Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Any Idiot Can Innovate


What is innovation?

First, consider the fact that the human mind, by intrinsic nature, hates excessive conformity and overbearing tradition. "Variety is the spice of life", they say. It's been proven.

I once ran across a university study that consisted of a tape playing during a party. One word was repeated over and over again. At a certain point, all the people at the party thought a different word was being repeated.

Their minds manufactured variety where none existed.

Sensory deprivation experiments on human subjects produce hallucinations. Where no sensory input exists, the mind manufactures its own.

I will hunt down the actual URLs to verify these facts for you, put them into an EDIT UPDATE at the end of this post, later, so I remain credible in all my statements, and I hope I can easily find links to this info.

But for now, think about how the mind revolts against excessively static environments.

I could go on about this topic, but I don't want your mind to rebel against my repetition of a fact, thus proving my own point in an auto-reflexive boomerang ironic paradox.

This issue of variety has direct bearing on the issue of innovation.

Innovation means:

"different" (i.e., weird)
obvious, but neglected
unfairly rejected
seemingly absurd

ways of satisfying the needs of customers.

Innovation is extremely easy.

Any idiot can innovate. That's right. You heard it here first. It doesn't take a genius to be innovative. It actually requires bravery, independence, anti-medicrity, and a slight touch of silliness sometimes.

This is so important, I'll say it again:

Any idiot can innovate. It's so blasted easy, it's pathetic.

It's like "stealing" candy from a basket with a sign that says, "Free. Help yourself."

Innovation is based on the laws of creativity that have been defined and explained by much more articulate persons than your humble blogger. But allow me to recap two of them:

Creativity: Laws #1 and #2

1. Opposites.

* Tiny boombox televisions to wide screen televisions.

* Sour candy to liquid meat (protein shake drinks).

* Slow static new age drones (Biosphere) to fast techno rave beats (Squarepusher).

* Tight slacks to baggy jeans.

2. New combinations and applications.

* Marketing techniques for churches.

* Text messaging, typing into a telephone.

* Microwaves to heat food and to transmit information from remote control to tv.

* Virtual simulations of musical instruments.

* Pimp bragging to rap music.

* Classical music played on balloons and bicycles (PDQ Bach).

Since I love electonic music, allow me a bit of self-indulgence as I speak briefly about innovative music.

The artist calling himself SQUAREPUSHER (real name, Tom Jenkinson) is a case in point.

All I know is that, according to reviews displayed at the Barnes & Noble web site, Tom Jenkinson, aka SQUAREPUSHER, used to play some variety of jazz music, then shifted into "drums and bass", aka "drills and bass", aka "jungle beat" electronic dance music. Then he evolved into "fragmented break beat", where typical dance club beats are interrupted and distorted.

Now, in his 2002 release, a double CD entitled "Do You Know Squarepusher", he is emulating the pioneers of electro-acoustic music and musique concrete: Vladimir Ussachesky, Edgard Varese, Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, Stockhausen, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Oskar Sala, etc.

His music still contains elements of "fragmented break beat" and "drill and bass", but some selections are flat out synthesizer violence, shimmering shattering sine waves and oscillation aggressivity, long loud explosive waves of electronic doom.

It's experimenting with the opposite of new age slow chord change/static simplicity type music, and I like "Do You Know Squarepusher" CD a lot.

Some tracks are mellow, murky, strange reverberation music, but most of this CD is frenzied bizzaro splendor, with vocal mutilations and loopy disorientation methodology.

"F-Train" is one track where he seems to be reading a poetic manifesto on action discrepancy, anomoly, telemetry, swans songs colliding, disability, electrocution integration...like a digital age beatnick...whilst cool electonic noise swirl overhead and weave in and out like a drunken space shuttle.

The second CD is Alive in Japan July 2001 and it goes nuts with really wild harsh, uncontrolled electronic noise bursts and sound pattern corruptions.

All SQUAREPUSHER did was combine club break beat with early electro-acoustic and musique concrete styles, plus radical noise band aesthetics, add his own personal idiosyncrasies and moods, and voila!-- musical innovation.

In his "Ultravisitor" CD of 2004, he even has a track called "Iambic 9 Poetry" (instrumental) in which soft pretty guitar is accompanied by techno type rhythms...but the beats are played on acoustic drums, with clicking drum sticks together, and NOT with the standard, expected **electronic** drum machines.

This use of acoustic, human hands hitting the skins with wooden sticks type drums, instead of electronic, programmed drum machine modules, is very surprising and a nice turn of events, something different and unthought of.

Different and, until he did it, unthought of. Innovation.

SQUAREPUSHER (Tom Jenkinson) is no idiot.

But neither is he a true, original, rare genius.

Perhaps, in the near future, he shall indeed dazzle us with unimaginable genius.

But for now, his music, as of 2002-2004, is innovation in the musical realm.

If you can think...

If you can dream...

If you can challenge tradition...

If you can turn things
inside out and
upside down...

If you despise mediocrity...

If you like the "weird" and unusual...

If you seek an "edge" over competitors...

If you seek a "refreshment" or
"increased morale" in your firm...

If you want to make a name
for yourself, while providing
new product advances,

for the good
of all mankind...

You CAN innovate!

Get up and innovate something today.

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