The writer Borges once said that simplicity was senseless and that secret and modest complexity was better.
Therefore, if that is true, and you are wanting to change something – in your life or in your Art, here are two choices of levers to explore with.
• Increase intensity
• Increase complexity
Imagine you’re a rapper. You’re entering into a very coded universe with its characteristic ways of putting words to music, but you also want to be interesting. How do you do it?
Pushing the intensity lever can drive-up your style to: Yelling Rap (decibel voice lever), Hyperfast Rap (speed lever) or Deep Loud Metal Rap (“Let’s choose an anvil sound on the beatbox”). It seems a bit too easy and… nobody does that in rap. Why?
Pushing the complexity lever leads you to dissonance (Bartokian Rap Music), complex rhythms (I imagine a Rite of Spring Rap, don’t you?), or in voice to change the constant monotony (sung parts, tripled voices, sudden incantations, rages preachoïd, etc), or maybe even evolve into a surrealistic, avant-gardist narration.
Of course you could complexify the complexity by pushing the lever of variability of all the above by adding complexity or adding dissonance throughout the track.
OK. Let’s move away from music levers and into relationship levers. Imagine your sex life is becoming a bore. Which lever will you pull?
Intensity Lever? Stronger? Faster? More frequent? More partners? More pain?
Complexity Lever? Subtlety? More magic? More dimensions? Funny tools? Words?
Tools: It’s fun to learn what levers the great artists chose in their changing periods of life. Maybe Intensity and Complexity are helpful levers to everyday problems and in the Arts because they both work to revive stagnation and creative blocks. But which one ?