„Practice makes perfect. But on-the-fly makes art.“ – Danielle Egnew
This quote from an American Folk Singer says a lot about music and how I feel about it. Since we were practising a lot these days to adjust our bodies to playing in warmer and moister environment, I really feel the whole “perfecting” aspect of making music. But once in a while you get bored with playing songs over and over again, focussing on minor mistakes, finetuning…
One can say that maybe you are not perfectionist enough – this is right to a certain degree – but I would also disagree in some situations. I want to share a moment with you, where this disagreement was right. In one of our practises we all were kind of fed up with the songs, you play them over and over again and you get to a point where you just can’t hear it any more. It’s a little bit like you are eating mashed potatoes with peas every day. Not that they are not good, but I think the human nature is yearning for variety. If you think about entertainment and what is entertaining to you, it is probably the stuff that is “different” to your daily routine. Entertainment is used to get away. And from an outside point of view I would call that variety. Feeling good and satisfied is a matter of balance.
And now I want to extend this idea of balance to another level. In chaos theory there is a nice word to describe what I want to say: fractal. Fractal basically means that an object consists of smaller versions of itself. I’m not sure if the real meaning in the mathematical context is applicable to what I’m trying to say, but I will try to explain.
The fractal quality I see in the idea of balance is that you can extend it to everything. You have to have balance in your daily live: sleeping and being awake…and so on and so forth.
Coming back to the story of our practise and referring to variety: instead of starting another set-playing-session we just started a random jam. We had no idea where we were heading and what the fuck was going on, but I got the feeling of the quote in the beginning: making art on-the-fly. The ability to recognize all the small hints other band mates give you while playing, which are only noticeable when you play together as a team for quite a long time, makes a jam like that art. Intuitive changes from slower and quieter parts to monstrous thundering and roaring pieces in a kind of naturally evolving process gives you goosebumps.
I don’t want to say we wrote five new songs – we didn’t. It is also not like we invented a new style or found the world saving chord change during that time. But what I can say for sure: we obtained our balance as a band. the balance between practise and creation.