Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for March 4th, 2012

The Formulist Manifesto

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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”

(For more thoughts on the genius of Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, please see here and here.)

Written by nevalalee

March 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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