As I reflect on my latest musical compositions, there’s a word that comes to the forefront: spontaneous. There’s a spontaneous nature to the music. However, it’s not just my music that’s spontaneous. That thread runs through all of my work.

A SoundCloud follower who listened to all of the tracks from Five Birds on a Wire pointed out that the music is different. I like that description, but I sought a reason. What makes it different? I think the aleatoric method of setting parameters lends to a spontaneous nature, but there’s something else going on.

When I’m composing and writing, I often make creative decisions quickly. This essay for instance: I just woke up and started writing. Tracks on Five Birds on a Wire include sampled vocals, percussion, and whistling. Each of those parts was completely spontaneous. I simply turned on the microphone and made sounds. I kept the first take and found a way to weave that sample into the song. I didn’t deliberate. I just did it.

I’ve been hard on myself because sometimes it feels like I produce material too fast, without enough care to detail. However, in working that way, a spontaneous element is introduced into my work.

It other words, I throw things at the wall to see of they stick. Then, more often than not, I say, “that’s interesting,” and keep those spontaneous parts in my work. And why not? Being spontaneous can make things different, weird, quirky, and as a creator. . .

fun. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.