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Be a Cowboy, Not a Farmer

Story provided by 99u – 

On Think Jar Collective, composer, musician, and producer Brian Eno describes two methods used in the creative world. One is to build on what has already been established and the other is to begin anew:

I often think that art is divided into the musical Oklahoma: the farmer and the cowboy. So the farmer is the guy who finds a piece of territory, stakes it up, digs it and cultivates it – grows the land. The cowboy is the one who goes out and finds new territories. I would rather think of myself as the cowboy, really, than the farmer. I like the thrill of being somewhere where I know no one else has been.

When selecting an instrument, Eno decided to use the synthesizer which was currently new. This instrument had absolutely no history and there was no correct way to play it. He had complete freedom over this new medium. When technology brings changes to your industry, embrace the freedom of being a forerunner instead of relying on established methods and rules. As Eno recalls, “…it was a choice. I could have decided to learn the drums. And god knows what would have happened then —another bad drummer in the world.”

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