Time for contemplation! Appreciate yourself & your individual mind!

A new Full HD, Full motion Music Video for a recent Piano composition of mine.
This one has a strong message, including words of advice in end video-text!

Been a while since last post. Hopefully this one will keep your interest.
This one is not only about Wishing you Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

[edit: updated link. removed some video editing glitches in my re-upload]

The new Music video that I just uploaded on my Youtube channel is a way to suggest attempting to see things from different Xmas perspectives than just the traditional rush for the perfect Xmas celebration or the perfect gift.

More specifically, it is aimed at the ones of you hurting, to start change perspectives of how you relate to yourself and your emotions!
I noticed several friends over at Facebook pour their heart out in grief and sorrow, specifically during the Holiday season.

This all inspired me to make a visual concept and also put words of advice for those of you who are devastated with grief, sad memories,
and/or feel like you are worth nothing and that your future will always feel the same.

(I also wrote Facebook posts about the subject, but I elaborate a bit further in this blog text.)

One point I’d like to make is that you don’t know everything about yourself conclusively.
You don’t fully know everything worth knowing about the future of others, let alone your own future, you hear!?

If you have lost all your hope in any stage of your life, I’d say it could be an indication that you have been stuck with tunnel-vision.
At least for certain aspects of your view of yourself, others or your current & future situation.

I have touched upon this way of self-reflecting in earlier posts, and I believe it does indeed connect to both creating art and rational problem solving.

Reason I say this as bluntly as I am here, is NOT for the sake of gloating, or putting salt in your wounds, even though it might feel like it.

More like a suggestion for getting a different perspective than your current one, for your own benefits.

There are consequences to all your actions, and what you choose to focus on.
Good and bad consequences, even if you don’t see it right away. I am not talking about Karma per se.

Yourself and others are always affected by actions, interactions, and that it stems from mindsets in individuals, and individual thoughts as well as collectivism kinds of mindsets.

So perhaps you don’t think you can change things?

Well I’d say there are overarching things that are close to impossible for an individual to change in the modern society, at least in the short term sense, that many depressed people seem to be stuck in.

There are however significant things that you CAN change or at least influence for the better. Both short term and long term.
Your mind is still your own, if you allow it!

(Hmm, that also reminds me of a phrase in a certain contemporary Xmas related song, come to think of it.)

But it can take time with personal contemplations to hone individual and skeptic skill set, in case you feel you are too easily influenced,
or perhaps too easily pushed around by other people or powers that be.

A thing about contemplations: I noticed it’s easier to make that when everything is silent, or at least when there aren’t an ever changing flow of distractions.

I also believe it can be important to work hard with contemplation and an alert mindset to avoid being too easily influenced, or manipulated etc.

And in case you compare your seemingly miserable situation with the picture-perfect families around you, and in media, do give this a thought:

Many parents, successful people etc. probably also try their best to keep up a nice window dressing, which would be additional work, with fear and worries still as a co-motivator.

I am not a parent, but like many other, I have heard this directly from the horse’s mouth in multiple cases.
So next time you perceive that ultimate happiness of others, know that they are human too, just like you. Not super-human.
See, different life styles also fit different people.

Perhaps you don’t know what you’re missing, but equally important, Perhaps you don’t know what you current have? AND Perhaps you don’t know what the things you feel you’re missing would do for you, if you had it.

So realistically, how would you want to change your life, or yourself, and WHY, and into what ?

Wouldn’t you at least wanna keep certain aspects of your current self, realistically speaking?
I recently watched a documentary about methods for removing alcoholic addictions, and it seemed extremely brutal.
(not only because I don’t drink myself)

I wouldn’t want anyone having to go so far that they’d willingly(?) choose to break down their personality completely, to at all being able to build it up from scratch.
I assume there are still similar methods for depression treatments.

I want to believe that there are other preemptive measures that anybody can take to avoid that, especially if being able to identify the original reasons for the emotional struggles etc.

Whether you struggle with any of these things in particular or not, I use to say this:

Depending on your mindset and level of Resolve, things in your life situation, and your personal struggles can always get worse, but it can also always get better!

I think it is depending on your actions, and if you choose to try changing your mindset or not.

I personally don’t do New Year’s Resolutions by the way.
The aim can be the same as I talk about here, but the method is probably very different.

I don’t believe in making hasty or impulsive hard promises based on the calendar.

I personally think it takes more resolve than that, and in a way, we need to earn our Resolve…
…By Contemplation(!)

So there you have it. 🙂
(Wow, who said that Music licensing must necessarily always be the death of personal contemplation and moral values… I still wish to maintain my moral and musical values as much as I can .)

Hope I won’t disappoint with my Video production or the music itself.
The composition is not as complex as some of my other solo instrument works, see.

But in this context, I am beginning to be way more happy with it than I initially was.
And Wait for it… I deliberately made changes in emotions and also put Easter eggs in the Music video, playing on your presumed assumptions, in multiple ways.

