forever
Suffice it to say that I was content to create my music withing the confines of the conventional rock n roll instrumentation
Sure, I had no problems subjecting guitar, bass and drums to all kinds of manipulation and effects processing
But when it came down to it, I kept my musical ideas tied to those instruments and in doing so, limited my creativity to only things that i could produce with my hands

If you have to use a machine to play something that you cannot, then it is CHEATING!!!!!!

Being that my entire life’s ambition was to be considered worthy because of my special abilities, I heartily subscribed to the purist’s ethic that you have to play what you write (and replicate it perfectly live as well)
First, drum machines were cheating
Then keyboards
Then samplers
Next thing you know, people like me who have spent their entire lives perfecting their craft are irrelevant
That is, unless you want to play said cheater material live
Except for Zappa
He got a pass from me because I was sure that he would have mastered every instrument he wrote with if he had the time

It wasn’t until I was listening to a podcast by Carl King that the concept of being a composer started to seem more within my grasp
He was speaking about the aformentioned problem with confining your musical thoughts to rock instrumnents
I was checking out Fruity Loops at William’s house the other night and I resolved to use it as a compositional tool
I can compose these crazy whirlwind parts that keep whizzing around in my head and give them any sound I like
Plus, I don’t even need to know musical notation in order to to do it
And I don’t feel bad leaving the cheater patrol behind because they never gave me my props in the first place

So, am I going to introduce myself as a composer from now on?
It seems that most of the time, I am not even confident enough to call myself a musician anymore
I just default to “artist” and then rant for 30 minutes about what I do

I would never place myself next to those composers and compare myself to them
But can I at least drop the pretense on both sides?
I may not be as important as those composers but I do believe that we are cut from the same cloth
So why not also quit holding myself down by humbling myself in comparison?

I need to just get on with it and do it
So what if it isn’t as important as Beethoven or Zappa or eve Dr Zoltan Obelisk?
I’m stuck with the artistic life
Might as well do something with it


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