Before you play two notes, learn how to play one

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

Mark Hollis

Last week I came across a recent article on Mark Hollis, front man of Talk Talk, who passed away in early 2019, titled simply “Mark Hollis – A life in music“. Talk Talk created two of my absolute favourite albums in “Spirit of Eden” and “Laughing Stock”. After their release in the late 80s, Mark Hollis wound up the band and largely stepped away from music, then finally when he released a solo album in 1998. From the article:

Never good at the promo game in an era when it was vital, he told one interviewer, “If you understand it, you do. If you don’t, nothing I say will make you understand it. The only thing I can do by talking about it is detract from it. I can’t add anything. Can I go home now?” For the last 21 years {of his life}, he went home, his masterpieces done.

Sometimes I say too much. Sometimes we can all take the advice of Mark Hollis, pare things down to the minimalist essentials, then let what we create speak for itself.

Oh, and those two albums come close, for me, to perfection.


Also published on Medium.