Before I jump into the subject, I think it is necessary that you watch the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi or at least, check out the trailer. I’m saying this because I will refer to that movie. Also, watch it for what it represents to work out of passion before business.

So, after one of my sets in an event, this person comes to me saying it would be time for me to reinvent myself and change my music, to which I immediately said « No, never. »  There wasn’t anything else to add, nothing to debate, no need to propose ideas; I was a brick wall to that topic. I’ve been there too many times, read about it and discussed it with music-friends who felt a bit lost on the subject. I thought I’d write something though so I can point people here for the next time this happens.

- Version Française -

If you took a moment to check Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you now know that it is about this dedicated, stubborn but passionate Sushi maker who has been pushing to perfection what he does best. Watching that movie not only brought a lot of peace into my always-questioning mind, but put things into perspective as well, as I could relate and transfer the whole food topic to music. The guy is 85 years old, makes sushi which people describe as each element being perfect while being simple, which reminds me of a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci: « Simplicity is the ultimate perfection. »  The thing is, the more simple it is, the more work it demands and so, you see him and his assistants working all day for making those one bite flavorful explosions.

This is where I relate. Spending a huge amount of time on perfecting sounds I want, then tweaking them to an architectural space to then make a story line out of that, sounds pretty much like making sound sushi (note: I like how some other people see it as origami). Each element has its place and each time, there’s a search of perfection. Like he says in the movie « Perfection is like climbing a mountain where I don’t know where the peak is. »  When I think about it, rarely have I heard an artist say he is 100% happy with a song he made, once he decides to finalize and release it. There will always be something, and sometimes, it’s not even clear what it is. But imperfection in electronic music is a perfection in itself as it is an injection of humanity into a machine controlled environment. Learning to let go of things is a huge accomplishment.

There’s two things here worth saying: artists are never yet satisfied and also, the music making process is to musically populate a space from an intern soundtrack. Artists make music they wish to hear, but some also follow what they hear out there. It is some sort of conflict in which many get lost; internal or external influence? This is why I have many times suggested to get your music inspiration outside from music (or if its from music, go outside of your own circle of music genre), such as architecture, books, movement, photography, painting or why not, food!

Perhaps I’m naive, but I believe that an artist that changes dramatically from one genre to another has been significantly inspired by another musical work or song that reached him. As people DJ, this tends to happen because you get influenced by crowd reactions, you see what works and then back in studio, you may tend to transpose your experience back into your new creations.

Is that good or bad? I’m not the one to to tell you and I don’t really care. But many people have something to say about that but their point of view cannot applied to everyone either.  At the moment, I really don’t care if my music works or not, is liked or not. I’m more into sharing my music to a handful of DJ-friends-supporters (that can be trusted) who will use it in their DJ sets or at home. I’m a sucker to reach and share to people who really appreciate, who will be touched. The way I see things, The purpose of music is to fill a space or someone’s ears; the concept of popularity really corrupted that vision.

And so, this is why reinventing myself is not important, I think. I find that, in a way, it doesn’t mean anything… it’s someone trying to tell me to be something want me to be. I’m sorry but I’m not making music for you alone, I’m making music as it comes, without effort and that has to resonate from inside. Because in 10 years when I look back, I want to have Polaroids of internal musical moods, not music that was in touch with specific trends of the moment.

To conclude, I decided to let myself be inspired by this old man, artist of food, striving for perfection and it will take me a long road before considered absolutely happy and content of what I do. Since that road is long, I will allow myself all the time necessary to experiment, make mistakes, sometimes fail, sometimes succeed but in the end, also searching to be myself through all that. It sort of reminds me of a powerful experience it left me to discover the music of Maurizio in the 90′s. It was one of the first times I was listening to music and was feeling that what I was hearing felt like perfection but also, I was feeling I was having a moment of true empathy with the artist(s). Somehow, listening and feeling I knew this person, I understood him… and it is a touching experience in itself. Perhaps perfection is actually to be yourself, truly?

Time will say and until then, I leave myself a lot of unknown which is a playground in itself because there’s room for anything to be written while staying free.

  1. Insight 02 l Me réinventer? Ce n’est pas comme ça que ça marche. - Trace A Line says:

    [...] English Version [...]

  2. humeka says:

    « Perhaps perfection is actually to be yourself, truly? »
    I don’t know if this is perfection but I do consider « sincerity » to be the only important element when you make art. I don’t know why and how but you can feel it. This is giving the reason of being of a piece of music : « talking » about you and what you like or not (because art is not always beautiful).

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