Articles on Being Good, on Being Great

Flow is the Opiate of the Mediocre: Advice on Getting Better from an Accomplished Piano Player

Strategy #4: Create Beauty, Don’t Avoid Ugliness.
“Weak pianists make music a reactive task, not a creative task. They start, and react to their performance, fixing problems as they go along. Strong pianists, on the other hand, have an image of what a perfect performance should be like that includes all of the relevant senses. Before we sit down, we know what the piece needs to feel, sound, and even look like in excruciating detail. In performance, weak pianists try to reactively move away from mistakes, while strong pianists move towards a perfect mental image.”

How to Be Great? Just Be Good, Repeatably

There is a famous saying from Napolean Hill which says, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way”. I would actually argue the quote should be, “If you cannot do great things, do small things a great number of times”.

If you don’t have the opportunity to “do great things”, focus on consistently achieving small wins. These small things in fact do not need to be done in a great way, but a good way, repeatably. In fact, I would advise not to focus on perfection, as it is often the enemy of the successful.

Generative Music: an example and introduction from Alex Bainter

Creating systems to generate music is not new. Brian Eno created several such systems and coined the term “generative music” to describe their output. He was inspired by composers like Steve Reich, who had also experimented with generative music systems. You can find an unbelievably fantastic overview of generative music by Tero Parviainen at teropa.info/loop. You can also read my [Alex Bainter’s] own “Introduction to Generative Music.”

It’s truly incredible that we can create unique, complex musical output from simple systems which run on your smartphone’s internet browser. With the accessibility of technologies like the Web Audio API and deep learning libraries, I look forward to a future full of amazing musical systems unbound by the limitations of traditionally written and recorded music.

Listen

https://generative.fm/music/alex-bainter-aisatsana

Read

https://medium.com/@metalex9/generating-more-of-my-favorite-aphex-twin-track-cde9b7ecda3a

50 Years of Publications, 500 Books, FREE from the Met

If there’s one thing I love more than finding a good book, it might be finding a good book for free. The Metropolitain Museum of Art has made over 500 titles available for free download.

A few that caught my eye (and might catch yours):