A few times in the 2002-2006 timeframe, I fired up my synth program and tried to write music. And it wasn't happening. I'd screw with things for a few minutes and then it just wouldn't come together and I realized it was going nowhere and then I'd close the software without using it again.
In 2002, I wanted to save my pennies and see about purchasing some real musical hardware. Which didn't happen, largely because I wanted to get a general purpose compositional studio, with good microphones and good monitor speakers and a workstation keyboard and stuff. And I wanted to switch from the nearly-dead Buzz platform to something else. And this ends up costing a crapload of money once you add it all up.
Fuck that. It's going to compete with my other expensive hobbies. And my other expensive hobbies are better at making me money.. or at least homemade things to give to people... to make it a vaguely self-supporting thing.
I've got bits of music starting to take form again. It's a fairly slow process because I really need to get myself in the right frame of mind. I decided that trying to change how I work was stupid. Why pay $500 for something that works vaguely like Buzz when I can screw around with Buzz some more? It's not like Buzz suddenly stopped working. Why dream of a day when I can play all of my parts by hand on a fancy synthesizer when I can just notate them in Buzz?
The web radio revolution makes it easy for me to listen to a wider variety of music. Which is great, because I was also reaching a pretty bad point about my listening music in the 2002-2004 timeframe. I wasn't able to figure out, between all of the different albums at the store, what I wanted to try next, pretty much blindly. But I'm doing better now, because I can listen to a fairly focused station online and just write down the bands that I like to listen to and get on with it. And that helps me write because I know that I tend to be influenced by the aggregate sum of all music I'm listening to when I write music.
Things are still moving around in my brain and I'm not sure where they are going to land.
I've been listening to the stuff I've been writing and I've been thinking of a lot of things that I forgot about because of listening to too many pop songs. Things like dynamics and weird time signatures. One thing I noticed that I was doing before is that every note would be hit with the exact same velocity (because I'm writing my parts with a notation tool, not playing them) and now I write the basic notational part and add dynamics back in.
I've been spending a bunch of time writing stuff that's out there. Right now, I'm writing a piece in 6/8 time to the Rhythm changes chord sequence, downtempo, with an interplay between the sort of instruments one would expect in a jazz standard mixed up with various patches from electronica. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue to write stuff that's way out there, or if I'm going to merge back and write stuff that's more like a pop song.
But it's progress, because now I can actually bridge enough of my theory knowledge to the practical zen experience that happens when I sit in front of the computer and write music enough to deal with different time signatures.