People are always curious where creativity comes from, but I see it as a form of play and exploration – we see that naturally in children, right? Their days are filled with continual exploration and trying new things because their world is all new to them. I see creativity in everything we do- from business, to science to making dinner: creativity is how we solve things – how we navigate our lives and solve the challenges that come up along the way. We’ve all had to be creative this year in so many ways – how to teach classes, see friends, work and have a mother’s day while social distancing – we’ve had to find new solutions for a new era.
So when people tell me they are ‘not creative,’ perhaps they are just not acknowledging their own everyday creativity. We all can nurture creative ideas if we allow time in our lives to explore and try new things. Artists have learned to set aside the time and conditions that work best for them and have nurtured their skill set so ideas come more easily. I often find nature prompts new ideas and solutions, so I always spend time outdoors. The inspiration for the video Waterfall, (below), came from hiking in the Colorado Rockies.
I love the time I set aside for being creative all-day-long, and affectionately call it my Composing Season. This time of year people are normally talking about where they will go for a vacay, but every year I go to my favorite spot – yep – my piano – in my little breakfast nook studio. A piano, a computer to notate, and long hours are just my idea for a sunny day! So this year we have Stay At Home orders – no problem – that’s perfect for creative time! When I work at the piano I always surround myself with music from my heroes – this year I’m looking at American jazz composers Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Horace Silver, and Cole Porter as well as the Brazilian pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. How would these greats solve a musical problem?
So I play, I explore, I get a bit lost, (metaphorically), I run through a bit of paper and quite a few hours, and I compose. Spring and summer days – with their warm weather and longer daylight hours are ripe for inspiration. Where will I end up? I never really know: being open to any and all ideas nudges even more directions, so I avoid placing too many demands or parameters. I start, and at some point I finish, but all that time in between is filled with pure exploration and just plain fun. How will this incredible and historic time we are living through be reflected in these new compositions? Hopefully the recording studios will be open this summer so we can record the new music to share with you later this year, but we’ll have to see what happens this summer, so stay tuned….
Hoping you are well and wishing you a really nice spring,