Monday, 1 January 2007

syd barrett and limitless possibilities

I saw a documentary about Syd Barrett sometime after his death and one of his artist friends made a comment about his post-Floyd lifestyle which was interesting (it was so familiar that I thought I must have seen the documentary before, or heard someone else say it, but it could have been that I saw a similar quote from the same person in an article about him. He said Syd would lie in bed and do nothing all day, and he thought the reason was this: there was an infinite range of possible things he could do, creatively, but as soon as he took any decisions or steps in one direction that would narrow his range of options, so he would end up choosing the option of maintaining that range of possible options but, in doing so, achieving nothing.

I can understand that. I can also understand the opposite approach where you overcome this by deliberately restricting your range of creative options with a self-imposed rule or set of rules to spark creativity and activity by focussing your mind. Novels written without using a particular letter, for example, although that's a bit too stunt-like I think. Maybe this will be the year in which I write my great vowelless masterpiece. Hppy Nw Yr.

(I heard Robyn Hitchcock on a Word podcast saying (more sympathetically than this) that most musicians have a number of moments of great inspiration and creativity spread across their career, but all of Syd's were at the start, and there was nothing left to come out.)

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