Here’s the Video link again:
Resolve By Contemplation – Meditative Piano Composition with a strong message

It is probably important to connect emotionally with you to get my point across better.
And it was important to picture adversity in this case.

But as usual, things are not 100% black or white, or what it initially seems to be here.
Connecting emotionally with audiences (and customers and voters etc. etc.) have been done successfully countless times through media and more, but I always wish to ask myself:
What is the motive and the promoted message for the occasion?

Life as a human is a weird but curious thing, whether your are religious, atheist, politically involved or couldn’t care less about such.
No matter which gender, race, sex-orientation, class, personal flavor, I made the conclusion that we share the similar worries, appreciations and sources for happiness more often than not.

You should of course make your own conscious conclusion about everything.
But did you notice I tried to encourage becoming curious about more thing than the personal situation alone through all this?

Either way, I strongly wish for the well being of all of you reading this.
Thank you so much for your time and interest in my contemplations and my music.

Let’s see what 2017 will bring us, AND what WE will bring for 2017! ^^
More update posts to come sooner this time!
big hugs / Fredrik

On Overthinking AKA Contemplating vs. Narrow-mindness AKA Focused mindset (and how it may affect the quality & speed of creativity)

“Over-thinking/Contemplating” vs. “Narrow-mindedness/Focused mindset”
(and different ways it may affect both quality & quantity of your creative work, and the production value for it)

by Fredrik Park – Composer, Music Producer, Musician & Music teacher

Here are some aspects of finding balance between over-thinking and when to stop looking into a subject further.
What do you choose to spend your time with, attempting to improve more efficiently? (if that’s even your aim)

This very blog post is addressing perspectives of improving quality & skills for Music Production a little bit more than the composing-songwriting improvements aspects.

 

But to start with, what if you pin the two general kinds of mindsets against each other?
Here’s a way to look at these two, addressing both some pros and cons:

“Over-thinking/Contemplating” can be time consuming at the expense of productivity, and often perceived as less social.
I believe it often can offer a deeper kind of storytelling and creativity though.
Often more personally fulfilling, and perhaps also emotionally connecting stronger with your listeners, by delivering a deeper message in your work, that might seem more significant to the listener.
But don’t forget, to get things done, you also need to consider when you’d benefit more from moving on, whether it is for an unforeseen period of time, or for a shorter while before returning to it.
This goes for creative tasks, and might be applicable to lifestyle and relationship topics in general too, I believe.

“Narrow-mindedness/Focused mindsets” on the other hand can limit your perspectives or making you regret wasting lots of time on choices that turns out to be non-efficient, or maybe you are emptying the wallet on badly fitting investments or bad quality, if you failed to do sufficient research into the matter.
(e.g. expensive instrument samples or plugins that you end up have little or no real use for, regretting you didn’t pick a better alternative instead.)

So a different cause for not being efficient with your time.
However, sticking to a single aim at the time of course should help you get particular tasks done quicker.
And perhaps also being able to successfully juggle a higher amount of different projects etc. at the same time. Or being able to successfully finish off each full project one at the time faster.

It can often depend on what kinds of improvements you aim to achieve at the time, and long term speaking as well.
It might also depend on the kind of audience or employers that you aim for.
I’ve probably spent too much time on doing research, but in this context, making good software purchase choices for music production surely speed things up in the end.
At least if aiming high with the production quality. And I might spend less time with research ahead…

One other route for higher productivity quantity-wise would be to make more music with less attractive sounds & samples libraries or recording quality. And with less attention to details.

This way would require less research and investments, and less time per song.
But if aiming high, it would either require spending tons of time with post-editing and tweaking, damage-control even, or simply not caring at the moment.
Maybe fixing it with future purchases, or letting someone else fix it.
Again, focusing on songwriting or productivity with the current audio quality might be preferred by some.

I’ve done all the above, but lately leaned towards that research is worth my time, generally speaking.
I can spot and avoid bad quality & aim for high quality way easier and faster lately, thanks to my past research and choices for music production investments.

Plus, my knowledge and ears for music production qualities has increased from it. Even the versatile kind of creativity. But the sheer number of tracks I’ve made the last years are far less because of it. Question is if I should regret that, or if I should be content in gradually increasing quantity productivity ahead?

I do believe in a using a combination of at least both these kinds of mindsets. (I’d say there may be other kinds of mindsets too)
At one point however, it’s probably time to be content with the current level of audio quality or amount of Mixing & Mastering studies, or your Music theory studies etc.
At least for the time being.

 

Try your wings again and see if you can speed up the composing or mixing process with a quality that you are happy with. Without getting stuck on minor details too much.

On a similar note, I’m personally not a fan of making “one song each day” regardless of quality though.
At least not if the process is rushed in any way.
Even though focused work with strong time limits can get things going quicker and easier, but I’d still suggest allowing yourself to elaborate, at least for a little while on initial ideas.

Even if it would breach the time limit that you might have set for yourself slightly.

