Too Many Options?
This article by Ewan Pearson brings up an interesting question about the creative process. How do you end your work? What is an ending? Do you always know when you’ve arrived at the ending? Or do you have to force yourself to let go? Are you ever finished?
“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
Countless creative people over the centuries have reiterated the sentiment above.
And abandoning a work of art (i.e. completing and releasing an album, novel, film, etc.) is getting harder and harder to do nowadays. We’re no longer limited in the same ways we might have been even 10 years ago, limited to our own intrinsic human skills, limitations of resources, technology, etc.
Tools are available now that put a whole world of possibilities at your fingertips. 50 years ago, if you wanted an orchestra to play on your folk song, you’d have to convince a label to pay a huge group of players union-wages to get together, practice the arrangement (which would also cost money), and finally, to record. Expensive! Time-intensive! Logistically complex!
Today, you can use a very realistic orchestra sample that comes in a box (or not even in a box, sometimes it just comes from the ether-world of internet magic.)
You have almost unlimited options.
Amazing, of course. And potentially maddening. How do you creative musicians stay sane? How do you know what kitchen sinks to throw into your song and what kitchen sinks to leave out? Which mix is the right one? Which effects?
The ability to endlessly tinker with every sonic aspect of your music can also lead to endless indecision. How do you combat that?