David Bowie used the cutup method to write lyrics. He would write a descriptive paragraph, that in some way outlined the ingredients of the story he wanted to tell, then cut them into sections of 4-5 words, and then rearrange them into something new. This allows for new combinations.

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Mar 19, 2023 4:45 PM
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Apr 28, 2024 11:31 PM
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In a 2008 interview, Bowie further explained his use of cut-ups: “You write down a paragraph or two describing different subjects, creating a kind of ‘story ingredients’ list, I suppose, and then cut the sentences into four or five-word sections, mix ‘em up and reconnect them.” The technique allows songwriters, he says, to “get some pretty interesting idea combinations,” even if they “have a craven need not to lose control.” Bowie almost single-handedly created the category of “art rock” with his application of avant-garde techniques to conventional song structures and rock ‘n’ roll attitudes (View Highlight)

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