Music is not merely a technical endeavor but more than anything, a cathartic experience. As ‘Frederick Delius’, an English composer, once said: “Music is an outburst of the soul.”
You don’t really need to be an expert in musical structure or tonal organization to know great music. You just have to listen to it, feel it, and be moved by it.
When ‘Jane Hope’, an ‘Electronica’ artist from Manchester, first began his unlikely musical journey out of boredom, he was–so to speak—‘playing it by ear’ (pun intended).
“I started making music when I was about 20 because I had the most boring job in a factory, and I needed an escape,” Hope confessed.
“I heard ‘Squarepusher’s ‘Do You Know Squarepusher’ and was mesmerized,” he continued. “I literally knew nothing about music, but I knew I was listening to something unusual. The high keys in that song have been very slightly shuffled off pulse, and this fascinated me because I couldn’t understand why. Years later I realized oh yeah- because it sounds good!”
Oddly enough, Hope has an unusual way of describing his own music.
“My music is what happens when people that don’t know anything about music decide they need a hobby,” he quipped. “Its bedroom music, its for my enjoyment first before anyone else. It’s ‘Electronica’ broadly. I tend to call it ‘Acid’ or ‘Jungle’. God knows what it is really (ha ha ha). It’s me fannying around with a few synths and mile long signal chains.”
Well, he might have trouble describing his music but make no mistake about it, it’s goddam awesome! Which brings me to my second point: Boredom really does benefit a creative mind. There’s even a scientific study to back it up!
According to a 2014 study in the ‘Journal of Experimental Social Psychology’, bored people are more likely to engage in sensation seeking. Which means that they tend to look for activities or sights that engage their minds and stimulate the brain’s reward centers.
The research then concludes: “These people are more prone to ‘divergent thinking styles’—the ability to come up with creative new ideas. Thus, boredom may encourage people to approach rewards and spark associative thought.”
Well, there you go. Hope’s boredom has rewarded him with divergent musicality and creativity! Which I think is all an artist could ask for. It’s a blessing in disguise and he recognizes it that’s why it comes as no surprise that he’s a self-motivated, freewheeling musician who doesn’t care about money or fame.
“Well I’ve not seen any money or fame,” he jokes. “All that matters to me is that I enjoy what I produce, if anyone else likes it then that’s cool. My career moving forward is going to be me chipping away at tracks whilst every day trying to learn some new thing. I’m quite happy on some dark corner of the internet getting the odd download from the other side of the planet. It’s a nice community.”
Which just goes to show that when you’re bored out of your mind and you lose your way, you might end up finding yourself. So don’t be overly concerned about the destination, just enjoy the journey.
Get bored. Get lost. Discover yourself. For anything else, listen to ‘Jane Hope’. It might just be the ‘creative spark’ you’ve been looking for!