Letters and Boxes – Hashtag “Old Times”

You write an email, it goes to Japan in one second. You can text people all around the world, you can call them, or even see them on your screen now, and talk. For HOURS. It’s free. It’s called Internet.

I was born in 1966, so when I was a young adult, say in 1986, there was no Internet. If you wanted to write to someone, you had to WRITE it, on paper, you had to POST it (should I say “ship”?). Stamp. Envelope. Write the address. You could put something in the envelope. You could perfume it. Yes you could, and you can.

Like Ernst Jünger says, “Tout gain s’accompagne d’une perte” – Every gain involves loss. At the age of Internet, we lost something about mail.

We lost the wait. The DELICIOUS and painful and exciting wait of a letter. All this implied so many things! You could write pages before you got the letter (of your lover, silly!), you could add words when you got a response, you could send a letter before you got one, inventing a double-ping-pong. It was exciting. It was BLISS.

Tools : 

Every gain involves loss. Never forget this. Apply and think to anything you find a “progress”. What did you lose, dear?

You CAN go back to old times. You love someone? As a friend? A lover? Send her a LETTER. Send a box. Send an object. A card. A symbol. Written words. Paper. Perfumed. Colored papers. Write. Draw. Add little objects. Stamps. Images. Symbols. Treasures. A petal. Do it! It’s old school? Perfect.

Think. When someone ships you something, it means something. It’s an object. It’s real. It’s life. It’s a choice. It’s out of virtuality. It’s important.

Thanks for reading!

Venting on paper

Venting on paper is a good trick I got from a friend. It looks like a chamanic exercise, but it works pretty well.

When you have something to say, something to vent, you can find a friend of course, and this could be the subject of another article. You can also vent your anger or your worries to the person who is the SOURCE of all this mess. It’s sometimes necessary, but it can leads to a real fight !

This tool says : write it on paper as fast as you can, then DO NOT re-read it (should I say reread or read over ?), then burn it somewhere. It’s gone.

In fact, it works if you type it on your Macintosh, silly. Write a furious letter to nobody and then, just do not send it, simple as that ! Save it. You can read over, that’s harmless.

Fact is : when you vented on paper (or on your computer), the steam is a bit off your head, you organized your furiosa in words, that’s good. Your brain can breathe a little better. Good to you.

#tower in the #clouds

The Casualness Shades of Orchestras

I’m reading a book about orchestras. I liked the pages explaining how different do great orchestras really sound from one another, that’s interesting.

Try this article : World Greatest Orchestras

Cultural differences made me smile. Some American or German musicians hired by French orchestras were disturbed by our… frenchness. Instrumentalists are chatting before rehearsals, par exemple, ohlalaaaaa…

It’s a matter of shades, though. Italian instrumentalists think we are much more rigorous… Makes sense, no ?

In an American orchestra, everybody is on time, all the musicians did their homework, and nobody talks. Not a word. Riccardo Muti, coming from… Italy, was a bit surprised by this American “engine ready” effectiveness and once said to the orchestra : “You know, you can talk !”.

The author tries to be culturally fair. American or German (among others) orchestras are fast and effective, and French orchestras need more rehearsals to prepare a symphony, for example.

He says that the result is great, clean, and pretty much always the same in the United States. They do the job ! In France, orchestras are less like a perfect car and more like a living surprising entity. They do the job too, and sometimes it’s becoming amazing !

Leonard Bernstein always loves French orchestras for this reason : they follow his craziness if he tries something unusual. And… the author says than French instrumentalists are very quiet and attentive when the chief in Giulini or Haitink. Errrr…

Yes, I can link this arcticle to this other one, about following damn rules

So let’s say we can, but we don’t !

After all, the Eiffel Tower has no function, other than a symbol. The Eiffel Tower is uneffective.

I think that in France we just like to do things slightly improperly. Yesss we can cross the road out of the zebras, if there’s no car around. We really do that ! Ohlalala…

Lever : This lever is called “Obey” and has two ways. If something’s boring in your project, because it’s clean and right on the road, pull it here. Try something French. Add wine too.

Josef Krips, a great conductor, once said something like “With half more discipline, the French orchestra would become the best of the world”. Maybe you need half more discipline, then. Pull the lever there. Thank you America !

Day off with #orchestra #pluriel
Day off with #orchestra #pluriel

Illusions and Tricks of “Meta” the buoy

I love meta, I’ve always loved meta. It’s a great tool and I should write many articles to tell the richness of it.

