When I turned forty, I decided to start writing music. My intent was (and still is) just to have fun and create. I had no prior training or knowledge about theory. Mastering was a black box. I started at ground zero. Over a roughly 15 year period, I went through these phases:
- Clueless – I had no idea how to use a DAW or master music. I knew nothing about music theory. But I knew when I laid something down that I liked. All of the tracks from this phase are somewhat banal and clumsy. But there are some interesting nuggets here and there. Journey From the Springs and Gethsemane are a couple of early examples.
- Ameture – about five years in, and the tools were becoming familiar. Tracks had more layers and were a bit more interesting. However, the overall compositional structures are discombobulated. Things tend to be all over the map. Mastering is still magic.
- Decade Mark – After about ten years in, I really started to understand the science of mastering and how to use the tools. I also felt comfortable experimenting with unusual sounds and layering. Tracks in this period are richer and better-mixed. Something like Swept Away and Under the Sun would be an example from this period.
- Fifteen-Year Mark – This is where I am today. The struggle now is to not conform. Creativity is more of an effort because you get used to specific approaches and patterns. Tracks in this period are Spilt and Light Unveiled.