Art that inspires activism, finish so you can start the next thing, and don't overdo your edits

Heya folks,

Welcome back to another edition of Sharing Notes!

Art that inspires activism

Palestinian-American author Etaf Rum says, "Literature can be a powerful tool of political awakening ... But awareness alone is not enough. If you can recognize our humanity in the pages of fiction, do not leave your empathy between the covers." Steven Duncombe, co-author of The Art of Activism, and Sarah J. Halford, host of the Creative Resistance podcast mini-series, say that art has the ability to touch our compassion and inspire activism. "Art ignites affect, which ignites effect." One small way you may like to take action is to write to Congress to reinstate funding for relief for Palestinian refugees.

Finish so you can start the next thing

There's the glib saying that art is never finished, just abandoned. I like to instead think: don't coddle your artwork. Let it go. David Bowie, when asked about the satisfaction he feels making art, says the important thing is "finishing it so I can get on to something else." Maya Angelou says something similar: "It's more important to get the work done." Some of the best advice I got when I started self-producing was to learn when to stop twiddling with it, which taught me a lot about how to grow with the next project.

Don't overdo your edits

I'm editing some recordings right now, and I'm reminded: with modern technology, we have an immense amount of power to fix the timing and tuning of performances. However, this can be a huge time sink for the perfectionistic, and it can very quickly sterilize a record (which is why I did some anti-perfectionism records a few years ago). Andy Wallace shares that he doesn't immediately focus on timing and tuning unless something really bothers him because, sometimes in the context of a mix, discrepancies aren't so bad. In fact, these are sometimes critical to the groove. Try letting some recorded elements be slightly late to the beat and see.


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