How a Recording Studio Mishap Created the Famous Drum Sound That Defined 80s Music & Beyond

It’s not a sub­tle effect, by any means, which is pre­cise­ly what makes it so effec­tive. Gat­ed reverb, the sound of an airbag deploy­ing or weath­er bal­loon sud­den­ly blow­ing out, an airy thud that per­vades eight­ies pop, and the work of every musi­cian there­after who has ref­er­enced eight­ies pop, includ­ing CHVRCHES, Tegan and Sara, M83, Bey­on­cé, and Lorde, to name but a very few.

Before them came the pum­mel­ing gat­ed drums of Kate Bush, Bruce Spring­steen, Prince, Depeche Mode, New Order, Cocteau Twins, David Bowie, and Grace Jones, who turned Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug” into a strict machine with the gat­ed reverb of her 1980 cov­er.

Roxy Music caught up quick­ly with songs like the love­ly “More Than This” on 1982’s Aval­on, but Jones was an ear­ly adopter of the effect, which—like many a leg­endary piece of stu­dio wizardry—came about entire­ly by acci­dent, dur­ing a 1979 record­ing ses­sion for Peter Gabriel’s eerie solo track “Intrud­er.”

On the drums—Vox’s Estelle Caswell tells us in the explain­er video at the top—was Gabriel’s for­mer Gen­e­sis band­mate Phil Collins, and in the con­trol room, record­ing engi­neer Hugh Padgham, who had inad­ver­tent­ly left a talk­back mic on in the stu­dio.

The mic hap­pened to be run­ning through a heavy com­pres­sor, which squashed the sound, and a noise gate that clamped down on the rever­ber­at­ing drums, cut­ting off the nat­ur­al decay and cre­at­ing a short, sharp echo that cut right through any mix. After hear­ing the sound, Gabriel arranged “Intrud­er” around it, and the fol­low­ing year, Collins and Padgham cre­at­ed the most icon­ic use of gat­ed reverb in pop music his­to­ry on “In the Air Tonight.” “Thanks to a hap­py acci­dent,” says Caswell, “the sound of the 80s was born.” Also the sound of the oughties and beyond, as you’ll hear in the 38-s0ng playlist above, fea­tur­ing many of the pio­neers of gat­ed reverb and the many earnest revival­ists who made it hip, and ubiq­ui­tous, again.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

All Hail the Beat: How the 1980 Roland TR-808 Drum Machine Changed Pop Music

The “Amen Break”: The Most Famous 6‑Second Drum Loop & How It Spawned a Sam­pling Rev­o­lu­tion

Two Gui­tar Effects That Rev­o­lu­tion­ized Rock: The Inven­tion of the Wah-Wah & Fuzz Ped­als

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Hear the Pieces Mozart Composed When He Was Only Five Years Old

A preter­nat­u­ral­ly tal­ent­ed, pre­co­cious child, bare­ly out of tod­dler­hood, in pow­dered wig and knee-breech­es, caper­ing around the great hous­es of 18th cen­tu­ry Europe between vir­tu­oso per­for­mances on the harp­si­chord. A young boy who can play any piece any­one puts in front of him, and com­pose sym­phonies extem­po­ra­ne­ous­ly with ease…. Few scenes bet­ter cap­ture the mythos of the child prodi­gy than those report­ed from the child­hood of Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart.

If Milos Forman’s Amadeus is any reli­able guide to his char­ac­ter, if not his his­to­ry, Mozart may nev­er have lost his boy­ish charm and exu­ber­ance, but his musi­cal abil­i­ty seemed to mature expo­nen­tial­ly as he com­posed hun­dreds of sonatas, quar­tets, con­cer­tos, and operas, end­ing with the Requiem, an aston­ish­ing piece of work by any mea­sure, despite remain­ing unfin­ished in the year of his death, 1791, at the age of 35.

