Archives for category: Thoughts

 

this is a track (can never bring myself to use the word “composition” though that is exactly what this is) i’ve been working on for quite a while .. it’s off an album that i’ve been wanting to release for over 365 days now, i just can’t bring myself to put it up for free download. dignity means more to me than exposure; for the moment at least – it waxes and wanes. (if anyone’s curious about my stance on free downloads- ask me)

the title, “such a thing a home”, comes from something i wrote a few years ago when living in London. Coupled with the fact I’d been working on this track on and off over what i’d class as some of the most transitional and (emo alert) seemingly “home-less” moments of my life – i just thought the name worked. so these were the words, they’ve remained unseen until now. they don’t define me in the way they once did:

___

When i was a boy the universe was mine to roam – everything was new; no boundaries, no phobias, 

just puddles and crayons waiting for me to splash and scribble over the person that I’d be.

 

 Someday I might meet the things in life I’ve feared the most and on that day I’ll say –

“please don’t leave. you’re all I have to make me feel alive now I’ve let everything I once loved just waste away.”

 

 or someday I might go- back to the park behind my house, and on that day I’ll sit on the bench beside the lake

and watch the birds as they land on the water, wondering why I’ve missed this for so many years.

 

 now i’m still a boy- but I don’t want the universe. A little box would do if i could live in it with you-

just listening to the world pass by our window wondering how we could call such a thing a home.. such a thing a “home”…

___

[so i finally got round to recording this on video the other day at a friend’s house.. this was the first time i’d sat at a piano since my last EP “together” was recorded back in April (an occasion on which i had also not played the piano for over 3 months.. worrying trend emerging) . If you think you can hear some muffled swearing at the start of the video that’s because you can – i was getting increasingly annoyed at not being able to remember my own music and subsequently messing up every take. apart from this one]

saw Ridley Scott’s Prometheus on a Saturday night as part of an archetypal night out with my housemates – film + bowling + pizza .

(To include the fact that i won at bowling would be both self indulgent and irrelevant so i won’t. But say i was to include that fact – i would swiftly counterbalance it with an acknowledgement of that victory being completely down to luck.. Culinary Embodiment of Mediocrity Cabin, wait no – Pizza Hut – was good, dirty cutlery and cheese topped stodge aside.. no no i joke, it was a really nice night out with some lovely people)

have never felt compelled to see any of the Alien films but i just thought it would be worth seeing this_ the trailer did after all look pretty wicked – promises of existential dilemma interspersed with action and terror .. looked great. the actual film was (in my opinion) quite far from that – yeah there was action, and extra terrestrial beef, and it looked great in parts – but none of that could mask the shallow characterisation or thematically hollow script. A toddler with the slightest hint of an awareness of it’s own mortality could have written something more engaging and thought provoking..

la la la la la  (oh and here’s a photo of typo in local publication)

For much of the past century, class consciousness has been at the centre of Britain’s film output. Developing the style dubbed by commentators and critics as ‘British Realism’, our filmmakers seem continually preoccupied with class division and its inherent anxieties. But more than ever, realism seems to have very little to do with it, as what began with such kitchen-sink masterpieces as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning has now been reduced to one-dimensional and clichéd depictions of life on ‘the other side of the tracks’  Tom Slater

This essay has stemmed from a frustration at the seemingly relentless on-screen portrayal (within independent British cinema) of Britain as the impoverished grey shithole it isn’t.

My aversion is not to films set in gritty environments or to eye-opening, thought provoking works which deal with and comment on brutal and culturally relevant themes, in other words- social realist cinema (e.g. La Haine)- it is to the trend for British film-makers to tell progressively more pornographically explicit stories of poverty and deprivation for the sole purpose of arousing an audience often fiscally and geographically detached from the circumstances and locations they depict.

Tyrannosaur tells the story of Joseph, an enraged unemployed alcoholic who, when not decapitating pitbulls, throwing bricks through windows or taking his baseball bat on excursions to the local pub finds the time to form a relationship with charity shop volunteer Hannah – herself a victim of domestic violence and marital rape. Sure, other stuff happens, and I did actually quite enjoy the film, but it left a bitter taste which has only soured with time.

