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Musicians and depression.

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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:40 pm

quote

''Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


:headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:42 pm

;)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:57 pm

quote:
''1. I agree about the statements re: the anti-D drugs above.

I was briefly on anti-depressants myself (4 weeks, over 10 years ago), enough to gauge how dependant on them I was, and could become. I weened myself off, from four pills a day week 1, to three pills a day week 2, two pills a day week 3, and once a day week four. I'm never taking those again (though sometimes I feel like giving in, as I must say, they did equalize my emotional spectrum quite nicely).

Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


if you have been 4 weeks on anti depressants and you claim they have sorted your problems,then you were not depressed.
I am not talking about a 4 weeks panacea,I am talking about a complete or partial self-rieducation.
That takes probably a lifetime,with far more rewards than feeling better after suffering because your girlfriend left you.
And as what you say about jaco,it's utter crap. I must say you are not even nearer to know what heavy depression is.
So dont try decide what could have 'saved' jaco.
No-one sorts out your problems,and even less,4 stupid pills.
My interfering ends here however...now it's up to Davros and to whoever else
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:57 pm

quote:
''1. I agree about the statements re: the anti-D drugs above.

I was briefly on anti-depressants myself (4 weeks, over 10 years ago), enough to gauge how dependant on them I was, and could become. I weened myself off, from four pills a day week 1, to three pills a day week 2, two pills a day week 3, and once a day week four. I'm never taking those again (though sometimes I feel like giving in, as I must say, they did equalize my emotional spectrum quite nicely).

Bottom line: they are to be used as a life saving, not life coping, device. Had Jaco been on anti-D's, he'd still be alive today.''


if you have been 4 weeks on anti depressants and you claim they have sorted your problems,then you were not depressed.
I am not talking about a 4 weeks panacea,I am talking about a complete or partial self-rieducation.
That takes probably a lifetime,with far more rewards than feeling better after suffering because your girlfriend left you.
And as what you say about jaco,it's utter crap. I must say you are not even nearer to know what heavy depression is.
So dont try decide what could have 'saved' jaco,your 'bottom line' it's as true as a cow that flies.
No-one sorts out your problems,and even less,4 stupid pills.
My interfering ends here however...now it's up to Davros and to whoever else
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:32 pm

I apologize about some of the contents in the reply above....I realize that we are all entitled to our opinions and that it's not for me to decide about other's choices,points of view or whatever...

If you believe that jaco would have been 'saved' by anti-depressants,as if you know a person you have never met from inside out and know every thought,including all the aspects of that person's self ,the aspects a person shows and also the ones the same person keeps concealed from everybody else,then believe it.

I only apologize for my attacking you before,nothing else.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Marbury » Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:09 am

I am sorry, I didn't realise I put this post on the PC section.

As for drugs, it is now proven that St John's Wort is as good an anti-depressant as the main drugs.Also, Omega 3 fish oils are excellent.I am a firm beliver in natural cures rather than drugs.I belive its helping me through the dark winter months.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Sound Restoration Guy » Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:41 am

Davros wrote:
Has anyone ever sat up one night and started a track they think is excellent and exciting only to get up next morning and its not as good as they thought, or the track has lost its appeal after a few listens? Its hard to nail that "magic" that we are all searching for.Little, subtle things that we can't explain that work.

Yes, I have, many times...until I learned (through painfull experience) how to deal with it.

1. Think at night but work during the day (I'm an insomniac btw).
2. Don't dispair if you (will) forget the little detail (magic). But do memorize the concept and the "magic" will come back in another form later.

As for the depression...for creative people, this condition was always considered to be part of (their) life - a privilage :headbang:.
So don't worry, we've been there, done that and will get there again!
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby R. Spisketts » Mon Feb 21, 2005 2:13 pm

Sound Restoration Guy wrote:
Davros wrote:
Has anyone ever sat up one night and started a track they think is excellent and exciting only to get up next morning and its not as good as they thought, or the track has lost its appeal after a few listens? Its hard to nail that "magic" that we are all searching for.Little, subtle things that we can't explain that work.


Yes, I have, many times...until I learned (through painfull experience) how to deal with it.

1. Think at night but work during the day (I'm an insomniac btw).
2. Don't dispair if you (will) forget the little detail (magic). But do memorize the concept and the "magic" will come back in another form later.


And extending this slightly... who has listened to a track and thought "my god, this is useless", stopped work on it, only to listen to it weeks/months later and think, "hey! this is great! why did I stop work on this!?!". If its your particular curse to be plagued with self doubt, you just need to learn to trust your instincts. Easy to say, I know, I know, and don't think for a minute that I'm passing on some sagelike piece of wisdom having mastered it.. its an ongoing process...

