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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music: My struggle

Its been quite a while since my last entry into this blog.  Life takes unexpected turns sometimes, regardless of whether or not there is always a road for it to follow.  As my blog description may say, "I am a composer, musician and music enthusiast",  but as of late I find this to be anything but true. It is clear to see that my creativity has been stagnant for sometime.  I have everything I need right in front of me, yet I don't touch it.  It's almost like I fear what is behind the door of opportunity.  

As any musician or artist may tell you.  You cannot neglect your creative intuitions.  For artists, creation is not something we do for the fun of it.  It is an essential part of life and living. Our mental well-being relies on it. It is the way we express ourselves and communicate.   To neglect this essential need to create, is to find ourselves starving and hungry. Abraham Maslow said it best, "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."  This statement is not only the truth for musicians and artists, but for all creative beings that walks this planet.  Just as an entrepreneur must conceive and idea for his next business endeavor, a musician must make music. It is just as essential as drinking water. 

Personally, music is much more than a creative outlet for me. It is only when I create music that I find true peace of mind. I've planned my life and career around being able to make music. Performing, Producing and even going to school for music, it is safe to say that a music career has been a dream and ambition of mine since I can remember.  

I am a recovering alcoholic/addict and for nearly five years now have abstained from all forms of intoxication. I was able to get sober because my ambitions for success and desire to live. Even in my darkest hours of addiction I still felt the need for something more. When I was finally able to sober up, I refocused my site on the music industry.  Playing, performing, producing, composing and even learning new skills  I've had my struggles and hardships but overall had not lost sight of my ambition and dreams.  It was not until recently that I have started to doubt my ability to make my dreams work.  I'm finding my life is taking a different path than I had intended.  

For the first time in nearly 5 years of sobriety I feel confused and lost with no plan or idea of what is next. I am now 25 years old and am embarrassed to say I have been here for about 2 yeas now.  I was recently laid off from my full-time( Which is not a bad thing, cause I hated it) and haven't composed anything of significance in over a month.  I once heard someone say, "You can't sit around and wait for inspiration to hit you, you have to force yourself to work, or your not going to get anywhere."  Right now more then ever, I need to heed this advice,  I've been thirsty for far too long. 

Song of the day:  Imagine,  by John Lennon.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Video Games Music

According to numerous reports, surveys and polls that I've read, anywhere from 45%-65% of westernized societies play video games.   20% play video games every day.   Truly video games have captured the attention of a massive audience.  It is to no surprise that video game sales have surpassed every other form of entertainment in our society. As movie and music sales find themselves way behind, the gaming industry has been crowned the rightful king of entertainment.

What makes a video game enjoyable?  Is it the plot? Is the the action, or adventure?  Imagine playing a video game that had no music. Sure it would be fun...  But only for like 10 minutes. While you normally don't play a video game to listen to it's music, somewhere in your subconscious thoughts the music is having a profound impact on the experience you get from playing the game. To make a game without music, would be like going to war with a dull blade.   

There are many video games that come to mind when I think of video game music however, one specifically sparks my attention over the rest because of the insanely large audience it attracts.  World of Warcraft is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that has an estimated 12 million active monthly subscriptions world wide. If you've never heard of this game, you've been in some dark hole detached from society.    With 12 million active subscriptions thats a potential 12,000,000 people that listen to World of Warcraft music daily...  No major pop act could even come close to that amount of listeners every day.  Sure,  not all 12,000,000 subscribers play daily or all at once, but given that subscribers pay $15 per month to play the game, there is going be a huge number of people that indulge on a daily basis.  All the while, subconsciously being influenced by the music that inhabits in the game world.

The music of World of Warcraft has had about 10 different composers that  have scored music for the games many regions and events. All of which have greatly contributed to the feel and play of the game.  It would be hard for me to single out one over the other, so I won't.  Instead, I'll let the music do the talking, just as it should.

Music of the day:  Eminence Symphony Orchestra: The Shadow of The Legion (music from World of Warcraft)

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It's funny how a simple observation of person or object can trigger a musical response from your memory.   I wonder why this is?

I was playing poker with some friends the other night and was dealt pocket 3's ( not such a good pocket pair if your unfamiliar with poker) which almost immediately triggered a response in my head to auto-play "Three is a magic number" by, Blind Melon.

The song kept playing as I waited for my turn to make a move. One of the players at the table made a strong bet which kinda caught me off guard, however the song was still cheerfully playing in my head.   I thought about calling... I thought about folding, but instead I said, "All in!"  The person next to me folded, and it was just left to me and the opposing player who had made the bet before me.  He gave me a kind of an evil grin and called me.

At this point the song seemingly grew in intensity.  I smiled, turned my cards over and proclaimed that I was already the winner before the cards had even come out on the table.  "3 is a magic number" I said as I showed my cards to begin the showdown.  Needless to say, I was right and ended up getting 3 of a kind (3 3's) which doubled up my chip stack.  Indeed, 3 is a magic number.

Song of the Day:  "Three is a magic number" by, Blind Melon.

I'm not to sure who originally did this song as I'm pretty sure Blind Melon covered it.  Any Ideas?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hunger Strike

My name is Rob Richert and I am a music enthusiast.  Since I can remember I've been listening, orchestrating and composing music.  What started as a a few simple piano lessons at the age of 6 has turned into my life long hobby, passion and reason for living.  It has shaped  my past, and continues to shape my future.   It was not until a few years ago that I decided to make it my profession.   After graduating school with an A.A.S. in music production and engineering, I was greeted with the reality that the industry in which I went to school for was defiantly short of work and full of unemployed artists, producers and engineers striving to find a way to make a living in the industry that they trained to work in.   One thing is for sure,  My journey has had it's ups and downs, but certainly more downs then ups.  

I could go on and on about me, but that's not really what I'm here to do.  I'm here to share my passion for music with the world.  Music has a certainty of power that goes beyond listening, orchestrating, or composing.  On a daily basis it influences our thoughts, feelings and interactions with the world.  There is not one hearing person (given that you are not deaf) that can say that they have lived a day without hearing a song or piece of music.   Even if you neglect to turn on the T.V. or anything electronic for a day straight,  you can find music in your natural surroundings. Whether it's wind that blows through the trees or the rain that hits the pavement.  There is always a sense  of melody and rhythm in our every day lives.  

I'm extremely open to feedback, both positive and negative.  Don't hesitate to comment if you have a reflection that you wish to share, You can contact me on any of the links above, but for now I leave you with the song of the day.

Song of the day: 
It is not a rare occurrence for me to wake up with a song or piece of music repeatedly playing in my head.  Today that song was Trains, by Porcupine Tree.   Great song, and most fitting to the overcast weather we've had lately in Minnesota.