What drives you?

What drives you to do what you do? Its not just a rhetorical question, I’d be interested to know both what is the most important creative thing you do & why you do it. I had a great conversation with a friend at the weekend about attempting to clarify what is the core thing that we each individually strive to do and it was interesting at first how much effort it took to clearly identify it, but then, once it was said, how it could be clarified down to quite a simple phrase – epic but simple… Relatedly I was just watching Brian Eno being interviewed by Jools Holland & Eno was effectively asked the exact same question & his answer is quite eloquent (the whole interview is interesting, but the bit I am referring to is at 3’42”)

JH: ‘You clearly love music, what drives you to still be involved?’
BE: ‘I suppose I’ve never really made the music I imagine could exist and as I say this, this attempt to make music, or the attempt to be the person who can live at the extremes of their passions and of their intellect at the same time, is what keeps me going. I want to make a music that could be like that… Its hard actually; in pop music you’re generally encouraged to live with the passion and pretend the intellect doesn’t exist and in classical music you’re encouraged to do the opposite, to pretend that nothing below your neck exists.. so its to try to invent a new kind of music that covers the whole spectrum of human possibilities’

7 Responses to What drives you?

  1. Speaking as an unsteady amateur, I can’t say what I do now practically or as a well-condensed theme.

    But very broadly speaking: anything done or yet to be done is driven by curiosity. What if I walk around that corner? What’s there?

    You may’ve read about how filmmaker Werner Herzog was experimenting with hypnosis. He hypotized his cast in Heart of Glass.

    And he even played with hypnotizing audience members, setting up scenarios for them to write poems. Something like:
    “Imagine landing on a long uninhabited island where centuries ago a lone monk had spend his whole life inscribing just a few words on an almost diamond hard stone. You are the first person to land on this island and see his inscription. Read it to us.”

    I guess that, being snake charmer and snake, we each have to set up the right scenario. Ask whatever is individually the right question.

  2. dave romero says:

    “in classical music you’re encouraged to do the opposite, to pretend that nothing below your neck exists”

    hard to believe he actually said that.

    how could we have all the great classical music and this be true?

    nonsense!

    • admin says:

      I dont think you should take him too literally… similarly with his definition of pop music he was (grossly) generalising for his own benefit in terms of trying to define the music he strives to make…

  3. Yeah, any musician of any stripe has to have some decent relation to her or his own body in order to play an given instrument. A kinesthetic sense.

    Eno wants to make music that for the listeners will move their minds and their butts.

  4. Oh, and sorry, I misremembered the Herzog thing–he only hypnotized the cast, not the audience.

    He talks about it on pg. 129-130 of Herzog on Herzog, a preview of which is on Google Books.

  5. Dan says:

    This Africa/Europe (body/mind) dichotomy he’s been going on about for years now is so tired, and as Dave said, nonsense.

    My favourite Eno… well, you can’t dance to it and it has little or no melodic/harmonic interest. So where in the neck is that?

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