Another approach that sometimes works is... don't get depressed... GET ANGRY! Thrash that guitar, come up with a vile sounding synth, whatever... you won't necessarily use it (especially if you're doing a soothing ambient piece...) but channelling the energy might be a release, or you might have a chuckle at your death metal solo over your soft acoustic backing, whatever...

On a lighter note, who's done this one: its late at night, you've enjoyed a "relaxing smoke", you're doodling away, when suddenly you're ears are awakened by the beauty of a little phrase or riff that you're playing... the beauty of its simplicity, the endless melodic and harmonic possibilites. Struggling with the recording controls for what seems like an eternity (but in reality is about 15 seconds) you capture this godlike idea.

...

...time passes...

...

Listening back in the morning, you can't help but wonder why you recorded yourself earnestly strumming Em over and over...

More seriously - if you're low/depressed - steer clear of the booze/psychoactives! Unless wallowing in abject misery and paranoia is your cup of tea... (unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way... :tongue:)
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 21, 2005 4:59 pm

Wurlitzer wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:if like many musicians you have limited time to make music, when you finally do sit in the studio you can pressure yourself to produce something good rather than wasting your time 'messing about'. Unfortunately, unless you're feeling inspired this can result in frustration and then depression if things don't initially go well - the classic Catch 22 situation.

Far better to go in with the intention of enjoying yourself, when you'll find you have a better chance of coming up with something good because you're not trying so hard to succeed.

It's funny you should say that Martin, as I read the original comment precisely the opposite way, and it rang true for me (not saying that I'm right and you're wrong, just that it's an interesting difference of interpretation).

For me, one of the healing aspects of rearranging my musical perspective and priorities, lay in developing the ability to look at it as more of a "job". I'd previously been a fiercely dedicated composer, but mainly in classical music where there is virtually no money. I did have other skills though, having played in bands and done jazz, blues, soul etc since I was a kid.

Part of my new approach involved facing up to the necessities of accepting that I'm interacting with other people, who have their own needs and things that they need to get from my music...
I wouldn't say I've turned into a complete musical whore, but let's just say I wear my knickers a few inches lower :)

Perhaps I did misinterpret the initial comments Wurlitzer (and with hindsight I suspect I see why), but I totally agree with your rather different approach as well !

I've been there too (I wrote computer game soundtracks for some seven years, when deadlines and customer expectations dictated that I must continue creating music however inspired or uninspired I felt each day, and I had to set a target of so much music written per day). If you have such commercial pressures then there are various techniques you can use to ensure you generate some output 'no matter what'.

I also know what you mean about being a musical 'whore', but in my experience sometimes the work that you personally consider the best you've written isn't necessarily viewed in the same light by a paying customer, who may well suggest significant alterations or even occasionally a complete rewrite, especially if he/she hasn't explained their original requirements very clearly (it's notoriously difficult for non-musicians to talk in musical genres and moods). In this case there's no point agonising over your creative output - you have to knuckle under, make the changes, and press on. After all, in this situation the customer nearly always has to be right.

My original suggestions were made towards those who want to create original music for their own pleasure (and possibly eventual renumeration if they release it commercially). Of course you can use the same techniques, but if you don't have to produce a certain amount of finished music at every session, considering it a 'job' may well result in something being finished, but perhaps in not as inspired a way as it might have been without that self-imposed pressure.

Whether that matters or not is another matter - I know I'm talking ideals rather than workloads, but I think both approaches are valid, depending on your goal.


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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Platypus9 » Wed Feb 23, 2005 7:07 am

I've been there at various points myself. I'm a musician/technician with a psychology degree, so here's my brief 2 cents.

1) don't be afraid to ask for help. If you can afford a therapist, go for it, and don't let pride get in the way. Obviously you posted here, so that's a good start. Psychologists are better than psychiatrists with rare exceptions.

2) you can't treat depression only in regards to music, it's always a holistic life issue (as has already been said)

3) if you take medications (only advisable when combined with therapy), do your own research into side-effects and effectiveness. (St. John's Wart and Mellatonin are much safer than most drugs, and clinical studies show comparable effectiveness)

4) you do NOT have to be depressed to write great emotional music. This is a destructive myth.

Book Recommendation: Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" is really great for its discussion of musician's attitudes and belief systems as relating to performance and creativity. It helped my break out of some childish attitudes in life and music.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Ducasse » Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:41 am

I too deal with this stuff. I worked on an independent film project for a year- the last 2 months really intensely-doing the score from the bottom up. After it was all over I never wanted to sit at a computer again . I put away all my machines- got rid of the internet, and started studying classical piano. It really helped to get back to the "real" stuff. Now I have all my machines back on, but I still practice every day-. Being in my early 30's it is so rewarding to play things I have always wanted to but never dreamed I could. All the work we do pays of in some way or other- It doesn't go away. The only limits to your ability to achieve are our own self doubs.