It is not that I deny the potential authenticity of such circumstances – (our planet is after all more than capable of creating them) it’s just that I begin to question their credibility when they are portrayed so monopolistically as the only stories capable of emerging from working class communities (See Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, Shane Meadows’ back catalogue [as engaging and insightful as his work is, it is still overwhelmingly bleak in its portrayal of the working class] and Danny Dyer’s CV for just a few further examples). The implication that an entire section of society exists in an impoverished realm of violence and addiction is neither creatively stimulating nor socially constructive; in a post-modern, culturally diverse country is it really acceptable to confine people to such painfully stereotypical caricatures?

On the one hand – one could argue stereotypes, despite being creatively vapid outlets of generalised prejudice, are never completely unfounded. It would be wholly innaccurate to paint a utopian picture of an integrated, fully functional working class Britain where the rise of gang culture and the absence of father figures and male role models are not inextricably linked, where housing estates are bastions of social cohesion and safety, and where unemployment and welfare dependency are not the issues they are. But, conversely – is zooming in obsessively on this one section of the picture really that helpful? Does doing so actually achieve anything more than the objectification and subsequent dehumanising of the people within its frame?

Horror stories have always centered around humanity’s anxieties and fears. The object of that fear would traditionally take on the form of a monster, a physical projection of a particular societal or human insecurity (Dracula, Frankenstien etc) that would usually afford the people it was terrorising an opportunity to group together around a shared fear. At times, the monster evolves and relocates, shedding its alien skin and coming far closer to home – often resembling one of “us” (Psycho, Silence of the Lambs etc). Post war western cinema has slowly come to reflect this transition, bringing the monster nearer and nearer to every day life, effectively turning the camera on itself.

However, in portraying working class Britain in such an unswervingly bleak light, the film-makers who are doing so are inadvertently adhering to archaic and archetypal horror conventions; portraying a depersonalised, homogenised working class- its people and its locations as an exclusively dangerous, alien culture.

Films potentially intended to provide social commentary or domestic insight instead mutate into patronising, middle class tourist postcards of (not-so) foreign lands. From the perspective of entertainment and commerce this fits- it is entertaining to experience something different to our own surroundings. Entertainment equates to money, so I understand completely why this tradition is perpetuated. (Presumably this is why The Jeremy Kyle Show exists too)

But on a social level – if an audience is repeatedly told its neighbours are different, dangerous and to be feared then it follows logically that, even if initially only on a subconscious level, it will begin to distance itself from them. Conversely, if a subject (perhaps “object” would be more fitting) is only ever told it is one thing and is incapable of being anything else then those prophecies spoken over it will eventually begin to fulfil themselves (see the objectification of girls within rap culture over the last three decades). I appreciate this is an extreme extrapolation of current circumstances but what we potentially can end up with is a progressively more fragmented society consisting of individuals who think their neighbours are unapproachable, and isolated communities who think the rest of society wants nothing to do with them. Not a great prospect.

The same could be said of the application of the “chav” label to anyone seen wearing a tracksuit coming out of a tower block. A person’s fashion choices begin to define them and soon every act of anti-social behaviour ever committed by anyone similarly attired or spoken is attributed to them too. Imagine if everyone who adorned a suit and lived in Hampstead was branded an immoral banker and held responsible for the state of the global economy, people would see through the lunacy of such a generalisation straight away. Funny how it not only persists but is actually perpetuated by mainstream media in this context.

Joe Cornish’s film Attack The Block is an insightful social commentary masquerading as a sci-fi horror. In the film a group of teenagers must work together with the woman they recently mugged (alongside other community members) to protect themselves and their Brixton estate from a localised invasion of extra terrestrials.

Cornish initially presents the boys, stereotypically accurate, as an anonymous gang of hooded youths with no apparent identity of their own – yet as the film progresses and the hoods come down we begin to see credible and unique characters develop, gaining profound and subtle insights into the underlying factors that have contributed to their present states; the absence of fathers, the influence of older male gang members and the subsequent lure of drugs and easy money. At no point are these contributing factors either glamorised or didactically spoon-fed to the viewer – they are just presented- without commentary or embellishment. The aliens, themselves brilliant visual metaphors for the plethora of socio-economic/race/class issues that drive communities apart, are eventually defeated by the group coming together and working as a unit. Their sixteen year old leader- the aptly named Moses, in a final act of selflessness, brings about not just the emancipation of his people from their brief subjugation but also the freedom from the oppressors in his own life. Attack The Block points towards a colllective social exodus from the prejudiced mentalities and divisive stereotypes that enslave and in doing so paves the way for other film-makers to tackle culturally relevant issues in ways that illuminate but do not exacerbate the very things they seek to expose. 

