The Imperfectionnist

I read an interview of a French original soundtrack composer, fan of Ennio Morricone.

Well, he talked about his musical qualities, about his multifaceted style (7 styles, he said!), but in the end told that what he preferred was his morriconesque way to accept almost everything, and then his way to work all the time, constantly, year after year.

Indeed, if you Wikipedia Ennio, you’ll find more than 100 classical works and more than 400 scores for cinema and television.

This says something, but can also ring false alarms.

If you produce a lot, there will be fantastic things AND more ordinary lukewarm other things.

It says that one should not be too solemn before beginning a work. It says to stop thinking too much, and to begin, to try, explore and experiment.

It DOES NOT say (in my opinion) that you can be casual when you work. You will work hard, you’ll really do your best.

“Il fallait qu’un bâton de chaise fût bien fait”, says Charles Peguy in France: The chair rung must be well made, not for the boss, or for connoisseurs, but it had to be well made itself, in itself, for itself, in its very self.

I just finished reading Woody Allen’s biography, when he says he’s an “imperfectionist”. I really felt it was the same pattern.

In fact, most of the great artists are like that. Picasso. Mozart. They work a lot, like crazy, they refuse no experience, they’re like “OK, let’s do that!”. Instead of thinking of is it the good moment or find the perfect way to work, they just begin.

Well, I like that because it’s the way I began my blog. I was sooo solemn about it, about the theme, and the perfect way of doing this or that, and when.

When I watched tutorials on YouTube about starting my channel Quick-Eyed Sky, I often found clips like “Errors new Youtubers make”. One was always: “Stop waiting for the good moment and gear to begin: post now, post today”.

Have a great summer! Sorry for the mistakes in this article, I’ll check it in a few days. I wrote it fast, but I want it cool, right?

L’Agogique

Strangely the “Agogique” Wikipedia article is in French only, here:

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agogique

Thus I asked Oxford about “agogic”, I copy/paste:

1 An adjective indicating a variety of accentuation demanded by the nature of a particular musical phrase, rather than by the regular metric pulse of the mus. The first note of a phrase, for instance, may be felt to suggest a slight lingering which confers the effect of an accent: similarly, a leap to note significantly higher or lower than the preceding notes, or a strong discord resolving to a concord, may convey an effect of accentuation (by means of lingering, pressure, etc.) and there are other examples. The complementary term to ‘agogic accent’ (accent of movement) is ‘dynamic accent’ (accent of force), which implies the normal and regular rhythmic accentuation of a piece of music.

2 In a wider sense, ‘agogic’ covers everything connected with ‘expression’, e.g. rallentandoaccelerandorubato, pause, accentuation as described above, etc.

Well of course it’s a tool, a state of mind.

I read about this in a Sol Gabetta (a cello player) interview. If we follow the score, it’s gives a computer mood. One needs groove, or rubato, expression. And it’s linked of course (because we follow the sheet music score, right?) to the idea of “freedom blossoming on constraint”. And it’s linked to the two-to-tango idea of “singing melody seems free but it’s conducted”, enchanted and tamed at the same time.

“The interpreter juggles with spells”. Ces sortilèges sont l’agogique.

Of course we have to dig the “-agogy” word. Pedagogy. Andragogy?

And also, seeing this as a pattern for life, action, methods, rules, creation, art. Follow some rules but add some life, some “expression”, freedom into frames, etc.

Have a nice Christmas!

How to make images with Artificial Intelligence with a few words, with ruDALL-E

Hi everyone! The “Prompt To Image” processes are blossoming everywhere on the web since Katherine Crowson presented the VQGAN+CLIP tool and made it public. This “Synthetic Imagery” (or GAN Art) was fantastic, but a bit difficult and slow to use.

You’ll find plenty of articles about this, and hundreds of “Google Colabs” with the code to play with. The result is often slow (about one hour to get an image).

The next step was to find similar tools (you enter a text, you get an image) on web pages like https://hypnogram.xyz, https://text2art.com/ or http://gaugan.org/gaugan2/ or the very easy https://www.wombo.art/ (have fun!).

