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Re: creative isolation

On Mon, 20 Jan 1997, Jason N. Joseph wrote:

> As time wears on I become increasingly cynical about this, perhaps
> agreeing with Brian Eno that there is *no way* to be freed of one's
> influences, and thus the task at hand is not to find your own "pure
> voice", which I take it he does not believe to exist, but instead to 
> come up with the most interesting and unique combinations of such
> influences... "Composting" he calls it.
> Any thoughts on this? 

A person's voice *is* the total of who they've listened to.  Point to any
musician and you'll be able to point towards a plethora of other
influences as well.  As far as I can tell, the people who are most often
described as "unique" are the ones who are able to combine their
influences into something unlike what's come before.  (I also think it has
something to do with a person's fundamental DNA, but that's another
story...) Not unrecognizably different, mind you, but rather the sort of
thing that makes the rest of us beat our heads against the proverbial wall
and think, "Of *course*!  It's so obvious now -- why didn't anyone think
of that before?!?!"