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Electro music, drugs, mental illness, and gardening
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:26 am    Post subject: Electro music, drugs, mental illness, and gardening
Subject description: An open invitation to discussion
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I'm wondering lately about connections between these things.
I know we all appreciate good sounds, but I'd like to get an idea how many of you indulge in mind altering substances.
Whether it be alchohol, nicotine, THC, ecstacy, acid etc.
I, personally have a love/hate relationship with alchohol, THC, and nicotine, in that order.
I also have a long standing issue with mental illness. Depression being the most obvious side effect (or driving force?)
Is there some correlation between substance use and resonant timbres?
I know that I, for example, need a large amount of alchohol to appreciate blues. Laughing

I'm keeping this intial post vague and ambiguous intentionally, as it may open up discussion which was not so obvious to others.

It may be a sensitive subject for some, but I believe it's something worth examining.

Any ideas or critique would be welcome. I won't tell anybody about your vices. Very Happy

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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm .. my most minding changing substance currently seems to be carbon dioxide ... or rather the lack thereof .. as in hyperventilating (read: stress) ... not very productive for making music I must say (although I did make a lil breathing noodle lately Wink ).

One or two beers works wonders on it I must say tho, more works ok as well but that'll hit back the next day, so trying to avoid that Wink

THC and smoking just makes it worse ... so trying to avoid that too, but nicotine is a bitch ... really should dump her Confused

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've been clean and legal for six months now, but I do enjoy using what chemicals I have left to me to excess on rare occasion. Primarily this means energy drinks and caffeine and nicotine. For example, I just undertook a major major serious departure from the normal: I consumed five energy drinks in a 12 hour period and topped it off with 82 mg of caffeine (two sodas).

Now that may be nothing compared to other substance abuse for example, let's say in my own past, but being clean so long it's a major strain on my system. I'm defending my action tonight by the old saying "Everything in moderation including moderation". This was binge night.

What I chose to do with my time whilst buzzing like a hummingbird were the following activiities:

1. chat in the electro-music chatroom (at a mile a minute).
2. listen to a variety of electro-music and rock music including the em station, Disturbed, ChucK Berry, AC/DC, and a mix of music from itracks.com.
3. design a music making box from the ground up with some very intreesting circuits that once tested and debugged, should produce some really interesting sounds. The design is unique compared to my previous designs and has some original properties that I would never have thought of in a non-induced state of mind.
4. posted a thread about the design and several other thread messages

So basically I had a big 12 hour creativity jam session complete with friends, music, and mental exercise. I consider this a productive blowing-off of steam evening/night/morning and I will sleep today to make up for it most likely.

As far as mental illness, I have a mild case of paranoid schizophrenia. I felt no symptoms tonight, but I do feel a connection between the mania-like state that I achieved and the occasional mania that I feel is associated with my particular disorder. Basically I gotta get out of my doldrums every once in a while and tonight, a Friday night if that's an excuse, was the night.

Also we recently tried to eliminate one of my antipsychotic medications and that led to some strange events including some angry thoughts and behavior which is uncharacteristic of the happy person that I've become, so we chose to put me back on the med that was eliminated. How's that for a run-on sentence? Speed does that, legal speed too.

I'll add that the moderation that I normally enjoy and have indulged in for MOST of the past six months has resulted in me becoming VERY happy on a routine basis. Gone is depression for the most part and in it's place are primarily happy thoughts.

In other related factors is one biggie: I'm on mild pain killers (Vicodin 10's four times a day and Tremedol (sp?) three times a day with Tylemol on request due to my open leg wounds which hurt terribly. That may be affecting my mood some, and the Vicodin also lowers my testosterone to the point that it's no longer like suffering to be alone. Plus the nurses come in all shapes and sizes and they touch me in appropriate ways, which helps with the isolation.

Re gardening I was just about to begin some but turned down the opportunity to join my friend in our first gardening session because a) I wasn't expecting her to ask and b) I was already started on this legal speed binge.

There, go psychoanalyze that.