There are tricks you quickly learn to use with each tool. Adding words to the prompt, like artists names or words like steampunk – here are bridges, a mantis, an owl, and for the first one “bird leather gold“:

Each site has its flaws, and one must use them to get things. For example, GauGAN2 is made for landscapes, so if you ask “Lake and forest” you get a realistic scenery. But if you ask “Totem” it’s lost, and there come the cool things:

The possibilities are infinite. Just give two words like “Airship Fire”:

Not what we expected, but good images, inspiring maybe if you write stories, poetry, or if you draw. Make 20 of them with automation and you’ll find a few great pictures.

oOOo

I made plenty of movies with these:

oOOOo

This year the Russians invented ruDALL-E ( https://rudalle.ru/en/demo ) and it’s different, more realistic, and MUCH FASTER than every other similar tools. It needs about 1-2 minutes to make one image.

The results are less “digital artist”, and much more realistic, because it’s trained on millions of photographies (an AI must be “trained”). This morning, today, I made a few dozens, like these 3:

Yessss possibilities are great. And you don’t have to write in Russian, they translate. Good.

oOOOo

This team made a BOT, which is on Telegram (yes, the app, it’s on your phone and your Mac, right?). You’ll find it on the page, it’s here: https://t.me/sber_rudalle_xl_bot

  • On this bot, you use the ruDALL-E Malevich (XL) Model, which is very powerful.
  • Each prompt gives you THREE images, you just have to save them on your computer, and it works on your phone too.
  • You have to prompt in Russian. Therefore you have to use a translation tool like Google Translate to invoke it.
  • If you find a good prompt, you can and must repeat it: each time you’ll get NEW images.

Here are images with the prompt “Airship in the mist”, which is “дирижабль в тумане”. I made 135 of the same prompt today. I’ll make a clip later. Here are 12 of them:

These are cool, right?

Here’s my YouTube channel with plenty of clips made with these: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYi6dzJ5emaY0tPGat3k9Q

Have fun!

Meticulous & Casual: The examples of VQGAN+CLIP on YouTube

You know me, I love “Meticulous & Casual”, it’s almost an inner motto.

I talked here about Nietzsche and his cow:

Three-quarter Strength.  A work that is meant to give an impression of health should be produced with three-quarters, at the most, of the strength of its creator.  If he has gone to his farthest limit, the work excites the observer and disconcerts him by its tension.  All good things have something lazy about them and lie like cows in the meadow.

There’s also this article about the “non finito” in Arts: https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/10/01/non-finito-inchoate-in-art/

oOOOo

When I write an article here, I’m focused and at the same time I listen to music (here: Poulenc, “Les Biches”), I prepare, but not that much. I re-read, but quickly. It’s always a tango between control and letting go.

These weeks, I revisit my 2 CDs “Farist“, which were made for contemporary dance. I made them with work (awww the mixing of music, a pain in the monkey!), but also with… well you got my point.

To make the clip, I make images with a Artificial Intelligence. It often gives nightmarish creatures! Therefore I posted a bunch of frightening clips – I’ll post them here for Halloween, OK?

So I wanted to created cooler things. So I played for Yuleska (which is a Polish name) with the words “bokeh” or “emerald”. It was abstract enough to give cool little things like:

The music was innocent and it worked.

For the second one, I had a story in mind. A Folletti (who is a little magic boyfaery) in Italy consoles a little girl. So I got Tuscany, wheat fields and angels. It’s a slow waltz.

oOOOo

For these I find/make images with random words. The first in the row? “Icy Bokeh”, that’s it. So I orient, but not too much.

When I edit the clips, I upscale the pictures with Automator (on Mac) piloting Pixelmator Pro, then I throw them all in iMovie. Random order, that I have to correct… or not. I use markers for the tempo, but I don’t follow them all the time. I’m meticulous (I work days on a clip), but I don’t really polish, finish, I let go and so there.

Yes it’s a tool for the toolbox! Where do we need to be meticulous and casual? Sex? Cooking? At work? Poetry writing?

Who are the artists who you know work like that? Picasso? Fellini? Any musician?

Do you like them?

Have a great day! Thanks for reading! I’ll post photos of Brussels soon. This week.

mmm

Prompts of Invocations? How to make pictures with words.

Prompts of Invocations? How to make pictures with words?

There are Google Colabs which create images from just a sentence.

One colab I use these days: https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1n_xrgKDlGQcCF6O-eL3NOd_x4NSqAUjK#scrollTo=TnMw4FrN6JeB

Choose a phrase, “Brazil Morning Landscape” or “Giant Robot in Taiga”, whatever. You can just ask “The wind”!. You can increase the size of the image to 500 (pixels – more will crash the program). I also tend to put “steps per image” to 20 (I’ll get more steps to “see” the machine work). In the menu bar on the top of the webpage, go to “Runtime”, then “Run All”. And oh, OK, you need 30 minutes to get the last image.

