a guided meditation: "on failure, being naive"

  • "stream of consciousness thoughts spoken directly into a four-track tape recorder with added nature sounds and delay effects. ramblings about what it means to be naive, what happens when you become aware of your own process and strategies for overcoming obstacles and dealing with failure."


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    please enjoy.

  • awesome. i think this stuff all the time. im in the party.

  • I deal with this when I get hung up on the "right" way to do things. For example, I bought crown molding for my house seven years ago but have yet to put it up because, despite all the books I have read on the subject, I have too many questions. Do I use nailing blocks as support? If so, how do I nail the molding into the blocks? What kind or size of nails? Do I need to drill pilot holes first? Do I prime and paint the trim first or paint it when its in place? Etc., etc., etc.

    This happens with creative stuff, too. I know there is no actual "right" way, but there are ways that make more sense than others and I'm always seeking them out. I wish I could break the chain on this, but it's been true for me for a long, long time.

  • @antiphon -

    "For freedom I'm set free." - Artistically I often seek out the "wrong" way of doing things simply for the sake of doing something wrong. Simply for the sake of being different to everyone else. Simply for the sake of my art. Bouncing things down in the wrong format so the final mix sounds crunchy. Recording things at the wrong BPM so you can hear the timestretching. Overcompressing a sound so that it flattens the tracks. Not bothering to tune a guitar before playing a solo, and then just slapping hard autotune onto the track for that kinda modulated synthetic sound. Ignoring the fact that there's no bass to the track. Using that vocal even though it clipped.

    Lazy? NEVER. I spend hours agonising over a sound, an effect, a mix, a stereo image, a note slightly out of time, a bit of flem in the vocalist's throat on the third syllable of the second line of the track that's taken me 6 months to make slightly less shoddy.

    Sloppy? NOPE. Some happy mistakes are happy mistakes. Some happy mistakes are excuses made by people who can't be arsed, and those people should be shot.

    But next time you lay down a vocal track, record it in a perfectly cubical room. Next time you cut a sample, make sure you cut it at the highest peak you can find, and rejoice in the extra rhythm the click provides you with. Next time render to audio, do it at the lowest setting your DAW will let you and enjoy the crunchy goodness.

    When someone else tells you that you didn't do it "right", tell them that clocks didn't melt before Dal

  • "Perfect is the enemy of good enough. If you spend your time looking for the perfect tomato, you won’t eat tomatoes at all. Do the best you can, and don’t drive yourself nuts." — mark bittman (author of 'how to cook everything')

    + + +

    although it's empowering to embrace this perspective, there's a certain lack of depth that comes with being completely naive about how things work. conversely, getting caught up in the tiniest of details leads to a similar (albeit opposite) dilemma.

    perhaps the true nugget here is that making stuff is probably better than getting caught up in the details of making. through making, you learn by failing and strive to get better the next go-round.

    some hella philosophy shit right here. "I FEEL WAYS ABOUT STUFF"

  • I think about this fluid stream of energy; its raw, untrained, not directed. For me, there is a balance of allowing it to flow unfettered and directing it into the places and forms I wish it to go. I've tried simply making without thinking, and it dosent quite hit the mark for me. "What do I want to give to the world?" is a question I find helpful and directs this flow. When I find a form that closely resembles what I want to give (albeit, this continues to evolve as well) the challenge becomes letting this flow come as freely as I am able to let it through the matrix. The medium and the message must both evolve and generally do so together.

  • There was an episode of This American Life where this dude was searching for the perfect sofa for years.


    And if you'd rather read it: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/309/transcript - scroll down 3/4 of the way to Act Three. Looking For Loveseats In All The Wrong Places.