This little article is about the fact that between two artists you often choose the “obvious” one, but sometimes you come back to the choice and pick up the other one, because… Let’s see.
When I was 30 I watched Fellini‘s movies in awe, with a smile, and a question mark above my head. He looked like a clever silly artist, full of exaggerations and weird images, cf Satyricon. And I also watched Antonioni‘s movies, like Eclisse. This guy seemed much more serious, full of clever questions about incommunicability in couples and deep thoughts about the sense of life.
More than 20 years later, I still adore Antonioni and I often watch his movies, but I prefer, by far, Fellini today. I explored his worlds, read a lot about his work, analysis, and interviews, and I realized the… richness of all of it. The baroque, the myths, the fragmented aspects of reality. It’s vast, clever, sensitive…
So, I see the “obvious” choice in many things, today. Because we change and we age, of course, we go deeper. We understand deeper the idea of efforts, which lead to extensive discoveries.
I have another example with the double-headed Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I read a lot about them, I listened and dismantle their music. And of course, I preferred Lennon! He’s stronger, takes more risk, he’s the fool who wrote the Walrus (while McCartney wrote Yesterday). Lennon is spicy, Macca is sweet. Voilà.
But the more you dig, you realize that McCartney is stronger, is a better musician. He wrote Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is a splendid masterpiece, very quietly though.
So I always loved Brahms, who is strong, heavy, very Taurus, with earthian symphonies and concertos, and I didn’t like Schubert, whose music is closer to Mozart. But today Schubert’s Great is unreachable. I eventually found out the nuggets, the colors, the subtleties in this…
The structure here is simple:
We often have choices between similar things. One seems obvious, and we choose this one. But sometimes we reconsider things and we bend over the other one, to find out that its treasures were maybe hidden, too subtle, or complex/difficult. It’s a tango!
What are your examples?
Thanks for reading!
JF Billeter writes about “The Principle of Difficulty”, something like : It is better to be aware of the difficulties of a domain and have fun than to be ignorant of it and to fail.
I wrote it, and thought about difficult domains. Imagine you want to learn to speak Chinese, imagine you want to understand the whole Bob Dylan work, imagine you don’t like opera and you want to explore its worlds…
It’s huge, big, and well, difficult, fractal, complex, it’s a continent. Then, it’ll keep you happy busy for a long time.
There’s a French painter who is funny to read about : Chardin. He is, like Millet, out of any “system”. Modest. Watching the ordinary. Here’s one. You can watch, but also read. What does this man seek?
From his point of view, it’s a principle of simplicity – but it’s probably very difficult to achieve it!
The Feynman technique for teaching and communication is a mental model (a breakdown of his personal thought process) to convey information using concise thoughts and simple language.
Hmmm should dig this!
There are many ways of helping/listening. C. Rogers talks about:
- An advice (“If I were you, I’d…”).
- A suggestion (“Maybe you could…”).
- Support (“I am with you…”).
- Order (“Don’t let it go…”).
- Questioning (“Did you really say that ?”).
- Judgment (“I think you did well”).
- Interpretation (“Here, you settle your accounts with…”).
All these are interfering! The only good way is the unconditional listening :
Whatever the mood, there’s Art!
Thanks for reading!
I heard some music from Brazil, but I did not want to learn about their rhythms or about their scales, thus I wrote stupid lyrics about a guy in love with a contrary of a Brazilian girl : slow, pale, with a small behind. Found a beat, a big Liverpool bass (because why not) and played with bars where the 2nd bar is dissonnant.
I added “my idea” of an Elton John’s piano, sang (4 layers!) in Portuguese (like a Spanish cow), added a storm, a crowd, whistles, and voilà!
I saw this violonist, walking, a sad Hungary figure, on a Sabine Weiss photography. I wanted to build a Tom Waits’ like waltz, a slow one. I sing very badly, so I added this sad harmonica, a crazy fly-like Chinese violin, and silly noises of a dog and cars. The waltz itself is broken, not following the 3/4 at times.
Totally drafty, but I posted it eventually. Non Finito.
Thanks for reading!