What's the point again?

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1) I know I can make 50 songs in 90 day.
2) If I make another 50, I'll have more material to make a cool album.
3) An album that takes even more of my free time to record and produce properly.
4) An album that no one will ever listen to.

For me, it's to be creative. If I were feeling "what's the point", I would take the time to make every song this 50/90 (knowing full well that I won't hit 50) releasable. Then at the end I could do whatever I wanted with them. Maybe even spend my time on marketing instead of rerecording/polishing. And by marketing, I don't mean making money, necessarily, but getting the music "out there" to blogs, review sites, radio, internet radio, indie labels, etc., Our own Sapient is a good example. And John Staples another of what can be done if worked at.

But again, for me, the act of creativity and being part of this community is more important than the rest. Your mileage may vary.

Creativity and community, absolutely. And the combination of both.
My internet was down for two days this week - I could access the site on my phone, but not enough to listen and comment. And I'm a fumble-fingered phone typer, so I posted only once in the forums.
I took the opportunity to write four new songs and record two of them. But I don't know if I would have done that without the anticipation that I'd be back with my 50/90 crew soon.
I get the "what's the point?" question - I ask it all the time. I used to get a bit more attention to my songs through performing when I put more effort into that. I have this backlog of songs going back over 10 years, and here I am adding more - why? Well, I can't help but think that eventually the idea of what to do with them will hit me. If not, that's cool, too.

@ianuarius, re: #4, YOU'LL listen to it.

I sunk a ton of time and money into my first album, and while a few people bought it, I'll never break even on it. But according to iTunes, I've listened to the fully produced studio version of my favorite track something like 450 times. So, self-indulgent as that may be, it was worth it to provide some good music for myself.

The point is whatever you decide to make it.

It kills time.

It gets me in touch with like-minded folks who are passionate about song crafting. We are connected. The albums are merely symbols of a joy in creation.

I make the music *I* want to listen to. No point needed.

Does there need to be a point? If you enjoy the challenge then there's your point. If not then stop. You are the boss, you can call your own shots.

I enjoy the process. Something from nothing and all that jazz. It's just fun. I've completed the challenge once so I don't feel the need to kill myself to get to 50 songs again. I just enjoy riffing on my guitar and dicking around in GarageBand. I do play in a band but I have no illusions that they will do any of my songs, and I have zero interest in a change of career. Making money is not the point. Getting music out there isn't really the point either. It's just fun to write and record and play, regardless of how goofy I feel doing it or if anyone else will ever listen. There's really no point at all, and somehow that is really pleasing to me.

I write for my own sanity and amusement. And to challenge my brain. The rest of my life is mostly tedious and annoying.

I think the point really is to make music you like. I find this really hard to come to terms with myself, because that suggests vanity, but if you don't like your own music then it's totally unreasonable to expect anyone else to. Therefore 50/90 is the struggle to overcome whatever it is in ourselves that stops us from making music we like, whether it is the too noisy inner critic, the need to develop the right skills, the dominant ego that wants to do it for the wrong reasons, or whatever it is that stops us doing it. So the point, in the end, really is to make music you like.

@Ianuarius, you have created 8 brand new songs that did not exist before...you have received almost 100 lovely comments on your songs...you have started and/or participated in a bunch of interesting conversations in the forums...and you have listened to and commented on a whole bunch of fresh, new songs.

To me, that sounds like an awesome use of a couple of weeks in July! Smile

I agree with those who enjoy their own music! I write music I love and I listen to my music (a lot!) Biggrin

I'm a little different from some of the people above. I'm not doing this just for myself, strictly speaking, although my music amuses me to no end and I do quite like it. I am also, in fact, doing it for an audience. A largely hypothetical audience, perhaps. An audience that will never be large, almost certainly. But I would like to be heard.

But that being said, the possibility of meaning something to someone some day is enough; I'm not stopping if people aren't listening now, or even if I'll never know about my ostensible listener. If I might ramble on a bit, an experience just last night (truly! it's a cosmic coincidence!) illustrates my feelings.

I'm in the midst of working on a song about the ghost ship Baychimo right now. Out of curiosity, I checked on Spotify to see if anyone else had written about it. As far as I could tell, there was really only one: a song by someone named Buz Collins, whom I had never heard of.

I played the track and was blown away. (If you're interested, here it is on YouTube, as posted, I believe, by the label). To be honest, I don't find the lyrics that powerful; but the singing, the performance, the feel of epic intimacy, the fact that I was enthralled through the full seven minutes... certainly, I don't expect others to share my reaction, but for whatever reason, I absolutely loved it.