My intention was never to write an essay on class –  but the honest truth is that film-making is still a predominantly middle class industry. Subsequently I find it of no coincidence that our films swing violently between upper class fairytales (Notting Hill, Four Weddings) and working class nightmares .. in reality – there is grime and gold in both worlds and I firmly believe that is where the stories lie.

In the significantly more eloquent words of the original Will.I.Am:

.. The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together .. 

Here’s to well told, imaginative stories, regardless of their setting.

 

 

today i experienced one of the most eye-opening, disturbing, life-affirming and depressing films i’ve seen..

Ray Kurzweil is a modern day genius/techno-prophet – inventor of many many things technological and proponent of the exponential increase in the integration of human intelligence with artificial intelligence.. basically, what he sees as the inevitable fusion of man and machine.

Barry Ptolemy’s Transcendent Man, a feature length documentary, centers around Kurzweil’s reluctance to accept the inevitability of death and the existential implications of the potential integration of artificial intelligence to the human body he speaks of – to prolong, or ultimately, render obsolete, our own mortality..

The film expands on Ray’s worldview by providing intimate insights into both his technological accomplishments and the adolescent experiences which have undeniably shaped his inventions and thought processes, in particular – the loss of his father to heart disease at a young age. What’s so inspiring and moving about the film is seeing Kurzweil’s zest for life, his commitment to health and wellbeing, his yearning for eternity – the subject matter very quickly transcends technological advancement and cuts into the core of what it means to be human; what it means to live..

Ptolemy does a spectacular job of impartially balancing the scientific with the spiritual and (quite rightly) intertwining the two – Kurzweil’s technoprophecies are criticised, destructively and constructively, by fellow scientists and contemporary thinkers..

Ray’s utopian fantasies are counterbalanced by dystopian nightmares and every now and then a patch of middle ground speaks up and reassures the viewer.. It’s a genuinely fascinating film, the content of which i’d argue every human alive right now should be aware of.

On a personal note – i struggled massively with some of Kurzweil’s ideas. I mean – what he ultimately hints at at is the artificial perfection of our flawed “old software” – our genetic makeup – in doing so – pointing to the deification of the human race – a species capable of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence..  one of his final quotes in the film was – “does God exist? not yet” //

I’m just as up for immortality as the next guy, i do believe that we’re hard-wired to crave it (and it’s source) but i don’t know, i’m just not that up for sharing my soul on some pseudo-celestial facebook and being perpetually reincarnated as a PC,

ok, maybe as a mac.

no.

;]

“he has set eternity in the heart of mankind” Ecclesiastes 3:11

oh.. and here are some photo collages i did after the film ..

saw Steve Mc Quuen’s Shame today _

excellent film, nowhere near as explicit as i’d imagined .. i worried that the film would veer towards gratuitous use of sex but hoped that Stevey would stay true to his ‘Hunger‘ (SEE THIS FILM) form.. which he did, rising above lustful physicality and instead sifting through the emotional filth that contributes to / serenades an individual’s journey through addiction.

yeah there were sex scenes, but they were always essential to the narrative and never drawn out longer than necessary_  the scenes were more implicit than explicit- what McQueen did exquisitely well was to convey the emotional vapidity of the (majority of) Brandon’s encounters, eye contact was rare, sex was quick, functional and ultimately unfulfilling .. this was brilliantly counterbalanced with the introduction of the depressive younger sister into the protagonist’s life, Brandon’s hostility towards emotional commitment (in all contexts) regularly becoming a sparring point between the two..

the score was incredible, particularly during the opening scene (beautifully mirrored in a penultimate scene) and the cinematography/colouring a treat .. acting was consistently immersive and credible.. great film.

what i really loved in the film though was McQueen’s subtle attention to seemingly insignificant yet hugely insightful details  –

