Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy accidents

Last night I went to see Patti Smith and Philip Glass perform their tribute to Allen Ginsberg.

I was blown away by the performance. Who would have thought poetry could be so good!?

After the show I chatted with a friend about some of the mistakes Patti had made during her readings.

We both agreed that they added to the performance rather than distracting from it.

Those mistakes were a great example of my favourite of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies - "Honor your accidents as hidden intentions"

If you're not familiar with Eno's wonderful creativity tool click here and read all about it.

On the way into work this morning I was listening a radio interview with the late Richard Wright from Pink Floyd.

Speaking about an Abbey Road recording session Wright mentioned a fortuitous happy accident.

A guitar tech had plugged in a wah wah peddle the wrong way, which meant that the peddle make a noise like a seagull rather than the expected wah wah sound.

Rather than admonishing the technician, the guitar player took the seagull noise and made it the basis for a song.

My reason for this rambling post is simply this; I want you to start honouring your accidents as hidden intentions.

Don't be afraid to make a mistake - You never know where it may lead you.