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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, August 22, 2004
    If you want to be inventive, you must kill your ego
     
    Strong Currents, featuring some very fine female vocalists, is laid-back and textured, late-night relaxing music of the finest quality, like much of Hector Zazou's work. The booklet which accompanies it is full of this singular composer's artistic philosophy, including this extract, which I relish:

    "One day someone asked Picasso: 'What was the greatest discovery of your life?' And he replied: 'Self-confidence.' It took some time before I understood this phrase. I thought it simply showed that Picasso was pretentious. Until I realised how difficult it is to step off the beaten path.

    "Institutional, commercial - or however you want to call it - art grips us firmly around the neck, and if we move a little too much the noose tightens. So there is a pressure from without but also - and especially - a censure which we impose on ourselves, out of fear or conformism (which is also a manifestation of fear). You are so much better off if you stay on the proven track.

    "One could think that the desire to be original is an expression of the ego, but with time I have come to think the opposite: if you want to be inventive, you must kill your ego."