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Finding form in chance

November 7, 2018

Finding form in chance, in chaos, in breaking the rules, is about finding something outside a perspective or norm that, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to be working. I could be writing music or making a film, something where there comes a point when I have to cut something for non-rational reasons, just to shake things up. I could call it instinct, or I could call it chance, it might be transgression, breaking the rules, etc., but what is really going on has to do with being at a point where 1) you do not know where you are going but 2) you do know you have to go.

            I think in our society we cut things but we do not, necessarily, know how to grow things. We become exclusive, reductionist, and the purity of that seems reason enough to purge. So we retreat from diversity and sensitivity, naïve enough to believe that exclusion will bring stability. But whatever scapegoating might bring in the moment its inherent short-sightedness simply leads us to the same place we started.

            I do not doubt people’s adherence to their views; as partially constructed and as inconsistent as our views are, because I do not doubt the need to go, even when we do not know where we are going. So the question becomes what are we building, where are we going,  and what is it for?

            When I am making a film or composing I am going towards an emotional point or experience. It is connected with thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and it is impacted to varying degrees by said thoughts, feelings and experiences. But ultimately I decide when the work is done; so it is on me to include and/or exclude. This demands a lot from me. I take ideas that people, including me, do not believe fit into a certain, lets say “style” (which they don’t) and come up with something that includes these different elements, hence a new style, or fusion. The diverse elements involved include the gear and tools I am using, the time I have to do it, the money I have to do it, the concept(s) that are developing and forming, other input like criticism (constructive or not), then there is the output of the artwork itself, and so on. All of these elements are factors—they are the dynamics of making something—and when I hit a wall, when I feel that I am failing to include all that I needed, or wanted to include I, like I wrote at the start of this blog about, finding form in chance, in chaos, in breaking the rules. I am cutting! But I am also looking for something that can include various seemingly irreconcilable elements. So there is an underlying belief in inclusion.

            When I succeed I call it, elegance. This is where I find balance in the Classical sense of the term. Beyond this, will anyone like it, or even understand what I was doing? It’s hard to say, I have been surprised. But what I can say is, finding form, and more specifically finding form and meaning, do not guarantee success; perhaps it's a simpler question of one's nature.

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