mind over talent
I spent a big part of my adolescence, probably like most of you reading this piece, imagining what I would become as an adult. I set out rules, objectives, goals. I knew I wanted to make music from a young age, but I didn't quite know how and what would that be. Well, I ought to be honest: I still don't know that.
I found this partial blindness to be a fundamental part of my own self. By not pressuring my mind into a corner, a specific context and sound, I can allow my imagination, and hence my music, to be in constant flux. Not knowing drives me to know, to learn and develop. Essentially, not knowing enhances me as a person.
As I grew up, many of my beliefs changed, just like my sounds. I used to think artists have something magical, special about them. Some kind of special aura or spirit. Over time, by meeting so many music makers, promoters, event managers and so on, I quickly realised that my beliefs could not have been further from the truth. What I learned is that all of us have talents, but that what’s more important and what really makes the difference is the time and effort, the study, the tears and the sweat you put into honing your own craft. In short, mind over talent.
This was an important lesson for me, because it shifted my perception of why I do what I do.
Just like Sinek points out in his TEDtalk, that is the most important part of whatever kind of entrepreneurship you wish to involve yourself in. Artists, whichever medium they choose, be it sound, noise, paint, light or what not, have a categorical imperative, a fundamental motive: To trigger a certain state, a feeling, an idea in the audience’s mind, heart and body.
This concept, stretched to the extreme, can also take on another meaning. Music can heal. As a matter of fact, the ancients discovered this a long time ago. From pre-historic flutes to Pythagoras and Siberian shamans, music has been at the centre of our healing and ritualistic practices. The very nature of music, its invisible yet powerful energy, makes it so special for many. To me this resonates strikingly. The ability to shift the mood and with it the stance and disposition of a person is at the core of why I do what I do.
As I reached this conclusion, I felt reawakened. Music can be an escape, sure, and indeed it is so for many of us. Still, it must be also something else, something holistic and relatable, some kind of healing, intended here not just as a passage from a state of illness to a state of health, but also and more importantly as a rediscovery of one's own being, a reminder of the human condition we need to embrace and a mirror image of the reality we find ourselves in.
'The Why' Ted Talk by Simon Sinek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4&t=2s
'Music as Knowledge in Shamanism and Other Healing Traditions of Siberia' by Marilyn Walker: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40316588?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Cover Photo: acyclic.graph