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Re: Re: Great Quote about Looping by Brian Eno
richard sales wrote:
"It is fun to go back to old work and figuring out what you were
trying to say and finally nailing it.
The fine line between self censoring and becoming better is all about
knowing when to let it go. For me, the final call is when it REALLY
stops being fun.
That's when I fold 'em... and either release it or let it incubate till
another day... or decade..."
I really resonate with this sentiment.
I've actually come to see all artistic output as a work in progress.
Usually do to time constraints, market contraints, personal constraints,
or whatever, we are forced to either release a record or, as Richard
says, fold 'em and move on.
Let me take a moment to illustrate this:
I had a very rare opportunity in my life back in the early 90's. I had
a group with amazing musicians called Worlds Collide (including my
brother, Bill) and we were doing all original instrumental fusions of
many different kinds of world ethnic musics. At the time, we didn't
have enough money to go in and cut a decent record (and this was really
before it was affordable to have a good home recording studio without
spending the thousands of dollars it would take (that we didn't have
One, day, eating at the Catalyst prior to a weekend headliner we had
planned there, an angel came to me in the form of an older man named
Bob Davis who was a big fan of the band. He asked me if he could buy
our album because he loved the music so much. I told him that we
didn't. He said, "why?" and I told him that it was pretty expensive
to make an album that was ambitious as the stuff we were doing.
Anyway, to make a much longer story shorter, Bob just gave me the
money to make the record. I told him that I would get hold of our
lawyer (we didn't have one <blush>) and we'd work out a way to pay him
He said, "no, you wont'". And I said, "why". "Because this money
is a gift, it is not an investment and I only want one thing from you in
return," he replied.
"I want you to make the album that is in your heart. I want you to make
it as good as you can make it and I want it to be your vision, without
I was flabbergasted and began the long and hard work of trying to get
this record recorded the way it was in my head. I didn't hold back
and finally, in the long run, it cost about $12,000 (all of which Bob
generously paid) and took about a year to make working as hard as we
could to make it.
I'm very, very proud of that record. We all really worked hard on it
and it came out beautifully.
When I look back at it now, however, I realize that it is a wonderful
snapshot of who I was (and who the entire band was) at that time (almost
20 years later).
In the context of all of my own personal artistry, it is a really nice
'work in progress'. I've grown immeasurably as an artist since that
time and I can't wait to finish the records I'm working on now, but my
belief is that they will still be a work in progress, no matter how much
time or perfectionism I put into them.
I guess because my head is full of ideas I want to manifest it's become
much less important to me to edit heavily or to be perfectionistic.
Just because of who we are, we are going to try and get it 'right'.
That, of course, precluded a certain amount of self censorship. Heck
deciding what tunes
go on the album and what ones don't is a form of censorship and move in
the direction of perfectionism.
I'm just saying that it is being out of balance between output and self
censorship that is something to watch out for.