OK, it's confession time. I am a HUGE narcissist. I mean, obviously I think I'm the greatest, better than your boyfriend, etc. But at least that is all true beyond any doubt.
What I'm talking about today is different. I am my biggest fan. If I make a new song, I will listen to it for at least 24 hours on repeat. Often times I listen on my computer, then play it in the bathroom while I take a shower. When I'm in front of the mirror I lip sync and dance to my own music, imagining that I am performing it. Then after my shower I listen to it in the car while I drive.
Is this normal? Or at least healthy?
Usually I only listen to one of my songs on repeat. However, this trip I have been listening to Kristen, Mystery, and Better than your Boyfriend on shuffle. It's almost like a drug. When the stewardesses make us put away our MP3 players, I get antsy because I want to hear myself sing "There's a little bit of thug in everyone...".
How weird is this? I KNOW I'm not as good as my other favorite rappers. It's blatantly obvious. However, for some reason I still prefer listening to myself. Maybe it's some sort of comfort thing because my voice is familiar. A lot of times I make new songs because I've listened to my old ones 1000 times and want variety.
And this isn't even limited to music. I can't tell you how many tmes I watched our Amazing Race application video on repeat. It clearly wasn't even very good because we didn't make it on the show. My survivor video was just me talking to a camera. I watched that well over 100 times.
I even read my own blog. If I'm bored, I go read stories I've written. Your guess is as good as mine as to how many times I've listened to my Tycast. It's just me talking! Still, I couldn't help but press play over and over again.
The only exception I can think of is pictures. I never like looking at pictures of myself for some reason. I think I look pretty good in real life and in video, but awful in pictures.
This has been on my mind for a while and seems pretty weird to me. Is anyone else like this with their music / videos / writing?
Hi, I wanted to reply to something besides the polyphasic thing because I'm a logophile and we can't bear to appear one-dimensional. So I will proffer assurances that either a) you're normal or b) you're no weirder than me, which you may take as as comforting as you like. ;) I get obsessed with my own writing; I've reread emails and blog-entries hundreds of times, I surf my "sent" folders, and when I get antsy I break open my mammoth collection of poetry and read until the pooling saliva shorts my keyboard.
But no, it's nothing like masturbation. Except insofar as that it's normal, heh.
I marwel at my own creations years after they are done cos they are done PERFECTLY, just the way I like it (like the car im going to tune up). So it means your music is perfect for you, also your writing (I read my old stuff and it is great:) It only shows great alligement in what you like and what you are capabol of making. Just be criticall about it and make it a growing experience, like fixing minor mistakes n shit.
I don't think there is anything wrong with it. Listening to yourself for enjoyment or to improve a track is perfectly fine. Hell, I could sit around all day and listen to myself play guitar or watch old soccer videos.
I think it's probably a good thing. It just shows pride in your work, I guess, and you should be proud of it since you've put a lot of time and effort into it. Also, all those things--songs, writings, videos, are personal things and so going back through them probably is a way of getting to know yourself a little better. I have a friend who makes videos and as for me I used to write a lot and we both go back through old stuff of ours often and pick up on things that we hardly noticed or thought about while we were actually filming/writing it. I think that even if it is a little excessive it's better to be overly comfortable with reviewing your old movies/writings/songs than to avoid it altogether.
But what do I know?
(I know you hate Lord of the Rings, so I put this name for kicks)
Hey... I just started reading your blog, so like, this one was the first one I've ever read and it's funny cause I write my own music and I totally love listening to myself and I'm always checking myself out in a mirrior or a reflection if one isn't on hand... This is incredible, you're like the male version of me- name and all... and where can I get your music??
It's funny, because I listen to your audio tracks on repeat too... maybe it's just because they're so awesome? ^_^
Usually when I listen to something I record, I am critical of it, because I am always trying to be better. Rather then enjoy it, id keep focusing on the things I didnt like. For that reason, I tend to only listen a few times.
