Mark Hollis – Learn how to play one note

Mark hollis

“Before you play two notes, learn how to play one note, y’know? And don’t play one note unless you’ve got a reason to play it.” ~ Mark Hollis

Yesterday Mark Hollis died.

He was the leader of Talk Talk. Their music really touched me in different ways, then he stepped away from music and fame completely, at the top of his game. Last night, then, I spent hours listening to that music to mark his passage.

The quote above also says so much about how he evolved and grew as a musician over time, distilling to essence.

Learn how to play one note.

Again and again, I write on this site around themes such as “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, less is more, simplicity on the other side of sophistication, etc etc.

Rather than take time to link to a selection of such posts, if you want to roam around the site to choose what touches you, there are now 500 posts here, plus you can search on the side on any term around the ones above or others you think of and see what pops up.

For now, remember to learn to play one note, and allow me to share with you one of my favourite Talk Talk tracks, which, on this day, also a reminder for all of us as mortality is shown to us once again, that “life’s what you make it”.


Also published on Medium.

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