Rest days and talking about the indescribable

November 21, 2019

 

When training for an endurance event such as a marathon or a triathlon, one takes several days of rest before the actual race. This gives the body time to recuperate from the intense training, for the muscles to rebuild and for the mind to become ready for the big push. We gave the cast two days off before the workshop performance of Imogen tomorrow. They sounded really wonderful on Tuesday's dress rehearsal, and I hope that this gives them time to become both mentally and physically rested for tomorrow's performance. Singing 2 hours of brand new music is not dissimilar to an endurance event.

But I? I have to prepare for tomorrow's talkback session today.

 

I did an interview last week with Maureen and Daniel of Scapi Magazine. They asked me about my "composition process". And then the creative consultant wrote me an email this morning telling me she was going to allow me 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the talkback session to discuss my "creative process" and I have to say, I don't really know how to answer these questions.

When I have an idea for a project (which usually comes from either an emotionally significant event or something I read), I sit down and think about whatever the instigation was. If it's something I read and it's going to become a vocal piece, I read the words aloud. And I kind of let my mind go a little fuzzy. And usually then I get a musical idea. For me, it's often a motif or a melody. That is the magical moment, the part I can't describe. But once I have a seed, I can use "tricks" I learned in music theory to turn that seed inside out and upside down and backward and mirrored. I can chop it up and sew it back together again like Dr Frankenstein and his monster...and eventually I have something that starts to look like music. And then I edit it. And I edit it some more. And some more editing.

Basically, the creative process is a crazy combination of magic brain chemicals, mathematics, and days and days of work. I feel like that answer is disappointing to people.

But how else does one describe the indescribable?

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