On another page, I invoked “The Wind” and got this. The AI clearly needs more invocations 🙂

You can “color” this by another word. Here’s the wind with…

  • A painter (Alex Colville, Pict.1).
  • A website (Artstation, Pict.2).
  • A tool used for video games (Unreal Engine, Pict.3).
  • A way of painting for the movies (Matte Painting, Pict.4).

oOOOo

Here are Picasso and Klee for the wind. Who else would you try?

oOOOo

The word Artstation is commonly used because this site is full of great fantasy artists, and it gives dramatic pictures. I just added mist, dragon, emerald, dawn or airships…

It’s interesting to see how the pictures are built. “Storm Circus Tent Artstation Matte Painting” begins with a cloud and finishes this way. Here are steps 20, 40, 400:

I put 10 little movies with attempts here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYi6dzJ5emaY0tPGat3k9Q

Have a nice day! Thanks for reading!

Sorts of Parameters

My last blog article was about how it was fun and funny to create images, creatures, things, worlds and landscapes with an AI interface.

Yesterday I made those – oh I know, there are many colors here 🙂

So I began to think about “what words should I choose?” to make the best results.

I have to add just one word to create an effect

Is “magical” useful for the first picture? “james-gurney-panoramic-entrance-of-magical-forest-full-or-fireflies”.

I can add a name like Dali or Giger, here James Gurney on the 2nd picture. I wonder if the word “detailed” is effective: “detailed, james gurney, orbital panoramic garden”

I can “ask” less color and some bokeh (the blurry aspect of what’s far) in the 3rd: “in black and white, bridge landscape in the city night, under the rain, bokeh”

Or I can describe precisely a frame (like for the 4th one: “artist’s tools on black paper with a lamp on a desk”

I found these tips on a page:

Landscapes and scenes where the focus is not a single object tend to be most realistic

Prompts can be long, detailed and specific: eg. ‘young sorcerer heiress of a cyberpunk corporation, with dragons on her side’

You can have multiple prompts in a single image. Divide each prompt with the | character

Try using ‘unreal engine’, ‘photorealistic’, ‘van gogh’ or any other widely known style or artist in your prompts

You can assign relative weights to prompts using this syntax: ‘green cloudy dog:50 | snowy:25 | christmas:25’. The absolute values are irrelevant – the weights are relative to each other.

You can assign a weight of 0 to a prompt to eliminate a concept from the image: eg. ‘christmas | santa: 0’

oOOOo

I also follow some Twitter accounts (including by the person who invented this). Try #vqganclip.

They play with words too. Some persons are so good they don’t give the key words used for their marvels. That’s life!

If I add “painting” it had some brushstroke effect. I have to find artists’ names to mimic their style.

Frazetta Axe Bird:

Roger Dean Futuristic:

chris foss black airship painting space:

oOOOo

This “How to” is great: https://minimaxir.com/2021/08/vqgan-clip/

Huge page with examples: https://softologyblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/10/text-to-image-summary/

Article about this AI: https://ml.berkeley.edu/blog/posts/clip-art/

https://learn.adafruit.com/generating-ai-art-with-vqgan-clip?view=all

(To be continued)

Pictures I made with an Artificial Intelligence

Pictures I made with an Artificial Intelligence, VQGAN+Clip. It’s very fun. It’s infinite.

oOOo

You can metal

You can bokeh city

You can bridge

You can room

You can architecture

You can Rozalski

You can Basquiat

You can abstract

You can everything!

Dreams & Nightmares images with VQGAN+Clip IA

It’s been a long time I’ve been that excited with a computer invention. I’m old enough to have seen (is this phrase English?) the birth of Apple II, Pong, Macintosh, the Internet (and the web), personal then laser printers, or… First Person Shooters!

My last “Oh waow” moment is the discovery of VQGAN+CLIP images. This artificial intelligence tool is available for everybody. You’ll find tutorials in articles or on YouTube.

Ex:https://medium.com/nightcafe-creator/vqgan-clip-tutorial-a411402cf3ad

The IA is trained to invent images from a line of words.

