Eclectic is derived from the ancient Greek “eklektós” and in its original literal sense means “chosen” or “select.” In general, the term “eclecticism” refers to techniques and methods that combine styles, disciplines, or philosophies from different times or beliefs into a new unity.
Eclectics were already called thinkers in antiquity who applied this fusion in their worldviews. Cicero was probably the best known eclectic of his time. Some critics of eclecticism accused him of this blending of otherwise self-contained systems as irrelevant or worthless.
The followers, on the other hand, appreciated the selection of the best elements from the existing systems while discarding those elements recognized as inconsequential or wrong. So far, the use of eclecticism has been limited mainly to the visual arts, architecture, and philosophy.
After a long search for a suitable genre or term for my recent musical productions, I have found in “eclectic” the appropriate adjective, because I do just that – I use pre-existing elements that I consider valuable and assemble them into new works.
In a strict sense, artists actually do this all the time, as they incorporate different influences into new works, opening up new perspectives. However, they usually merge the influences into a fund of self-created set pieces before the creative process. However, nothing is really new and always just a further development, and the truism that the wheel does not have to be reinvented again sometimes applies.
Obviously, I have always been steeped in this view, which explains my work in a wide variety of musical scenes. I loved the most valuable elements of each scene in jazz, classical and pop. This was joined by the realization that these elements increasingly lost their charm when they were reduced to a tired copy of themselves in a purist style. This happens mainly in the so-called mainstream.
However, if one mixes these elements in their original power in individual works, there is still enough room left for an artistic signature, because there are countless possibilities. The art of the creator consists mainly in the creative mixture of the ingredients and the mastery of the musical formal language. This is neither trivial nor less valuable.
This attitude is not so entirely new. It already manifested itself in so-called fusion genres. One example is the famous fusion bands of former jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. In those days of music played by musicians, however, it required both the vision of the band leader and the musicians to match it.
This changed fundamentally with the advent of electronic music production. With the help of high-quality samples and loops, the producer alone can determine and execute the mix of his work. The available music snippets are recorded by professional specialists and designed by great sound designers. The selection includes all styles and genres.
Classifying such music mixes into a genre is a dilemma, and becomes even more oppressive as the diversity of a producer increases. Already today, the selection of genres is completely confusing, and it seems a paradox to add one more. Already established genres like “electronic” or “electronica” do not adequately describe what is really happening. “Electronic” is simply wrong, because in practice it is used as a synonym for a very specific mainstream of electronic pop music, even though the fathers of electronic music came from the classical scene (e.g. Karlheinz Stockhausen).
“Electronica” is really just a stopgap measure from the realization of the “electronic” dilemma, and is used to describe almost anything in pop music that is primarily electronically produced. It is not a style! The complete blurring is punished by many curators with the restriction “Please don’t submit Electronica!”, since it can be anything from rock to free jazz.
From all these findings, I have come to the conclusion that indeed a new genre needs to be launched that has eclecticism as its base – Eclectic Electronic Music. EEM differs from the rather manageable genre of EDM in its lack of focus on dancing and in its emphasis on a mixture of styles, but limited to a single work/song or album/project. It is not creating a new genre (like trip-hop, dubstep, IDM, drum and bass and others) with a song that uses elements from several styles.
Of course, this pigeonhole is too big for better orientation of the audience, but at least the listener knows that he cannot expect mainstream here, because mainstream shines not by diversity but uniformity. Every dish of a meal has a main ingredient like beef or chicken and the chef creates his flavor pattern from it. In the same way, EEM can be defined upfront by this base, referencing existing ingredients/subgenres.
As an example, let me cite my current project, “Give Me More of those Good Times.” The basis, i.e. the main component, are house tracks by my son Moritz. I then added vocal and instrumental loops that describe a mood I feel and tell a little story. The elements are chosen (stylistically diverse, eclectic) in terms of their suitability, best possible to express the story and the mood. So I would classify it like this: “Eclectic Electronic Music – House based”.
This way the listener knows that he will clearly recognize House, but must be prepared for surprises. This classification saves the consumer from the grossest mistakes and at the same time is an invitation to open his mind. This is a very artistic classification!
I was born in the largest coal mining area in Germany, known as the “Ruhrgebiet”. After school I worked as a professional musician until I was 40 years old. This time is well documented on WIKIPEDIA
After a burnout I had to give up my job, moved to the south of Germany, to the Munich region, and did an apprenticeship as an information technologist.
Another burnout forced me to rebuild my existence again, which collapsed just because of the corona crisis. In expectation of poverty at retirement age, I began to build a second career as a musician in 2019.