As an experienced musician, I would love to tell you that I am best known for my composition techniques. Or, maybe people loved my work because I play instruments well.
What folks mention more than anything else is– that I am prolific.
There are literally dozens of reviews in which I am referred to as being prolific. Some mention only that, or nearly so.
It’s a mixed bag, to be honest. I am glad to be hard-working. I love composing, I love recording. I get a lot of joy out of creating music. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I create a lot of it.
On the other hand, I’d love to be known for creating music of a certain quality.
To be sure, Thomas Park’s music does have certain qualities. It’s always done with a good ear for sound. It never has clipping (where the recording was made at too high a volume). There are certain styles and subjects that occur again and again, such as living in the city, industrial influences, a style of drone, and other aspects.
It would be more meaningful to me if people referred to particular works in my catalog, or types of them. “I really enjoyed Thomas’ early phonographic phase”, for example, or, “I liked it when he made all of those longform tracks using sferics as source material”.
I don’t mean to whine. To be remembered at all is perhaps more than a person can expect, in this busy world of billions of people.
How to make lemonade from lemons? Suffice it to say, that, when a musician is prolific, this might be an indication that they learned and grew a lot through their creative endeavors. That much was written may not necessarily mean that most was bad, or should be discarded.
In fact, a good way to experience a prolific artist’s work is by approaching it as a whole, as a collection. One piece often relates to another, or to others.
With my music, a person with a good ear can hear, through the many works, a development, over the years, in regards to sound quality, subtlety, intonation, and other characteristics.
After all, when a person loves something, they will tend to keep doing it. And a prolific artist may end up becoming very, very good at the certain things with which they are concerned.
Perhaps it’s no coincidence that my favorite painter is Paul Klee, who created over 9000 visual works in his lifetime.
I really don’t believe in the trope of the isolated genius who spontaneously creates a singular masterwork. (Though artists often have certain pieces that are most popular, or most often heard).
I do believe in the ideal of a determined and committed artist, who tries and tries again, regardless of criticism, for their love of the process, their talent achieving aesthetic quality, and for their desire to make the world a better place– to make life more livable.
So, artists, what’s your excuse? Nowadays, you probably have a computer, if not several, and all kinds of digital tools at your disposal. You quite likely have the capacity to create many thousands of works.
If I can create over 5000 soundworks– if Paul Klee can draw and paint over 9000 pictures– how about you?
Take up the challenge. Become one in a growing body of artists we can call “prolific”. Wear the term with pride, as a testament to your hard work.
I will do the same.