You have to search a little, but here’s a page with a list of pages to start :

https://www.reddit.com/user/Wiskkey/comments/p2j673/list_part_created_on_august_11_2021/

The sentence “Geometric glass city from the future at dusk” gives:

“Glowing river” gives:

This imagery is characteristic. One should not use flesh or human or animal because it brings you into the “uncanny valley” of monsters and teratology.

Ask Imgur: https://imgur.com/search?q=vqgan

Too much color, but also sometimes a great color or mood talent:

Woodland Witch of the Night:

  • There are parameters. The human words are seeds. This is a cool idea. Unlimited, right?
  • It’s a long process and I personally don’t have the patience (I made only one with a dolphin). But it’s a beginning!
  • Soon we’ll get high-res images of these in a second. And movies.
  • It can be a cool source of ideas, for painters and others.
  • There are SubReddits, like https://www.reddit.com/r/deepdream/
  • You can add “in the style of” in the text.

What words will you try?

Thanks for reading!

Rivière, French painter

Rivière, what a fantastic name to wear, right? Henri Rivière (1864-1951) was a French painter. He’s a bit forgotten today in France. Etchings, lithographies in the “Japonism” manner (cf Hiroshige).

It’s very… French, and you’ll need a little Poulenc music to listen to (I provide a link at the end) and some Paul Valéry poems too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Rivi%C3%A8re_(painter)

Have a nice day!

“Intentions and Elegance”: Overthinking about Art

I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.

=====

The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?

Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?

=====

If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.

From where will you come, to study this or that?

=====

If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?

=====

Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.

It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.

=====

A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?

Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates

=====

Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?

=====

Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?

=====

When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.

Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.

Where else do we have this?

=====

Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.

Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?

=====

When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.

In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).

An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.

=====

What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?

=====

To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.

=====

A style emerges, how?

  1. Origin.
  2. Development.
  3. Blossoming.
  4. Refinement.
  5. Saturation.

Where? Examples?

=====

When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?

=====

Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure

=====

Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?

=====

Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?

=====

Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?

=====

Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?

=====

Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?

Thanks for reading!

And what about Japanese Post Rock?

It is the moment to explore Japanese Post Rock because why not.

So what is “Post Rock”? Let’s Wiki:

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instrumentation with electronics.

Good! The tool here is easy:

  • Find a field you don’t know at all
  • Explore a micro-part of it

It can be Hungarian jewelry, or Italian photography, and then you choose a century, or a single artist…

The game here is to listen to things, randomly, like a kid picks up shells on a shore. Here we go:

A Picture of Her is a bit boring with their jazz-rock, technical and with a always-the-same guitar sound.

Anoice: Quiet music with piano, sometimes a little dissonant, sometimes a little “japanish”. Climates, like sad movie music. Some violin. I like it, and some colors are interesting, but… too shy.

Behind the Shadow Drops: simplistic naive melancholia is terrible, right? It is! There’s a laziness, here. Dumb ideas stretched for too long. Not a single harmonic spark. Shame!

Floating in Space has the same problem, but it’s a little better. Too much sugar, and no colors. I couldn’t find a single good track.

Gargle is mildly more interesting, because of the accordion. But, well, sigh…

Kukangendai is Math Rock (a subdivision of Post Rock, more complex). This music is pulsating, it’s like watching fabric, or machines. I find it boring but interesting. Brain, brain, brain. No body.

Lite is much, much better. They’re good, fast, intellingent, complex :

Mono seems the most prolific band on this list. Plenty of albums, between prog rock and film music. They take their time, and they like big badaboum crescendoes. It sounds sometimes like Joe Hisaishi. It’s too conventional for me, but many people love them! Here’s a best of :

Mouse on the Keys, two keyboards and a drummer! More dynamic, more jazz, I like it with a but, always. A bit too… disheveled, maybe?

Nabowa? Cool! :

Ovum seems to like loud music and electric guitars, hmmm.

Qujaku, dark, intense, too much.

Toe, math rock, it knits! :

World’s End Girlfriend, the lone young genius type. First album, 15 years old. Devilish energy in the 1st vid, and a cool waltz to finish this page.

Thanks for reading! What did you like here?

(For this last one wait until 5:20 for a cloud of fantastic harmonies)

The Binomial Tango

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!

The Principle of Difficulty: Chronicle 68

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 :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional_positive_regard

=====

Whatever the mood, there’s Art!