While those fever­ish scenes of Requiem’s com­po­si­tion in Forman’s film may be ten­u­ous­ly attached to the truth, the sto­ries of Mozart the preschool and boy­hood genius are well attest­ed. Not only did he play with unbe­liev­able skill for “emper­ors and empress­es in the courts of Europe,” but “by the time he was six he had com­posed dozens of remark­able pieces for the key­board as well as for oth­er instru­ments,” notes Willard Palmer in an intro­duc­tion to Mozart’s most pop­u­lar works. “His first efforts at com­po­si­tion began when he was only four years old.”

He com­posed sev­er­al short pieces the fol­low­ing year, and you can hear them all per­formed above. At the Mor­gan Library’s site you can also see a scanned man­u­script image of four of those com­po­si­tions, writ­ten in Mozart’s father’s hand. Leopold Mozart—the dri­ving stage-parental force, as we know, behind Wolfgang’s child­hood career as a tour­ing marvel—notated these first attempts, cred­it­ing them to “Wolf­gangerl,” in what is known as the Nan­nerl Note­book, from the nick­name of Mozart’s old­er sis­ter, Maria Anna.

Leopold, Kapellmeis­ter of the Salzburg court orches­tra, rec­og­nized not only Wolfgang’s musi­cal tal­ents, but also those of Nan­nerl, and he devot­ed his time to over­see­ing both his children’s train­ing. For sad­ly obvi­ous rea­sons, the elder Mozart did not con­tin­ue to per­form, and the note­book named for her does not con­tain any of her com­po­si­tions, only Leopold’s exer­cis­es for the chil­dren and her broth­er’s first orig­i­nal work. In addi­tion to Mozart’s ear­li­est pieces, it may also con­tain music com­posed by him at 7 or 8 years old—more exten­sive works that might, says Mozar­teum researcher Ulrich Leisinger, bridge the short, sim­ple first pieces and his first major com­po­si­tions.

Nonethe­less, we have dozens of Mozart’s com­po­si­tions through­out his child­hood and teenage years. Sev­er­al of those ear­li­er pieces come from the so-called Lon­don Note­book, a sketch­book kept dur­ing Mozart’s time in Eng­land between 1764–65. Here, writes Ele­na Abend, we find him “extend­ing his musi­cal themes com­pared to his ear­li­er com­po­si­tions.” And yet the music “almost always has a play­ful­ness about it.” It’s a qual­i­ty that nev­er left Mozart’s work, exclud­ing the awe­some Requiem, of course, but then this final mas­ter­work was com­plet­ed by oth­er com­posers, none of them with Mozart’s light­ness of spir­it, which we can trace all the way back to that first piece, “a court­ly lit­tle com­po­si­tion.” Writes Abend, “grace­ful­ness is essen­tial in per­form­ing the piece.”

via Cmuse

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Read an 18th-Cen­tu­ry Eye­wit­ness Account of 8‑Year-Old Mozart’s Extra­or­di­nary Musi­cal Skills

New­ly Dis­cov­ered Piece by Mozart Per­formed on His Own Fortepi­ano

Hear All of Mozart in a Free 127-Hour Playlist

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness


Laurie Anderson Introduces Her Virtual Reality Installation That Lets You Fly Magically Through Stories

While the sci-fi dreams of vir­tu­al and “aug­ment­ed” real­i­ty are now with­in the grasp of artists and game design­ers, the tech­nol­o­gy of the adult human brain remains root­ed in the stone age—we still need a good sto­ry to accom­pa­ny the flick­er­ing shad­ows on the cave wall. An artist as wise as Lau­rie Ander­son under­stands this, but—given that it’s Lau­rie Anderson—she isn’t going to retread famil­iar nar­ra­tive paths, espe­cial­ly when work­ing in the vehi­cle of VR, as she has in her new piece Chalk­room, cre­at­ed in a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Tai­wanese artist Hsin-Chien Huang.

The piece allows view­ers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el not only into the space of imag­i­na­tion a sto­ry cre­ates, but into the very archi­tec­ture of sto­ry itself—to walk, or rather float, through its pas­sage­ways as words and let­ters drift by like tufts of dan­de­lion, stars, or, as Ander­son puts it, like snow. “They’re there to define the space and to show you a lit­tle bit about what it is,” says the artist in the inter­view above, “But they’re actu­al­ly frac­tured lan­guages, so it’s kind of explod­ed things.” She explains the “chalk­room” con­cept as resist­ing the “per­fect, slick and shiny” aes­thet­ic that char­ac­ter­izes most com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed images. “It has a cer­tain tac­til­i­ty and made-by-hand kind of thing… this is grit­ty and drip­py and filled with dust and dirt.”

