Did I Miss Something?

Dave Cracked Up (Blog), Creating, Music/Audio, Opinions, Personal 1 Comment

I’m re-listening to the Social Network soundtrack… {ahem} sorry, “Academy Award Winning” {cough} Social Network soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.  I’m trying to figure out if my initial ho-hum reaction to the music was misplaced.

I initially had the same reaction to the Tron soundtrack by Daft Punk.

The only difference was that I changed my opinion of the Tron soundtrack after seeing it with the film.  DP’s soundtrack actually enhanced the film experience for me, while after seeing The Social Network, I still didn’t feel that the music added anything to the film.

I actually came away from the film not even noticing the music – it didn’t move the film along for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for Reznor and love his work – especially in NIN, but I don’t feel the score he produced for The Social Network had any thematic elements nor any cohesive “sound”.  I would have liked to have, at the least, been able to hear some sort of recurring theme or motif that tied the score together.


That’s all just my opinion … which brings me to the actual point of this post:

Good or bad, you’re always going to get people who don’t like/love your work.

Of course, if you create art for just yourself, your family or your close friends, you’re not going to encounter any unbiased reactions.  Once you release your work to the world to scrutinize, the gloves come off – people who don’t have a vested interest in being your friend will give their uncoloured opinion.  Sure, they might say that they like it, but there are sure to be some who say they don’t.  Sometimes that criticism can be brutal if you’re not prepared for it.

I’ve been kind of thinking about all of this as I contemplate releasing an EP of my music.   I’ve put one of my tracks out there for feedback and have received some positive reaction with some constructive criticism.

Taking it All In

Shutting out the criticism can be the easy way out.  Surrounding yourself with “yes men” can be comforting, but if you’re truly looking to learn, grow and improve, then accepting and properly evaluating criticism is going to be crucial.  It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’ll be worth it.

I’m not saying that you should take every piece of criticism at face value and act upon it.  The second half of that statement – properly evaluating criticism – is key.

Be selective of the criticism you receive.  Not to say that you reject all of the negative comments on your work, but consider the source, the tone and the message being delivered. If the critique starts to get into personal attacks or inappropriate language, then it’s probably safe to trash that feedback, but be aware that not everyone is going to be diplomatic with their critique.

Helpful criticism will come in the form of objective comments on your work.  Consider who is giving the criticism:

  • Are they knowledgeable and informed on the subject?
  • Are they giving you constructive suggestions for improvement?
  • Is the feedback based upon personal / opinion-based or more objective / quantifiable elements?

Taking criticism and properly evaluating its’ usefulness to you, your work and your creative process is a challenge, but can be a useful tool in helping you along your creative path.

Comments 1

  1. Pingback: You Want the Truth?!?! | Hatched Productions

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