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When playing an instrument as accompanyment while watching a film or tv series (especially the themes) it’s difficult to add anything really meaningful. Their scores are ‘in the can’ already good enough for commercial use, so trying to squeeze something in helps me recognize when my own mix is too crowded, when less is better, and how to embellish without dominating. There are also moments where the acting/action is in the forefront, which provide opportunities to noodle about, exploring/practicing melodic techniques and different sounds.
Listening to pieces of music that are popular, but not our style, or created by artists
wholly new to us, is also healthy. I once saw a forum post mention ‘Imogen Heap’, fully unknown to me, and had some free time, so went exploring her music, and lightbulbs started glimmering, and the urge to really master something welled up. Similar thing happened regarding Lari Basilio, great inspiration evolving from a chance name encounter.
We each have a life, with no guarantee of another Tuesday. Investing our days in what we love most, is a key to happiness, where we define our own success by knowing that we did our best.