The art of listening and the connection it has to creativity. I am not sure I should be writing about this but thoughts are bumping around in my head. I have noticed at some point in my development as a musician, I can play about any song or piece of music but I sometimes stop thinking and become an uninterested by stander, as I play the song. I guess in some respects this is understandable since it happens in almost every activity in which routine reigns supreme. I pose the question, “Is that truly creativity? Or is it the regurgitation of a routine?” My goal is not to be the dancing monkey at a circus but a creator of great music, an engager of great music and a participant in great music. So how do I engage creativity when routine abounds? My theory is that I need to listen, but not necessarily to other musicians but to the music itself. I know I am getting a bit weird but there is something deeper to creating music, than playing the song academically perfect.
The word interpretation comes to mind. I think on some level, I understand interpretation but perhaps not well enough. My guess is that to interpret music creatively you must somehow tap into something deeper and richer than the old recordings of that song. How does a composer breathe new life into an old song? I think he/she must somehow hear it differently. But hear is a vague adjective, does he hear it in his head, his spirit, his soul? Perhaps listening is a better adjective because I can listen to all of those aspects of myself. My problem with listening is that it requires the ability to silence the ambient noise so I can hear the soft rhythm and stillness of the creative muse. I hear artists talk about that and I am so excited that I just used it in a way that almost makes sense. I watch great piano players, I can see them listening.
I know that quieting the ambient noise is a key to opening up to the music itself. I know this from other aspects of my life when quieting my mind was crucial in helping me be open to the people in my life and to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. As I try to open myself to music, I will be listening to my inner spirit. I need to try to listen to the ebb and flow of life. I need to find my connection to the heartbeat of the creator, as well as my connection to the universe itself. I so desperately want to tap into this but I am still trying to quiet the ambient noise. I will simply be working on listening. I think this is called meditation but it is not something that comes easily to me. I welcome any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions.