hip hop music

April 9, 2008

George Martin and Paul McCartney on Art and Randomness

This idea is very hip-hop, the unexpected synergy that comes from mixing pre-existing forms.. I think George Martin underestimates it a bit (mixing two artistic expressions aka two designs is different from mixing two random artifacts, as long as the forms are different enough to leave room for conversation it'll always spark something). And isn't sifting through the 95% of ideas that don't work how the creative process always goes?

Do you think randomness is an important element in creating innovative music?

George Martin: Randomness is good, up to a point, but it can be chaotic. Mind you, some people like chaos. In fact some people think it's the answer to everything--look at the chaos theory of the universe. but the idea of doing a lottery with music, just bringing in sounds at random--well, sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. The Beatles were into randomness when we were doing "I Am The Walrus." when we were mixing it, we brought in a radio set and god smiled on is that day because there happened to be a Shakespeare play on, and that did work. But it could just as easily have been rubbish.

Paul used to spend a lot of time putting on a record and then [simultaneously] watching a movie. He was interested in the random juxtaposition of images with unrelated music. He once came to me and said "you know, it's remarkable how things do actually work out well in randomness." He was quite right, but if you do that, then five percent of the time you'll have the music hitting particular spots, and you'll say, "Wow, that brings it to life!" But of course, the other 95 percent of the time it doesn't, and you tend to forget that.

But it was also randomness that brought together two if the greatest songwriters of the century--growing up within a couple miles of each other, within a few years of each other, meeting. sticking together despite adversity, and then eventually connecting up with you. Surely, if the three of you hadn't found each other, the music would not have been as good.

George Martin: But that's life. That's like saying, "What would have happened if Hitler hadn't invaded Poland?" or "What would have happened if I hadn't met my wife? My children wouldn't have been born." There's the "if" factor. But that's what life is about; life is random.

-from this book, a great read for anyone who thinks about technology and creative process.

Posted by jsmooth995 at April 9, 2008 3:25 PM

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