I Googled Buz Collins, and his sole album. There are essentially no reviews, even on iTunes or Amazon. There is very little information about him online at all. Mainly that he was related to some famous musicians. And that, sadly, he fell victim to depression and committed suicide, at the age of only 30, back in 2002.

So for all intents and purposes, he has disappeared from public awareness. He will most likely never have a mass audience.

But yet, last night, fifteen years after his death, he spoke to me deeply. I am enthralled by his music. I bought his album. That may not mean anything to him anymore, but I'd like to think, perhaps, he'd hoped his music would mean something to someone someday, and he'd be pleased to know that it has touched one (more) person.

That's not to say I want to be gone before anyone listens to my music. Fans and comments are great! Really! Leave me more! But even if those dry up, I will keep making music for that person who might, soon or in the distant future, stumble upon it and feel something -- even if only amusement -- as a result. Because I'm proof that in a world of 6 billion people, there's always a chance someone will randomly come across your music and be happy that you made it.

That's lovely, @OdilonGreen.

@OdilonGreen, thanks for sharing that! Made my afternoon!!! Smile

reading books was my passion as a child, so i have more literary references than musical, most likely, as regards this topic.

emily dickinson was never published in her lifetime.
kafka published very little in his lifetime, and asked a friend to burn what writings he had accumulated. fortunately, he did not, and we have the trial, metamorphosis, the castle, and the many parables.

add to the list of authors who became known largely after their death:

henry david thoreau
edgar allen poe
john kennedy toole
sylvia plath
h.p. lovecraft
stieg larsson
and more.....

my favorite quote, likely of all time, puts acts of creation in context, at least for me:

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.”

― Reinhold Niebuhr

the post by @OdilonGreen is poignant because a song was put out into the world that found someone who appreciated it, who was moved by it, much later. as i have grown older, i began to think of my lyrics in the same terms i did when i wrote fiction in my youth-- writing to some future reader, instead of thinking i will ever obtain fame with them in my lifetime. it is comforting to me, actually, to think that my tsunamidaily facebook lyrics page might someday appeal to someone. lyric writing becomes a labor of love, then, instead of a way of attaining praise or acceptance. i mastered the rudiments late in life (i began writing prolifically at 45, and will be 50 in a few days, and more than 700 of my 1000+ lyrics have been written in these last five years), and though i would love to sell a song, it no longer weighs on me. perhaps that is unfortunate-- were i more driven, perhaps i would have had success when i was younger, when i still had my falsetto, and when i played bass in band after band, supporting others. i wrote good songs back then, but not with the facilty and sheer joy with which i write now. i'm a bit flummoxed this year with 50/90-- my computer is away getting upgrades, so i can't record, or even write lyrics with the computer i have used for such for the last ten years. i am using a laptop with horrible little speakers, so i have not listened to a single creation of anyone else's so far this year, because i cannot hear them properly. i have not had a day off since july 4 to return comments, whereas last year i got two days off each week, which will not happen this summer. so, i have specifically asked myself what the point is this year. i'm writing songs piecemeal instead of in one burst of an hour or hour and a half, much to my chagrin. i'm getting my computer back tomorrow, and should get a day off next week. i'm finally going to be able to lift my music man bass next week after hernia surgery last month. i'm jamming with someone new now, as my previous jam partner, someone i felt was a close friend, ghosted me at the end of last year. i literally had to threaten legal action to get my instruments back that he had. it is a pattern with him, to drive people away-- he has even done it with me before. it does not make the loss any easier, knowing i did nothing to provoke what was likely inevitable on his part. but it contributes to my own feeling of "what's the point again?" which is the theme of this thread.

i hope this summer finds everyone else at their peak and raring to go. the point is to create something where there previously was nothing. there is no smaller, lesser, fame-addled point.

why? cuz you rock, ianuarius!


First guitar players got the most.

So then, moved onto Bass.

And now my wife, --loved Drums, so that too.

It's worked out quite well.

Now, I get to be one of those very very ... very cool "old" guys (not yet, but coming next) who knows everything there is to know about music, certain bands, (what really happened), what it was "like" in the 60, 70, 80's...

Yes, music, has provided a very good life, still does.

