The Creative Act by Rick Rubin Review – Life Lessons from a Bearded Master of Rhythm | Music books

IIf Rick Rubin wrote a memoir, it would be a great story. The American mega-producer co-founded the hip-hop label Def Jam from his college dorm in the 1980s and produced early recordings for LL Cool J (credit: “Reduced by Rick Rubin”) and the Beastie Boys.

Soon, though, Robin began spreading his signature essence to the amplification of other noisy genres, to great commercial success. Killer classic ruling era in the blood One of his works, as was Walk This Way, was the inspiring pairing of Aerosmith and Run-DMC that gave rise to rap rock. Six Red Hot Chili Peppers albums are also to blame on his door.

In recent decades, Rubin’s reductionism of dairy has dwindled into something more akin to a sage-like appeal. The now barefoot, bearded enabler is perhaps more famous for his work persuading late-life classics than Johnny Cash and his assistant Adele. 21 And 25and the latest Neil Young, world record.

the creative work It is, then, not an account of Robin’s shattered career as the thirty-sixth installment of Toxic Guitar Heroes. Names are not mentioned. Rather, it is a distillation of the wisdom Robin has accumulated over decades of bringing records to fruition. If it has a memorable precedent, it’s Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, a set of technical challenges the British producer devised alongside Peter Schmidt in 1975 to break through creative blocks (now an app).

Rick Rubin circa 1986
Rick Rubin circa 1986. Photo: Lisa Haun/Getty Images

Anyone with a passing knowledge of Buddhism, management theory, or the self-help rack will also find much that feels familiar in Rubin’s modus operandi. This isn’t to say that Rubin isn’t original or really wrong, just that sometimes, those 400-page pages can read a little like “73 Unexpected Practices of Successful Innovators.” The tone is slick and refined, dressing Rubin’s artistic endeavors to the highest stature of human achievement with an imposing quasi-religiosity–one that fits in a hardcover with a canvas bookmark–that’s hard to match with his spherical production work on Jay-Z’s epic 99-issue.

read through in totoRobin’s advice can seem contradictory at times. He advises the artist to live a life questioning all limitations. Later, however, he advises actively adopting some limitations, à la Dogme, before setting once again the artistic life as a higher calling that must be unfettered by rules of any kind, particularly the self-limiting voices in the artist’s own head.

He says getting “practice” is a good idea. So he gave up all the red tape. Robin is big at following instinct. It is equally great in abandoning the ego in search of a fuller flourishing of action. This can be a particularly challenging circuit. Is the artist sticking to his guns or compromising? The answer seems to be that it depends on the situation. Likewise for some, this book will read as a series of California New Age yarns that underpin Robin’s brand.

But for others, especially creatives who need motivation—or someone close to a client, or a loved one, who is nearing a deadline— Creativity law Has the right level of high confidence to provide helpful and helpful ways to reframe problems.

So yeah: grow your beginner’s mind, keep your antennas tuned to “source” 24/7, and go for a walk. Nothing is real, our consciousness only creates expectations. Being famous is not as great as one might expect.

Once you get past these generalities, which may be understandable to someone who has never met them before, useful strategies emerge, both philosophical and philosophical. Listening back to a piece of music through speakers is better than listening through headphones. When it flows, keep going. Keep the loud parts quiet, the quiet parts loud, and see what happens.

to a cynical reader, Creativity law It may look like a series of subtleties. Even, that’s just the prompts you need to hear, when you need to hear them. I rather stressed a lot.

It makes sense to raise eyebrows when Robin, that most commercial producer, claims to ignore trade in the service of art. But his words can be seductive. I am now out to replace my scarcity mentality with one of abundance. I will work hard to make orgasm my compass, and see how that goes.

Creative work: a way of being By Rick Rubin Published by Canongate (£25). to support guardian And observer Order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply

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