There is a story about one of the great, old school classical conductors. A man named Bruno Walter. Maestro Walter was famous for his interpretations of Brahms Symphonies. The story is told that he was studying the second movement of the Brahms Fourth Symphony when his friend dropped by and proposed a stroll in the woods. Maestro gladly accepted the opportunity to connect with his beloved Nature and the friends commenced their jaunt. In Maestro’s ear still played the measures at the movement’s beginning, which he was studying. An hour later, after his beautiful distraction, he returned consciously to his creative thoughts. He was amazed to discover that in his ear now, sounded measures from the movement’s closing. Throughout the walk, even as he was distracted with conversation, and the scenery, his mind’s ear had continued to “play” the Brahms. On a subconscious level, he was continuing to process creatively, so intensely integrated had creative thought become in his daily existence.
As you grow in commitment and strength to creative work, you may have some similar discovery. There is continuous process, even as we pursue the necessary, mundane activity of daily life. We are conceiving, planning, feeling, integrating our projects. Some of us experience frustration when so much seems to distract us from focused production in our studios and offices. But a higher level of awareness about the creative process reveals that there is underlying creative activity, even as we sit at our day-job desks, fast food work counters.
Our Composer for Art has been exploring the rich world of drum grooves. Her concept is to deconstruct these grooves and use the elements as bases for new work. Beyond that, she has an image in her mind of a fairy running almost silently through the woods. There is just a gentle swishing sound of her tread on the ground, gentle bird calls and wind mixing from above. Momentary pauses in her movement are indicated musically by momentary halts in the underlying groove.
This concept percolates, formulates, translates into technical aspects all day long in the Composer’s mind. When the point of execution arrives, those moments of actually laying down digital data on what might appear to be a blank sonic canvas, she realizes the canvas in her mind is already full of the content she wishes to convey. And she experiences intense joy at the flow of a strongly formulated concept through the technical processes of laying down the data.
This is one of the great rewards of a commitment to creative life. We are all capable of the Maestro’s subconscious flow of creative thought during daily periods of mundane activity. And we experience great joy, even revelation, at the powerful flow through the technical paces of our concept into the concrete of our creative medium.
In your darkest moments, through the despairs and frustrations and failures of daily existence, take great comfort in this gift that is yours as a creative partner with the Creator.