Complex Water vs Simple Delights

Found this idea while listening to many new Progressive Rock tracks. From oldies to new things, I listened to a dozen albums (it’ll be another article), until something materializes

…between four “poles”, inside a square, showing me what I seek in this music.

ONE

The first pole is Esthesis. A very clean sound, changes, interesting instruments. But there’s a weakness, a strange one: chords and harmonies are static, and they are… simple. And if they change, it’s to come back immediately into “simple”.

It’s quiet, pleasant, harmless, it’s “simple water”.

TWO

The second pole is Dream Theater. Take any track. It’s fast, powerful, always changing, fireworky (listen loud!). But they build nothing! Watch the drummer…

It’s “complicated water”. No taste, bland, nothing-music, only energy. Technicians virtuosity, “things”…

THREE

The third pole is Fish on Friday. Suddenly more… comfortable. Much more quiet, like the first group, almost bland. But, like in the last Pink Floyd albums, they know something about giving pleasure harmonically.

It’s a good little thing. Like a petit four.

FOUR

The fourth pole is Flower Kings. A 27-minutes piece where they try to build something. Forget the nincompoopy lyrics, go to 20’20”, and watch them building something. They have pleasure! The bassist knows how to wait or accelerate. The drummer is present (instead of pattering like an idiot). And at 23′, the infinite modulante Puccini-esque crescendo gives me goosebumps.

Well this is a square, a four-points machine, a structure. You can study poetry or photography, love or sex, anything with that.

  1. Simple bland?
  2. Complex boring?
  3. Simple tasty?
  4. Complex tasty?

Each one has advantages! A good glass of water is great. Dancing on big DJ music is cool. Enjoying a complex whisky in winter is perfect. Having a 6 hours conversation with someone who likes it is fantastic.

But everywhere, a little tenderness, OK?

Merry Christmas, thanks for reading!

Complex Tasty “too much too much more more I like it” example:

“Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn” – Efforts & Arts : watching Fellini’s movies

I’m in the process of watching all Fellini‘s movies, therefore, like in every great artist’s career, I detect “eras”, changes, evolution, attempts.

Of course I keep piling books and articles about the guy’s work, which needs to be explored, explained, viewed, considered…

I finished La Dolce Vita – I admit I had to cut it in three parts; the movie is very long (3 hours), very unusual. It becomes too long, or too Italianistically talkative.

Themes : quitting travelings, sisters, corteges, seashores, the sound of the wind, camera stares, but also invisible frontiers between the dreams and reality, hidden coincidences (Mastroianni “can’t hear” from the helicopter at the beginning, and can’t hear the young lady’s message, on the beach at the end – it’s a double door), artificialism, the use of light, the “choreographic” movements at key moments…

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It’s enthralling to read about these movies, from interpretations to replacing this one in a path-career, to how it’s been received at the time. Deciphering (or not).

And then : watching how Fellini pushes levers, shifts and sticks. Going further. 8 1/2 looks like a maze, a game : spleen, creation, disillusions. You don’t understand anything, and yet it’s dazzling, sumptuous!

If you go further, you can be lost. But you can try though…

Fellini hated the character of Casanova. Thus he chose D. Sutherland (which is not the idea of Casanova you have), and makes a movie like a terrible necklace of weird scenes. It’s exaggerated, seedy, outrageous, artificial, decadent. This it’s not easy AT ALL to watch it!

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Three examples as a path into… difficulties, but pleasure. Films complicated, fascinating, which make you think and wonder, or fight – and let your full of questions.

Like after important dreams, right?

 

That leads to the idea of “Efforts & Art”. Why should one make an effort to watch a movie? Why not? Do we have to be seduced, or not? At what level? What do we dig here?

What’s that pair, dancing : Brilliant / Complex? Why contradictory?

If Fellini is a Picasso of movies, who’s the writer? Proust? And the poet? Mallarmé?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Here are 2 Picasso portraits, for no reason :

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The Clown Chastised

Eyes, lakes of my simple passion to be reborn
Other than as the actor who gestures with his hand
As with a pen, and evokes the foul soot of the lamps,
Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn.

With legs and arms a limpid treacherous swimmer
With endless leaps, disowning the sickness
Hamlet! It’s as if I began to build in the ocean depths
A thousand tombs: to vanish still virgin there.

Mirthful gold of a cymbal beaten with fists,
The sun all at once strikes the pure nakedness
That breathed itself out of my coolness of nacre,

Rancid night of the skin, when you swept over me,
Not knowing, ungrateful one, that it was, this make-up,
My whole anointing, drowned in ice-water perfidy.

LE PITRE CHATIÉ

Yeux, lacs avec ma simple ivresse de renaître
Autre que l’histrion qui du geste évoquais
Comme plume la suie ignoble des quinquets,
J’ai troué dans le mur de toile une fenêtre.

De ma jambe et des bras limpide nageur traître,
À bonds multipliés, reniant le mauvais
Hamlet! c’est comme si dans l’onde j’innovais
Mille sépulcres pour y vierge disparaître.

Hilare or de cymbale à des poings irrité,
Tout à coup le soleil frappe la nudité
Qui pure s’exhala dans ma fraîcheur de nacre,

Rance nuit de la peau quand sur moi vous passiez,
Ne sachant pas, ingrat! que c’était tout mon sacre,
Ce fard noyé dans l’eau perfide des glaciers.

(Mallarmé)

Smart Simplicity vs Subtle Complexities

Today I ask for your help with a dual idea. Some artists with a long life and experience tend towards :

  1. The essential : Simplicity. Refining. Paring down.
  2. Smart subtleties : Not the simplicity, which is senseless, but secret and modest complexity.

 

Maybe 1. works for painters and other visual artists and 2. for writers and other ideas‘ artists? – another article to write.

Of course there are other ways of being mature, like “to dare more”, or “being decadent”.

 

Do you have examples? Poets, directors, photographers? Can you weave one and two without being paradoxical? Do we have to care for layers of creativity? What about the audience?

What about the contraries? It’s common that young creatives tend to give everything they have in their first big projects…

What do you think?

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“What am I gonna do with you?”

Tonight is a good evening. I watched a terribly bad B-Movie (in France we call these “Film Z”, a Z-movie – makes sense?), called Beyond Skyline.

There are two types of low budget Sci-Fi movies. This one is bad. Dialogs like “Move Move Move!”, or “It’s OK! Ok? Okey…”.

But I liked this one, in a way, because there’s a really genuine will to do good. And it’s so bad! Poor guys!

The other type is the Monsters type ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1470827/ ) by Gareth Edwards, who directed since : Godzilla and Rogue One. Monsters was penniless but fantastic, great, inventive, gorgeous, magic!

 

In the beginning of Beyond Skyline I found this article idea :

A father (a cop) tries to talk to his son (a rebel) in the tube (before the ETs attack the Earth, OK?), and he says him :

“What am I gonna do with you?”

 

Oh I love that sentence!!!

And well, this is the subject of this article.

“What am I gonna do with you?” means a lot.

It says something about “a link, but”. About the complexity of life. About love. About something positive (I talk to you) but negative (you’re a mess, man!). This dance of love and bond and difficulties is one of the cores of life…

“What am I gonna do with you?”

What does it mean? What kind of smile dances around it? Why? What is it to be a mess (but I need you around)? Isn’t it the REASON why we like the person, though?

 

Thanks for reading! (it’s my 800th article!)

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A Matter of Levers

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 ?

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