  • the just-in-view bottom left corner of the poster on the train next to one of his early flirts reading “how is this all possible?” _ a question subconsciously resounding in the viewer’s (well, mine at least) mind throughout the film (“how does it get to this stage” .. “how?”)
  • the music playing in Brandon’s house when he returns to find his estranged sister in his flat- an instrumental section of Chic’s I Want Your Love , this song not only sets up but defines their entire interaction throughout the film. (brandon and friend also walking into upmarket jazz bar- admiring a waitress’s behind while the band performs an instrumental of “my favourite things”)
  • the momentarily nostalgic scene where Brandon and his sister sit down side by side, back to camera, watching kids cartoons (blurred out in the background) towards the latter part of the film- him wearing a faded blue t shirt, her in a worn pink top- blue for boy pink for girl style, almost a physical representation of the desaturated state of their former selves they both currently are- ultimately a picture of innocence obscured by shame.
+
here is an unrelated collage i made a few weeks ago, old photograph of a tourist at the millenium bridge and some magazine cuttings_

hi. its been a while again. oops.

saw two films over the weekend _

Lars & The Real Girl + The Descendants

“Lars And..” was (in my opinion) phenomenalnarrative at it’s best: original, engaging, hilarious, emotive, redemptive .. backed up by a stellar performance from Mr Gosling (who really must return my hat some day) and highly credible acting (the kind that could have potentially, in part, rescued Warhorse) from the supporting cast + beautiful score from David Torn … been meaning to see the film for years having bought some of the music years ago, happened to arrive on my birthday (28. yuck. let’s not go there) which was nice..  a reclusive & delusional 27 year old forges a relationship with a sex doll- whom he animates and presents as real to himself and the world around him .. the film (contrary to preconceptions) is not even remotely sexual, mental health all the way .. i wont spoil anything but the way the story unfolds is absolutely magical, painting such a beautiful picture of the life an inclusive community can radiate_ it’s inspiring.

“The Descendants” was also good, good – not brilliant. definitely worth a watch, maybe i’d buy it.. again, credible performances (clooney = particularly so) , redemptive narrative – guy starts with an unresolved tear in his marriage and two fractured relationships with his daughters and ends the film with a fully resolved / whole (unconventionally so) appreciation for the flawed and beautiful character of his soon-to-be-dead wife (“my pain, my love”) and restored relationships, friendships even, with his two girls  .. enjoyed the story, actually found myself feeling appreciative by the end of it, not the slightest bit depressed.

anyway anyway _ what i found really fascinating and strangely coincidental was the way in which both films (highly successfully) revolved around inanimate central characters (in some senses- almost protagonists) … its a great narrative tool, one which i’ll try to remember in the future . done. bye

here are some photo/collages i made recently_

went to see Warhorse today_ terrible adaptation of a potentially great story (haven’t seen the play – which i hear is great) + s h i t acting (having given an incredible performance in Tyranosaur- Peter Mullan was awful) + C H E E S E .. the horse was good at least

i can imagine the original story being a powerful statement on the futility of war and the endurance of love and trust (in various forms); these components were merely churned into some sickly hollywo-sentimental turd (“hollywo-sentimental turd” patent pending) .. acting was horrendous (few exceptions – french grandad, couple of the soldiers, and the animals) + accents were mostly overly stereotypical.. cinematography was for the most part average though a couple of the war scenes were stunning..

music – john williams’ score was just a regurgitated medley of all his previous work, not a hint of reinvention..

i assumed, with Spielberg directing, that even if it wasn’t breathtaking it would still be very good – sadly not. the end __

ok i know i haven’t posted in a while_ this is due to  a] not having anything particularly great to say and b] having a massive backlog of photographs to upload (about 300. its daunting) // brief updates on film + music_

  • moving image degree – we’ve just started a sound design module which i am absolutely loving. i’ve been aware of music’s ability to enhance visuals for quite a while now but if i’m honest i never fully appreciated just how much sound can add to the experience.. or to be more specific- i’ve never really thought about just how much sound can be manipulated to induce emotional / sensory reactions. // from a photographic perspective – i recently got a new phone with a decent camera and 3G so am able to take and share instantaneously via instagram (x_k if anyone wants to follow/be followed) , this has properly got me back into photography.. generally using it as a cinematography scrapbook and loving it.
  • music – am working on a transatlantic, 3 track, wintry collaboration with a friend over in the states and massively looking forward to putting that out in the next few months .. in terms of solo stuff – have had 2 failed attempts at recording a full length album – i.e. recordings have all been made but just not happy enough with the overall sound/quality to put out .. but i really am determined to make a physical release happen, somehow, this year .. i guess we’ll see, i hope it can happen. i’ve been waiting years to get some of those tracks out.

