Where Derek Descends Into His Mind to Find Something Interesting


So…a new post that is not an interview or a review. I always find it interesting what comes to mind when I boot up my laptop to write these types of posts. I’ll be completely honest and say that half the time I don’t even know what in the hell I’m going to write when I commit to making a new blog entry. I’ll sit in front of my computer screen, drink my coffee/tea (decaf or caffeinated depending on the time…it’s bloody late so I am doing this powered by decaf only), surf the web, listen to music, and do pretty much anything to figure out what I’m doing. Lightning doesn’t usually strike for me, so I begin to write.

And write.

Annnnd write.

(Choose an album to listen to).

Write some more.

Then eventually, MAYBE, I finally develop some cohesive idea. This idea usually is very broad and it is up to me to decide how in the f*** I am going to zero in on its main points (and when I swear, as I often do, if I am going to censor it).

Now, you are probably thinking (if you’ve made it this far) what my point is to this rambling. You are saying, “Derek, this is great and all, but I’ve got s@$% to do and if this doesn’t develop into something about MUSIC (which is your blog’s topic) I’m going to make my exit and go read the New York Times.”

If in fact you are thinking some variant of this…let me get to the point. The point is…

There was no point to this post.

(I think some of you just left).

(But let me explain).

(Because I NOW have a point).

So many times in art or anything else the creator is expected to have this grandiose plan, a blueprint, or a vision of some sort as to why the product exists. Questions about the piece (could be music, a sculpture, a painting, a video game etc.) involve such ponderings as “what is the major theme behind this piece?” “What are YOU trying to say with it?” “What led you here?” (I am guilty of asking such questions, but in my defense I only ask them knowing that I am likely to get a logical answer).

Sometimes I believe, just like the first section of this post, creations of art or otherwise simply exist because the creator wanted them to. Using my own personal experience as a composer and musician, I can honestly say that sometimes a work develops because I like it. That’s it. There is no reason except that I have decided to find joy in the work.

What I am saying may sound contradictory, but truthfully I think with art being turned into a science with such heavy analysis (which I absolutely support by the way) has, at least in the western world, voided our ability to enjoy something for what it is. There is equal value in pondering as there is in being, i.e. allowing the work to exist as a self-contained entity. No analysis. No swirling wine and chuckling condescendingly. Just allowing the art to exist.

When you see a tree in nature, do you ever just stare at it? Do you ever just stand in awe of it? I think with any creation (in my case music), we must allow ourselves to simply enjoy the creation sometimes. Not thinking about how it makes us feel. Not pondering its social significance. Sometimes, we just need our art to be art. Creativity and logic often work together, and this is beautiful. Let us not forget, however, just how beautiful creativity can be as a standalone creature.

“When the world knows beauty as beauty, ugliness arises
When it knows good as good, evil arises
Thus being and non-being produce each other
Difficult and easy bring about each other
Long and short reveal each other
High and low support each other
Music and voice harmonize each other
Front and back follow each other
Therefore the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away”

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 2


4 thoughts on “Where Derek Descends Into His Mind to Find Something Interesting

  1. Hey I totally agree with you on this, and blogging is the kind of forum where this kind of unplanned creation can flourish. A lot of my creative work is extensively planned, worked on and honed, but equally some of my favourite pieces (blogs, poems, songs whatever) have just come out pretty spontaneously and will have their own kind of appeal. Love the quote at the end, I’ll have to spend some time mulling over that!

    1. Yeah this is something that I noticed a lot in my time in university. The art became so analyzed that it lost its aesthetic appeal. As a composer I found myself hating music! Something really is wrong if that happens. Yeah even if you aren’t a Daoist like me the Tao Te Ching has some really profound truths.

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