Archive for March 4th, 2012
All art aspires to the condition of Top 40 bubblegum pop…Sample formula: A song based on a slow unchanging repetition of first and fourth chords will express a calm wandering quality with eternally unrealized expectations which combines well with a text suggesting analogous emotions. Anyone with a very basic music education can use this formula to write any number of songs with an outcome known beforehand…Formulism is the artist as smart shopper…We the formulists (with a sigh of relief) renounce the deluded striving of moderns for self-expression through novelty. We accept all foregoing and contemporary expression as a set of templates.
—Stephin Merritt, “The Formulist Manifesto”