This statement was first published on the occasion of the 2006 Core Artists in Residence catalog and exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Glassell School in Houston, Texas.
It’s interesting that people can believe in ghosts. I try to convince myself of ghosts all the time but it never works out. Sometimes though, when the building is dark there are moments when at the edge of my vision I think I can see something and I get scared. It’s at this moment, for some reason, I believe in ghosts.
Perhaps beauty can only be a consequence. Maybe you have to be preoccupied with something extreme or distant or incongruent for the result to be beautiful. It has to travel beyond logic to a place that’s completely awkward and wild and unimaginable, a place that you have to open up space in your brain for it to exist at all.
There are moments in songs where a few notes in combination can suddenly generate a chemical spill in your head that gives a moment of intense pleasure. I have a habit of listening to these songs for days on repeat. Then, at some point, they become used up. I think this, in a way, is about beauty.
Imagine what you perceive to be the actual meaning of something, but imagine it only as pattern. Here, meaning exists as combinations of elements that are arranged and layered in such a way as to acquire a specific logic and grace and depth and width. Imagine this pattern structure next to others; meaning starts to form dimension, shape and a complex elegance.
At some points while working I reach a place where Michael Jones McKean doesn’t seem real, like I’m just an idea or some kind of fiction. This usually happens during moments of conviction.