Deuce gets frequent walks. This affords many advantages to our Composer of Music for Art. For one, walking the dog means our Composer is away from the computer, either thinking about her work or completely distracted from her work. Sometimes we are so excited by a new idea that we cannot resist jumping into project execution right away. And then it is all too easy to get into a rather obsessive groove of endlessly “refining” some single element, or throwing the kitchen sink at a project in the hopes of that eureka moment of discovering the element which is “just right.”
Certainly achieving spontaneity during execution of a project is valuable, but the wise artists know that without a foundation, without coming to the work with a concept and a plan for execution, a lot of time is wasted and the end result is far less predictable in terms of achieving quality and impact.
Foundation, in turn, is laid through creative thinking beforehand about our work. Especially at the beginning of our creative cycle, when we are starting essentially from “nothing”, it is critical to visualize an end goal, a final work. With this picture in mind, creative thought proceeds to details. We break down the end product into essential components – for the composer this is about choosing harmonic material, a soundscape, the number of tracks, the length, the mood, the pace and nature of dramatic progression. And then further, to breakdown each of these components technically – will we enter data from the keyboard in a performance style? Will we describe a harmonic progression or use a palate of notes? What sounds lend to the character of the work? – techno sounds for space music, or something warmer, an acoustic instrument perhaps, for a nature feeling.
Armed with concept and some ideas about elements and element choices, we can take confident first steps, baby steps, in project execution. The foundation which creative thought has established is solid, and we can build upon it now with concrete strokes of the brush on canvas.
And as we continue through the execution phases of our work, we continue to value our walks with Deuce, for each one is an opportunity to step away from the work, to think creatively and critically about where we are at with our project, what steps we need to take to stay on track and to refine, develop, expand or contract our piece. What technical learning do we need to face up to before it is possible to overcome a particularly gnarly challenge, and to move forward? How to best go about that learning.
Savor these walks, these times of pure creative thought, or of pure distraction from which we returned renewed, ready to discover what was in front of our noses all along in terms of discovering problems and realizing solutions.
And be joyful in your great capacity for this kind of creative thinking – for it is a gift given only to some. A gift and a responsibility. And look forward to the satisfaction of completed work which is well-grounded and expresses the conceptions of your mind.