I’d agree more with another common advice to “spend time each day on your goals, e.g. improving your performing skills and songwriting, etc.”
To me, that’s the more thoughtful advice, more applicable on different aims and situations.
And to always aim to study, practice, compose, produce etc. in a conscious and mindful manner.
Anyways, I might still fool myself with these conclusions to some extent, in a similar way I suspect people who use the terms “over-thinking” or “narrow-mindedness” in exclusively negative contexts often might fool themselves.

There are always ways to look at these things slightly differently. As long as you’re not clinging onto neither of these two seemingly final mindsets, I think you’re onto something.
As always, I suggest trying to not looking at things 100% black or white, or from a single perspective.
I elaborate more on these things in this blog post of mine:
http://fredrikpark.com/2014/12/31/multi-facetted-perspectives-as-a-personal-philosophy-and-as-a-composer/

And for more specific advice on improving composing and improvisation skills, so far I’ve written a 3 part blog text on that too, and more… Check it out in my blog!

http://fredrikpark.com/blog/
http://fredrikpark.com/
https://soundcloud.com/fredrik-park
note: Music Production can be described as the whole process of Recording, Editing, Mixing and Mastering.
Mixing is probably what most people associate with Music Production.

It’s making any changes in volumes, EQ (changing frequencies like bass, mid, treble in a more precise way), editing audio (e.g. changing pitch, timing, stretching audio, combining parts from multiple recorded takes, (often referred to as “comping”), adding audio effects and such.

“Mastering” is the final adjustments made preferably by a professional Audio Engineer. The mastering process typically involves volume adjustments of the full finalized tracks, unifying the track volumes and character through EQ, compression and limiting (these are separate topics all together, and I won’t elaborate more on these things here. There are plenty of both free and retail material on these subjects already.)

You might have heard of Landr, which is a very cheap, but automated Mastering solution.
Probably the #1 problem with any blind automated decisions, by AI or algorithms, is that although it was initially programmed by people, then the Mastering decisions for your track are not done with concern for any musical directions or details that you might wish to be taken into consideration. A pro Audio engineer would.
To me, automated Mastering can fix a few issues like volume levels correlation, maybe any horrible imbalance of frequencies.
But I assume it doesn’t makes any human fine tuning based on musical context, such as addressing any creative intentions through specific mixing, accents, phrases or other musical details like that. We’ll see how it progresses in the future though…

Multi-facetted perspectives as a personal philosophy and as a composer

Oh, here’s a new blog post, on the philosophical side, also with revealing an aspect of some of my most personal music concepts.

I intend to share some contemplating thoughts on various subjects with you too.
Perhaps there will be something to learn or spend a thought on from it. Things you might or might not have considered in depth.

It also depends on you, if you have the motivation to try seeing things from more than one perspective.
Personally, I think it often can be a good thing…

Ok, here are a few conclusions from some personal contemplating:


About multi-facetted perspectives

Considering different perspectives can lead to not only a fuller picture for what you’d regard as reliable or not, but also a more genuine understanding & compassion for others and their different situations and mindsets. At least the way I see it.
To consider all these things can benefit us as human beings, I feel. Trying to understand each other, as opposed to totally alienating ourselves from each other cultures, traditions or said mindsets.

As a composer, it’s also important for my artistic intentions to create music that correlates deeply with emotions, story telling and subtle concepts.
It benefits my aims to further improve my composer skills and creative insight.

Trying to put myself in someone else’s situation and such, trying to see things from different angles and any dualistic messages that might be intended in music, scripts, or any media productions, etc.
I believe these are vital aspects of lots of highly regarded art and media productions in general…

Big words, and from a different angle, I could still be wrong.
I could read too much into things (or overlooking things), but so could we all, I think…

I think we all make assumptions, often based on limited amount of time spent on a subject, or based on previous experiences alone.

To me, the above is profound even for my personal music, and if you’re interested, I can tell you this:

Some of those compositions of mine are created partly around the idea of deliberately creating suggestions for early assumptions,
but with the concept that not everything is what it seems. Not even from the beginning.
(“And that’s just one soydd of meh!”, like Susan Boyle once said, as people in the audience were rolling their eyes.)

I could choose to reveal lots of such specific details, but I’d prefer if you make your own interpretations and conclusions from them. I love whenever I discover similar things in works by others too…

But if you read this, then now at least you know that I claim there’s something deeper to these compositions.

note: Lately, I’ve been focusing on improving mixing/mastering skills more…
Not all of these tracks reflect my current and upcoming music production mixing/mastering abilities and currently available instrumental sample libraries (instrument software plugins),
but they do indeed reflect the above aspects of composing and concepts.
Most of those tracks are very personal and I’m aware that these are not very suitable for music licensing, due to their complex and diverse nature.
At least not for full length versions.

I’ll start focusing more on music for licensing and also look for more commissioned composing too.

For some upcoming blog posts though, I think I’ll write a bit more specific, and not always mentioning my own music.
Have a sane Holiday and a relaxing time everyone!
best wishes / Fredrik