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A perspective on the work completed so far…

House@ThorsbyWinter2011 (2)

With the winter adventure continuing at Thorsby a man off of the road has the time to review his work and consider the road traveled less. So it is that while examining the numerous lyrical scraps of disparate thought scattered among the pile of unfinished digital laundry that composes my laptop hard drive I happen upon the rare nugget of wisdom reprinted below.

On writing, Faulkner remarked, “Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him,” in an interview with The Paris Review in 1956.

Appreciating the good fortune afforded me in having had the opportunity to find comfort in the wisdom of Faulkner’s words, and having taken no small amount of guidance from them, I’m pleased to share them with you here. In fact it is my commitment to applying the method described by them to songwriting, singing, guitar and harmonica playing, performing, and music production and engineering that has governed my approach since beginning my career in the music business, and that continues to this day.

While my hope is that the work I’ve managed to complete to this point plainly describes both the approach and my commitment to it better than I can in words, I wanted to thank the late genius publicly for his assistance. I’ve no doubt I’d not have made it this far without them and in any case I’m grateful for the guidance and trust also that they’re worth passing along to the latest generations starting out in this business.

I’m sure most folks have heard all about how tough it is out there in the 21st century music industry and what a difficult career choice it can be. Most people have been made too aware of the intellectual property and technology wars underway in the courts involving the entertainment industry and the internet throughout the previous decade. While these circumstances certainly represent the facts of life in the modern world of music, the arts, and entertainment, at no time have Faulkner’s words rang truer than they do today!

As the globalization and corporatization of the modern world continues unabated and seems sure to describe the future, the value of ‘guiding principles’ is enhanced. A logical response to the increasing chaos and inherent intrusiveness of the digital age is the clear description, an easily recalled reminder if you will, of the basic tenets of the artists’ approach. The straight forward D-I-Y directions contained in Faulkner’s plain spoken description of the ‘best’ approach to writing empowers the modern artist to embrace the increasingly sporadic opportunities of the globalized world while simultaneously validating the life choice of independent art.

Here’s hoping that the great author’s words can shine a little light onto your artistic endeavors and help you to keep pushing that rock up the hill of your choice today. They’ve been a tremendous help to me over the years and I continue to find laughter, solace, and direction in them today.

All the best to you and yours and keep on keepin’ on!

– TH, 02/02/2013