Chalk­room, she says, “is a library of sto­ries, and no one will ever find them all.” It sounds to me, at least, more intrigu­ing than the premise of most video games, but the audi­ence for this piece will be lim­it­ed, not only to those will­ing to give it a chance, but to those who can expe­ri­ence the piece first­hand, as it were, by vis­it­ing the phys­i­cal space of one of Anderson’s exhi­bi­tions and strap­ping on the VR gog­gles. Once they do, she says, they will be able to fly, a dis­ori­ent­ing expe­ri­ence that sends some peo­ple falling out of their chair. Last spring, Chalk­room became part of an ongo­ing exhib­it at the Mass­a­chu­setts Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, a “Lau­rie Ander­son pil­grim­age,” as Mass MoCA direc­tor Joseph C. Thomp­son describes it, that also fea­tures a VR expe­ri­ence called Aloft.

In August, Chalk­room appeared at the Louisiana Muse­um of Mod­ern Art in Den­mark, where the inter­view above took place. Watch­ing it, you’ll see why the piece has gen­er­at­ed so much buzz, win­ning “Best VR Expe­ri­ence” at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val and vis­it­ing major muse­ums around Europe and the U.S. “Most­ly VR is kind of task-ori­ent­ed,” she says, “you get that, you do that, you shoot that.” Chalk­room feels more like nav­i­gat­ing cat­a­combs, tra­vers­ing dark labyrinths punc­tu­at­ed by bril­liant con­stel­la­tions of light made out of words, as Anderson’s voice pro­vides enig­mat­ic nar­ra­tion against a back­drop of three-dimen­sion­al sound design. It’s an immer­sive jour­ney that seems, as promised, like the one we take as read­ers, pur­su­ing elu­sive mean­ings that can seem tan­ta­liz­ing­ly just out of reach.

via @WFMU

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lau­rie Anderson’s Top 10 Books to Take to a Desert Island

21 Artists Give “Advice to the Young:” Vital Lessons from Lau­rie Ander­son, David Byrne, Umber­to Eco, Pat­ti Smith & More

Go Inside the First 30 Min­utes of Kubrick’s The Shin­ing with This 360º Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Video

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Watch Björk’s Hypnotic Music Video for Her New Song, “The Gate”

FYI. Björk has just released a new track, “The Gate,” from her forth­com­ing album. And, with it, comes a hyp­not­ic new video, the prod­uct of a col­lab­o­ra­tion between Björk, artist Andrew Thomas Huang, and Gucci’s Alessan­dro Michele.

About the video, Andrew Thomas Huang has this to say:

The Gate picks up where 2015’s Vul­ni­cu­ra left off. It is the first glimpse into Björk’s utopia. The door­way lies with­in the wound from Vul­ni­cu­ra, which now appears trans­formed into a pris­mat­ic por­tal chan­neled between the chests of two lovers. Not lovers in the quo­tid­i­an roman­tic sense, but in a broad­er cos­mo­log­i­cal way. As a through­way into Bjork’s new album, The Gate is a dec­la­ra­tion of hope sung by a woman refract­ed and re-formed into a lumi­nous whole.

Björk’s new album, Utopia, is due out in Novem­ber. The new video is made avail­able by Now­ness.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Björk Takes Us Inside Her Cre­ative Process and Explains How She Writes a Song

Hear the Album Björk Record­ed as an 11-Year-Old: Fea­tures Cov­er Art Pro­vid­ed By Her Mom (1977)

A Young Björk Decon­structs (Phys­i­cal­ly & The­o­ret­i­cal­ly) a Tele­vi­sion in a Delight­ful Retro Video

Watch Björk’s 6 Favorite TED Talks, From the Mush­room Death Suit to the Vir­tu­al Choir

How a Simple Email Survey Pulled Scripts Out of Hollywood Purgatory & Turned Them Into Award-Winning Films