Thanks for reading!

Eugene Korolev, Russian Digital Artist

Eugene Korolev, Russian Artist

This guy is fantastic. I love his subjects, his dreams, his colors. It’s good craziness, it’s frightening and funny, it’s great !

You’ll find plenty at : https://www.artstation.com/evgen

This one is clickable :

“OK, that’s good, why?” and how we look into it.

What do you listen to in a song?

  • Melodies, harmony, structure, voices, bass, guitars, keyboards, drums, originality, energy, lyrics, production?

What do you watch in a photography or a painting?

  • Colors, details, meaning, characters, originality, lines, atmosphere, size, composition?

What do you watch in a book?

  • Progression, story, characters, style, words, originality, phrases?

What do you watch in a movie?

  • Scenario, editing, characters, frames, camera work, action, sense of place, composition, music?

And in architecture, poetry, marketing?

It’s not exactly how we “watch” something, but how we stop in front of something and try to understand where the pleasure comes from. A little bit more like:

“OK that’s good, why? – let’s look into it”.

My choices upstairs are bolded. Lyrics are probably important when I discover a track, BUT I always try to understand the structure, I listen to the bass player, and harmony progressions and changes. More than melodies, or the song’s energy.

In front of a painting that stops me, I want to know “what did the painter want?”. Same from photography, or movies. I dig into (or try to imagine) how the artist dealt with the audience.

So, well, it’s a matter of empathy, or structures/skeletons, of what’s hidden. Nobody listens to the bass, nor really cares about a photo’s composition. It’s all about the singer or the lead guitar, it’s all about colors and “events”.

What I choose to look into tells a lot.

Therefore I think that it is a good exercise when we meet someone, to watch and listen and ask: “What do you like in this? Why?”.

This “says” something about the person. If they are an empath or not, if they’re a thinker or not, fast or slow, surfacing or diving, heavy or light…

Thanks for reading!

To be scolded against confitation

ONE

First, I had to search for the correct translation of the French “houspiller” – se faire houspiller : to be scolded, heckled. Okey!

But it does not work. To scold is to censure usually severely or angrily. To heckle is to harass and try to disconcert with questions, challenges, or gibes. Then what about to badger (to harass or annoy persistently), or to rebuke (to criticize sharply)? There’s also “to reprimand“.

The French “houspiller” is all of that, but it contains, I think, “constantly”, and also a slight of positive energy…

It contains : “Big friends or lovers constantly se houspillent”. It contains : they like it, they need it, it’s a game, a stimulating game. Old couples, they love each other but they se houspillent all the time.

“You have too many flaws and you’re a pain in the ass, and I love you!”

TWO

These weeks I read a lot about musicians. One secret of the Beatles seemed linked to the couple Lennon/McCartney, who were clear opposites. And later someone was surprised how McCartney and his one-legged wife were arguing, told it, was heared (oops) by Macca, who winked : “I love them tough!”.

The best album of this guy (2005 – Chaos and Creation in the Backyard) had a “real producer” (Nigel Godrich, who worked with Radiohead) who disturbed him, took some lead and suggestions.

“Nigel… refused to allow me to sing songs that he didn’t like, which was very cheeky of him.”

Although initially taken aback, McCartney appreciated Godrich’s tenacity and honesty.

Bono was asked by a friend “You seem to like to be scolded”, and answered it was cultural (Dublin seems very, very harsh!), that the group (U2) and him were often arguing, that his children were cheeky, and his wife very smart shrewd! And he likes all that!

Bono says that Prince was a genious who probably needed a strong collaborator who’d say to him “this is not good enough”, or “you’re wrong”, to make him fight! He talks about Mick Jagger/Keith Richards who were constantly arguing like children.

The real problem in a relation is not to argue, it’s when you stop arguing! The awkward silence…

THREE

So, what’s my verb? What’s that lovely thing when someone is there and never ceases, when needed, to heckle you or the relation or the work you do together as a “living team”?

Who’s this person?

What’s the word when we don’t have it? Comfy or confit? Confit like marinated comfortable and immobile in delicious well seasoned goose fat certainties?

What’s the words when we do have it, when we’re heckled, fighting, laughing, surprised, bothered, talked and tickled and, well, alive?

When? Why ? How?

Thanks for reading!

Birds for scale

We all noticed it, but without words :

When, in a movie, there’s a “huge place”, a monument, a city, a monster, they put “birds for scale”, a bunch of!

