by Hans Ebert
It’s tough when you feel alone and unable to find the right players with whom to play in the same sandbox. It’s easy to know when you’ve found them because everything magically clicks into place and you feel re-energised and re-multiplied.
It’s not about finding those who agree with you. That’s easy, especially if you’re holding all the cards they need and the Jokers are looking for another free ride.
What I am talking about is Yin and Yang and ping and pong and John and Paul and being in that special zone where one explores and arrives at the very best destination, because those in it with you intuitively know what buttons to push to propel the journey.
Maybe it seems as if I am talking about making music, but I am, and also not. We’re now in a place and space in time where it’s about the multi media world, yet, art is still pigeon-holed into very separate boxes.
There’s still very little in the coming together of music and film and design and photography and dance, mime, puppetry etc to create something new and special to fill this multi media space.
The Beatles succeeded in doing this without even knowing they were changing the course of where everything was heading. This was by producing experimental films for some of their songs, which, some years later, came to be known as music videos.
Then, despite the failure of Apple and what was meant to be a home for creativity because of their naivety about the cutthroat world of business versus opening the doors to art and all manner of artists, the Beatles still showed that even their mistakes helped push the boundaries of what could be achieved.
Apart from the Beatles, there’s been the chameleon that was Bowie, David Byrne, Todd Rundgren, the always groundbreaking Bjork, perhaps Prince, all who used the tools available to them at at that time to break away from formulaic thinking and predictability.
As history has proven, they succeeded brilliantly with many today still wondering how they did all they did in such a short period of time.
These days, there might be something in the air, but most of it looks and feels and smells kinda stale.
Thankfully, there then comes along a young artist like Olivia Rodrigo.
When first hearing her song “Drivers License”, it stopped me in my tracks. It had been such a long time that a new song by someone I had never heard of before clung to me like an old friend or former lover. There was an immediate emotional attachment.
Whereas the first single off Damon Albarn’s new album is out, this sounds just like any other record by the Blur man, someone I have respected for his early work with designer Jamie Hewlett on Gorillaz.
Of course, Damon Albarn has his own style, but when tracks produced suddenly come across sounding like parodies of what’s come before, there’s a Spinal Tap moment that arises.
As for Olivia Rodrigo, how she will evolve as an artist is something that’s unclear. But these are early days for her and from the handful of songs she’s released, there’s every indication that the multi media space is beckoning her.
This space is surely something for all artists to explore with new teams happy to share the ride and see where they might fit in by and through collaborations from others around the world?
Instead of another couple of years trudging through the same old wasteland of online platforms in search of numbers to bolster an end game that isn’t there, the focused efforts to take a song and see how to turn this into a landscape garden that grows, surely seems more exciting and self-satisfying?
It does for me, anyway. That’s a good enough jumping point to go down that rabbit hole and see where’s Alice and who’s there to journey with me instead of waiting at ground zero and hoping for the best.