I'm not worried about it... I just think it's really interesting and sorta strange. I'm curious to know if everyone is like this and there's a reason for it. Maybe we sounds like our parents, and that's soothing because of anchors from childhood or something.
Well, you certainly don't have any self-confidence issues...or do you? I'm no bespeckled psychologist, but I'm sure Freud, when not getting lusty about incest, might take such as overbearing. But I'm in the hard sciences, so whateva.
However, as a PUA, or rather, as a man, one has to have such a confidence. Like Tucker Max said, "Confidence Bordering On Hubris." I'm sure this can slip into audio narcissism.
I've noticed how it affects one though. I stopped thinking about myself in a negative light; actually, stopped thinking about myself at all, just the things I was doing. In the same day, without intending to, I got the numbers of a young 'HB' and what can only be descibed as a MILF. Numbers mean nothing, but I was working at the time and it was a suprise. We'll see how it lasts on the day twos.If that's how not thinking about yourself negatively works, I look forward to narcissism.
Enough about me; there must be a reason you even mentioned this narcissism. Are you worried about it? Is it harming you? Keeping you from obtaining happiness otherwise?
I once went to a B.B. King concert, not because I'd ever owned a single song of his or had any familiarity with his music or his genre, but because I knew he was the best at what he did. In that same vein, I've always wanted to experience Burning Man, not because I care about hippies, techno music, drugs, or art, but because it's the biggest and best event of its kind in the world.
For years I intended to go to Burning Man, but the problem is that Burning Man requires a huge degree of preparation. As I found out firsthand, it's located in one of the least hospitable areas of the United States, which means that you need more stuff than you're used to needing (goggles, water, etc.), and you must provide it all yourself. So each year passed by with my intentions dissolving into the reality of a fast approaching deadline and not having prepared at all. But this year was different. A friend of mine took the initiative to rent a huge RV, recruit a Burning Man veteran to come with us, and generally organize the trip.
"Well," I thought, "it's never going to be easier than this. I may as well go."
Music, as a manmade phenomena, goes back at least thousands and thousands of years to when we've found artifacts of the first flutes and drums. Music has always been a community affair–something done in groups to help bring people together. Funny that now I've been working on music alone in my apartment the last few weeks. (NOTE: I'm a composer and musician myself, and it seems more and more the life of a composer looks more and more like the life of a hermit. But I also have this connection to the group aspect of music. I'm a drummer, and nothing gets me going more than playing drums with others. It's a blast.)
The last hundred years or so has changed almost everything about human society. Music could be recorded and enjoyed at any convenient time in any convenient location–not just the concert hall, the bar or the living room around the family piano. To hear great music you didn't have to be a great musician or have one in the family. This accessibility raised the overall level of “quality” and “musicianship” all over the civilized globe–students had access to better resources and tools and themselves became better musicians than those that came before. This cycle continues to this day where kids using a sequencer can make professional-quality sounds that would've taken weeks to create in a high-end studio twenty years ago. I mean, yeah, the sounds won't necessarily be as “warm” or “mature” sounding, but kids today (me included) are easily making lots of sounds that producers struggled to make (or didn't even dream of making) in the 80s and 90s.
As a product of this wave of technological accessibility, I am of course in favor of all these developments. It's a good thing that great music can be accessed so easily and so cheaply using services like Spotify, rdio, Pandora, iTunes (and BitTorrent). It's a great thing that people with no musical training or background can pick up iPads and start jamming together using scale-locked touchpad interfaces. It encourages people to learn and experiment with music, advancing sounds forward and making music a more easily enjoyable part of life. It's how I discovered the fun and joy that comes from listening to and creating music as I was growing up.
On the flip side, now that I'm joining this force of professional music-makers, I have my well-being to worry about. I want to make music for a living, but how can I make a living doing something I believe should be intrinsically free and open? Should I do gigs for free and sell advertising space to put in the lulls between songs? Should I preface each new track I make with announcements like, “this track was made using Spectrasonics software?”