Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buck vs Nagra

No, no, not an actual fight, lest you get the idea that the esteemed Daljit is having some sort of fisticuffs with the equally esteemed Peter of R.E.M.

But Daljit said something at the Faber Academy last night which blew my mind: that he can have a poem 'open' - that is, playing with it, editing it, reshaping, re-writing - for up to three years. He doesn't want to lock it down until the last possible moment.

And I think why that both resonated and surprised me is the influence of Peter on my as, effectively my first creative role model when growing up, and pretending that I really could play rhythm guitar.

Peter's expressed his creative philosophy in many places over the years, and so this recent interview with Pitchfork is as good as an exemplar of it as any:

But still, I want to do it [the record] really quickly and immediately and not do a huge amount of overdubs. The last record, of the 11 songs, probably nine of them had virtually no overdubs. They were all complete live takes with maybe one extra guitar added at the chorus. And I liked that; it attracted me to just go in and play it like that.

Now, I know that's slightly confusing the recording of the song and album with the writing of it, but still, I think the two approaches are clear enough: quickly and frequently vs slowly and by accretion.

And I think I was so stunned last night, because actually I'd never had my default mode of creation challenged - as Steve puts it, 'do loads, be brilliant'.

Now, I'm not sure how much I can change things up so I become slightly less Peter and slightly more Daljit in approach. But I think it's something that needs to be done.

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