Les

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the candid response Les, I knew I could count on you for a real account of what you're dealing with at this point in time. However, I don't want to analyse you Les. I'm not "qualified" to do that anyway. I'm just interested in how these things affect peoples perception of electronic music, and how that relates to their interest in disconnecting from reality.
For example, is my interest in mind altering (de)vices a product of my love of a good groove, or is it the other way around? Or are they completely unrelated?
My motivation to do valid electronic research goes up and down like a yo-yo, so does my interest in self induced oblivion, and my sudden urges to dig the garden and grow something new, and pure.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like electro-music. I like alcohol, and may even drink a little bit too much of it, though not constantly. I've never tried any illegal drug (which here includes pot). I don't think I have any mental issues that would qualify for a diagnose, though I have the odd noticeable mood swing that makes me look back at myself afterwards and say"wtf!?", and I tend to behave like a weirdo at times, in ways you can't see here in the text version of me. I don't do gardening.

I personally don't think that there's an obvious general connection between the four practices in the title, especially that to music. Music is too complex and works on so many levels.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gee where do I start? Laughing

I'm writing off the top of my head here. I didn't indulge in mind altering substances until I was about 20. I went from alcohol to pot and onward to the grandfather of all drugs, LSD. But I guess my drug of choice was cannabis. I smoked for two decades heavily... all day everyday, 100 cones a day. Took a load of mushrooms during a couple of 'difficult' times in my life too. Well, fuck it, it has all been difficult.

I never fitted in with society. I guess I went out of my way to be weird as possible. This led me to early industrial music. Nurse With Wound obsessed me for quite some time. Listening to sounds and being out of it seemed essential!

So what happened? Well I guess I was not happy. I was seeing a psychologist for a few years. I needed to take the drugs out of the equation and see if I was depressed so I took drugs, or if the drugs were making me depressed. It wasn't easy stopping.

One day in a stoned state of mind I googled, "make synth", and I ended up here. I somehow managed to construct a WSG in between copious bongs and fits of coughing... then did nothing more.

After finally prying my lips away from the bong long enough, I started to feel 'normal' whatever that is. I spent my money at Dick Smiths instead of Nimbin. Laughing

I still get depressed, but it isn't as bad as it was. I still listen to weird shit, and it still sounds great. I've been unintoxicated(?) now for over 3 years. I'm not one of these people who's now anti drugs. I will take acid again, just not at the moment. I'm still trying to process trips from the 80's into artwork.

I have little doubt that the greatest art, music, writing etc of all time has come from intoxicated minds. Yeah, Frank Zappa didn't take drugs (supposedly)... but compare him to Captain Beefheart and you see the difference. Poor Frank tried hard but he didn't quite get there Laughing .

I thought it interesting you mentioned gardening in the mix too. In the early 90's I became obsessed with Permaculture. Gardening has been a very important activity at times in my life. Gardeners daydream, they don't need meditation... or was that medication? Rolling Eyes

I'm glad I'm (cough cough) 'sober' right now. I have enough trouble keeping it together without nuking my already screwed up brain. It's that thing about inspiration and perspiration. I've had my fair share of drugs (for the moment)... I just need to focus on getting some work done! Left it all a bit late to get a 'real' job... Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting subject. In my case my interest for electronic music started with my first experience with e. Before that, I really didn't understand that kind of music, but like a flick of a switch, suddenly I understood. Then I started blowing a lot, wasted countless hours siting on the couch. Listening to music a lot of course, but not doing anything.

Looking back on it, the problem with using this stuff is that it tends to make you feel insecure not happy about yourself, there's always a nagging voice in your head saying "You shouldn't do this, you should quit this stuff".

With most people the interest in drugs wears off but the interest in the music stays. In my case I started bike racing, it also releases endorfines in your brain, and you can still feel good about yourself afterwards. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One brush.
One stroke.
One life.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think there's a bit of a myth that being "out of it" on whatever your drug of choice is, will inspire you to create amazing things. I get inspired to do a lot of stuff when my day to day inhibitions have been temporarily dissolved, but I must admit, that alot of it is far from "amazing". I remember seeing a doco on cannabis, where the host ended up coming to the conclusion that the most damaging thing about pot was the endless hours of people staring at a lava lamp and thinking "wow,... look at that!". Hours and hours of wasted time.
For me, being in that kind of state of mind can be an ecstatic bliss, if I have my headphones on and I listening to an album I love. But I'm not actually creating anything. I'm just absorbing someone elses inspiration.

