Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Don't Be Frightened to Display Your Talents"

is an oblique strategy by Brian Eno. The Evangenitals recording engineer Tracy Chisholm has a deck of these in the studio. The Evangenitals, the Los Angeles band I play drums for, spent the whole weekend in the recording studio.

Because it was so ridiculously exciting and inspiring I thought I would share with you a revelation that I had about the recording process. When I thought about it deeper it really has to do with the creative process as a whole. Natalie Goldberg says in her incredible book WRITING DOWN THE BONES,

"First thoughts have tremendous energy. It is the way the mind first flashes on something. The internal censor usually squelches them, so we live in the realm of second and third thoughts, thoughts on thought, twice and three times removed from the direct connection of the first fresh flash."

I remember hearing that Kerouac frowned upon revision and I found this in his biography at

"Kerouac's method was heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz, especially the Bebop genre established by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and others. Later, Kerouac would include ideas he developed in his Buddhist studies. He called this style Spontaneous Prose, a literary technique akin to stream of consciousness. Kerouac's motto was 'first-thought=best thought'"

The power of first thought energy is absolutely crucial in EVERY ART FORM. My revelation was that fearless resilience is needed to go from, WHEN THE RECORDING LIGHT IS ON, being free, in fearless first thought rapture of the timeless zone to, WHEN YOU ARE HEARING PLAYBACK OF THE RECORDING, being brutally honest, objective and analytic.  Then being able to switch between modes effortlessly and quickly with a SILENT EGO.

Many people develop a negative relationship with recording (making art) because they remain in their critical, analytic brain while they are creating. The critical brain annihilates first thought energy and the spontaneous joy of invention and cosmic mischief.

It is essential to be able to return to that PRIMAL and INNOCENT state when in the act of creation. This will free you from the fear of radiating your true and authentic self and the utterly terrifying depths of your latent talent.


  1. "It is essential to be able to return to that PRIMAL and INNOCENT state when in the act of creation."

    I agree. And at the same time, it shines through what we have cultured in ourselves, the hours of practice, everything we have ever heard and learned and experienced and chewed up and swallowed and spat out. A toddler banging a rock with a stick has that primal and innocent state, but an artist returns to that state in its fully expressed form after a long inner journey.

    I don't mean these comments to contradict or disagree with a single word of what you said. I'm just chiming in with more thoughts on the matter. I love your blog, and am a regular reader of it. It inspires me.