In a serendipitous moment I happened to read Teju Cole’s article about the famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who in 1952 published a book wherein the English title became The Decisive Decision. The original French publication was titled Images a la Sauvette that roughly translates as Images taken on the sly, a much more accurate and nuanced title.
Perhaps we could agree that the internet allows musicians to make music on the sly? Musique á la Sauvette? Cole asserts “The photographer has to be there to begin with, tuned in, tuned up, active.” One might paraphrase that as the musician has to be there to begin with, tuned in and tuned up, active. Different tools are at hand for sure, yet the access to distribution of a musician’s work is now boundless. As for an example of ‘being there to begin with’ I give you Ryan Adams, who has his own studio along with a seemingly endless amount of material, and a work ethic of rather epic proportions. Adams is always on, always there. He sees recording as a never-ending process.
The rest of the piece is equally throughtful and illuminating, also touching on topics like television, income equality, and mindfulness in basketball. Dave’s opinions always make for an absorbing read with plenty to chew on.