How did the Black List get start­ed? Not the Hol­ly­wood black­list that ruined the careers of count­less direc­tors, actors and actress­es dur­ing the 1940s and 1950s. No, we mean the Black List, cre­at­ed by Franklin Leonard in 2005, which has allowed more than 300 scripts, once stuck in Hol­ly­wood pur­ga­to­ry, to get turned into fea­ture films–films like Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire, The King’s Speech, Argo and Spot­light.  This all start­ed when Leonard cre­at­ed a sim­ple sur­vey, ask­ing near­ly 100 movies exec­u­tives to name their favorite scripts that had not yet been made as fea­ture films. The new Vox video above tells the rest of the sto­ry.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Jean-Paul Sartre Writes a Script for John Huston’s Film on Freud (1958)

When Aldous Hux­ley Wrote a Script for Disney’s Alice in Won­der­land

How Movie Stu­dios Reject­ed Scripts Dur­ing the Silent-Film Era: A Cold, 17-Point Check­list Cir­ca 1915

New Study Reveals How the Neanderthals Made Super Glue 200,000 Years Ago: The World’s Oldest Synthetic Material

It’s become increas­ing­ly clear how much we’ve under­es­ti­mat­ed the Nean­derthals, the archa­ic humans who evolved in Europe and went extinct about 40,000 years ago. Though we’ve long used them as a byword for a lum­ber­ing, beast-like lack of devel­op­ment and intel­li­gence — com­pared, of course, to we glo­ri­ous exam­ples of Homo sapi­ens — evi­dence has come to reveal a greater sim­i­lar­i­ty between us and Homo nean­derthalen­sis than we’d imag­ined. Not only did they devel­op stone tools, they even invent­ed a kind of “super glue,” one that, as you can see in the NOVA seg­ment above, we have dif­fi­cul­ty repli­cat­ing even today.

“Archae­ol­o­gists first found tar-cov­ered stones and black lumps at Nean­derthal sites across Europe about two decades ago,” writes the New York Times’ Nicholas St. Fleur. “The tar was dis­tilled from the bark of birch trees some 200,000 years ago, and seemed to have been used for haft­ing, or attach­ing han­dles to stone tools and weapons. But sci­en­tists did not know how Nean­derthals pro­duced the dark, sticky sub­stance, more than 100,000 years before Homo sapi­ens in Africa used tree resin and ocher adhe­sives.” But in a new study in Sci­en­tif­ic Reports, “a team of archae­ol­o­gists has used mate­ri­als avail­able dur­ing pre­his­toric times to demon­strate three pos­si­ble ways Nean­derthals could have delib­er­ate­ly made tar.”

The process might have looked some­thing like that in the video above, an attempt by archae­ol­o­gists Wil Roe­broeks and Friedrich Palmer to make this of old­est known syn­thet­ic mate­r­i­al just as the Nean­derthals might have exe­cut­ed it. Their only mate­ri­als: “an upturned ani­mal skull to catch the pitch; a small stone on which the pitch would con­dense; some rolls of birch bark, the source of the pitch; and a lay­er of ash, to exclude oxy­gen and pre­vent the bark from burn­ing.”

Image by Paul Kozowyk

They tech­ni­cal­ly get it to work, man­ag­ing to heat the bark to just the right tem­per­a­ture, but the exper­i­ment does­n’t pro­duce very much of this ancient super glue — cer­tain­ly not as much as Nean­derthals would have used to make spears, which might turn out to have been the very first indus­tri­al process in his­to­ry. Inno­va­tion, in the 21st cen­tu­ry as well as 250,000 years ago, does tend to come from unex­pect­ed places.