The gardening thing was just something I feel is very therapeutic for people who have mental health problems. The Peter Gabriel song comes to mind, every time. "Digging in the dirt, find the places we got hurt". It makes me feel re-connected to the earth.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
"Digging in the dirt, find the places we got hurt".


True words! I'll share another thing about my relationship with substances. I was raised in your typical dysfunctional family with a father who seemed to spend most of his free time teaching us to "work" and punishing us for acting like kids. I remember hiding under the bed or in the closet in hope that he would not find me for another beating.

These experiences taught me that life was unpleasant, there was nothing that could be done about it, and the best solution was to get high and stay high as much as possible. I dreamed of the day I would be free and could stay stoned all day every day. Thanks, dad.

Well I paint a sad story here but there were also plenty of good times and lots of idyllic kids playing on bikes kind of moments too, he was a good provider if a failure at being a dad. I count myself lucky in many ways.

Anyway, to the point and in reference to the quote, it was only about four years ago that I realized all this and that realization set me free because I now understood that it was NOT necessary to be high to be happy and that being stone cold sober for long periods produced it's own set of joys.

That is one of the places I got hurt that I found when digging in the dirt.

Les

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have another comment on this subject. Please see this thread:

http://electro-music.com/forum/post-357998.html#357998

For the "sober" version (and second iteration) of a Solar Music Box that I am designing. Scrolling up, you can read all the posts I wrote while having a binge night. I consumed a total of five (5) "5-Hour Energy" products in a 10 hour period that night, so I was literally buzzing like a hummingbird. Legal speed, who can resist?

Anyway, You'll see that the first design is overly complex. In my energetic state I imagined that It would be practical to have 40 or so CDS cells controlling a simple music box. The sober design has about 10, much more practical. Also the speed-induced design will not function properly however it's sober coutnerpart should, with few if any tweaks, operate properly.

Now it's not quite a fair comparison because one is an initial design and the other is a revision, however if we look at the total process we can see how the creativity explosion of the legal speed design laid the foundation for the much improved sober design. In a way, the drugs in the "5-Hour Energy" drinks helped me to stimulate my creativity, and in the sober state the creativity was there as well (the ladder network was conceived while sober) but in a different form.

From this hopefully successful design effort, I would conclude that the age-old notion of creating while drugged and reviewing that creation while sober is a good method of creating overall, is true. It works for me.

Les

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like this topic. I feel like I've gotten to know some of the musicians I respect so much here just a little bit more by reading this stuff. Although I never did drugs and can barely have half a beer or a shot of amaretto without falling asleep, I relate to the social isolation.

I've always had trouble fitting in, and for the most part, I didn't try too hard to. These days I don't give a shit at all about fitting in. Much of the time, I look around at human society thinking "OMG WTF". If anyone has ever played Mass Effect 2, much of the time I feel like Joker limping around the ship saying "What... the... shit". Laughing

The only time I've ever really suffered from depression was when I was with my violently psychologically abusive ex-wife, but once I got out of that, I recovered on my own fairly well. I used to feel sad and lonely a lot as a young man and teenager, due to not knowing how to socialize, for various reasons, but now I more or less enjoy having just barely enough friends to keep sane. I think I'd do alright living with my partner and some non-human friends in the middle of fuck-all.

I'm an avid gardener. Gardening helps me a great deal in terms of sanity, although it indirectly sometimes makes me boiling angry when the neighborhood association goons come mowing the lawn and spraying their chemicals. They wham their machines into the wooden fence around my yard, where my garden is. When they come with the lawn pesticides, I have to spend the day trying to shoot as much of it away from my yard as possible with a high-pressure nozzle on my garden hose. Other than that, gardening makes me happy and undoubtedly frees up some mental space in my head to allow my music to thrive.

