What can Apple's WWDC Introduction teach you about the nature of creativity & music production?

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I've been thinking about this video A LOT recently, and have been showing it to students in their private 1-2-1 sessions with me. I know, it's got fuck all to do with how Logic, Ableton or Pro Tools works, but I think it's incredibly valid to look at the message that one of the world's most creative companies is putting out there at the moment, and what we can learn from it... "If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything..."

What does this mean? In short, "don't be all things to all men" as the old saying goes. A lot of people (myself included) have fallen into this trap, attempting to fulfil all sorts of tasks and projects in a wide variety of fields.

So what can we learn from this statement? Simply, to not spread yourself too thinly. Know what you stand for. Why are you here? What are you here to do?

Then do that...and only that...

In the words of Steve Jobs himself...

"You'll do more, when you do less"

Just reflect on that for a minute, and apply it to your own music production...are you actually doing this when you write tracks? Are you trying to satisfy too wide a range of people? Are you trying to please everyone, all of the time?

"We start to confuse convenience with joy...and abundance with choice..."

If you looked at my previous posting about how an artform is defined by it's limitations, then you'll see the connection here...in this day and age, with continuous connectivity, ever more convenient ways of acquiring and distributing content, wisdom and information, we are in serious danger of getting the medium and the message completely the wrong way around...

If you confuse convenience with joy, you'll more than likely hit the sync button on traktor, rather than beat matching and having to really think about what your next record will be...

If you confuse abundance with choice, you've probably got a list of plugins in your DAW that is likely longer than my actual physical arm...and probably don't have a fucking clue how any of them work...

Is this REALLY the way to create art? Does a painter keep hundreds of brushes for no apparent reason?

In the words of David 'Ram Jam' Rodigan when he guested on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show recently...

"In an ocean full of water, the fool is always thirsty"

Just because you have unlimited choice, doesn't mean you'll always make the right choice...but if you self - restrict your possibilities to only certain outcomes, then that's where the art and poetry can really flow from...every other possibility becomes superfluous, irrelevant, in the face of this one, screaming outcome, which makes itself so clear, as to almost grab you by the throat...

"When we design something, the first thing we ask is 'what do we want people to feel?'"

Ask yourself...as a producer / DJ, have you ACTUALLY sat down and thought about what the answer to this question would be, before your DJ Set / Studio session? Because I can bet a lot of you reading this probably haven't, and a lot won't, because they're too busy putting their fucking ego in front of everything...you know how it goes...

"I want more gigs"

"I want to play at Space Ibiza"

"I want to be massive and famous and have groupies with mouth syphilis sucking me off underneath the decks at this supposedly trendy event"

I mean, really? For fucks sake...and you wonder why so much music sounds generic, fake, vapid and devoid of meaning these days...it's not just the availability of technology that's doing it, it's primarily the people weilding that technology...

So, are you making your music, performing your sets, for the right reasons, or just looking to fall down a K Hole with some ass douche hot - shit DJ who can't mix for shit?

What do you WANT people to feel? What is inside you that has to come out? What do you want to share? If you don't know the answer to any of these questions, I suggest you hang fire, walk out of the room, take a trip out for an hour and ruminate on this before going any further...

"Then we begin to craft around our intention"

You can only make and perform to your message, once you know what that message is...and it can't just be the first thing that falls out of your ass and into Ableton...I've noticed this with so many people who I've coached...so quick to say 'it's finished' and rush it onto Beatport because they think that's how they get big...and then they wonder why it doesn't happen...

Unless your music says exactly what you want it to say, and it communicates your intent...then it has no business being released...hold onto it for a bit longer, objectify it, look at where it is weak and requires more...if you want your music to be out on big labels such as Cocoon Recordings, is it REALLY good enough to get noticed? Personally, if you consider your music good enough for some label to throw it up online at no risk, but not good enough to be pressed onto vinyl, then you need to go back to the drawing board...

"It takes time...there are a thousand no's...for every yes..."

How many of you just settle for the first thing you write? The next record you see in your list of endless compressed files in your Traktor library / Rekordbox database...again, in a sea of digital possibility, the only sensible way forward is restriction...restriction LIBERATES...

"We simplify...we perfect..." For me, as a producer / composer, this means one thing only...

'if you can't say it simply, then it's not worth saying'....say what you mean, using the fewest elements required to say it...otherwise, you are not communicating your message and intent clearly enough

Perfectionism is a very destructive thing if you let it overtake your life, but let that need to push yourself to fulfil your potential be a driver for your career and art...just relax about it, have clarity of mind...just don't stop!

"A muscle's ability to produce power is directly related to it's ability to relax" - David Allen (author, 'Getting Things Done'

"We start over..."

Don't be afraid to hit delete...if it isn't working, stop, wipe the slate clean, start again...and remember, nobody on the dancefloor hear's the other 25 failed sessions you started...only the one that blew their fucking brains out...

"Until every thing we touch...enhances every life it touches"

Are you enhancing the lives of the people your music and performances are meant for? Or are you just adding to the malaise of information racing past people's eyeballs on the way to the Junk folder...of which there's already far too much!

You have to make your own mark...don't blend in with the crowd...

So, in conclusion....

*SIMPLIFY *RATIONALISE *KNOW YOUR INTENT *ONLY PRODUCE ART THAT STAYS TRUTHFUL TO THAT INTENT *CRAFT IT SO IT SPEAKS YOUR INTENT AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE *TAKE YOUR EGO OUT OF IT...IT HAS NO BUSINESS BEING IN THE STUDIO, OR THE BOOTH... *DON'T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE *DON'T LET IT OUT INTO THE WORLD UNTIL IT'S *REALLY* READY...

That's how I see it...I'd love to hear what you guy's have to say about this too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YbRPNUIC_I8