Mixed Messages Day 46: Order and Disorder

Art making seems to be a combination of two things: making order out of disorder, and making disorder out of order.

In the middle of writing a song, the tension is high. Mostly because there is no known when making it up on the go. Each note feels uncomfortable, each feels like a mistake. I learned to record the mistakes as early as possible. It's not important to get it right. It's important to make a mess. By the end, all that exists is disorder. But buried deep within the disorder is a seed that could become a great song. Finding it means sifting through the hours of mistakes that should stay mistakes and discarding all of them,  while having the ear to hold on to the smallest sign of a potential truth, bringing order to the disorder.

Then there is the opposite approach. Music gets stale. After a few years, what starts as the next sound, the style to define a decade, loses momentum. Currently, that's tribal rock with a hint of the 80s. Great music turns the trend on its head, changing the direction by making disorder out of order. I think we are close to that kind of liminal moment, but what's next is anyone's guess. All that's certain is that it will break the boundaries, destroy what was safe, and make what was repeated, and repeated, and repeated seem dated.

Both ways of art making are always on my mind. When I feel we are moving too close to order, I purposefully try to create chaos. In the chaos usually is a hint of a the next direction to follow. It keeps art making fresh.