Monday, February 19, 2007

creative musicians?

I was pondering a project for a class that I am taking and deciding whether to do an analytical project or a creative one, when I had some troubling thoughts:
What could I possibly do that is creative? I'm not particularly creative....but how could that be? I'm striving to be a musician! being creative is part of the whole allure...yes?

Well if you think about it a musician could get along without being creative at all. If you just do what everyone tells you to do you'll be fine.

of course of course there is more to music than notes that are put together.

but think about it. A musician learns a piece for notes. Then depending upon the piece you get another set of information from the composer, how is it to be played when? You go to a teacher, they explain what technically will make the piece wonderful. You go to a coach they tell you what specific emotions to place with the music...perhaps they ask you to come up with what you think the emotions should be. Finally it is the musician's job to take all of these directions and perform. Notes, language, history, emotion all of these things are wrapped up in a performance, but is creativity?

So is emoting on stage an art? Is creating a sublime integration of what you know about the piece for the performance creativity?

I once told someone that a singer can move you even if they don't know what the piece is about. That part of performing is knowing how to move people.

I'm not sure that I really believe this, but there certainly can be artists that simply are able to be vessels of other people's creativity.

I like to think that the best, and the greatest musicians are tremendously creative. The most moving performances must come from a deeper well than years of coaching. Look at Yo-yo Ma. He is one of the musicians whom I respect the most. He is truly a musician and an artist. He is not simply a fabulous cellist but an innovative thinker who is interested in exploring and creating new music. Take a look at his diskology, there is tremendous depth and variation. He is not afraid to go and explore a music that he has no familiarity with, he does not simply stick with "what has worked" but pushes at the boundaries.

In conclusion I love Yo-Yo Ma


Anonymous said...

Yeah YO-YO Ma! I always liked him because I could remember his name!

Valerie said...

Your description left my blood running cold! I totally agree that it's possible to become packaged as a performer in this way. And yet, where's the creative fulfillment in that?
I've met so many professional performers over the years who have lost touch with their individual creativity... and they're bored and cynical. Being a musical performer is in some senses more 're-creative' than creative, but I still believe there can be a freshness and spontaneity in performance if one only dares and is willing to keep exploring and being open to new ideas, feelings and sensations. As you say, being "an innovative thinker who is interested in exploring and creating new music" is the way to go...

Good luck!