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creative isolation

> I would rather suggest to listen to *none
but your own music* for a while (it was a year, in my case). It does not
save you from going on with habits, and you may accept them as they stay
for some reason, but you might stop *following* someones light and thus
become more aware of your own.<

I've seriously followed this philosophy for awhile. I believed, when I
got into the recording business, that each musical "stage" I went through
was a process of sloughing off my influences, one by one... and by 
continuing this process, and also by making every effort *not* to try to
imitate any other musician in terms of technique or compositional
style, I would eventually arrive at some sort of "pure" form of my own
musical voice.

As time wears on I become increasingly cynical about this, perhaps
agreeing with Brian Eno that there is *no way* to be freed of one's
influences, and thus the task at hand is not to find your own "pure
voice", which I take it he does not believe to exist, but instead to 
come up with the most interesting and unique combinations of such
influences... "Composting" he calls it.

I routinely bounce back and forth between these two seeming
opposites. I'm slowly coming to some kind of piece with *that*
incongruity, too. 

Any thoughts on this? Am I just thinking too much?