I’ve been watching the film “Jandek on Corwood” and I’ve been thinking about the way that privacy functions for the creative person. Music is one forum that has largely been assumed to be a public one. You either play for others publicly or release recordings for public consumption. The idea of making music as a private enterprise entirely isn’t something it seems possible to think about. Still, in the film on Jandek, one of the things that seems to puzzle most folks in the film, besides the difficulty and mystery of his music, is the way that he has simultaneously insisted on a public presence as a recording artist and a private identity as a person in almost every other respect. The music is for us, it seems, but nothing more. The rest is none of our business.
I find myself attracted to this concept because it makes us reconsider what music is a vehicle for. Is it something to communicate some idea, some “message” to people, or is it a creation of a set of pleasing sounds for oneself that others can choose to enjoy or not; it’s out there, that’s all, we’re not asking you to do anything with it exactly, just decide for yourself if it’s something you want to do anything with.