For me it wasn't so much music as sound. I always was concious of how things sounded differently in different environments, or depending on the playback device. Music just sort of evolved from that for me, since I learned that was the most direct way to shape what we hear.
In terms of moments when it all sort of clicked, for me there are two:
- Around 17 years old and listening to the track "download" by Skinny Puppy in my bedroom. Never drank, did drugs or anyting like that at that point, but i had the most surreal out of body experience and knew I had to figure out how they made those sounds. Still don't know
- The second was the first time I heard Ritchie Hawtin play early in my raving days (1997?). It was right when he was getting into his whole decks, efx and 909 phase so a lot of it was fresh and off the cuff. Honestly a lot more spontaneous and inventive than his stuff now. 4-8AM under these bleachers in the middle of nowhere Illinois (Even Further 3?), and he had hundreds of people at his beck and call on the dancefloor. First time I ever experienced that sort of connection between a performer and his audience, and I knew I wanted a part of it, no matter how long it took me, or how small a part it was.
Strangely, I found a recording of that very show just last year in some random backwoods online. And while listening to all 4 hours of it I could remember exactly when I made that conclusion, and laughing that it wasn't even a very good song playing at the time. LOL