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working at speed

Below is a quote from musician Thom Yorke in an interview he did with NPRs Bob Boilen in February 2008. It comes in at 9:40min into the interview.

Yorke: His [producer Nigel Godrich] thing is always … is always … speed.

Boilen: What do you mean?

Yorke: If you drag to a halt … if you’re sitting there, as happens occasionally — or more than occasionally — you spend hours cutting and chopping and blah blah blah … it’s very dull you know. Whereas … it is … and if things grind to a halt and the energy of the piece that you’re working on is dead … you know … and he’s really good at basically stopping that from happening … and keeping things moving because, essentially, like any creative process, you can get sucked into it and you’re ceasing to be — as you said — open to what’s happening. Cease to be prepared to be surprised or whatever, you know?

I recognise a tendency in my own work to get bogged down in the minutiae of making, and I like the idea that working quickly might help in remaining open to surprise.

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