Or is it a myth ?

Did you ever dabble with any drugs and find that your compositions improved ?

I am including all legal and illegal, from caffeine upwards.

Does a cigarette help you to concentrate.

Did you write a great tune while stoned ?

And listen back to it the next day and decide it was garbage ?

Didn't the Beatles' music improve after they discovered weed (Rubber Soul) and LSD (Sgt Pepper etc) ?

Did composers of the classical period get high in German coffee parlours ?

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  • Nothing that acts as an anaesthetic can help you create an aesthetic experience of quality.  Sorry.

  • This thread is becoming an addiction.

    At least it's cheaper than drugs.

  • @Simon Godden

    I never liked poetry much just that one poem, not sure why. This is a composers forum and its seems odd to me but also understandable, many composers like the music but could care less for any lyrics, others will tell you its not a song without lyrics. When I was young I read a lot but these days I only read manuals. Reading manuals is a necessity to me as it helps in making music. I wouldn't read them but it helps to understand the depths of audio software and hardware. Once every couple of years I will pull out Walden Pond and read a couple chapters, contrast that to the fact that everyday I fire up my studio to compose and record. I think as I get older that words tend to carry more meaning and maybe its time to start writing songs that actually say something. At the moment it is always music no words.

    @Raymond Kemp

    " I wandered lonely as a cloud, of which I soon would swallow, Then I sat beside the grass and rolled a few to follow. "

    I think I will read some Wordsworth soon.

     

  • I have done.  Not too sure why, though.

    Raymond Kemp said:

    ROFL !!!!!!!!!

    Are you sure you don't want to delete that post Simon?

  • Hi Andrew,

    I'm sure it is possible to write a symphonic work for large forces, well orchestrated with a well presented score, while stoned. It's just that it may take five times as long!

    I think in Art, the end justifies the means. It's up to the composer whether they want to smoke, drink, snort, swallow or inject. However, I think you would be hard pressed to cite a great symphonic/ classical composer who was a heavy user of any narcotic.

    Again, this is not applicable to Jazz, electro- ambient-dance.....The mental demands of those disciplines are quite different. And even in these fields the use of drugs can certainly be responsible for reducing the quantity if not the quality of the output.

    Don't get me wrong I love and admire Parker et al but let's face it, when it comes to composition, writing a sixteen or 32 bar jazz head and then improvising over the changes is not the same as writing The Meistersingers...hell just the prelude to that opera is a feat of musical genius, let alone the 4 hours that follow it!

    I'm not sure I agree with this dichotomy between "jamming" and writing large scale pieces.  I don't use drugs any more, but when I did I found it easier to concentrate on music in general, though I didn't compose orchestral music at the time I used drugs.

    Michael Tauben said:

    This may annoy people but it is easy to doodle around on an instrument, write a jazz head, get a groove going, jam, play around with your DAW, while you're under the influence of whatever. But symphonic or large scale orchestral or indeed chamber music requires all the powers of concentration at your disposal. There's no doubt things may sound better when you're zonked but your jokes seem funnier too. LOL
    Can Drugs aid the process of composition ?
    Or is it a myth ?Did you ever dabble with any drugs and find that your compositions improved ?I am including all legal and illegal, from caffeine upw…
  • I agree with you.  Who cares. In fact I haven't been following this thread for so long but I noticed that Andrew took me up on a point I made months ago so I felt compelled to respond.

    I'm happy to never mention the topic again!

    Raymond Kemp said:

    Michael,

    Maybe you've noticed my penchant for treating most discussions in a less than serious manner.

    This one has me already stating "so what?" as most of us take some drug or other at some point in our lives.

    Your questioning of the ability to create great works under the influence seems to assume all drugs as downers when in truth some are uppers and allow many extra hours of focus not otherwise possible. So! the consequences of taking uppers involves a BIG down cycle, so what! that's tomorrow. Not that I have personal experience, you understand (of greatness) but I have been known to sleep for a while.



    Michael Tauben said:

    Hi Andrew,

    I'm sure it is possible to write a symphonic work for large forces, well orchestrated with a well presented score, while stoned. It's just that it may take five times as long!

    I think in Art, the end justifies the means. It's up to the composer whether they want to smoke, drink, snort, swallow or inject. However, I think you would be hard pressed to cite a great symphonic/ classical composer who was a heavy user of any narcotic.

    Again, this is not applicable to Jazz, electro- ambient-dance.....The mental demands of those disciplines are quite different. And even in these fields the use of drugs can certainly be responsible for reducing the quantity if not the quality of the output.

    Don't get me wrong I love and admire Parker et al but let's face it, when it comes to composition, writing a sixteen or 32 bar jazz head and then improvising over the changes is not the same as writing The Meistersingers...hell just the prelude to that opera is a feat of musical genius, let alone the 4 hours that follow it!

  • Well if you think that's abusive...Ive got four shots of espresso in me and bpm set to 160.

    Jon Corelis said:

    Watch out!  I am ripped on my afternoon double Greek coffee without sugar, and I could chew up a string bass and spit out the pieces.

  • As a veteran drug user over the years, I've found that composing music while under some influence brings out something that I normally wouldn't have written or thought of. Of course, this may be due to whatever emotion I was experiencing. In the end though, the person's perception of control never really wavers, so whatever music is written is still written by that composer.

    For ganja, I find that I'm more relaxed about both composing and playing my instruments. Every person is going to have a different reaction to whatever drug they've taken, and also how long they've taken them. Besides, you can't really discredit the effect drugs have had on our rock n roll scene. I could give you hundreds of examples in which bands have written a song "while on something." It's merely another medium for artists to work with. 

  • HAHAHA.  Turning the string bass into a wind instrument, and then a percussion instrument.

    Drugs have aided musical innovation.

    Jon Corelis said:

    Watch out!  I am ripped on my afternoon double Greek coffee without sugar, and I could chew up a string bass and spit out the pieces.

  • They definitely aid the process of procrastination.

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