I was happy to discover there was a SubReddit for this :

https://www.reddit.com/r/BirdsForScale/

For this statue, birds are everywhere (and men’s silhouettes for good measure) :

Of course this made me think of its structure, and asked myself where else it could be used :

“Add elements B of another nature/scale to A, to, by contrast, make the audience feel and understand, size or else of A”.

What if I used prose in a poem of verses? What if used jazz in seconds of an electronic music track? What if I used a photo in a part of a painting? What if in a classroom I…

It’s not a process of surprise, like Strangeization, it’s a process of adding something for contrast.

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/01/13/strangeization-tool-eyebrow-criteria/

Voilà! I let you think on this. Have a good day!

 

 

Autodidact or else-taught? Rules or whatiffing things?

Autodidact or else-taught? Rules or whatiffing things?

Big laugh hearing Paul McCartney he can’t read music nor name the complex chords he uses in music.

Explaining that he and John Lennon learned a bunch of new chords (and some complex ones!) watching other groups in Hambourg, or the guitar salesman’s hands in a Liverpool music instruments store, or playing other groups music.

They made a “chords stock” – and more : learned how to combine them into songs!

Lennon is said to be a composer who were used to “stack bits of songs”, even dangerously.

How does this evolve? What’s the structure of A Day in The Life? How many songs here, into one? :

Macca helped creating an Art School called LIPA in Liverpool, where he “teaches” music sometimes to some luck students.

He said in this conversation that he can’t teach music, because he knows no “rules” in making a good song – that makes people smile! He just helps the students to quit the normal, ordinary, boring, predictable ways.

Here’s a cool example, an ordinary Macca song, not a hit, it’s the first song from “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” (which is a title I love). Fine Line :

Boring ordinay until 1’06”, where the piano wrings the song in risky harmonies like in a bridge (that soon?). When the second verse begins at 1’19” the rhythm is slowed down already. Strings come, and at 2’09” there’s another cool part, before coming back to the strange piano pulsation, ending in an oblique obsessive modal repetition…

It’s not even a great song! But I find it elegant, casual, there’s a freedom here, in the way the song unfolds into unexpected little ideas. I can almost find the “what if I do that?” pleasure into this music…

All this not in avant-garde craziness, but in a small song!

The tool is structural : Follow rules or try things? Stay on the road or try little paths? Go on a line, or draw yours? Where to do that : life, love, poetry, writing, marketing, photography?

Sorry for my frenchy English, sorry for the Beatles obsession, it’ll go soon, probably. Have a nice day!

Thanks for reading!

Postmodern Short Stories in America?

Hmm Postmodern Short Stories in America? That’s a good title, right?

I always loved short stories of the USA, and in my life I read a lot of these – I remember Faulkner, Salinger, Carver, but also Fitzgerald, William Goyen, Flannery O’Connor, Edith Wharton. I bought and didn’t read K. A. Porter, and in English – which is difficult for me – W. Cather, or more Raymond Carver…

Finishing the David Lodge autobiography, I found these three names : Brautigan, Barthelme and Coover, as postmodernists. Puzzled, because I know Brautigan a bit, I googled and found this subject : Postmodern Short Stories in America.

So, I did a little search and found this (I bolded the bold) : “The history of the short story in mid-twentieth century America continues to be marked by a tension between the twin fictional poles of realism and romance, the story of accurate ‘reportage’ and the story of fantasy and imagination.”

Thus :

“The short story also encourages a reflexive self-consciousness about literary form, a propensity to build into the story a commentary on itself – and a mingling of genres and registers.”

THIS is interesting, right?

Because, what is “postmodernism”, after all, now we’re… after that?

Wikipedia is a messy mess, look what I’ve found :

Skepticism, irony, or rejection of the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence.

Let’s dig :

  • John Barth is said parodic, “The process of making a novel is the content, more or less.”
  • Donald Barthelme, “…experimental, he avoids traditional plot structures, relying instead on a steady accumulation of seemingly unrelated detail. Subverting the reader’s expectations.”
  • Robert Coover, magic realism, self-referentiality.
  • William H. Gass, the stylist : “His prose has been described as flashy, difficult, edgy, masterful, inventive, and musical.”

 

See why I’m intrigued?

Do you know some of them?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Capture d’écran 2020-03-27 à 09.12.27.png