The Music Scene

During my more isolated years, I decided to try to become a musician. That had always been a dream of mine, even before my diagnosis. I found myself with plenty of time every day to create and share music, and was fortunate enough to have a computer and an internet connection.

I networked with literally thousands of people, most of them being fellow musicians. At first I did not know, but in time began to realize, that many, many of these people were also mentally ill, or somehow marginalized. Most of the musicians participating in the online music scene, including the netlabel scene, which I was so much a part of, were eccentric in some way, or had characteristics people would define as off-center. They were sexually “different”, living in poverty, and/or coping with addiction or health issues.

The internet music scene evolved into a large-scale phenomenon where connections were made and new and unusual expressions were shared. This seemed both exciting and at times disturbing.

The music scene definitely demonstrated that, thanks to the internet, all kinds of subjective experiences were being created and passed back and forth, often for free, and more than ever before.

One did not have to be a unique talent or millionaire to become a musician. It just took a computer and a few free programs. And so the gates were opened for all kinds of people (like myself) to participate.

Author: mystified13

Sole member of Mystified and Mister Vapor.

5 thoughts on “The Music Scene”

  1. Ah… the netlabel days… those were good times. I had an absolute blast working with you and everyone else on the infinite sector netlabel.

    I thin we have very similar stories regarding our musical histories and the motivations behind it all. I started making electronic music as a way to cope with tragedy, loss, and upheaval by creating different realities, atmospheres, and moods through audio. The best part is that it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, as the years went by and my mental state improved, I lost the drive to make music. When things took a turn for the worse and even more mental health issues arose, I found that music creation no longer had the same positive effects it once held for me. I keep hoping to regain the ability to heal in that way, but so far I haven’t had any luck. I think the community aspects of infinite sector was even more crucial than I realized at the time.

    It can be difficult to ascertain someone’s mental health, and the deep seated roots of those issues, through online interaction alone. It is even more difficult when everyone is making music that society tends to label as “weird” and “outsider”. It’s very easy for someone to dismiss such musicians as crazy and maladjusted. However, as you pointed out, there is indeed a kernel of truth in that sentiment. Many of us had – and continue to have – mental health problems, emotional difficulties, lifestyles that mainstream culture disapproves of, antisocial tendencies, disregard for the status quo, or any number of other issues that affect our ability to function on a “standard” level. Online creative communities like netlabels and artist collectives can be a wonderful way for people like us to come together, share our thoughts and ideas, tell our “war stories”, get feedback on our artistic endeavors, and give our “crazy outsider” creations a home among like minded people.

    Great post, Thomas! Keep up the writing and hang in there, my friend.


    1. A great comment, and just the kind of thing I was hoping to hear about when starting and writing this blog. Thank you, Rob, for your thoughts and honesty. I will probably comment further soon, when I have a few moments to muse about this subject.


    2. Collaboration in something like Isector can be a really productive phenomenon. I worked with so many artists there, each with different styles and situations. Of course, we never really know what’s going on personally with many of them (including myself). I feel that that was intentional, that I wanted, especially then, to be known by the virtues of my creativity, not my struggles at home.

      Incidentally, I still feel guilty about how, when you asked someone to step forward to continue the group, no one did. I was considering it, but felt overbooked and nervous about the prospect. I am sorry I did not volunteer, and appreciate your years of leadership.

      Nice that we still have an archive of material available– I remember the day you discovered and pointed it out. It serves as a record, a point of reference.


  2. I hear ya. I could go on about this for ages, and I had to edit and revise that comment just to make it comprehensible!


  3. Also, for the record:

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder accompanied by frequent panic attacks and periodic detached dissociative states.

    So yeah, making music definitely helped. 😉


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