/

much more importantly- RARG // i discovered this short animated film sitting in DVDular form on a shelf in the NUCA library today.. i’d seen it a few years ago on VHS – it was so hard to track down that my friend who introduced me to it had to write directly to the production team to get a copy.. i haven’t been able to find it since, which is why i was so amazed to see it there..

although it masquerades as a kids’ film, sharing dressing rooms with The Poddington Peas, it easily rivals Donnie Darko and Inception for content and depth. seriously. metaphysical wanderings + existential dilemmas. watching it again this evening made me think just how shit so many films are, this really would put an awful lot of stuff to shame… speaking of which- don’t get me started on the anticlimactic-beyond-belief/appalling-application-of-an-extraordinary-idea/poorly scripted/poorly acted/un-inspiringly shot ‘Another Earth’. that made me sad. (but ‘The Artist’ made me happy again) .. oh, Rarg is finally available to buy on DVD, if you like it- get it, its only £3.97 _

x

 

what follows is an essay i’ve just finished writing on one of my favourite films and the interplay between sight and sound within it. i’ve watched the film about six times this last week alone and made meticulous notes on it’s soundtrack but sadly, this being a 1000 word limited essay, i can’t really go into anywhere near the amount of detail i’d like to.. but anyway, here goes

____________________

Tony Takitani was a short story written by Haruki Murakami, first published in The New Yorker in April 2002. Written in Murakami’s signature, almost screenplay-like style, it deals primarily with themes of solitude, loneliness and ultimately – the fine line between the two.

Tony Takitani grows up motherless and to all intents and purposes – via a fractured and distant relationship with Shozaburo – fatherless. At school he is outcasted for his Western name and pursues his love of illustration – an emotionally detached, sterile love of it.

He grows up to become a sought after and wealthy illustrator within the advertising industry. His life is portrayed as solitary and simple, his interactions minimal and his relationships non-existent. Yet this melancholy equilibrium he has accepted as his identity is shattered when he meets and falls in love with a younger woman at his workplace. They eventually marry, his solitude subsides but her fashion addiction ends up killing her and Tony is alone, again- except this time with a haunting awareness of what the warmer alternative is like.

In 2003 Jun Ichikawa adapted Murakami’s story.

____________________

Ichikawa began his career as a director in television advertising. While his immersion in that industry enabled him to skillfully compress narrative into short time spans (something which would prove useful on his transition to cinema) he also expressed frustration at its effect on some of his earlier work in film – he considered his cuts “too short and fast”, with “no room [for the audience] to breathe or relax”.

His visual interpretation of Marukami’s text displays not only a solid and sympathetic understanding of the themes raised in it but an implementation of the slower pacing whose absence he lamented in his earlier work. His use of sound and music – both in their presence and absence, elevates the extent to which his interpretation engages the viewer and encourages interaction.

Sets are kept minimal throughout and share a common absence of clutter. In doing so the director is able to emphasise the emotional detachment and simplicity with which Tony Takitani views and experiences his world. Colour palettes are desaturated and cool – stripped of the warmth one would usually imagine in domestic and social surroundings. The consistency of the desaturated imagery present throughout the film serves to remind us that this is just how Tony Takitani’s life is – there is no overwhelming presence of colour which is snatched away, instead just an omnipresent detachment from it, a perpetual state of solitude – even within the less solitary parts of the film.

Tracking shots slowly moving to the right, fading through black, mimicking the progressive narrative style of a storyboard – something which Ichikawa has presumably drawn from his own background and used to immerse the viewer in Tony Takitani’s world – where one un-cluttered, desaturated interaction with life moves seamlessly on to the next.

In terms of Ichikawa’s photography – the overwhelming majority of shots involving people are limited to long shots and medium close ups. He maintains an emotional distance between us and the characters and between the characters themselves. It is during a brief scene in which Tony is getting to know his future wife that the audience sees the only extreme close up of the film. Ichikawa subtly draws attention to this experience being the most intimate and personal of the protagonist’s life, yet even at this pinnacle of emotional connection the camera still only faces the back (occasionally- the side) of her head –  the scene is subsequently imbued with a sense of distance and foreboding – that, as lovely as this moment is- it, and the companionship it brings, will not last. This is accentuated hugely by Ryuchi Sakamoto’s recurring minimal piano composition, “solitude”, playing throughout this entire scene. Using predominantly minor progressions and solitary notes he mirrors the protagonist’s melancholy and isolated state. A key theme running throughout Marukami’s original story is Tony Takitani’s inability to escape his own solitude; in collaborating with Sakamoto, Jun Ichikawa has skillfully interpreted this sense of inescapability.

