We have to actually lose the idea of intelligent design, because that’s actually what that is. The top-down theory is the same as intelligent design. And we have to actually stop thinking like that and start understanding that complexity can arise in another way and variety and intelligence and so on. So my own response to this has been, as an artist, to start to think of my work, too, as a form of gardening. So about 20 years ago I came up with this idea, this term, ‘generative music,’ which is a general term I use to cover not only the stuff that I do, but the kind of stuff that Reich is doing, and Terry Riley and lots and lots of other composers have been doing.
And essentially the idea there is that one is making a kind of music in the way that one might make a garden. One is carefully constructing seeds, or finding seeds, carefully planting them and then letting them have their life. And that life isn’t necessarily exactly what you’d envisaged for them. It’s characteristic of the kind of work that I do that I’m really not aware of how the final result is going to look or sound. So in fact, I’m deliberately constructing systems that will put me in the same position as any other member of the audience. I want to be surprised by it as well. And indeed, I often am.
Speaking about the “Information Garden” Brian Eno invited by Hans Ulrich Obrist
But what I think about, I suppose my feeling about gardening, and I suppose most people’s feeling about gardening now, is that what one is doing is working in collaboration with the complex and unpredictable processes of nature.
"My topic is the shift from ‘architect’ to ‘gardener’, where ‘architect’ stands for ‘someone who carries a full picture of the work before it is made’, to ‘gardener’ standing for ‘someone who plants seeds and waits to see exactly what will come up’. I will argue that today’s composer are more frequently ‘gardeners’ than ‘architects’ and, further, that the ‘composer as architect’ metaphor was a transitory historical blip."
I’ve seen this film at least four times now and it finally held its theatrical release in America. It has never disappointed and was so thoroughly satisfying on the big screen. I can’t encourage you enough to go see it. I almost want to go back again to support it. With a complex sexual plot by Japan’s premiere novelist Haruki Murakami paired with the amazing sensitivity of Vietnamese Director Tran Anh Hung, gorgeous casting of Japanese newbies, cinematography by a Chinese collaborator and soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood it’s a global strength of all things simmering, narrative, aesthetically oozing and potent.
Each character is flawed, complex and humanly forgiving. You can find a bit of yourself in each one. The sounds of CAN in the rainy scenes are so heartbreaking. I loved this choice for the score amplified by incorporated “live” sounds by kids in the dormitory playing instruments and Greenwoods powerful markings in the film. The power of the wind in certain scenes is a fiercely beautiful character as well as each well picked set piece and costume that perfectly added to the mise en scene set in the 70’s. Imagine all that perfect styling of Tokyo in the 70’s (if you’ve been there, you know what I mean).
Go see Norwegian Wood before it’s gone from cinemas. A lush experience that will leave you hopeful for cinema today.