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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bill Evans

Here are some words from Bill Evans. He advises you do something simplistic and precise rather than something vague and over-complicated that you don't understand.


Thomas said...

Thanks for this, Jonathan. I love his demonstration of vague of approximation of an advanced way of playing. Of course, some people won't even really be able to hear how the first version truly was "top flight", the second was "simple" and the third all "vagueness and confusion".

For most people, all three were just better than we could hope for ourselves. Sometimes I think the same goes for writing. You show someone something complicated but precise, something simple and precise, and then a parody of bad, overwrought prose, and they're almost equally impressed.

profacero said...

Me gusta.

Jonathan said...

That's what's brilliant. You can hear very easily the sloppiness of the vague version and the very simply melodic ideas in the other, with a pattern of repeated notes. I love how he gets so much from that one note, repeated.

You are right Thomas that some people won't be able to distinguish any of this at all, but it is a brilliant model of pedagogy if you assume a savvy listener.

Thomas said...

This reminds that I enjoy working in a context where the difference makes sense. That is, you want to work with people who have a choice between simple+precise and complex+vague. These will also be people who CAN at least appreciate the "top flight" work, even if they can't produce it.