Years ago, I remember a friend pointing out that a piece of music I played her off a CD sounded so simple – too simple.
She said she could have done it. Using spoons. OK. So what’s wrong with that statement? Easy, it was a negative; it was a dismissal of the first artist’s work, and it didn’t inspire the response which was to get her to create a piece of music of her own. But to me, that’s the only appropriate response there is. If something is too easy, it makes you want to emulate it, only to improve upon it. Nothing, nothing at all wrong with that.
Which leads back to the list. So many things we do are, ultimately, made to appear more complicated than they need to be. It’s like a drummer who shows off when he plays. Remember those t-shirts that bass players used to wear in the 80s — it was a sixteenth note with a red circle and a line through it. Perhaps, the message there is the same. Colin Newman (a dear friend) used the following quote in his cd liner for Bastard, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Einstein.
What may seem weirder, is what I do with Dayfornight.com, and maybe just the role I see for websites, with artists, and with music. Originally, I had all these theories about how DFN.com was going to remain an artist-driven website (which it still is) but I was intent upon making it a parallel experience for how we perceive things on the surface, about reality. And so the site was going to offer music, within a metaphor for modern-day railway travel, and it was going to have points of interest — stations, and the depth of content for that project, or point, would determine whether the user could get off at the station and just walk along the platform, or maybe just leave the station altogether and wander outside in the park. Then there’s the “junctions” aspect, which is my carefully-considered, but largely-unrealized goal of defining further impact, through junctions, which are a way of explaining what happens when two or more artists collaborate on a one-off project and mix energies. I say largely unrealized, because I can’t seem to allow Dayfornight to blend beyond my own personal boundaries.