You can read more about arche­ol­o­gists lat­est the­o­ries on the mak­ing of Nean­derthal super glue over at Sci­en­tif­ic Reports.

via Giz­mo­do

Relat­ed Con­tent:

What Did the Voice of Nean­derthals, Our Dis­tant Cousins, Sound Like?: Sci­en­tists Demon­strate Their “High Pitch” The­o­ry

Hear the World’s Old­est Instru­ment, the “Nean­derthal Flute,” Dat­ing Back Over 43,000 Years

Richard Dawkins Explains Why There Was Nev­er a First Human Being

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

The Sex Pistols Make a Scandalous Appearance on the Bill Grundy Show & Introduce Punk Rock to the Startled Masses (1976)

The brain­less­ness and hypocrisy of tele­vi­sion has long been a source of fun and social com­men­tary in punk rock—from Black Flag’s “TV Par­ty” (“I don’t even both­er to use my brain any­more”) to the Dead Kennedys’ “M.T.V. –Get Off the Air” (“… feed­ing you end­less dos­es / of sug­ar-coat­ed mind­less garbage”). It’s fit­ting then that one of the sem­i­nal moments in punk his­to­ry hap­pened on tele­vi­sion, orches­trat­ed by Sex Pis­tols man­ag­er and arch provo­ca­teur Mal­colm McLaren, who knew as well as any­one how to manip­u­late the media. The noto­ri­ous Bill Grundy inter­view, which you can watch—likely not for the first or even sec­ond time—above, rock­et­ed the Sex Pis­tols to nation­al infamy overnight, sim­ply because of a few swear words and some slight­ly rude behav­ior.

Though the U.S. does its damn­d­est to keep up these days, no one in 1976 could match the out­rage machin­ery of the UK press. As rock pho­tog­ra­ph­er and man­ag­er Leee Black Childers put it in the oral his­to­ry of punk, Please Kill Me, the tabloids “can work the pop­u­lace into a fren­zy.” McLaren goes on record to say, “I knew the Bill Grundy show was going to cre­ate a huge scan­dal. I gen­uine­ly believed it would be his­to­ry in the mak­ing.” We might expect him to take cred­it after the fact, but in any case, it worked: the day after the band’s appear­ance on the Grundy-host­ed Today show on Thames Tele­vi­sion, every tabloid paper fea­tured them on the front page. The Dai­ly Mir­ror pro­vid­ed the title of Julien Temple’s 2000 doc­u­men­tary with their clever head­line, “The Filth and the Fury.”

Even in 2008, a sur­vey showed the Grundy inter­view as the most request­ed clip in UK tele­vi­sion his­to­ry. With all this hype, you might be dis­ap­point­ed if you’re one of the few who hasn’t seen it. Though f‑bombs on TV can still cause a minor stir, a few mum­bled curse words will hard­ly gar­ner the kind of pub­lic­i­ty they did forty years ago. McLaren claims punk rock began that day on the Today show, and that’s true, at least, for the view­ing pub­lic who would have been treat­ed to an appear­ance from Queen if Fred­die Mer­cury hadn’t devel­oped a crip­pling toothache. Instead, they were intro­duced to Paul Cook in a Vivi­enne West­wood naked breasts t‑shirt, and Glen Mat­lock, Steve Jones, and John­ny Rot­ten toss­ing insults at Grundy, who egged them on, hit on the teenage Siouxsie Sioux, part of the band’s entourage, and may have been drunk, though he denied it.

It may be one of the least wit­ty exchanges in tele­vi­sion his­to­ry, and that’s say­ing a lot. But for all the pearl-clutch­ing over the band’s cru­di­ty, it’s maybe Grundy who comes off look­ing the worse. More inter­est­ing than the inter­view itself is the hyper­bol­ic fall­out, as well as what hap­pened imme­di­ate­ly after­ward. The sta­tion was flood­ed with com­plaints, and for some rea­son, its tele­phone sys­tem rerout­ed unan­swered calls to the green room, where the band and their fol­low­ers had decamped. “A pro­duc­er on the pro­gramme ignored instruc­tions to remain in the room,” notes Jon Ben­nett at Team Rock. “The result? The group start­ed answer­ing the phones and dish­ing out even more abuse. How this evad­ed the press at the time remains a mys­tery.” Indeed. It’s doubt­ful McLaren could have planned it, but the image evokes the sneer of every punk who has ever spit on the pious insis­tence that TV spoon­feed its view­ers mid­dle-class deco­rum with their adver­tis­ing, sports, wish-ful­fill­ing fan­tasies, and info­tain­ment.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch the Sex Pis­tols’ Very Last Con­cert (San Fran­cis­co, 1978)

