Dostoyevsky spends chapters intertwining nets of the most intricate details, each minuscule, lengthily articulated one being integral to the whole in some way. You have only to read on to find out where each and every detail matters. And somehow it’s not work. Somehow a thing way down the line triggers a link to its connection. To me that’s juice in itself. But to end each chapter with something that compels me to press on to the next chapter and the next… That puts me over the edge. It almost becomes a frustration. I have things I should do, but I’m so invested now that I simply must go on to find out what happens with the people in Dostoyevsky’s world which has become my world.
Same thing with music. Some hooks are so good they hurt. What’s at the core of a hook? And when we read or hear one, what’s that mostly dormant thing that leaps from the heart area the instant it recognizes true excellence, like a long lost soul running in slow motion toward its object of desire? Does a hook that came from another person come from the same place in them as the place in us that recognizes it as being so irresistibly fine and wrenchingly compelling? If the place from whence hooks come and are recognized and craved and loved so dearly is the heart area, the place that seems to be more in touch with the ethereal, can the same powerful stuff come from the head area, from the brain that likes to crunch and chew on the bones of logics and mechanics?
Any good words that ever came out of me either just popped into my head, interrupting the stress of a gritty, 100% cerebral word-wrangling session that was going nowhere; or they have come out of closing my eyes and typing out all the junk in my head until I start to relax into spiraling down and down and down through layers upon layers to the somewhere where I can see a thing that’s always been there stripped down waiting to be seen and appreciated and known as it is. Mostly I’m too mental to do that, but when any good stuff does come to me, it never feels like I made it up. It always feels like a big surprise, like a surprise gift. And I’ll mentally comment on it like I’m reading something someone else wrote, “Oh, yes! Oh, now that’s good!”
Does that mean hooks come from the ethereal, the ether, the “out there” and with our brains we organize the “filler” around the hooks? Questioning is all well and good. It can entice enlightening answers. But at this point I think that I think too much. And I think that’s what blocks creativity. Listen…
Joe Satriani’s Super Colossal CD is playing right now, and a lot of the tunes are so packed with so many hooks that it’s practically killing me. And how does Satriani dare dump a bunch of hooks into one song? My scrounging, tight-wad brain thinks he should save the hooks, use only one per song so he can have more hits. And that’s it, that’s exactly the mentality that kills creativity. Look at Satriani’s career. As an artist he knows, and because of him it’s possible for us to see, that there is no shortage of hooks to be snagged from the ether or the heart or the brain or wherever hooks come from.
That’s my perception. And all I can see and be is me… What’s your perception? Where do your hooks come from?