After the death of Tony’s wife, Ichikawa cuts the music that the audience has, by this stage, grown used to. In removing the melodies that have accompanied the protagonist’s solitude throughout the film an even greater sense of loss is achieved – that Tony has lost not just his wife but even the identity he had before meeting her.

A shot of Tony lying fetal, back to camera, in the empty room his wife’s clothes once populated, mirrors his father’s physical and emotional posture whilst imprisoned in solitary confinement (prior to Tony’s birth). Through drawing attention to their shared experience of dire circumstances Ichikawa has caused the protagonist and his estranged father to inadvertently (and somewhat metaphysically) achieve a level of proximity and relationship neither were capable of during their time together.

He sympathetically restores order to the characters’ universe before finally pushing Tony into new equilibrium – in a final scene absent from the original story Ichikawa has Tony ring up the woman he hired (briefly) earlier in the film to wear his dead wife’s clothes and perform chores around the house to ease the pain of her absence. Tony hangs up before the former assistant can answer, but the message is clear – for the first time in his life he is uncomfortable with his own solitude. The film ends with a cut to black and the prolonged reintroduction of Sakamoto’s main theme. Regardless of his future, for now – Tony is once again alone.

____________________

Instrumental music, in allowing the listener to contribute their own thought processes and emotions to the composition and not merely dictating a suggested response, can create (and non-invasively serenade) visual landscapes to an extent which lyrical music often cannot. Conversely, film, in it’s purest form- as silent moving image, is capable of conveying narrative at times more effectively than it’s spoken counterpart.

Lyrics and dialogue, as conducive to an audience’s engagement with a story as they can admittedly be, can also be just as obstructive; what is spoken can often diminish (or, at worst- negate) the impact of that which would be best left un-said. Endless as it’s narrative is, life (alongside much of the art inspired by it) doesn’t require perpetual narration. The most engaging and emotive stories are those which allow an audience to contribute their own story to a narrative without weakening or diluting the actual story being told. In his adaptation of Tony Takitani, and through his sensitive inclusion and exclusion of aural and visual information, Ichikawa fully affirms this.

/

have felt pretty uninspired so far on my new course – i desperately needed to re-engage with film .. so went out yesterday to the grounds of UEA and just filmed anything i liked the look of for about 2 hours.. i’d almost forgotten how much i love composing shots and pacing them- the only downside is my camera (a Canon IXUS 130) isn’t full HD or really intended to make short films on – but it has a really nice macro mode and even it’s absence of pixels actually worked quite well with this particular piece.. i also forget just how much i enjoy piecing together footage or imagery to create some kind of story/narrative..

i feel a sense of belonging/home whenever i’m slightly removed from concrete and crowds.. nature somehow manages to pause my quest for somewhere, or someone, to belong to and i like it for that (alongside it’s many other attributes) .. so i guess that’s what was retrospectively extracted from the footage in the edit.. the theme and visual content also seemed to coincide well with one of my favourite pieces of instrumental music- Peter Broderick & Machinefabriek’s Homecoming – so decided to turn the film into an unofficial video for the track..

i worry that there isn’t much room for my way of doing things in this industry..

spontaneity/retrospective extraction of subconscious narrative and meticulous pre-planning aren’t exactly destined for a lifetime of happiness together.. I’m happy to compromise to some extent but i don’t ever want to get to the point where i won’t just go out with a camera and shoot without any idea of what i’m going to shoot. serendipity is something i value highly in many aspects of my work and i will fight for it’s freedom to interfere..

just to dispel any misconceptions i might have encouraged to grow here – i’m not at all opposed to planning-

despite being drawn to the improvised film my ideal project would definitely be a merger * of the two. i.e. having a rough or detailed framework that could expand to allow for the possibility of something unplanned and beautiful occurring within it..  

anyway, early days on the course.. we’ll see how this all goes i guess ;]

* it’s worth pointing out that i just had *enormous* difficulty attempting to spell “merger” .. after a good thirty or so seconds the closest i could get was “mergure” but that felt too much like a shakespearian thief’s name to be right.. fortunately, spellcheck saved the day.. alas, following independent investigations Mergure was released uncharged