From the Desk Remix! – Bach and Creativity.

Earlier this evening I was watching an online concert (if the link becomes available I will post it!) focusing on J.S. Bach.

Johann Sebastian Bach has been one of my musical/creative heroes ever since I bought a cassette tape (you may have to search-engine that, depending on your age!) of his Concertos for Two Harpsichords. I purchased it because I had read that he was influenced by Antonio Vivaldi, another hero.

The concert involved a cello player, a violinist, and a composer.

The Violinist, Jonny Gandelsman, has recorded Bach’s solo cello suites on a five-string violin.

The concert was part music and part conversation about the differences which came to the music with the differing instruments and how Bach wrote the pieces.

It brought to mind the documentary of the ‘Addictive Sketcher’ Adebanji Alade attempting to recreate the painting of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, using the artist’s original techniques. At one point he had to decide whether to complete his version in its current state, with yellowed varnish, or choose the original paint colour which had been revealed in a studio version. In the end he chose to paint the figure of Lisa in her current colours but the background in the original colours.

Unsurprisingly, in these two examples, the creatives involved spoke about the learning which had occured as they moved through this process of working closely with works of Bach and Da Vinci. Both genuises have had an unrivalled impact across the creative spectrum, let alone in the field of their specific endeavours.

I think the ‘Pandemic Period’ has provided an uncommon time creatively. Individual endeavours and collaborations, in ways which would not have happened previously, have caused us to push at the boundaries of our art. There has been a space and a mindset to look again at our preconceived notions and experiment and learn again.

Being innovative isn’t necessarily about creating ‘new’ but can be taking the old and applying it to the new we already have.

What happens if you paint a Hopper image in the style of Van Gogh, or even Mondrian?

The classical music world is well ahead of other creative fields in arranging contemporary music into a ‘classical’ style, and a number of Rock musicians have played the works of Bach, Paganini, Vivaldi, for years.

In your area of creativity, which old masters can you revisit, or which ways can you reinterpret the new or the old?

From the Desk Remix! – 4 Billion Bits!

The weather summary for today – It rained. It stopped raining. It rained. It stopped raining. It rained . . .

Our brains like to sift things into easy categories.

It makes sense. It is like a type of short hand.

Have you tried to write down notes on a webinar, zoom meeting, or at a live event?

It is practically impossible.

A quick search on an ‘engine’ of your choice and I discover that the brain processes 4 billion bits of information every second, but we are only aware of about 2000 bits.

A quick search of my brain for the weather and it neatly summarises it for me as it rained on and off.

My brain, being sensible, decided I was probably struggling with the few bits of information I was concentrating on and didn’t want to overload me!

If I search the system a little more closely, then I know the sun came out for a few brief periods, and during one of them the light across the blue sky was invigorating. It was also windy, blowing the magnolia tree at the bottom of the garden from the west.

When we are creative it is easy to fall into the ‘summary’ option of what we’ve done.

Stephen King tells us that when we have finished our story or novel, we should shut it away in a drawer and forget about it. After a few days or weeks, get it out and read it. Your ‘summary’ may not have done it justice – for good or bad.

The same works for art or music. Leave a little space and time between you and the work. Come back to it and look beyond the summary.

You notice things. This is important. Revisit the details.

I’m sure you’ve noticed this with movies, or albums (does anybody still listen to whole albums anymore?). I guarentee there is a scene you had forgotten, or a track which you didn’t remember but now think is great.

Creatively this ‘revisit’ is a really important part of our process. Here we learn from ourselves and question why we put those particular marks on the canvas, or included a scene with the protagonist or a minor character.

4 billion bits of information per second.

Creatively, we have more resources at our disposal than we might think!

Creative Thoughts – 27th September, 2021.

Photo by Damien DUFOUR Photographie on Unsplash

Today started at 2:30am, taking my youngest son to the airport for his trip to Malta. In return he has promised me a tacky plastic replica of a Knight of St. John. There are many myths, truths, and lies about this order of men who initially dedicated themselves to providing hospitality and protection for pilgrim travellers to many places including the Holy Land.

We are all on our own individual pilgrimages.

The Camino de Santiago de Compostella, the Way of St. James to Santiago in Northern Spain, now famous in travel books, vlogs, and even movies, teaches that we are always on ‘the Way’.

Our lives are an endless pilgrimage.

Every footstep, every place we visit, every person we come into contact with, changes us and has the potential for us to change them.

On the Way there is lots of time to think and reflect.

Our Creativity is the sum of those footsteps and thoughts, the places and the people, and as countless others before us out attempts to understand our place in creation.

The manifestation of this today when I crept through the door at 5:45am, trying to keep the dogs quiet and not wake my wife, was to write a proper ‘welcome’ to this site.

The words quickly unfolded the influences and struggles of my expression of creativity up to now. Conscious that it needed to be longer than ‘Hi!’ and shorter than Anna Karenina, there is a great deal which is left unsaid.

But it is a starting place. It is that first step of a pilgrimage, which traditionally, starts from your front door. It is my Buon Camino! – Good Journery or Good Way! – to you as our paths cross or join even if it is only for a short time

Greet others! Share your creativity!

Buon Camino!

Herbie.