What is motivation? It’s a funny thing to describe, and if you asked ten different people, you would probably get ten different answers. But we all know it in some form or another.
Whether it’s the athlete running laps in the dark to shave off those last tenth of a second, the musician practicing intensely to hit that b9 on a major dominant chord just perfectly, or the writer endlessly swapping words and phrases to nail the point in a way that it makes sense, we all know the feeling of finding and being fuelled by an inner strength that is driven by motivation.
We recently talked to a bunch of musicians who shared their views on the matter. And as it turned out, loving the process of making music, wanting to learn and desiring to surpass yourself are just some of the motivating factors that were mentioned when we asked them to identify what mainly drive their creative efforts in the studio.
Axel Boman – Knowledge Is Key to Grow
According to Axel Boman, who is based in Stockholm, Sweden, it is absolutely paramount for him to keep learning new stuff in order to progress. Further, he points out that this is not only about music in the theoretical sense, but perhaps even more in terms of learning how to use and combine various pieces of gear.
Ultimately, it all adds up to inspire and motivate him in the creative process and will often take him to new places in music that would otherwise have remained hidden territory.
I am motivated by learning new things, by progress – that’s why I keep buying new gear. The process of building it, decoding new information, learning how to use it helps me make music by simply knowing more.
Detroit Swindle – Still Pursuing the Perfect Track
To Lars Dales and Maarten Smeet, also known as the Amsterdam-based duo Detroit Swindle, the hunt for the cutting the perfect track is a never-ending journey. There is clearly a strong desire to surpass past achievements in the arena of creativity and producing great music.
We started doing House music, but kept evolving. We are proud of our tracks, but we also feel that we can make even better ones and always try to move on and develop.
Interestingly, like Axel Boman, Lars and Maarten also points out that the gear they use is a key factor in sparking inspiration. In itself the gear may not be the motivational factor, but it tends to often be what triggers the initial ideas that eventually turn into a track. A track that may be more or less perfect at the end of the day, but no sooner than the next, a growing feeling of ‘we can make an even better one’ emerges – and the hunt goes on…
“For example, the sounds we use. In the beginning, we used only laptops, software and controllers, but over the years we bought a lot of hardware and found that these tools are so much more interesting to create new stuff with. Before, you may have had an idea and then tried to create it with the computer, but now it’s more like getting started with a hardware synth and get inspired by that. Then comes the idea and it is often one you could have never ‘thought up’ beforehand. All of those things – knowing that the journey is still ongoing – are part of what keeps up the motivation.”
Roman Flügel – Loving the Playful Process
Roman Flügel has his very own playground in Frankfurt, Germany. And it is a creative one where the very process of making music fuels his motivation.
It‘s just the process of making music that’s still so exciting to me. I like to be playful in the studio and explore things I haven’t done before. That’s really what keeps me going. I simply enjoy this creative process.
Roman also stress that he is not particularly structured by nature and often sets out to create a very simple groove that will serve as the initial starting point and from which any direction is a possibility. Basically knowing nothing beforehand is as flexible and open-minded a situation you could ever think of and therefore it makes total sense when Roman refers to each of his tracks – and the creative process behind it – as something of an adventure.
As soon as I get started with a sound and a rhythmic foundation, I can take it anywhere. Each track is like a small, ever-evolving and creative adventure.
Whatever Keeps You Moving
So, while there are many different shapes and sizes of motivation, it’s something we all have. It’s something inherent to our human nature. Striving for bettering ourselves, striving for the perfect.
This, of course, also applies to us and we find the Studio Master statements highly inspirational as well as motivational. But as already mentioned, each of us is unique and we guess the important takeaway here is that whatever keeps you develop, move on and remaining creative and productive, it is just the right motivational factor for you.
Us? Well, we could more or less buy into all of the three above statements. We also love the creative process – and developing great studio monitors is not happening without a substantial element of creativity – but we are also driven by the want for gaining more knowledge. And it is definitely part of our daily mission to strive for coming up with new speaker technologies that will ensure that new monitors surpass previous ones.