What is meta ? See Wikipedia ! In two seconds : it’s a Greek preposition. I use it here in the strong meaning of “self-reference”. For example, metadata are data about data and a meta-discussion is a discussion about discussions !

It can be an astute trick in Arts. If you don’t have an idea, think meta. When Fellini didn’t have any idea for his next movie, he made one about a… director without any idea at all (it’s “8 1/2” of course).

8 1/2 Trailer

Everything meta is fascinating. A book about books, a film about a film, etc.

Meta can be a buoy, a trick when you lack of something, like in Fellini’s example. I told my daughter one day that, if she had no idea in Art Class, she can “think meta”. It spices things. Draw someone who draws, that’s good ! Astute, that’s all.

But Meta can be toxic at times. I think it can be toxic in love, for example. At one point, you both are not talking easily about life, days, projects or funny things, you just begin to talk about the couple and how it works (or should work). And then you begin to spin !

This spinning begins when you communicate everyday about… how you communicate, how you are together, how everything “should be”. Every couple needs to meta-communicate of course, but not that much. Not constantly.

Meta is useful, but it’s also a trap. Or a symptom.

Tool : Think about meta when you’re lost in creativity. It’s a simple trick. It doesn’t work all the time. But It can unblock you.

Dial : If – in interpersonal communication – you feel that you’re spinning around meta (talking about the system works, talking about how the communication works or should work), move a flag : there’s danger here. Boredom and toxic goals appear. And tragic paradoxes on the “being spontaneous” mode

Lever : Some days, just being aware of meta toxicity is cool – shut it down :

Live, instead of putting words on your life…


Digital does not really exist…

Digital does not really exist ?

Yes of course. Most information systèmes are now, from Analog Signals -> Digital Data, digitalised.

In music, movies or art, on peut digitaliser most of the process. Let’s take the example of music on Compact Disc, or in mp3 on your computer. A bunch of zeros and ones, that’s all.

Music is coded in digits. This information goes through processors, an Audio power amplifier, then to loudspeakers, etc… In this chain, digits disappear. Yesss they do ! Loudspeakers do their stuff :

They create soundwaves

No digits anymore : Soundwaves (oh the pretty word) are NOT digital. All this analog-magic flows into your ears (which are not digital either), and finally your ears inform your brain (which digital is not).

Your CD is maybe a DDD, but reality is more DDDAAA, here’s to you. Bim.

What is your side ? 1/ you like LPs because you say the sound is “warmer” ? 2/ you are a high end hi-fi geek, and you like perfection of DDD ?

Tool & Dials :

Music can be coded in zeros and ones, but in the end analog soundwaves dance in the air, your brain activates pleasure, and feelings, and souvenirs. Happily !

The tool says : Breathe ! In the end, you’re always an imperfect guy (or lady). Choose your weapon, warm or perfect. Dial measure is “less or more pleasure”. That’s all what it is. Whatever digital or analog…


The 25% Casualness of Movie Masters

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.

Nietzsche – Human, All Too Human

If you understand Nietzsche and you push this concept on the movies-area, you’ll find that there are many “too much tension” (and too many ideas) movies in the world. They are great, but only real masters manage to reach what I could call the Three-Quarter Strength Quality, merci Nietzsche. Casualness or nonchalance ? What is it exactly ?

Intention of effect kills the effect. When all levers (virtuosity, music, speed, invention, scénario, whatever) are pulled, it’s interesting, fascinating, intense, but you miss something. It’s exhausting

You find the Three-Quarter Strength Quality in some movies of Fellini (oh these lights moving on the walls in 8 1/2), in Godard (are these really “errors” in Breathless ?), even in Spike Lee’s work. There are useless dialogs in some Wes Anderson’s movies. The cheap budget of Serenity is totally accepted. Think also about all the oblique explanations in Twin Peaks. John Ford has his own way of “to not insist” on a good scene. Add John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor. Grifters (Frears). Etc…

It’s a easyness, a casualness, an actor taking his time, a scenario which does not explain everything, a flaw in a camera movement, some rules not really followed at times…

When you know, you’ll notice this in many great movies. It’s powerful !

Tools & Levers : My, it’s easy to understand. Apply this Nietzsche thought to your work, your invention, your writing. Be smart, 25% casual, breathe, and you go girl !

(and OK I’m french, I wrote this with a little more than 25% of nonchalance, sorry)