Guiding Principles

Writing about Music is a bit like Swimming on dry land, but here goes anyway…

A number of ideas and principles have informed the creation and construction of my Album ‘Planned Accidents’ and in no particular order they are:

Liminal Spaces, Oblique Strategies, Negative space, Wabi-Sabi, Edgelands....

Liminal Space is an aesthetic that refers to the feeling of being in a transitional space that has been abandoned - a mall at 4 am or a school hallway in summer, for example. This makes it feel frozen and slightly unsettling. Typically they are Transitional and dislocated zones. 

A good deal of the literature and Art that invokes Liminality tends towards the Dystopian. My approach while informed by this to some degree has occasion to be celebratory and even pastoral, and not wholly concerned with a sense of foreboding, it can even be Joyous.

Oblique Strategies were originally created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt these Tarot like cards were conceived to assist creativity when ‘stuck’ or ‘blocked’ a bit like a creativity Enema. The Artist would turn to to the cards for random guidance. They may say helpful things such as ‘Do More’ or Do less’. My favourite and the one most often in play for me is 

‘Honour thy mistakes as hidden intentions’ The sonic Collective of which I am a part (Plank) also uses similar instructions to drive the creative process during our Improvisations. There is something to be said for following a process that you have not decided but are guided by

Negative Space or ma in traditional Japanese arts and culture, refers to the artistic interpretation of an empty space, often holding as much importance as the rest of an artwork and focusing the viewer on the intention of negative space in an art piece.

wabi-sabi In traditional Japanese aesthetics, this is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" in nature. 

Due to the live, no MIDI. and precious little programming in my workflow this approach is something of a necessity. I have nothing against using computers and MIDI and will probably do so in future. My current methods are more about making a virtue of necessity rather than an ideological choice.

Edgelands are archetypal liminal spaces, transitional zones often between or bordering the urban and the rural. Boundaries on or at the margins. This can be true in a socio economic and  cultural sense as well as the physical. My own experience, living at the very far eastern edge of a Coastal location, at the border between Norfolk and Suffolk this is particularly pronounced. Here there exists a palpable sense of being at the very edge of the world, slightly dislocated and adrift, it (particularly in the off season) it has a romance all of its own. For every desolate and isolated shot could have, with only a minimal shift, told a very different story, a different vantage point, a different narrative…

This area is also Liminal the transitory sense that time of year and Weather conditions completely transform it during the late spring to early autumn into a small family orientated Resort complete with Punch and Judy show, colourful stripped Wind breaks and Children playing.






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