Narrative and Discovery

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I heard a wonderful radio program on NPR yesterday on Miles Davis and Kind of Blue. One of the interviewees was Herbie Hancock (I think). He talked about Miles Davis’ process, specifically on the single session, “first takes,” out of which Kind of Blue was “discovered” in the studio. He talked about how the modes were set and that part of the plan for Davis was to simply let the players go and in that “process of discovery” authentic ideas would come. Thus, when we listen to the music, we are always following that discovery as it happens.

Evans, Adderly, Coltrain and crew, of course, could pull it off. But the idea of discovering ideas “inside the process,” rather than as an act of “revision” has been on my mind a lot. Kind of Blue, as I listen to it, is filled with structure, craft, and surprise. It’s this kind of approach I want to explore in the next 100 project. As I look back at it, this is what 100 Days was all about.

Discovery. I don’t want to overuse the idea. But it’s important. More important, at this point, than worrying about perfection and revising.


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