This is an obvious theme for every creator in any way, for artists, engineer, musician and in many ways for every human being on earth. For this article we will narrow it down to music of course, but the idea of getting this full picture is that human beings create things from what they learn and experience. In every single one of these processes there is inspiration, this also means that nothing comes from nothing, and it would be hard to belive that any human being could create something from nothing, and if one person could it wouldn’t be a person, it would be god. In this sense it would be as Inmanuel Kant says at the begining of the critique of pure reason, that everything we know begins with experience.
What is making something? or creating something? If we take the words that were just said, then creativity would be the talent to arrange pieces in new ways, and in a way this is true. However the magic doesn’t stop there, as musicians when we listen to something we know we like, we remember it, and it stays in our heads, then when we are about to create a piece of music, that thing we liked gets molded and merges with our feelings and other experiences, so in a way it’s like mixing colors to paint new things.
That brings this to the other subject which is interdisciplinary thinking and being able to tear down barriers and lines.
Creation and Connection
A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.
Following the quote from Theodore Adorno, there are some examples we could think of that really show he’s point including electronic music and heavy metal music, as the art and beautiful side of things find themselves with feelings of hate or the cold ever growing technology.
The big important thing here is that, not because something doesn’t sound very familiar or “as it’s supposed to” doesn’t mean is bad. Let’s imagine for a second the first person to ever plug in an electric guitar and try to feel the shoes of that time, it almost seem stupid to listen the distorted sound of strings but now, it’s arguably the most famous instrument in the world.
Thinking outside the box is not easy, but staying within the boudaries of what already is done, is very easy and for many people, not satisfactory.
Some musicians look to play for fun, some enjoy what’s already established but others want to push it further beyond what is out there, and it doesn’t even have to be extremely experimental music, just bringing something new to the table is extremely hard but very rewarding.
This is also an important art, the art of bringing something new into the world of things that are already established, because, you can’t just make something incredibly different and slam it into people’s ears, because in general people won’t like it. However if you’re goal is not to reach people that’s fine, but you won’t actually be bringing something new. The art of creating new things also rely on a balance of how much you’re taking from what is already loved and how much you will inject from your new sounds and melodies.
On reaching artistic maturity, the composer should have acquired a good knowledge of the repertoire, and of his craft. He also needs knowledge of himself, not just in the obvious stylistic sense (a composer’s style is essentially made of his preferences), but also in the sense of dealing with his own psychology: especially, how to find creative stimulation, how to grow as an artist, and how to overcome blocks.
Experiment, and take risks. This does not mean that the finished work should be just an experiment, but that during the composition, it can be useful to deliberately try new procedures, even if one ultimately rejects most of the results in the final piece.
Imitate others, but in a distorted way. Obviously direct imitation creates epigones, but, sufficiently distorted, useful ideas may result
In the end it’s always difficult and a challenge to create something new and have people enjoy it, and as musicians we have to be prepared for all the bumps on the road.