• On the term "American Primitive Guitar":

  • Composition. I personally advocate Fahey's method of composition, which consists of 4 to 8 hour stretches in a dark room with some intoxicating substance at hand, and an instrument. Remember a melody, find the melody on the instrument, procede until boredom forces your mind to break out of the box or break the box. If you break your guitar, go find a day job, otherwise go purchase either a rusty recording instrument or some paper. Invent notation, write down what you're doing. If you have a tuner it's your own funeral, you might as well call it quits, because the only crap you'll produce is western music, presuming you bought a western tuner, which is good as far as it goes, but you're no longer composing primitive, you're composing western. An A in the west is not neccessarily an A elsewhere, and really there's no reason for you to even know what the fuck an A is in the first place: ignorance is a telltale sign of clear thinking.

  • Performance. One of two things generally fuck the musician up. They become obsessed with technical issues, or they become obsessed with the audience. In primitive exposition, 1) Ignore and play through mistakes. Better yet, play with mistakes. There are no mistakes. There is only the Primitive. It may be benificial to come to an understanding that there are only "mistakes" when mistakes are accepted. Mistakes are the monsters under your bed, the bogey man in your closet. Somewhere along the line you were taught to believe that the word had meaning, and that lesson was a lie. Mistakes are the boogie man, and he has his dancing shoes on. 2) Ignore the audience, if rapport will come it will come through the primitive which is delivered through the music, if they don't enjoy it, well fuck them, everybody is not for the primitive, and your primitive is not for everybody.

  • The primitive as genre: This is total cocksmut. It's thrown out at parties by pricks getting their jollies off in public spaces. Assholes. Primitive is a congenital directive, it is a compositional hypothesis. "American Primitive" is a genre, or genreless because it depends on the American idioms the individual composer borrows from, as well as being strictly limited by the locality of the artist - what culture and folk music he has come into contact with, and the degree of the artist's separation from those cultures. And essentially, single cultures and folk are properly considered constructs, avenues towards art. They are helpful but not necessary. It is necessarily possible to reach the primitive, a stripped down and barren primitive, through pure grunt force, or how else would the primitive exist in the folk. The primitive is a choice. The primitive draws sounds from the native and finds the patterns and in the patterns finds the emotive, and in the emotive the primitive finds the music. Yadda yadda yadda. The urban is just as native to some as the sticks and grass are native to some, the primitive is not geographically prejudiced, though geographies may be prejudiced.

  • Stop theorizing. Stop reading this, stop listening to me. The only thing primitive about me is my cockwhoring on the weekends. But for when I'm out of my head delirious with booze or drugs do I hear the cojoling insubordination occuring at the pit of my brainstem. Because I spend too much time debating cultural semantics rather than feeling around for my primitive, because I spend too much time thinking my bass runs are too stale, or my progression too parallel. The one time I came close I found out that it was a sunshine five year old running on the green and yellow dead lawn in the nude.

  • Recording. The recording is the feedback loop. It is the worst kind of critic because it misrepresents the truth with the facts.

  • Forgetting. You must learn all this, then you must forget it. This is what they will tell you when you major in performance or composition at the University. This is what Chet Atkins will tell you. Listen to Chet. The primitive must start by forgetting. Avoid the crutches of scales, standard tunings, chord progressions. These were designed to stop you from composing, they're shortcuts to music. If you take that path it will be years before you are able to compose music. If you follow the primitive you will compose now, and it will be years before you will make music. What determines success is more a matter of luck and effort than personal genius. Buck up, life is going to suck anyway.

    --Josh Buermann