Choosing compass

What if we trusted our guts more? If we allowed gut feeling and intuition to lead more of our decision making and control of our lives and our work? Would we be happier, more successful? Would it lead to more interesting art?

We probably all rely on intuition in varying degrees. But some people may do it more than others. Jon Hopkins, the electronic musician seems to be one of them. I listened to him talking about his work on an interesting episode of the podcast Tape Notes.

Where were quite a few nuggets in there. His trust in his intuition leading the process was one of them. He would work on a sound with very little idea of direction, but being confident that the next step would show itself. 

Looking at his method as a travel analogy, I imagine him going on a trip with neither map, guidebook nor any accommodation booked, certain that wherever he would end up would be his destination. 

This way of working of course lends itself well when the desired result is dreamy free form music not adhering to any specific tempo  – knowing that it would not be dance music.

Another interesting thing that ties in with intuition is his method of heavy processing of audio samples. He will send audio through long chains of effects and mangle them til they’re just right. Trusting his gut feeling and arriving at new kinds of beauty.

One way to argue against this process could be that transforming his piano playing beyond possible recognition would take away all his personal touch, arriving at something less human. It turns out the opposite might be the case. Through a series of intuitive decisions he arrives at places and sounds that are unique, and absolutely his own.

Maybe if we allow ourselves to let go of control, to get lost more and choose to rely on the compass inside, we might find the way to a truer part of ourselves.

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