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Question: How do you explain your music to non-musicians?

Community Question:

How do you explain or describe what you do to non-musicians? Whether it's how you describe the music you write - or the instruments you play... any funny experiences?

Views: 69

Comment by John K-N on April 25, 2014 at 7:48am

A memorable one for me is being introduced to someone at a lunch party thing - I forget what it was for - but the person introducing me to their friend was excited because they knew we were both musicians.  

He asked me what music I compose - and I said mostly ambient music - like film soundtrack background music. I could see the quizzical look so I said mostly with electronics and synths. 

His reply...  "Oh... you're a dj then."

I could have gone into my piano or trumpet or whatever experience... but that point... there really wasn't much interest in me to continue the conversation.  

Comment by Har on April 25, 2014 at 8:38am

Oh yeah, been through that many times.

Similarly, when I played something rather electronic for my older brother - specifically, Frontline Assembly - his reply was: "'s DISCO! I didn't know you're into DISCO...." 

Comment by Har on April 25, 2014 at 8:46am

My most typical reaction when mentioning to people that I do ambient music is: "Ohhhh, so you're into that whole New Age thing, huh? Yanni and John Tesh and stuff? Study crystals and your chakras?" 

Interestingly, the people I tend to hear this from the most are jazz/fusion fans - the types who can't seem to go 2 sentences without saying something like "Well, if it was good enough for Jaco...."  I have no idea why this is.

By contrast, and (to me) equally interesting is that the people I find who seem to "get" what I do with ambient music and are often the most supportive are metal fans.

Comment by Broken Harbour on April 25, 2014 at 10:33pm

I used to say 'ambient' which got furrowed brows, then I said 'electronic music', which people confused with DJ/Electronica, then I tried saying 'kinda like film soundtrack or video game music' which isn't exactly true.

Now I just say 'I write weird stuff'.

Comment by Steve Roberts on April 25, 2014 at 11:19pm

Yeah Har that's the response I get when I use the 'ambient' line. 'Sonic explorer' is another term I've had waiting in the side lines but to me it's a little pretentious but it has a better meaning for me. Another one is 'electronic experimental' which often ends that conversation ?


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