Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by Len911 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:29 pm

If I had to choose between the most demanding, it would probably be opera and musicals.

There's singing, dancing, orchestration, and it all must work together with impeccable timing and at the same time keep the audience engaged in the story. You could say I suppose maybe a play without music is more difficult in a certain way, though it isn't nearly as expensive to produce.

Otoh, imo if there was more theater technique used in writing just regular pop songs, it might improve the vast majority of songs. Lessons I need to spend more time with myself. :?
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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by Kolstad » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:00 am

Very true that both instrumentalists and singer songwriters are artists in their own right, but I think that what ML stated rings true for the many in the forums who done both as DIY producers. With a song with vocals you have to compose BOTH an instrumental bed AND compose a coherent lyric (sometimes both to specs) plus all the work producing vocals. So from a DIY production standpoint, it IS easier to produce instrumental tracks, simply because it involves fewer tasks and you therefore can get from a-z faster.

Of course, the quantity of tasks involved doesnt make any one less or more an artist, but from experience I can certainly relate to what ML said that instrumental tracks are easier. Dean Krippaehne is actually also an accomplished songwriter, and have had songs in the Billboard top 10. Without putting words in anyones mouth, Im sure those songs took a bit more effort than some of the Dramedy cues, as they in addition involve lyric composing, lyric performance, vocal editing and mixing, which is pretty time consuming no matter from what angle you look at it.

To me there is no less artistry in house painting than in artist painting, so Im not really struck by that analogy. I think working with tv/film music really has demystified the abstract idea of "the artist" for me, and dis-assembled artistry into a set of real skills and tasks that make up what we call "art". That demystified understanding of art doesnt make it any less artistic to me, but it does make it a lot more practical, and comforting in the sense that art as a set of skills and tasks is something anyone can learn, do and enjoy. As Ken Robinson says, schools in the western world takes away the natural born creativity we enter this world with, so the last thing we need now is to go back to an understanding of art as an elitist idea, that very few can learn and enjoy. Deans books are really wonderful this way, to demystify the high brow myth of "art", and so is Taxi, imo.

So I think you are wrong if assuming there is any underlaying idea to diminish certain types of artists in the efforts that Taxi makes, on the contrary, the inclusive message that this is something anybody can do with less effort than you think, is emphasized again and again. This speaks counter to common assumptions that you need to be an "artist" in the elitist sense, in order to put your already aquired artist skills to use. That is what Ive seen in the 5years+ Ive been a member and in the forums, and I have appreciated every moment of that.

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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by mojobone » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:06 am

Not disagreeing with Hummingbird, here, but I like to reserve the 'oil vs acrylic' painting analogy for debates involving analog and digital audio.


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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by Telefunkin » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:03 am

Len, what about painting an opera house? ;) :lol:
Sorry, being silly but I couldn't resist.
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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by waveheavy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:54 am

I didn't miss Michael's original point of his analogy. I just disagree with the comparison that instrumental writing is easier just because it doesn't involve writing lyrics.

There's examples even on this form of primarily singer-songwriters that have a hard time trying to write instrumental cues outside their singer-songwriter style. And even though Robin Frederick treats a song with lyrics that has the vocal stems removed having the potential to become an instrumental cue, that's still not the same thing as writing an orchestral piece, or jazz, or big band piece, etc.

Anyone can learn to contrive a Hip-Hop beat with a simple drum library and bass samples mixed in a DAW, or load up an atmospheric drone patch from one of their synths and add a bit of percussion and call it a tension cue, etc. That's not what I'm talking about, but indeed fits Michael's analogy well. But write me a contrapuntal piece using 17th century counterpoint like what Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven studied to fit a classical period film scene, and suddenly the instrumental composer vs. songwriter comparison just doesn't work.

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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by Len911 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:44 am

Telefunkin wrote:Len, what about painting an opera house? ;) :lol:
Sorry, being silly but I couldn't resist.
Oh, sorry, it was about painting, wasn't it? Most are probably stone or marble or petrified wood, and not needing painting?? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by hummingbird » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:45 am

+1 Dave
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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by Len911 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:16 pm

But write me a contrapuntal piece using 17th century counterpoint like what Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven studied to fit a classical period film scene, and suddenly the instrumental composer vs. songwriter comparison just doesn't work.
Classical period film scene? Wasn't that before talkies? :P :twisted:

The greatest instrument is the human voice, to a human. A symphony is probably better compared to a choir than a singer-songwriter. But then if you don't like the singer-songwriter?

The ear is naturally tuned to the voice, singer-songwriter would be harder, if for no other reason than it's almost impossible to have a neutral opinion of a singer-songwriter or the lyrics. It's easier not to notice an instrumental and perhaps be lulled to sleep. If I don't know the singer-songwriter, the picture I might get of the person from the voice, do they sound young and beautiful or old, fat and ugly,lol! Violins look pretty much the same.
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Re: Instrumentalist "House painters" vs. Songwriter "Artist painters"

Post by mojobone » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:06 pm

Let's not get hung up on the difference between 'easy' and 'easier', please. Wait for the corollary, that instrumental cues are simpler to produce than instrumental songs. Instantly catchy, timeless melodies aren't exactly thick on the ground, whether they're sung or swung. It's a fair point that writing simply is one of the hardest things to do, but the whole point of the exercise, which I hope no one has missed is that the techniques transfer.
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