In Spotify Essentials, the Daily Dot curates custom playlists created by some of our favorite artists and writers. In this installment, Alexander Beggins of Austin indie folk band Wild Child gets into the zone.
Writing music, or in a broader sense art creation in general, is all about finding “the zone.”
This is the best way I can explain it: You are in your bed and you are dreaming and it is one of those really fantastic dreams. Let’s say it’s a flying dream. You’re flying around the sky when all the sudden you wake up. You desperately want to get back into the dream. You are now trying to find “the zone.”
It’s a place where if you think or try too hard it won’t happen; you’ll never get back into the dream. What you need to do is focus on what you want and then forget about it, and then let your mind get fuzzy. Almost like one of those magic eye pictures.
If I sit down to write a song, I make a pot of coffee, pull out my ukulele and a pen and paper and start working on an idea with the intention to write the world’s next greatest song, I won’t. I can’t think of anything clever, the chords sound stupid, and I feel like giving up for the day.
But if I sit down and try and I find some little seed of an idea and play it over and over again I’ll get in “the zone.” Over and over and over again, I’ll play it. I try and get lost in it. I’ll play it over and over and slowly start to deviate and I incorporate small new additions with each replay. This is the zone.
I’m not trying too hard to come up with the greatest guitar lick ever. I’m just trying to let my mind drift and hear different ideas pass. The different ideas and riff combinations start to come together and create something. At that point, I’m just in my head getting lost in an idea plain and simple. This to me is creation at its finest. It happens naturally and it’s beautiful.
I understand that this is not how all artists work, but this is how I work and I feel like I can tell if other artists write or have written in this way (at least in my head I can see even it’s not the case). My playlist is a collection of 15 songs including one of our own that I feel showcase what I’m describing. I can almost see and feel all of these songs being written. I can see the artists going through their personal zen like processes of creation. They are inspiring and beautiful. Enjoy.
Wild Child’s new album, The Runaround, is out now. You can catch the band at SXSW:
- Tuesday, March 11, 12:45am at the Main II
- Saturday, March 15, 1am at Dirty Dog Bar
Photo via Wild Child/Facebook