Still, in the end, much of my music now stems from a deep-seated malcontent, dislike and even disgust by many aspects of human society. In this regard I consider my writing to itself be a recreational drug that lets me blow of steam and keep me from driving into a semi at 90+ MPH.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow... what a wonderful thread...most honest & soulful thing I've read on this forum. Thanks everyone for sharing. I'm really glad to see that Les is feeling better! Now, as to the topic.

I was never a huge druggie...but yeah, being stoned made music SO awesome!! In fact it made it possible to hear music in things like people walking upstairs, cars going by, and toilets flushing. So I guess smoking weed opened my perceptions that music was all around me and an integral part of the cosmos. In fact, I used to hang with Pagans (not the motorcycle gang) who had all these beliefs about 'Magick", but I didn't fit in with them, cause why would I waste time learning "spells", when for me, "music" was the real "magick".

On the other hand...I used to jam with these deadheads, and after a certain point it stopped being a jam and started being a pot party with musical instruments in front of us. Kind of boring, after I dragged my keyboard & amp all the way there...I was into playing Music!! and then I'd have to drive home... not so great.

I don't smoke much, cause it makes me too sleepy, and most other drugs make me dizzy-- Music is my drug instead! I used to put on the headphones, blast out Trance music and watch the Winamp Milkdrop light show... who needs anything more?

I can't build circuits like some of you folks but I have learned how to create tracks in Ableton, and that's the ultimate escape for me. I can sit here for hours tweaking loops & clips, effects... It is like being in another universe. When I find that perfect sound or riff that tugs on my emotions... well that is the ultimate high.

As for escape... yeah, the world is F**d up beyond hope, so I don't watch much news, and I gave up on activism, I just want to crawl into some good music and escape from it all. Music is such a great escape that I can even go to the dentist and create a trancy ambient tune in my head and make the torture go away.

However... the problem is that I don't feel right sitting at my computer when it's a nice day outside. So I'll be out there gardening instead! They are like 2 sides of the same thing. Day=garden. Night=music. 2 sides of the Cosmic yin-yang.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh--PS... my fave mind altering substance that I like to use while composing music is SUGAR. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was inspired by Laura's post to go back and re-read what I had typed as well. Funny coincidence as I've been working on that circuit lately. Actually I finished it and was not pleased with the results from an audio standpoint. So I cooked up another design that I like better and I'll put that one in another box soon.

I haven't had any more "legal speed" binges, nor any other binges since that last one some months ago. Living clean is ok I guess but I sure would like to smoke a little dope right now. I feel I can be responsible with it now as the urge to escape reality is no longer there.

I'll be out of here in a few months or sooner and then I will get high to celebrate. That should be fun, but I'm quitting alcohol for good. That drug sucks big time.

Les

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

interesting topic,
in the last 35 years I had it all... lots of alcohol, THC, LSD (those were the times my friend...)
Alcohol worked well until I got beyond 40. Now i makes me insensitive and lethargic... only good for a coach-potato-evening
THC I stopped when learning what it does with my brain... worked well for spontaneous jamming...
gardening??... interesting idea... but I am not sure that I understand it right as non-english... you mean actual working in garden like flowers and vegetables???
Actually I learned to use breathing... there is this nice little device em-wave which helps to correlate breath and heartbeat. I find it most relaxing and energizing and use it a lot
depression... there are different kinds.. sometimes paralyzing - not good for music but another is actually quite helpful to shut of all outside stuff and just groove... when I then succeed in keeping visual distraction like TV Computergames... low i can really indulge in playing my modular and use it as an electronic emotion-machine... but not very often

very best input for my musical creativity is good sex Smile)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

lebenspuls wrote:

very best input for my musical creativity is good sex Smile)


What's that??? Laughing

I thought that's what music was for... as a substitute!! Very Happy Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:


I'll be out of here in a few months or sooner and then I will get high to celebrate. That should be fun, but I'm quitting alcohol for good. That drug sucks big time.

Les


uh, wait a sec... celebrating sobriety by getting high just doesn't make sense! Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Heh, yeah when you put it that way it doesn't make any sense at all! Thing is, what I'll be celebrating is moderation, not sobriety. Alcohol, I can't touch it really, for fear of getting started again and I don't miss it at all, but a little weed to round out the day, ahhhh just right!

