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ramblings on originality/goodness

Title: ramblings on originality/goodness

mr lawson was offering:

** and i gave rambling responses . . .

Is it more important to be 'original' or be 'good'? We all love the notion that we could be innovators.

** here's my late-ish take on this. was beethoven original? (some will say he was no good, but no matter.) after all, he basically built on the groundwork laid by hadyn. mozart, etc. - - he basically used the same technology, he used the same formal constructs . . . but it was what he DID with all of that and how he furthered along in his own vision. i think someone on the list (two/three/four weeks ago, in a different thread) had cited the idea of taking basic trends that are around in one's environment and making them one's own and recombining them in (somewhat) different ways that connected with other people (timeframe and number unspecified). taking off from this idea, maybe the essential crux of the issue is regurgitation versus recombination and injection of one's own "vision" (not to say that one can't fool oneself into thinking that one isn't regurgitating when one is).  schubert wasn't particularly "original," but he was "good."

** i also tend to believe in the idea that certain things are in the air. i have  friend who mentions having played with a bass player who had many of the "jaco attributes" before jaco hit; when he heard jaco, he was "oh jaco has the same sound as X." but, of course, jaco made it HIS. maybe it's just in the air and there are those who really codify it.

Is Fripp any less influential in either real or theoretical terms because he was taking that which was being caried
out largely in academia and then regurgitating it in a pop context (or even that which was being used in a fringe pop way,

and making it a little more mainstream)?

** under the above criteria: did he make it "his own"? are we just worrying about the tech issue? or is it the name issue?? (i personally feel a more generic, less person-specific name is a better choice.)

I'm a firm believer in credit where it's due, so it would be nice if peope perceived
as innovators were a little more vocal in crediting sources.

** the other side of this is people saying, "oh, you sound like so-and-so" - - or people who want to know "who you sound like" when asking about what you do.

On a small scale, I'm fairly quick to point out to people who have had no other introduction to looping, e-bow, solo bass or whatever else I might be dabbling in at the time that I'm not the only person in the world using those things, and that what I do is a mish-mash of influences, some of whom loop,

** but these are just technology issues, right? they don't really adress the music. do you sound like these people? if not, what of the tech usage????

So is it more important to be original than good? obviously a combination is preferable, but if one is choosing aims and

goals, are either valid? Or is self-expression at any cost the goal? or is it, like the rest of life, driven by the pursuit

of meaning, which seems to have morphed somewhere in the last few years into the pursuit of novelty...

** it all seems pretty relative when you start asking these questions . . .

* for me, i think a lot of it comes down to the intent of each artist. if i go hear someone play whose music is about the playing - - their technique, their emotion, the "is-ness" (if you get my drift) of their playing - - they better come up with the goods. if i go hear someone whose music is about their writing, well i expect the writing to really say something - - either about how clever they are, their use of form or how much emotion they can wring out of something - - the "is-ness" of the writing. ( i think of someone like 'trane, who i think is more about theplaying than the writing, whereas wayne shorter might be about both.) if the person is supposed to be "original" in either of these presentations, they really better come up with it - - and the final arbiter is gonna be how much of themselves is in their offerings/ideas.


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