Beyond the Pale of Last Week’s Normal
I happened upon a wholly-inspiring video this week.
Billie Eilish is an exceptionally talented pop singer, songwriter, and performer. Her music is (in my opinion) well-crafted and unique as hell, despite existing in a genre saturated with other artists like herself. A few days ago, I was moved by an interview with her brother Finneas, who doubles as her music producer.
A producer’s role in music is to craft the music behind the artist. They use their ear to write and/ or shape this music, creating a completed work – often while appropriately steering recording sessions – to hone the project’s vision. The subject of the interview with Finneas is the interesting production techniques he used in selections from his back catalogue. He breaks them down one at a time. He captured the sound of a matchstick being lit and used it as a snare in one of Billie’s tracks. Backstage at a music festival, he tracked a guitar part on his phone, deliberately capturing the roaring audience nearby for a section of a song. He used the sound of shattering glass in lieu of a cymbal crashing to add texture to another song. The examples go on.
To even think to use the sound of a lighting matchstick or an explosion of glass to color a song takes a certain creative perspective that I fear few people ﬁnd and develop. Furthermore, these techniques are eye-opening; they made me stop in place and look again at my own projects. It has me recognizing that I don’t always have the complete picture, has me acknowledging that there’s more to it than what exists at surface-level. It makes me think that, in some cases, to do something new is to look at something old in a way no one else has before. I want to capture a bit of that creative uniqueness, so I’ll be looking beyond the pale of last week’s normal.
Creative and Video-Watcher