I bought a cheap vaporizer (you can get them for $40 including shipping these days) for tobacco and herbs from both a health and efficiency perspective. Looking forward to using that thing.

As for gardening, I love to dig deep in the earth and make huge compost piles, preparing the ground to be fertile, however I can't stand weeding so I never garden.

Les

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

laura woodswalker wrote:

However... the problem is that I don't feel right sitting at my computer when it's a nice day outside. So I'll be out there gardening instead! They are like 2 sides of the same thing. Day=garden. Night=music. 2 sides of the Cosmic yin-yang.


I could totally groove on a synth setup in the middle of my garden. I just wish I had a bigger garden and no immediate neighbors to fully realize this idea.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:

As for gardening, I love to dig deep in the earth and make huge compost piles, preparing the ground to be fertile, however I can't stand weeding so I never garden.



If you put lots of mulch/compost mix around your garden plants, on top of the soil without digging it in, it will help keep weeds from sprouting.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'll admit I have only skim read the second half of this topic but I get the jist and it's really relieving to hear that I'm not alone.

But I have a nagging question: what's THC? Is he a relation of THX 1138? Wink

I almost feel guilty admitting I suffer from depression. I do, the doctor said so first many years ago and not much has changed, infact things often get worse, but I keep thinking that my problems are invalid or insignificant but they aren't. There is this desperate part of me saying "no, no they aren't, this is genuine damnit!". Anyone ever heard of cassandra syndrome? Anyways my depression is often a driving force for creation, I just get so god damn sick of all this ordinary crap, this shit normal music I want to punch it into the god damn ground with the weird, fantastic, harsh and incredible sounds my devices can make, fuck 'em all, squares on both sides I AM THE ONLY COMPLETE MAN IN THE INDUSTRY!
... ahem ...
Temper can be problematic too.

I don't find I need drugs to create music; my greatest muse has been love, especially the physical aspects of human intimacy Wink I feel like I could write a bloody symphony if I could just get a companion to give me that inspiration.

P.S.
Inventor wrote:

I bought a cheap vaporizer (you can get them for $40 including shipping these days) for tobacco and herbs from both a health and efficiency perspective. Looking forward to using that thing.

A friend of mine says that one of those would have saved a good few of his friends from dying of lung cancer from smoking thier weed.

Also I dig gardening Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

audiodef wrote:
laura woodswalker wrote:

However... the problem is that I don't feel right sitting at my computer when it's a nice day outside. So I'll be out there gardening instead! They are like 2 sides of the same thing. Day=garden. Night=music. 2 sides of the Cosmic yin-yang.


I could totally groove on a synth setup in the middle of my garden. I just wish I had a bigger garden and no immediate neighbors to fully realize this idea.


Yeah me too. I thought maybe I could take my music laptop outside and experiment with vSTs & stuff, using the computer keyboard for sound and headphones for speakers. kind of a hassle though.

hey, we should do that at E-M... a shame to go to a beautiful mountain resort and spend 3 days indoors....

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
Heh, yeah when you put it that way it doesn't make any sense at all! Thing is, what I'll be celebrating is moderation, not sobriety. Alcohol, I can't touch it really, for fear of getting started again and I don't miss it at all, but a little weed to round out the day, ahhhh just right!

I bought a cheap vaporizer (you can get them for $40 including shipping these days) for tobacco and herbs from both a health and efficiency perspective. Looking forward to using that thing.

As for gardening, I love to dig deep in the earth and make huge compost piles, preparing the ground to be fertile, however I can't stand weeding so I never garden.

Les


I'm hearin ya man.
I'm totally hearing ya man. Cool
My interest in alchohol has totally nose-dived lately.
And, I must admit, I'm not worried about it. They reckon that it's the largest impact on early death rates, through sheer alchohol toxicity, right on to early death via suicide.
But I don't think I'll ever give it up compleletly. It was my first and true drug love. Ohm...

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The other night I listened to a great talk-back session on ABC Radio National, inviting people to talk about illicit drugs in Australia.
I didn't call up, but I did add to the online discussion on their forum.
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/the-highs-and-lows-of-illicit-drugs/4044874
BTW I don't mind any of you knowing that, I'm Gil. Cool

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