Essay for Performers: Empirical Research and Artistic Expertise

Recently downloaded the latest Nosaj Thing album, Home. It’s less dub than his earlier stuff (which I also really enjoyed) but this album has been perfect background for writing and riding, while still rich enough for getting suspended in the sound. Or at least, that is its effect on me. The expert knowledge of a musician like Nosaj Thing is in the insights which enable his craft: sensitivities and controls which give inspiring opportunities and the sufficiently successful results. You might not have the same response to the shimmering pads of Home, but enough people have enjoyed his style of output to encourage a third album release, giving value and credibility to his aesthetic choices. This knowledge through practice is, in essence, coming to know the world or some topic through anecdote: instances of trial and error without systematic investigation of what should or could happen. For an individual creator, the systematic approach would be ridiculously inefficient. When your priority is to make something, having some idea of what is possible in many cases is more useful than knowing everything about very few.

Continue reading “Essay for Performers: Empirical Research and Artistic Expertise”