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Random Writings

Drunken Flashback (?)

A Testament to the Human Spirit

La Razon Por La Vida

The Meaning of Life

English translation of "La razon por la vida."

Artistic Structure

Nowadays it seems a lot like there isn't much structure to what people produce, and they don't seem to pay much attention to it. Some of their stuff is just a mess. Here and there writers, on DA and elsewhere, have some lines you like. Even if they have good ideas, most make little attempt to organize them. Most has no logical progression or pattern to it. It should. Now, total chaos and irregularity can be effective ways to drive home certain points, and should be allowed sometimes, but it shouldn't turn into a way for people to be lazy about developing their ideas.

Some stuff shows utterly predictable patterns. This is the basis of almost all popular music. Just about every pop or rock band writes the same kind of song, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-verse-chorus. They all sound different at first but just about every style does this part the same. Eventually I thought all these different styles were just manipulating superficial characteristics, like changing your clothes every day. Imagine if every movie coming out were the same movie, just with different settings. Let's say Hollywood stopped making movies other than ripoffs of "Romeo and Juliet," except adaping it to a different time and country -- Las Vegas, Ancient China, the Amazon, Alpha Centauri. Romeo could be an Eskimo and Juliet could be the princess of a Pygmy tribe, but by now everyone would know what would happen to the Eskimo and the Pygmy. Contemporary music is Romeo and Juliet performed with Pygmies and Eskimos.

Some "underground" styles of music avoid this by putting long meandering jams and variations in, which runs into the problem I initially described. They basically generate lots of ideas which they don't tie together or don't do any more with. (Contemporary art that gets shown in avant-garde galleries come off like this too sometimes.) This isn't the solution to rigid formulaic crap! In fact the problem's the same. The aimless bands have unfairly turned their backs on structure, while pop stars just go with the most obvious pattern, without considering any other possibility. In either case they're ignoring FORM.

This is one reason why I like metal, since at least the upper echelon of true bands avoid repeating the verse-chorus formula but don't wander off into tangents. The changes within songs may surprise and aren't predictable but upon a later consideration evince a thought-out pattern. People think it's chaotic, but the chaos is constrained; atonal, screaming-of-damned-souls solos pop up in certain sections of songs. (There are other reasons metal sounds chaotic to people, like distortion, speed, production, which clear up when it becomes familiar.) Classical music does this too, in a less direct, more complicated way.

Through time and space, many have recognized dual complementary forces in life, and especially art. There's yin/yang, etc. Nietzsche identified "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" forces. Of course, art requires passion and should be felt strongly about. But the idea is that great art is a combination of emotion and logic.

So, I usually spend a painstakingly long time on any poem uploaded here to fit everything neatly togeter. Then the parts will not only sound good, they'll sound good together. Structure, or organization, is a tool that facilitates what the artist is trying to say -- to communicate more effectively. In this case, the form would be different for lots of pieces but fits the individual piece. Rather than being a total restriction on expression, it's what makes the best and most individual expression possible.

Reguándóy domum
© 2007 by Damátir Ando