The Sex Pis­tols’ 1976 Man­ches­ter “Gig That Changed the World,” and the Day the Punk Era Began

The Sex Pis­tols Play in Dal­las’ Long­horn Ball­room; Next Show Is Mer­le Hag­gard (1978)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

David Lynch Gives Unconventional Advice to Graduates in an Unusual Commencement Address

Just as we would­n’t expect David Lynch to deliv­er a tra­di­tion­al movie, nor should we expect him to deliv­er a tra­di­tion­al com­mence­ment address. “I did an inter­view with the Des Moines Reg­is­ter and said that this would be a strange com­mence­ment speech,” the cre­ator of Eraser­head, Mul­hol­land Dri­ve, and (with Mark Frost) Twin Peaks tells the 2016 grad­u­at­ing class of the Mahar­ishi Uni­ver­si­ty of Man­age­ment by way of open­ing not a speech but an on-stage ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion. The ques­tions came from select stu­dents who want to know things like how he sees the world look­ing in ten years, what makes a good leader, and what makes a mean­ing­ful life.

One also wants to know how to “rec­on­cile a job or career with our dhar­ma or pur­pose.” To that ques­tion, the very first, Lynch can respond with only one word: “Wow.” But then, he had to have expect­ed that ques­tion from a stu­dent at MUM, an insti­tu­tion estab­lished to pro­vide some­thing called “Con­scious­ness-Based edu­ca­tion” under which you don’t just gain knowl­edge but “your aware­ness expands, improv­ing your abil­i­ty to absorb knowl­edge and see the big pic­ture.”

Inte­gral to all this is Tran­scen­den­tal Med­i­ta­tion, the tech­nique devel­oped by MUM founder (and guru to the likes of the Bea­t­les and the Beach Boys) Mahar­ishi Mahesh Yogi and which Lynch him­self has prac­ticed since 1973.

Even if you have no inter­est in Lynch’s mem­o­ries of the Mahar­ishi (a pos­si­ble sub­ject of a future movie of his, he implies), or in med­i­ta­tion of any kind, Lynch still dis­pens­es a fair few pieces of valu­able advice dur­ing these twen­ty min­utes. “I always equate ideas sort of like fish — we don’t make the fish, we catch the fish,” he says in response to one stu­dent who asks about how he falls in love with the ideas out of which his projects devel­op. “You fall in love with an idea and for me it may just be a frag­ment of a whole thing like a script, or a whole film, but this lit­tle frag­ment is so thrilling and you fall in love.” And “once you get one frag­ment, it’s like bait on a hook to catch more frag­ments.”

More con­crete­ly, anoth­er stu­dent asks Lynch to go back to his time at the Penn­syl­va­nia Acad­e­my of Fine Arts (which draws a “Whoa” from Lynch) and con­sid­er whether he’d make all the same deci­sions again. “I was very lucky,” he says of avoid­ing the drugs in vogue at the time because of the warn­ings of his friends. “They were all tak­ing them, but for some rea­son they warned me against it. So I guess I dodged a bul­let.” But he does admit to, after his dai­ly med­i­ta­tion prac­tice, nev­er fail­ing to imbibe one con­scious­ness-alter­ing sub­stance: cof­fee. And when an aspir­ing film­mak­er asks for the “one thing that you learned on one of your film sets that then became a life les­son,” Lynch reveals some­thing per­haps even more impor­tant to him than always get­ting his cof­fee: “Always have final cut.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Lynch Takes Aspir­ing Film­mak­ers Inside the Art & Craft of Mak­ing Indie Films

An Ani­mat­ed David Lynch Explains Where He Gets His Ideas

David Lynch Explains How Med­i­ta­tion Boosts Our Cre­ativ­i­ty (Plus Free Resources to Help You Start Med­i­tat­ing)

David Lynch Talks Med­i­ta­tion with Paul McCart­ney

Dai­ly Med­i­ta­tion Boosts & Revi­tal­izes the Brain and Reduces Stress, Har­vard Study Finds

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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