My friend Doug sent me these two articles of interest. The first is by Chris Standring, "Defining the true artist - do you have what it takes?". Obstensibly, it applies to musicians but I would say it applies to anyone engaged in creative endevours. There is a real push bythe music and entertainment industry towards homogeneity. Look at all the so-called punk bands of today. Bands like The Clash, The Ramones, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag all had their own identity - that is why they still stand apart from the crowd to this day. Today punk bands seem to just follow a formula in terms of dress, sound and even in style of performance. Maybe they don't sound exactly the same as each other, but only in the way that a stack of carbon copied sheets tend become fainter the farther you get away from the original source. Then you the Theory of a Dead Nickle Creed bands. (Theory of a Dead Man, Nickleback, Creed) These bands not only have legions of clones, but their own material is unbelievably indistict from one another and from album to album.
The second link from Doug is a response by living Jazz legend, Pat Metheny, to the audacity of Kenny G's overdubbing himself onto a classic Louis Armstrong song and his banal bleatings on the saxaphone in general.
One of the reasons I listen to people like Kevin Ayers is because he is his own artist, following his own vision regardless of the days tatses and fashion. Songs I really like are Butterfly Dance, Soon Soon Soon, Rheinhardt and Geraldine/Colores Para Dolores, Irreversible Neural Damage, Clarence In Wonderland and Song From The Bottom Of A Well.
A Freak Out about OFA
I flipped last night while trying to do my OFA homework. I just couldn't remember anything that I had read. The course is essentially a 3rd year University course condensed into one week. I used a number of expletive deletives chastising myself for my hubris. I came close to putting off the course for the next session so I could have more time to dive into the book and become familiar with everything in there. The instructor talked me out of it and I am glad she did, though my kness are killing me despite the padding I bought after class yesterday.
It is intense. People always tell you how hard a certain course is and you take the course, which usually turns out to be much lees intense than people have made it out to be. My supervisors stressed how hard it is to be in very definite terms, "Magnus, it is a fucking - hard - course! It is brutal and intense." That turned out to be an understatement.