Artistic Accidents and Imperfections
I’m fairly positive that I’ve written before about how difficult the recording studio can be versus a live stage. Playing live, you have the energy o the crowd and can get away with less than perfection without anyone really noticing. In the studio, everything is under a microscope. It’s hard to see the whole picture instead of just scrutinizing each little piece and hearing every tiny flaw, imperfection and slightly off note. Some argue that it’s these very imperfections that make music human and give it unique personality but at the same time when is a “flaw” too much to ignore? How far flat does a note have to be before you fix it? Obviously these are probably personal journeys that each artist must decide for themselves. This is where being a one man operation like me can be hard. I don’t have a producer or fellow band mates to get opinions from. Though I do listen to feedback from my friends and fellow musicians who give it, that’s a battle in itself in that you could get endless and conflicting feedback from endless sources so again, in the end it’s up to you as to what you incorporate and what you ignore.
However, sometimes there are accidents or imperfections that end up being an integral part o the character of a song, or just a cool moment. In “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles, there’s a moment just before the third verse where there is a little feedback, which is normally not a good thing but in this case, it’s now (to me) an integral moment of character in the song (which I actually replicated in my cover of it). In “Fall For Me”, there’s a moment where I can distinctly hear two notes chime above everything else, and yet when I listen to each instrument individually, these notes do not exist. Somehow, they come out of the ether as a result of all the instruments together. In “Tech Support”, Iskra hears the line “I want to fill your iPod” as “I want to feel your iPod touch”. Now I can’t decide which I like better! In “The Hunger”, there is one snare drum hit where I missed and hit the rim but instead of correcting it, I left it. It’s barely noticeable, but for some reason it appealed to me as one of those moments of human imperfection that wasn’t planned but adds a unique moment to the song.
Hell, there’s even the age old tradition of purposefully playing “behind the beat”, which adds a laid back groove that just creates a whole different, and desirable feel than being a perfect time keeper. I suppose it’s all a wonderful microcosm of life itself. Finding our own boundaries. Deciding which of our own flaws and quirks are acceptable and possibly even endearing, and which ones we need to work on, improve or eliminate.