So has cooking, --girls love a guy who can cook... OMG... mix music and food... and you've got it all! -- Good music, good food, and a good woman... what else is there?

nutation, sounds like a plan.

be that as it may, i was thinking about this some more, and of course, we all rock.

there's some kind of drive with us that has us creating, whether deliberately and in great detail, or off the cuff improvisation, to 'see what happens'.

i listen to my own recordings, and have always tried to improve, and once in awhile a number will sound 'in the ballpark' of 'how it really should'.

once, a famous rocker was saying something to the effect that, 'people who listen to their own music are sick', but i tend to disagree. maybe the guy was afraid of losing record sales.

anyway, speaking of epiphanies or whatnot, there's been nothing else in life quite like those moments where a self-made recording is 'finding the spot'. ymmv

spent five hours in the ER with a kidney stone today. it adds to the feeling of "what's the point again?"

Don't let the kidney stones win.

I am a child
born into this world
I have myself
to blame
I possess a feather, a stone, and an acorn
I can carve my initials into the sand
but I cannot own the land
does it matter to the stars
whether I sing at night?

I still hear from him
From... often
He writes a little letter
(It's as soft as cotton!)
Oh, one day I'll write back
For he is my best friend
And now we both are penpals,
He... put my stone back in my end!

Oh, hi de di de di de di de di de di de di...

For me the point of writing 50 songs is to get better at writing songs by writing songs so I can...

- Write songs I'd want to perform in front of people
- Actually perform these songs locally
- Elicit some emotional response from them other than the cringe

Also, I think of myself as a creator and writing songs tickles the creator in me.

The Point is an animated movie about Oblio, who is pointless but still has a point. Also a wonderful Harry Nilsson album which is related somehow to the movie. Biggrin

Great album. I remember it fondly from when I was a wee lad.

I'm totally with this. I make the music I want to hear myself. It's awesome if other people listen to it as well, but first and foremost I'm making it for myself.

The point to this stuff for me is just doing it. That and hearing my kids occasionally break out in one of my songs. Or having one of my own songs come to mind when I'm driving or see something or whatever.


The point is whatever you make of it. I kind of see 50/90 not as a goal, but as a tool towards a goal. That goal is to make things that I'm proud of. I have other goals in music as well... make albums, get more paying gigs, put together a band that lasts more than 5 rehearsals, get people to buy my albums... that sort of thing. Those goals are separate from 50/90 and I take measures to make sure they happen a little bit at a time. Sometimes 50/90 helps. Sometimes it doesn't. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't get a strong sense of satisfaction from completing a song that I'm really proud of.

Yeah, I'm just not feeling it now. But this happens with everything. When I work on something for a few weeks, it turns into just pure misery. I guess it's time to do something else... again. Maybe I'll see you in August!

I'll still be writing that guitar technique guide. I have a good feeling about it.

The point is one-dimensional
The line is two-dimensional
The cube is three-dimensional

When the cube is thrown and hits you in the head, that's fourth-dimensional pain.

The point for me of 50/90 is sheer fun and pleasure Smile
I'm lucky I get to write the rest of the time also, and am starting to earn royalties etc from it, and its increasing. But with 50/90 I write just whatever comes into my head, and I dont think about the end use.
That said, I have returned to many FAWM and 50/90 lyrics in the past and they have turned into songs that are now earning me money. Just a few.

(computer voice) 'catharsis'

I think you are seeing it "here", -- relationship building... if not for that, there would be only Muzak.

I get a lot out of authentically "being" here. Well, that, and as I commented above Smile

I wanted to see how far I could push this muse. One of my friends just ran 250km through the Gobi Desert. And I realized I wasn't challenging myself enough. Focusing on writing a song a day might drive me crazy, but if it's Brian Wilson crazy, it might be a positive thing in the end.

There's definitely value there. I challenge myself all the time. But I've already done this thing. When I did my 50 songs, one of them was a 47min long symphony. I can do this. It's just that nobody cares.

I do place a lot of value on what people think about me and if they notice me. It might not be very noble, but I've just come to accept it. I can just ignore it. In fact, I very often do. But there's nothing to replace it. Nothing motivates me.

One thing people here have taught me, is how to communicate with them in such a way that they do communicate back. I figured start with me, for a change affect. This then results in more caring for what I do.

What I like, discern is, while no BFFs... great, useful, authentic interaction, and -- I too push myself to care more about others work, words, time "spent" here.

Some will never appreciate you, others, only seek petting of their work. But, if even achieved, of what value is it?

This thread caused a "cares for it reaction" by many. Sometimes we don't see, at least some of what we seek. In life, "this" is it, if even on stage in front of 20-30k drunk "fans". It's a moment, and then, it's gone like vapor, morning dew, unknown by the grass it just made wet.

There are also the gains of targeted practice. More experience completing songs will likely lead to better songs.