I just remembered what sounds like a silly thing, but it holds wisdom for me... Myself and a fello muso used to smoke and play kung-fu games on the ps2 all the time. He was so good-not just a button masher-but an adaptive and present fighter( I know -bear with me). He would sometimes be losing and it would look like I would win, and he would just turn into a machine -chanting " never give up-Never give up!!" .. and then he would win. It's always stuck with me -
always try to win, no matter how impossible it looks.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:42 pm

I am seriously impressed by your statements. It is a mini-lesson in itself.
the fact that you decided to get rid of your computer stuff and started on piano and classical harmony only shows your determination and single mindedness. You only decided to get it back because what you did showed absolute will to show to yourself that the computer stuff is helpful,not that,as a musician,you depend on it.
I also get in that frame of mind,to do things that help me as a musician or otherwise,to detach myself from the thought that without the pc I cannot make music. It's hard to exlplain but you know what I am taling about:music is the goal. as well as strictly improving on musical skills,not just how well we handle cubase or the parametric eq.
I find the latter very boring compared to the former(I am not saying it's useless,only it does what it does,no more)...I am more interested in music making

the kung fu story about your friend is also very relevant.
it's amazing,dont you think,sometimes those short events or single thoughts uttered by someone you relate to can really teach you something. I wish I could meet you and just hang around,people like you are very interesting to me. keep up the good work.

It's when we apply those things that things start to happen.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Ducasse » Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:41 pm

Thank you for the nice words Don. Yeah, the reason we use the machines is that we have a voice that wants to express itself-but too often that voice gets convoluted! , lost etc. because we rely on the machines and not the performance,writing or quality of our music. Writing good music is planning-and that happens away from the DAW- it is more akin to living. And i must say working on your teqnique is so rewarding-everyone can use an eq plugg well- fewer can rip through a Chopin piece. It makes you feel huge.
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Sound Restoration Guy » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:04 am

Platypus9 wrote:I've been there at various points myself. I'm a musician/technician with a psychology degree, so here's my brief 2 cents.

1) don't be afraid to ask for help. If you can afford a therapist, go for it, and don't let pride get in the way. Obviously you posted here, so that's a good start. Psychologists are better than psychiatrists with rare exceptions.

2) you can't treat depression only in regards to music, it's always a holistic life issue (as has already been said)

3) if you take medications (only advisable when combined with therapy), do your own research into side-effects and effectiveness. (St. John's Wart and Mellatonin are much safer than most drugs, and clinical studies show comparable effectiveness)

4) you do NOT have to be depressed to write great emotional music. This is a destructive myth.

Book Recommendation: Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" is really great for its discussion of musician's attitudes and belief systems as relating to performance and creativity. It helped my break out of some childish attitudes in life and music.



I respect your "psychology degree" weight here but:


1. Why should he be asking for "help" - just because he is struggling at the moment to find his artistic voice? He doesn't seem to be a sick psychopat, i.e manace to the society or himself. He is just a moody and perhaps a little bit angry with himself musician/creator. As soon as he finds the concept/idea, his mood will change.
Of course, he can opt for the psychiatrists/psychologists/therapists solution if he has some money to burn ("This is Dr. Fraser Crane (who has more psychological problems than yourself, but still). I'm listening..")

2. Yes, he can treat the depression (or spells, I would think) by himself if he has a reasonably strong character, which I believe he has.

4. I think you are mixing this up. What is a "great emotional music" and how does one relate this to depression?
How would you describe the "destructive myth"? (Hollywood and New Age free definition is really preferable)


"Book Recommendation: Kenny Werner's "Effortless Mastery" is really great for its discussion of musician's attitudes and belief systems as relating to performance and creativity. It helped my break out of some childish attitudes in life and music."

I'm glad this book helped you break some childish attitudes in life and music. Some books suit certain age in life, some suit all ages. And some are just trendy...
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Re: Musicians and depression.

Postby Don Chishiotte » Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:08 am

that is the spirit....feeling huge,because you know that you really achieved something,this is so important. When it does not happen,it means our approach is wrong...that the approach has to be revised. For example,I am getting as much info as I can about the Lydian mode this week,and I am playing all that info on guitar,on keyboards,I sing it,then I play it in my imagination,I do whatever could be useful,even tried to eat it, LOL.
there is no time to think about failure,one cannot fail when he really knows what has to work on,who cares if it takes one day,one week or one month. As your friend said,dont give up. And,trust in yourself and lack of half-heartness is implied in that statement;)
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